Sharapova Knocked Out Of Indian Wells; Serena Tops Sloane To Stay Perfect In 2015, Faces Streaking Bacsinszky
by Staff | March 18th, 2015, 9:02 am

The match on the marquee Tuesday at Indian Wells was the fourth round matchup between Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens. The upstart Stephens who stunned Serena at the Australian Open a few years ago, jumped out on top taking 3-0 lead then eventually holding on to win the first set in a tiebreaker.

But Serena would only lose four games thereafter, taking care of the youngster 6-7, 6-2, 6-2.

“Sloane played really well in the first set. Actually in the whole match,” Serena said.

“I’ve always thought Sloane can be really great. She’s on the right track. She played really well, and she had some very good wins here against two seeds. It was a really positive result, even today.”

Serena, who is 11-0 on the year, is playing in her first Indian Wells event since 2001. Next for the World No. 1 is the red hot Timea Bacsinszky tonight. The Swiss won her 15th straight match after outlasting Elina Svitolina 4-6, 6-1, 6-1.

“She’s the best player for years,” the Swiss said. “She’s amazing. She should be an inspiration for every athlete, men and women, any kind of athlete, because she has this power, this will and ferocity.

“I will definitely have to give all my heart and soul to find a solution.”

Another rival of Serena’s didn’t fare as well as Maria Sharapova lost her third straight match to a very emotional 33-year-old Flavia Pennetta, falling to the defending champion 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

“I’m really happy about this win,” said Pennetta. “In the second set I tried to be more aggressive. My serve helped me a lot, and I was also really aggressive on the return, so she was starting to have some problems on her serve. It was a really good match. I was really fighting until the last point.

“”Well, I think it’s really important for me to do well here at Indian Wells, and also playing tonight on center court against Maria, there were a lot of expectations,” she said. “I think I handled it pretty well. For me it was important to just keep calm and try to play. And in the end I just played really well.”

Sharapova, who’s boyfriend Grigor Dimitrov lost about 15 minutes before, wasn’t pleased with her tactics.

“I got off to a good start tonight. I definitely had some chances in the beginning of the second set. A few 0-40, 0-30 games,” Sharapova said. “Just didn’t commit enough though. Didn’t take those chances. She gained a little bit of confidence after that. She started feeling a little bit of a breath of fresh air, starting going a little bit more for her serve, for the lines. She just got in a really good rhythm.”

Another Top 10 seed was sent packing when No. 10 Eugenie Bouchard lost to qualifier Lesia Tsurenko 6-7, 7-5, 6-4.

“A lot of things didn’t go my way today in terms of everything,” Bouchard said. “I felt heavy out there. Legs slugging from the beginning of the match. I tried to get myself going, but it was kind of a struggle throughout the whole match. I just didn’t feel I was myself at all in terms of how I was playing.

“It’s a learning type match. It’s a tough one to learn from, but that’s what I have to do.”

Tsurenko moves on to face Jelena Jankovic, who was a winner over Belinda Bencic.

Simona Halep continues to improve her play. After going three sets in her opening round match, the No. 3 seed handled the rising Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 6-4 in a rematch of their Dubai final last month.

“I feel like I’ve found my way again to fight for every ball and every match,” Halep said. “I lost this during the Australian Open. Against Makarova I didn’t fight my hardest, and that’s just the worst thing in my mind. Then I told myself I really don’t want to stop fighting anymore.

“I feel better now. I feel more confident. I’m going on court and fighting hard every point.”

Halep now meets Carla Suarez Navarro today.

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2 Comments for Sharapova Knocked Out Of Indian Wells; Serena Tops Sloane To Stay Perfect In 2015, Faces Streaking Bacsinszky

brando Says:

Grigor, grigor, grigor: coulda been a Federer, Nadal, Djokovic or Murray but will end up a berdych, monfils or Tsonga. Only plus point for him is that in 3 years time the youngest of the fab 4 will be 31; real opportunities will exist to win slams unlike previously. So he might nab one as his age favours him there. But he should have been the next big dominate force and he won’t be. There is zero steel about him as a player, and you need to be tough to win. Strong will and character is equally if not more important to win titles than talent.

chris ford1 Says:

Glad Flavia advances and shows why she is so liked and respected!
In Italian tennis, in the world of grunter Errani and her mate Vinci and Schiavone and the off and on princess Giorgi, Pennetta is the gem that arises now and then to moments of glory and shows she is worthy as a person of them.
At least Sharapova is out. Less screaming at IW. And Sharapova out of her role of taking out players that have a small shot against Serena – only to play her and be the Zero Chance Serena Williams doormat.
The only thing worse than a Screamapova-Williams final is a Williams-Williams final.

As for Dimitrov, Brando, why should he be “the next dominant force”??? He is one of 4-5 players that are here now who could have been best in the world in any era but had 3 all-time Greats in front of him his whole playing career so far. Andy? Andy is going on 28, and another tennis genius like Grigor. Andy had done nothing to show he was better than all but the 3 Top guys when he was 23. The potential was there. In fact, 23 was when Nole finally saw the benefit of all the effort he and Marian had put into upping his game when Nole 2.0 came out at age 23.
I think of the “Young Guns” , it will be Milos that wins the 1st Slam. And I think it will be on his serve at a speeded up Wimbledon or USO.

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