Kerber ended Bencic's impressive 12-match win streak, which included a straight-sets defeat of No. 1 Naomi Osaka in the fourth round, and is now into her first final at Indian Wells, where she has an opportunity to hoist her first trophy since winning Wimbledon last July.
Bianca Andreescu stunned Angelique Kerber in the final of the Indian Wells Open 2019 to win her first ever WTA title on Sunday. Her $1.35m winner's cheque dwarfs her previous career earnings of $350,000. "So it's insane what a year can do", Andreescu said.
Thousands of well-wishers took to Twitter to congratulate the 18-year-old Canadian in the moments after her historic triump, with big names both inside and outside the world of tennis making their thoughts heard on the sport's newest star. Osaka used it as a springboard to win titles at the USA and Australian opens while ascending to the No. 1 ranking in January.
Bianca Andreescu made history on Sunday by winning the BNP Paribas Open as a wild card entry.
After dropping the opening set of her campaign, Andreescu blitzed through to the semifinals by dropping just 21 combined games in her next 10 sets.
The joy. The celebration.
Another early service game from Kerber saw her in trouble with Andreescu lurking.
"She did a good job then at the end, especially the last three games", Kerber said. After each match, with a delightful blend of youthful bravado and humility, Andreescu talked about the role of creative visualization and meditation in her rise, as well as the power of walking onto the court with confidence.
She broke Kerber in the next game, taking a 15-30 lead with a lovely drop shot-lob combination, and giving herself a break point with an overhead victor before converting with another forehand victor to launch a run of three straight games for a 5-3 lead.
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We want them to realize that they are great players and that they need to step up so Argentina can return to the level that it once had in the past.
But having started the year outside the world's top 150 she is now up to a career high of 24 and boasts more wins (28) than any other player on the WTA Tour this year.
Andreescu took the advice to heart.
In what was her first ever Premier Mandatory tournament, she had already capped a brilliant couple of weeks in the tournament but to then come back from being a break down in the final set to clinch the title was something else. "I don't like to focus on what just happened or in the future".
"A grand slam might be next year, but you just don't know".
Roger Federer chased a record sixth title in the desert against Dominic Thiem in the men's final later. She started playing tennis at age 7 in Romania after her parents moved back, but they returned to Canada soon after.
Thiem trailed 4-3 and 5-4 in the third set before breaking Federer with a forehand victor to go up 6-5.
Not being 100 percent fit is nothing new for Andreescu. But the 25-year-old Austrian's solid serve held up against Federer as it had throughout the tournament.
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Federer won just one point on Thiem's serve in the final game.