The 2016 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells came to a conclusion on Sunday with Victoria Azarenka being crowned the champion. The WTA tour continues to be unpredictable from week-to-week but there were signs in the desert that some of the top ten players are finally getting their 2016 seasons in order. I enjoyed this tournament (time difference aside!) and it had a nice balance between seeds surviving, but upsets too. As ever, here’s my Match Points from the two weeks in Indian Wells with my favourite matches, tweets, photos, GIFS and plentyyyy more!
Victoria Azarenka confirmed her place back in the world’s top ten, defeating the world number one, Serena Williams in the final, 6-4 6-4. It was a strange final for sure… a key stat was Serena converting just ONE of 12 break points. The world number one mounted a late comeback but it was too late with Azarenka saving break points in the final game of the match. Huge credit to Azarenka who secured her fourth win over Serena, all coming in finals. It was a tough one for Serena with perhaps emotions/nerves back in the final of Indian Wells taking over. This was the first time since 2004 (!) that Serena has lost back-to-back finals…
In their first tournament together, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and CoCo Vandeweghe won the doubles title, beating Karolina Pliskova and Julia Goerges, 4-6 6-4 10-6 in the final.
Completed Singles Draw
WTA rollercoaster scorelines
Carina Witthoeft d. Irina Falconi, 0-6 6-4 6-4 (R1) – Falconi led 6-0 *1-0
Shuai Zhang d. (24) Caroline Wozniacki, 4-6 7-6(8) 7-5 (R2) – Wozniacki led 6-4 4-2*
Roberta Vinci d. Margarita Gasparyan, 6-3 6-7(7) 7-6(5) – Gasparyan led 4-0* in the third set
Elina Svitolina d. Annika Beck, 4-6 7-6(0) 6-1 (R2) – Beck led 6-4 5-2*
Magdalena Rybarikova d. Daria Gavrilova, 2-6 7-5 6-4 (R2) – Gavrilova led 6-2 5-3*
Agnieszka Radwanska d. Dominika Cibulkova, 6-3 3-6 7-5 (R2) – Cibulkova led 5-2* 40-30* in the third set
Petra Kvitova d. Johanna Larsson, 6-3 4-6 7-5 (R3) – Larsson led 5-3* in the third set
Sam Stosur d. Christina McHale, 6-4 2-6 6-4 (R3) – McHale led *3-0 in the third set
Tennis worth catching up with…
Radwanska d. Cibulkova (6-3 3-6 7-5, R2)
In one of the best matches of the year so far, Radwanska saved a match point with a stirring comeback in the third set.
Vinci d. Gasparyan (6-3 6-7(7) 7-6(5)), R2)
There were so many twists and turns in this match with Gasparyan saving a match point in the second set (having nearly blown a 6-1 lead in the second set tiebreak). The Russian player had match points of her own but couldn’t convert. There was some fabulous shotmaking from both players, especially Gasparyan, in this match.
S.Williams d. Radwanska (6-4 7-6(1), SF)
This was arguably Radwanska’s best ever showing against Williams but still, it was straight sets! Radwanska served for the second set at *6-5 but she brought the best out of Serena who produced some superb tennis in the second set tiebreak.
Tweets I liked
Facebook posts I liked
The stats from Indian Wells are normally error-ridden… Bondarenko and Tsurenko proved this in their third round tussle.
However, there were some good stats from Indian Wells. Kerber-Allertova was one match where both players produced more winners than unforced errors. It was also the case for Pliskova-Kasatkina in the quarter-finals where the Czech player produced a tremendous performance.
The semi-finals were both super and this was reflected in the stats.
Funny moments of the week
I love how Pliskova’s coach looks away during the racquet smash!
Muguruza is number one for epic racquet smashes.
But this was the best of the week. I love how Serena nonchalantly flicks it away at the end!
This is me every week.
During a wild second round match, Wozniacki had a few complaints to the umpire about Zhang’s grunt, which was hilarious.
As ever, the @FanofBencic account on Twitter picked out some great moments from Belinda Bencic’s matches this week. Her battle of the net cords had me laughing in her second round match against Lauren Davis.
I liked this from the doubles final trophy ceremony.
Dipping into something that happened on the ATP tour but I cannot STOP laughing at this from Vasek Pospisil!
The Tennis Face Challenge was a fun idea during All-Access Hour.
Agnieszka Radwanska produced a pair of hotshots in her third round win over Monica Niculescu
Radwanska was on the end of a cracking forehand pass from Serena Williams in their semi-final
This was an incredible shot from Camila Giorgi.
Here’s an awesome point from the Townsend-Sevastova qualifying match captured by @MRisingStar18 on Twitter
Wowsers from Serena in the final…
Anddddd the miss of the tournament came from Magdalena Rybarikova. This still makes me shudder!
Belinda Bencic makes another appearance in the “memorable handshakes” category after her third round loss to Magdalena Rybarikova.
Petra’s a class act 🙂
I like this.
Nice sportsmanship from Eugenie Bouchard after Timea Bacsinszky suffered a fall.
This was nice from Kurumi Nara!
Simona Halep was on good form, both on the court and in press. This press conference was after her first win where she talked a lot about the Olympics and mixed doubles.
Here is Daria Kasatkina’s press conference after her quarter-final loss to Karolina Pliskova where she talked about her love of football.
Daria Kasatkina was one of the storylines of the week… she’s adorable!
Loved WTA Insider’s Q&A with Casey Dellacqua, one of the nicest players on the WTA tour.
Nicole Gibbs had a super week in Indian Wells, winning five matches. Here’s her latest blog post for the WTA website.
A huge thanks to Jimmie48 for his continued great work for Women’s Tennis Blog. Here’s just one of his many photo round-ups from the desert.
This week’s WTA Insider podcast featured an interview with Agnieszka Radwanska which was great!
Racket Rally: At the time of writing, ma01dp continues to lead the Moo’s Tennis Blog league from bosiddon, Sergeus, zynx52 and Twobc2p. I had a decent week with 5 shares in Azarenka, 15 shares in Kasatkina and 20 shares in Zverev. To join RR or update your team, click HERE.
Tennis Draw Challenge: Thanks to all those who have joined the Moo’s Tennis Blog league and we are now up to 34! For the bracket game, congrats to dublin101 who was the champion for Indian Wells after correctly predicting Azarenka to defeat Serena in the final. I had a solid week (especially after recent weeks!) and finished joint fourth. More details on joining the game and Moo’s Tennis Blog league can be found HERE.