Indian Wells | Muguruza crashes out
Seeded players became involved in the Indian Wells schedule for the first time and it proved rather disastrous for them as of the 16 on display, nine fell by the wayside. Ousted were Garbine Muguruza (3), Johanna Konta (11), Ashleigh Bardy (16), 2017 finalist Svetlana Kuzentsova (19), Elise Mertens (22), Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (23), Barbara Strycova (25), Dominika Cibulkova (30) and Aga Radwanska (31).
I’m going to learn a lot from this match, I’m going to watch it and see what went wrong. It’s a little bit sad … I really love this tournamentGarbine Muguruza
The biggest upset was caused by world No.100 Sachia Vickery, who bounced the reigning Wimbledon Champion out of the event 2-6 7-5 6-1 having delivered fie double faults and seen her serve broken five times during the two-hour 11-minute match.
“I did a couple mistakes here and there and she took advantage of that,” said Muguruza who also briefly sat at the top of the rankings last year. “She was raising her level more and more.
“She earned this match tonight,” Muguruza added. “It was key points here and there.
“I’m going to learn a lot from this match, I’m going to watch it and see what went wrong. It’s a little bit sad … I really love this tournament.”
While the loss to a player ranked as low was her first since 2016, it was the first win over a top ten player by the American Vickery who had dispatched Eugenie Bouchard in her opening round match.
“I played on big courts before but nothing like this,” the 22-year-old admitted. “Honestly I can’t believe I won. “I just tried to fight every point. The atmosphere really helped me even though I was feeling it a bit physically. I kept telling myself ‘just do your best’.”
Vickery next faces Japan’s 20-year-old Naomi Osaka who posted the first surprise win of the tournament by eliminating Maria Sharapova in her opening match and then dispatching Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska (31) 6-3 6-2.
Australian hopes alo took a battering as both Ashleigh Barty and Samantha Stosur were beaten in straight sets.
World No.21 Barty, who received a bye as one of the top 32 seeds, was upset by Maria Sakkari of Greece 6-4 6-2 while the 2011 US Open champion Stosur lost 7-5 7-5 to the French 14th seed Kristina Mladenovic leaving Daria Gavrilova, the world No. 26, as the Aussies last hope.
World No.1 Simona Halep began her campaign with a routine 6-4 6-4 defeat of Kristyna Pliskova.
“Today was great in that I could actually play a few rallies,” Halep said.
“I got the rhythm back. And I feel good now. I feel more confident.
Sixth-seeded Jelena Ostapenko accounted for Belinda Bencic 6-4 3-6 6-1 while CoCo Vandeweghe overcame Kaia Kanepi 6-0 7-6(6).
Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, seeded ninth, survived the challenge of Yulia Putintseva to prevail 6-7(4) 7-6(3) 6-4 after three-hours and 18-miunutes to extend her winning streak to 14.
Jo Konta, seeded 11, was unable to halt her run of early losses and crashed out 7-6(5) 6-4 to 18-year-old Marketa Vondrousova.
Aryna Sabalenka and Qiang Wang accounted for seeded players Svetlana Kuznetsova and Elise Mertens, respectively, to reach the third round.
Other second-round victors were Petra Martic and Shuai Zhang.