Former No. 1 and world No. 4 Victoria Azarenka gambled with a foot injury and lost on Friday at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
Against unseeded American Lauren Davis, Azarenka limped, grimaced, slumped, yelled, and cried through a 6-0, 7-6(2) loss.
“It didn’t phase me much because I was really trying to focus on myself,” Davis said of the Azarenka show. “I really put the emphasis on my fitness…I really enjoy it, I love the sport and working hard.”
Davis will next meet fellow American Varvara Lepchenko, who rolled No. 29 Daniela Hantuchova 6-3, 6-2.
Three other lower seeds were ousted on Friday as Aussie qualifier Casey Dellacqua outlasted No. 19 Kirsten Flipkens 1-6, 6-3, 6-1; Kazakhstan qualifier Yaroslava Shvedova eased past No. 24 Kaia Kanepi 6-3, 6-2; and German upstart Annika Beck outlasting No. 30 Elena Vesnina 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
Top 10-seeded players into the third round were No. 2 Aggie Radwanska over Brit qualifier Heather Watson 6-4, 6-3; No. 6 Simona Halep easily over Japan’s Kurumi Nara 6-2, 6-2; No. 7 Jelena Jankovic topping Austrian Yvonne Meusburger 6-3, 6-1; No. 9 Sara Errani pasted Canadian qualifier Sharon Fichman 6-1, 6-1; and No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki likewise had an easy time with Serb Bojana Jovanovski 6-1, 6-3.
“I’m just very happy I could play quite well today and win in two sets,” Radwanska said. “Today was very windy and we were both struggling with the serve, so I’m happy I could make it through today.”
On the men’s side the seeds have yet to take the court as the unseeded battled it out to reach the second round.
Americans had a difficult time as Aussie Marinko Matosevic defeated Bradley Klahn, Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut showed Steve Johnson the exit, Austrian Dominic Thiem beat qualifier Daniel Kosakowski, and Horacio Zeballos defeated Rajeev Ram.
Highlights of Saturday play are (1) Na Li vs. Jie Zheng in an all-Chinese, upset specialist Lukas Rosol vs. (5) Andy Murray, (Q) Paul-Henri Mathieu vs. (7) Roger Federer, (4) Maria Sharapova vs. Julia “Gorgeous” Goerges, (1) Rafael Nadal vs. Radek “The Worm” Stepanek, (17) Kevin Anderson vs. Lleyton Hewitt, Francesca Schiavone vs. (16) Samantha Stosur, (3) Stanislas Wawrinka vs. “Dr.” Ivo Karlovic, (20) Flavia Pennetta vs. (WC) Taylor Townsend, and (12) Dominika Cibulkova vs. (WC) Donna Vekic.
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