Game on, indeed. The second set began frantically, with three breaks of serve in the opening four games. And then I started off well in the second set and ended up winning that match in three sets [against Irina-Camelia Begu]. "To play against Venus, it's always tough".
It seems that 2019 will be her breakthrough year after a string of impressive victories over some of women's tennis' top stars saw her overtake Eugenie Bouchard as Canada's top-ranked player.
He'll try to improve next against number seven Dominic Thiem, who advanced via walkover when number 18 Gael Monfils announced on court that he couldn't play because of a left Achilles injury.
"I will try my best to recover - these are the matches I want to play", he said.
Bencic had been in impeccable form since the Fed Cup, with the 23rd seed unbeaten since losing to Veronika Kudermetova at the St Petersburg Open in January.
Kerber, 31, will be playing 18-year-old Andreescu for the first time.
Andreescu's 3rd set conversation with coach Sylvain Bruneau was the turning point in her match as she went on to break the next game and eventually win her 1st career WTA title.
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Andreescu, who relies heavily on meditation and visualisation techniques to get her mental game in shape, had to dig deep against Kerber and trailing by a set in the decisive set found another gear late on to claim a thrilling victory.
"At the end I was not able to take my chances, but she did", Kerber said.
"I think the conditions are good for me, especially when the sun's out", Raonic said of Indian Wells, where he has made at least the semifinals in his last four appearances.
"I'm really looking forward to a really tough battle". "She has nothing to lose, she enjoys her tennis and she's a great player".
"This moment has become a reality so it's really, really insane", Andreescu told the crowd before speaking a bit of Romanian.
"It's incredible", she beamed when told of the achievement. "Not only this morning but so many times", she told reporters at the winner's news conference. I'm not putting pressure on myself even now. "Another goal of mine was to make history, and I just did".
Bencic could have made life easier for herself against Pliskova but only managed to convert four of her 16 break points against the Czech's serve. "But I have had many moments like this in the past, playing Challenger events, juniors".
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