In the only upset of the day, Magdalena Rybarikova defeated the number seven seed, Belinda Bencic, 6-4 3-6 6-3. BB was disappointing and just couldn’t get going in that third set. In hindsight, I don’t think this surface suits her game and particularly against someone with such a funky game. Credit to Magda though who played an excellent match and fought through her nerves at the end, finishing with a delicate volley. Yet again, a lovely handshake…
Rybarikova had arguably the miss of the year… words can’t even describe this smash. If you haven’t seen it, the starting view is already enough to fill you with dread at what’s going to happen!
And add to that, Rybarikova had missed ANOTHER smash just five minutes. This one makes me laugh because of where the ball goes after she frames it in epic style. I feel bad posting these but Magda won so it’s OK 😉
And this also happened in the Bencic-Rybarikova match… it certainly had its moments!
Karolina Pliskova maintained her 100% record over Ana Ivanovic with a 6-2 6-0 (!) win in just 49 (!!!) minutes. After recovering an early break, Ivanovic actually led 2-2 *40-0. A spate of double faults saw Ivanovic lose that game, swiftly followed by the next nine. Pliskova played well and her serve was solid. However, this match was more of a reflection on Ivanovic. A big factor though was that she had a lot of strapping on her knee and leg, which was obviously bothering her. But still, not good… Pliskova plays Johanna Konta in the fourth round who beat Denisa Allertova, 6-4 6-1, for her second win over the Czech player this year.
Roberta Vinci has been one of the stars of this 2016 WTA season so far. Currently ranked at number 10 in the world, she could go much, much higher in the next few weeks and it would be richly deserved. The Italian produced a brilliant performance to defeat Elina Svitolina, 6-1 6-3. Vinci didn’t drop serve once, fighting back from *0-40 down in the final game to seal her 13th win of the year.
Daria Kasatkina defeated Monica Puig, 6-4 3-6 7-6(2) in what sounded like a cracking contest. It’s top of my list of ones to catch up with when I get some time! Kasatkina saved a match point to prevail in two hours and 44 minutes. Now seems a good time to plug my article about Kasatkina for Women’s World of Sport if you didn’t see it! For sure, Daria’s the real deal…
It’s awesome to see Timea Bacsinszky back, fully fit, healthy and playing well. The Swiss player, who won just one out of her first six matches, is into the last 16 of Indian Wells for the second consecutive year. Bacsinszky defeated Eugenie Bouchard, 6-2 5-7 6-2, overcoming a mid-match tumble. There were some nice words from Genie at the end!
Tough turnaround for both but Bacsinszky v Kasatkina in R4… LOVE IT!
The final two matches on Monday were won by Victoria Azarenka and Sam Stosur; Azarenka defeated Shuai Zhang in straight sets, 6-4 6-3, while Stosur recovered from 0-3* down in the final set to defeat Christina McHale for the fourth consecutive time, 6-4 2-6 6-4.
Here’s the video to go with all the pictures last week from the All Access hour of the Big Face Challenge.
Serena Williams was in good form in press after her win over Yulia Putintseva in the third round.
And finally, here’s a chance to get to know Nicole Gibbs (if you didn’t know much before!) who beat Yaroslava Shvedova on Sunday and plays Petra Kvitova on Tuesday.