Half of the 10 matches on Sunday at Indian Wells featured upsets, but none were more stunning than 16-year-old American Amanda Anisimova, the reigning US Open girls’ champion, defeating Grand Slam champion Petra Kvitova 6-2, 6-4.
The victory snapped Kvitova’s 14-match winning streak in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open.
“She’s the best player I have ever played, and it was the biggest court I have ever played on,” said the American-born Anisimova, whose parents are both Russian. “So it was definitely nerve-wracking, but I was enjoying it so much out there and I was playing my best. It was a good day.”
Up next for the 16 year old will be No. 5 seed Karolina Pliskova, who on Sunday struggled past No. 32 seed Shuai Zhnag 7-5, 5-7, 6-3.
Also on the upset tip were Croat Petra Martic downing No. 6 seed Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 6-3, China’s Qiang Wang rolling over No. 14 Kristina Mladenovic 6-1, 6-2, and Greece’s Maria Sakkari ousting No. 17 CoCo Vandeweghe 6-2, 6-4.
Wang will next meet No. 1 Simona Halep, who escaped 1-6, 7-6(3), 6-2 against big-hitting American wildcard Caroline Dolehide. Sakkari in the fourth round will face fellow unseeded player Naomi Osaka of Japan, who ended the run of American qualifier Sachia Vickery 6-3, 6-3.
“She’s playing really, really well, and I never played against her, so I didn’t know how the ball is coming,” Halep said of Dolehide. “It was pretty tough in the first set. I played too flat and too fast. So then I tried to miss less and make her move, to roll the ball better. In the end, I think I was stronger on the legs. Also, when I had to finish the point, I did.”
Seeds advancing in second-round play Sunday were No. 10 Angie Kerber over Russian Ekaterina Makarova 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, and No. 13 Sloane Stephens handling wildcard and former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka in her return to the tour 6-1, 7-5.
“For me the most important is to have a clear head, which obviously right now is not,” said Azarenka, appearing in her first tournament since Wimbledon last year after a child custody dispute. “Once I figure all my stuff outside the court, I’ll be able to focus and be 100 percent when I’m on the court.”
Monday’s highlights in Indian Wells include (8) Venus Williams vs. unseeded sister Serena Williams in the 7 p.m. local time night match, (2) Caroline Wozniacki vs. Aliaksandra Sasnovich, and (13) Sloane Stephens vs. (20) Daria Kasatkina.
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