Barbora Krejcikova, the World No 2, withdrew on the eve of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells because of an elbow injury, just as Amanda Anisimova, the lowest ranked player of the 8 elite competing in the 2022 Eisenhower Cup, bagged the title after winning the winner-take-all TieBreak Tens charity event at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on Tuesday night.
I’ll definitely be donating some of my prize money to a Ukrainian relief fund. Every day is extremely sad – we are here and enjoying, but it’s very hard. Amanda Anisimova
“I am extremely disappointed and sad to withdraw from the BNP Paribas Open,” said Krejcikova in a statement. ”I was looking forward to playing in Indian Wells very much but, unfortunately, I won’t be able to do so this year.
“I have had a pain in my arm on and off since Doha, which today intensified overnight and together with my team I had to make a very tough decision to withdraw.
“I will focus on getting the right treatment as soon as possible and I hope I can be back on the court soonest.”
The 26-year-old from the Czech Republic is the defending champion at the French Open, which begins on 22 May.
The desert tournament already lost top-ranked Ash Barty, who announced last week that she would not play because she has not sufficiently recovered after her victory in the Australian Open in January.
Alizé Cornet of France, who was due to play Croatia’s Ana Konjuh in the first round, now moves into Krejcikova’s place at the top of the draw with a bye into the 2nd round, while Harriet Dart, a British qualifier, takes Cornet’s place.
Meanwhile, celebrating International Women’s Day, the Eisenhower Cup exhibition event raised funds for local women’s charities and involved hot mics, stationary bikes and tons of good vibes.
America’s Anisimova defeated Maria Sakkari from Greene 10-7 in the final and joked that she was happy she didn’t have to spend too much time on the court to win the title.
“Personally I don’t like playing very long, so this was perfect for me,” she quipped.
The 20-year-old pledged to donate a portion of her $150,000 prize money to Ukrainian relief.
“I’ll definitely be donating some of my prize money to a Ukrainian relief fund,” she said. “Every day is extremely sad – we are here and enjoying, but it’s very hard.”
While the American was the winner on the court, charity is the beneficiary off it, with all proceeds from ticket sales benefit local women’s organisations to honour International Women’s Day.
Fans saw many of their favourite stars in tiebreak action – Aryna Sabalenka, Maria Sakkari, Ons Jabeur, Paula Badosa, Simona Halep, Naomi Osaka, Leylah Fernandez and Amanda Anisimova.
“It’s amazing to share this court with all these players,” said Badosa, the defending Indian Wells champion “All of them are champions, so it’s super fun.”
The Spaniard was in fine form early, blasting through her quarter-final with Canadian Fernandez and closing the 10-point tiebreak with successive winners, one on the backhand side and the final flourish on the forehand.
Tunisia’s Jabeur led the way in the comedy department, taking a crack as a spin instructor, and grabbing a camera with a telephoto lens nearly as big as her arm, crouching on the court, searching for the perfectly angled photo.
Jabeur bowed out to a determined Sakkari, who couldn’t help but compete with her trademark grit to sail past her and into the semis.
Sabalenka, who knocked out Romanian 2015 champion Halep in her first match, eventually fell to Sakkari as well.
Halep may not have won a match, but the Romanian was all smiles to be back at the scene of one of her early career milestones.
“It’s pretty special,” said Halep. “It’s emotional, actually, because at the beginning of my career, when I held this title, it was huge for me at that time. Hopefully I can have another good memory here.”
Osaka, the 4-time Grand Slam champion, was an early casualty as well, falling Anisimova, who then blasted past Badosa to reach the final where she took the spoils of the evening.