Indian Wells| Seeds tumble as draw progresses
The top half of the women’s Indian Wells draw has reached the last 16 stage with just two seeds remaining in contention – and it could have been none for both Simona Halep and Karolina Plyskova where taken the distance before securing their places.
I’m really, really happy about this victory. It was tough down there, and much respect to her, because she’s playing really good tennis. Simona Halep
Halep, the top seed was outplayed in her first set by the world No 165 Caroline Dolehide but recovered in a tight second set before rolling into the fourth round 1-6 7-6(3) 6-2
“I’m really, really happy about this victory,” the Romanian world No.1 said. “It was tough down there, and much respect to her, because she’s playing really good tennis.”
Halep, who committed 30 unforced errors and struck only 17 winners, will face China’s Wang Qiang next after she trounced Kristina Mladenovic, the 14th seed, 6-1 6-2.
Meanwhile, Petra Kvitova, seeded eighth, was unable to stem the remarkable run of the 16-year-old American wild card Amanda Anisimova. The Czech may still have been feeling the effects of her gruelling three-hour plus marathon in the previous round as she was dumped out 6-2 6-4.
“I’m still in shock,” the teenager said after bringing to an end Kvitova’s winning streak at 14 matches. “She’s the best player I have ever played, and it was the biggest court I have ever played on.”
The French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, seeded six, joined the exodus of seeded players, ousted by Croatia’s Petra Martic 6-3 6-3, as did CoCo Vandeweghe (17) who was dumped on by the Greek Maria Sakkari, 6-2 6-4
Finally, the last seed to be shown the door in the top half, was Shuai Zhang (32) who put up a brave fight against Karolina Plyskova, seeded five, before capitulating 7-5 5-7 6-3.
Two second round matches held overnight in the bottom half of the draw saw Victoria Azarenka’s comeback come to an end as she suffered a 6–1 7-5 loss to the reigning US Open champion, Sloane Stephens who seems to have recovered some of her mojo.
“I was a little more aggressive,” Stephens, 13th seed explained. “These courts suit my game really well. I was super focused on just playing my game and making sure I was executing.”
Also through is the 10th seed Angelique Kerber who came from a set down in her rain-delayed match to beat Ekaterina Makarova 3-6 6-4 6-2.