Former No. 1s Fall Monday; Serena vs. Sloane on Tuesday at Indian Wells
by Staff | March 17th, 2015, 8:30 am

Two former No. 1s were shocked by up-and-comers on Monday at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells as Caroline Wozniacki and Ana Ivanovic were shown the door in third round play.

The No. 5-seeded Ivanovic fell 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 to 21-year-old No. 25 seed Caroline Garcia, while the No. 4-seeded Wozniacki was straight-setted by No. 31 Belinda Bencic 6-4, 6-4.

Bencic lost 6-0, 6-0 to Wozniacki in their previous meeting.

“I was really happy after the first game I won, obviously, but I think I played more solid today,” said the Swiss teen, who will next meet another former No. 1 in Jelena Jankovic. “In Istanbul I had maybe too much respect and I was afraid, nervous. Today I really had a good game plan. I did what I had to do out there.”

Also upset minded were Ukraine qualifier Lesia Tsurenko outlasting No. 20 Alize Cornet 7-5, 1-6, 6-2; the No. 18 Jankovic trailing virtually the entire match before topping an unraveling No. 16 Madison Keys 5-7, 6-4, 6-3; and No. 24 Sabine Lisicki overpowering No. 11 Sara Errani 6-4, 6-2.

World No. 2 Maria Sharapova in a night match showed she is not ready to relinquish her position to another former No. 1, defeating No. 32-seeded Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 6-3.

“I actually didn’t feel like I played my best tennis,” said Sharapova, who will next face the defending champion Flavia Pennetta. “But I was competitive. I was there. I feel like I did everything I had to do in order to win the match, which is sometimes the most important thing.”

Other winners were No. 6 Eugenie Bouchard dismissing No. 30 CoCo Vandeweghe 6-4, 6-4, and the No. 15 Pennetta downing No. 21 Samantha Stosur 6-4, 6-2.

On the men’s side, Top 10-ranked winners fought through some tough matches on Monday as No. 1 Novak Djokovic stared down Albert Ramos-Vinolas 7-5, 6-3; No. 4 Andy Murray won a see-saw match over No. 26 Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-1, 3-6, 6-1; and No. 5 Kei Nishikori came from a set down to beat No. 28 Fernando “Mild Sauce” Verdasco 6-7(6), 6-1, 6-4.

“It wasn’t as good as the first round, that’s for sure, but a win is a win,” said Djokovic, who dropped serve twice with a -14 winners to unforced errors ratio. He will next meet American John Isner. “I did struggle a lot, had some unforced errors. I definitely need to work tomorrow on the balance and hopefully in the next one there will be fewer mistakes.”

In lower-seeded play No. 12 Feliciano “F-Lo” Lopez outlasted No. 20 Pablo Cuevas 6-2, 4-6, 6-3; and the No. 18 Isner out-served No. 16 Kevin Anderson 7-6(6), 6-2.

Isner has struggled in 2015 with a 3-5 record entering Indian Wells, but says the conditions are right for some major upsets.

“I can’t ask for better conditions to go up against someone like [Djokovic],” said Isner, who had 18 aces to Anderson’s 11. “These conditions suit me very well. That being said, every condition suits him well. He does everything the best, that’s why he’s No. 1 in the world. There is no surface he’s a slouch on. But I think a court like this, and maybe hopefully the crowd on my side, can certainly help me a lot.”

On the upset tip, France’s Adrian Mannarino ousted No. 14 Ernests Gulbis 6-4, 6-4; No. 32 Bernard Tomic surprisingly out-grinded No. 8 David Ferrer 7-5, 6-4; and 18-year-old wildcard Thanasi Kokkinakis edged veteran Juan Monaco 6-2, 5-7, 7-6(5).

Mannarino dropped Gulbis to 1-6 on the season, and is rewarded with a Murray meeting.

“I have never practiced with him or played against him, but I know about his game,” Murray said of Mannarino. “I feel like I have an idea of what his strengths are, but obviously the way he plays against other players will be different maybe to how he plays against me.”

Tuesday’s Indian Wells slate:

STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am

ATP – S. Johnson (USA) vs [9] T. Berdych (CZE)

Not Before 1:00 pm

WTA – [1] [WC] S. Williams (USA) vs S. Stephens (USA)
ATP – D. Young (USA) vs [3] R. Nadal (ESP)
WTA – [15] F. Pennetta (ITA) vs [2] M. Sharapova (RUS)

Not Before 7:00 pm

ATP – [30] A. Seppi (ITA) vs [2] R. Federer (SUI)

Not Before 8:30 pm

WTA – [25] C. Garcia (FRA) vs [24] S. Lisicki (GER)

STADIUM 2 start 11:00 am

WTA – [12] C. Suarez Navarro (ESP) vs H. Watson (GBR)
ATP – [15] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) vs J. Sock (USA)
ATP – [6] M. Raonic (CAN) vs A. Dolgopolov (UKR)
ATP – [17] T. Robredo (ESP) vs [11] G. Dimitrov (BUL)
WTA – [6] E. Bouchard (CAN) vs [Q] L. Tsurenko (UKR)

STADIUM 3 start 11:00 am

ATP – R. Haase (NED) vs [27] L. Rosol (CZE)
ATP – [13] G. Simon (FRA) vs [Q] M. Berrer (GER)
WTA – [3] S. Halep (ROU) vs [14] K. Pliskova (CZE)
WTA – [23] E. Svitolina (UKR) vs [27] T. Bacsinszky (SUI)
WTA – [18] J. Jankovic (SRB) vs [31] B. Bencic (SUI)

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19 Comments for Former No. 1s Fall Monday; Serena vs. Sloane on Tuesday at Indian Wells

armelwani Says:

Not sure where else to post this, but the Hasse-Rosol match over on court 3 is turning into quite the dramatic slug fest!! Haase saved a bunch of match points at the end of that second set, and then played an outstanding tiebreaker to force a third set!!

jane Says:

anyone watching fed/seppi? it was close in set 1 until fed got a break at 4-3 and was able to serve it out, but not without going down love-30.

then he was up a break in the second for 3-1, when seppi broke back and held.

but seppi was just broken again. he’s not been able to serve well at all tonight making only 47% first serves.

the key difference is that fed has faced 2 break points, saving 1, whereas seppi has already faced 9 bps! he saved 6 of those, but he can’t hang with fed with a serve that vulnerable.

mat4 Says:

I watched the first set, now I just follow the score. It seems that the “balls” indeed merit close inspection… There were an unusual number of big misses on the slow surface of IW, something I don’t remember. Players miss very easy balls, and changes of rhythm results often in hitting the ball in the tramlines. Something a bit weird for a third, fourth round.

Even Federer seemed to be very cautious when choosing his posts.

mat4 Says:

… his spots… of course.

skeezer Says:

Yes watched most of the Fed match. He seemed to playing like, fool me once, ok, but not twice. Was in total control against Seppi overall. Fed looking well so far…

mat4 Says:


I didn’t have such an impression, and while Fed looked good, Seppi was no slouch either in the first set, when a few unfortunate balls decided the winner. Seppi served an abysmal 44% of first serves.

Thangs Says:

Ya..something weird..Even nole was broken back twice in his first set last night. May be nadal is right about the ball quality. if that’s the case, Nadal will not get past QF… Even simon 4R match would be difficult.

skeezer Says:

Yes I saw that too in the first, Seppi was no slouch…..but I was observing beyond the stats, watching Fed all these years this was a had the tone of a match he was not going to lose. He knew Seppi’s second serve was something he could pounce on in the clutch, and so it was.

skeezer Says:

Don’t forget the conditions have a play here, and I mentioned it in the other threads. IW is desert country, dry, hot. The ball can fly. The surface, if redone from last year, they could have possibly put more sand in the paint which can make it grab more and bite. Everyone tends to want to blame the balls, but it is not always so. They don’t deviate the balls that much. Regardless, this is what makes tennis exciting and different from some other sports. Different conditions, surfaces, etc. Who can play the best through all? Adapt and win, show your the best no matter what.

jane Says:

he definitely took advantage on the second serve, winning almost 60% of those return points, but seppi didn’t do too badly either, winning almost 50%. that and also first serves, made the difference.

i haven’t had a chance to read much on the ball commentary – only rafa’s comments here.

Okiegal Says:

Grigor lost to Robredo, I’m surprised by that. I picked Grigor

jane Says:

i am not surprised. he “should” have lost to kgyrios, were he a little more cautious in his final game (see tignor’s aricle at; plus some have stated the the court is playing relatively slow with a high bounce…not sure that suits grigor’s style?

the DA Says:

@Skeezer – Sorry but Federer did mention the balls in his presser after the Seppi match

from a tweet by TennisNow :
@Tennis_Now 1h1 hour ago
Fed: “I don’t think we both played very well tonight. We both struggled with the conditions, the balls.” (nobody likes the balls!)

Have you taken note Tom Gainey? ;)

metan Says:

Hi Thangs, becareful with what you wished. 😁.my hero get through second match, and he did pretty well, so I hope he will be in the sf.

skeezer Says:

I like how the tweeter added in (nobody likes the balls!)
Like It came from Feds mouth. Not what I read;

Here is Feds comment on the balls, not some others “tweet”. Unless someone can come up with something otherwise….
He is not whining, just saying both had to play and adjust to it.
Rafa is complaining, whining(again) and saying he wants the balls changed. Saying their not “highest quality” and so on. Fed is playing through it and adjusting just like he did on blue Clay. Play on guys.

brando Says:

^ But does rafa whine when he faces rambo Federer though?

skeezer Says:

Interview transcript from Andys last match..

“Q. Does that have something to do with the balls? Rafa said the other day he criticized the balls being used here. Does it have something to do with the liveliness?
ANDY MURRAY: I don’t know if it’s only the balls. I think it’s probably a combination of a few things.
You know, for me, the balls don’t feel as lively. Like I said, when I play at 9:30 in the morning or in the evening they don’t feel as lively, but then during the day it’s ridiculous how high they bounce and how quick they move through the air and jump off the court.
So I don’t know if it’s just the balls. I think it’s a combination of things. I know they have tried to make some changes to the Head or the Penn balls ‑‑”

the DA Says:

@Skeezer – Yes. I brought that up a couple of days ago when Tom started the Rafa thread.

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