US Open finalist Karolina Pliskova found herself down 3-0 in the final set to rMonica Puig before winning six of the last seven games to deny the reigning gold medallist 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the second round at Indian Wells Friday night.
“I’m definitely happy I had my serve today; it was working with me, especially in the third set when I was 0-3 down,” Pliskova said. “I’m happy with the win. It wasn’t easy; she was playing really well, hitting the balls really fast and deep, making it tough for me to play my game. But I’m happy.”
On a day when 14 of the 16 seeds advanced, Pliskova’s sister, Kristyna, pulled off one of the bigger upsets beating No. 33 seed Daria Kasatkina 6-0, 6-3. She’ll now meet Dominika Cibulkova on Sunday.
“I think I’m improving standard level,” Kristyna said. “So I’m not going one tournament good and then three tournaments, first round, which is perfect for me. I’m happy, but I need more matches with the Top 10 players so I can get used to them a bit too. I think out of the Top 20 and Top 30, I think I’m fine. Not every time, but I feel confident with them. But I think Top 10 is different so we will see on Sunday.”
Also falling was Mirjana Lucic-Baroni who lost to American teen Kayla Day.
Other winners on the first day of the second round were Roberta Vinci, Garbine Muguruza, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Johanna Konta who beat countrywoman Heather Watson 6-3, 6-4.
Today’s line-up is headlined by Venus Williams meeting former champion Jelena Jankovic, Angelique Kerber collides with Andrea Petkovic and Australian Open semifinalist Coco Vandeweghe faces Lucie Safarova. Jankovic leads Williams 7-6 in this battle of former No. 1s while Kerber is looking to use Indian Wells as a springboard to get her game back on track after a slow start to the year, and not worry about No. 1.
“I was coming here to win matches,” Kerber said. “This is what I love and this is what I was practicing for the last weeks. This is more what I’m focusing on. I will try and really stay with my focus because this is my priority and I will try now not to think about getting No. 1 again.”
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