The third quarter of the Indian Wells draw opened up when No. 4 Garbine Muguruza lost her opener, then on Monday became a free-for-all when the second-highest player in the quarter, No. 7 Belinda Bencic, was upset 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 by Slovak Magdalena Rybarikova.
Rybarikova will in the fourth round face No. 9 Roberta Vinci, who on Monday handled No. 17 Elina Svitolina 6-1, 6-3.
No. 18 seed Karolina Pliskova also turned in a mild upset, taking out former No. 1 and current No. 14 seed Ana Ivanovic 6-2, 6-0.
“We’ve played a few times already and I’ve always won,” said Pliskova, who at one point won 10 straight games against Ivanovic. She said she was happy to end a losing streak at Indian Wells. “Last year I didn’t lose any first rounds. Now I’d lost twice in a row so I’m just happy to have some matches and looking forward to the next one.”
Pliskova’s reward is a meeting with No. 25 seed Johanna Konta, who eased past Czech Denisa Allertova 6-4, 6-1.
No. 12 seed Timea Bacsinszky handled a challenge from former Top 10er and now unseeded Genie Bouchard, outlasting the Canadian 6-2, 5-7, 6-2. Bacsinszky early in the second set fell hard to the court, emerging from a medical timeout with bandages on her elbow and knee, taking a while afterwards to get back into the match but taking over in the third set.
“I think Genie played really well, especially in the second,” the Swiss said. “She pushed me a lot to make errors.”
Bacsinszky will next face Russian Daria Kasatkina, who on Monday edged Puerto Rico’s Monica Puig 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(2).
The fourth round will also see a match-up of Grand Slam champions Sam Stosur and Victoria Azarenka. Stosur won a nervous third set on Monday against Christina Mchale 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, while Azarenka beat Shuai Zhang 6-4, 6-3.
Tuesday’s highlights in Indian Wells include (1) Serena Williams vs. (Q) Kateryna Bondarenka, (8) Petra Kvitova vs. (Q) Nicole Gibbs, and (3) Aggie Radwanska vs. (19) Jelena Jankovic.
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