Garbine Muguruza continued her non-Slam slump falling in her opening match at the Indian Wells Masters to unheralded American Sachia Vickery 2-6, 7-5, 6-1.
Muguruza, who hasn’t won a title since Wimbledon, led in the match by a set and held points for 4-0 in the second. But the Spaniard couldn’t put away Vickery who won the last five games and 12 of the final 14 points of the match.
“I’m going to learn from this match,” Muguruza lamented. “I’m going to watch it and see what went wrong. I felt I was in control, and it slipped away a little bit from me.
“When players with not a lot of experience play against top players, they are very motivated. They kind of elevate their game. I think was a little bit the case. She was getting a bit more excited, and the key points went her way, she was getting more into the match and, at the end, had a lot more confidence.
“Me maybe making a few mistakes helped her also to advance a lot, but she earned the match today.”
For the 22-year-old Vickery, it was her first career Top 10 win.
“I just tried to fight every point and hang in there,” said Vickery. The crowd was so amazing and got behind me, and the atmosphere really helped me even though I was feeling it a little bit physically.
“I think at 3-0, we had a few really long points. I actually got the break, and I was like, ‘Run, put the ball in and do your best.’ I’ve just worked so hard for so many years and I’ve been so close.
“This is just the most amazing night of my life and I couldn’t be happier.”
On Sunday, Vickery will take on fellow youngster Naomi Osaka who after upsetting Maria Sharapova, blew through Agnieszka Radwanska in straights.
Vickery wasn’t the only American to pull upsets. Caroline Dolehide stunned No. 30 seed Dominika Cibulkova 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 and 16-year-old Amanda Anisimova shocked No. 23 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 6-1.
Also on the first day of the second round, Petra Kvitova outlasted Yulia Putintseva 6-7(4), 7-6(3), 6-4; Simona Halep eased past Kristyna Pliskova 6-4, 6-4 and Jelena Ostapenko edged Belinda Bencic 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.
On Saturday, the Williams sisters headline play with Serena facing Kiki Bertens and Venus taking on Sorana Cirstea. Elena Vesnina opens her title defense against American CiCi Bellis and Caroline Wozniacki makes her debut.
And in the match of the day, comeback girl and 2-time Indian Wells champion Victoria Azarenka battles US Open winner Sloane Stephens.
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