Mona Barthel continued her incredible start to 2012 with a career-best win over the world number 15, Jelena Jankovic. The manner of the defeat was perhaps most surprising as Barthel routed Jankovic, 6-0 6-3 and lost just 10 points in a sensational first set. Jankovic also lost her first match at Indian Wells and will look to rediscover some form on the clay courts where she has had much success in her career; however in truth, her best days are well behind her and she was beaten by a better player.
Kim Clijsters also won today as she backed up a first round win over Jarmila Gajdosova with a 6-2 7-5 victory over the number 14 seed, Julia Goerges. There were nine breaks of serve in a messy looking second set, but Kim managed to fight her way through and looks to be in good shape. She will play Yanina Wickmayer in an all Belgian third round clash. I was actually in the crowd for their last encounter at Eastbourne in 2010 where Clijsters annihilated Wickmayer, 6-1 6-1… I expect another win for Kimmy.
In other matches, Chanelle Scheepers produced her second third-set bagel of the week as she came from behind to beat the number 25 seed, Anabel Medina Garrigues, 1-6 6-4 6-0. Sabine Lisicki also had a good win as she beat Sofia Arvidsson, 6-3 6-2. Lisicki had lost six of her last seven games (including Fed Cup matches) and comfortably saw off the in-form Swede who nearly beat Caroline Wozniacki in the 3rd round of Indian Wells last week. Lisicki will have to improve her 2nd serve percentages though if she is to keep progressing this week.
Finally, a mention to Venus Williams who won her first match since the 2011 US Open yesterday with a dominant 6-0 6-3 victory over Kimiko Date Krumm. This week’s comebacks have all lived up to their billing and Miami is shaping up to be a smashing tournament. Venus will now play Petra Kvitova in the second round, but here comes a moan… there will be no live coverage of what will be a fantastic contest:-(. Miami and Indian Wells are often described as the “5th Slams” but to have no live coverage before the 3rd rouns is just criminal!