Indian Wells: Caroline Garcia fends off Dayana Yastremska in opening-round thriller

Qinwen Zheng ousted former BNP Paribas Open winner, Vera Zvonareva

by Abbey Johnson
Indian Wells: Caroline Garcia fends off Dayana Yastremska in opening-round thriller

There were a few good notable results in the first-round matches in the women’s singles draw at Indian Wells on Wednesday. Vera Zvonareva, the 2009 champion, who’d received a main draw wildcard lost her first-round match to Qinwen Zheng.

The Chinese wrapped up the proceedings 6-3, 6-2 in an hour and 28 minutes. Zheng had six times as many winners as Zvonareva’s five and 46 unforced errors to the latter’s 23. In terms of break point conversions, Zheng saved nine break points she faced while converting three of the eight break points, she had on the former world no.

2. In the second round, Zheng will play 15th seed Angelique Kerber. Another wildcard entrant, Sofia Kenin also crashed out in the first round. Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia defeated the American 6-3, 7-5 in an hour and 46 minutes.

Kenin had 23 winners to Haddad Maia’s nine but was undone by 73 unforced errors, almost 30 more than Haddad Maia’s 42. In the second round, Haddad Maia will play 29th seed Clara Tauson.

Indian Wells: Caroline Garcia's the final say against Dayana Yastremska

Meanwhile, France’s Caroline Garcia survived a stiff test from Dayana Yastremska in their first-round encounter.

Garcia needed two hours and 27 minutes to get past the Ukrainian, 4-6, 7-6(8), 7-5. Earlier, Yastremska avoided a straight-sets defeat as she saved a couple of match points to push the match into a decider. In the deciding set, it was Yastremska who gained the upper hand as she broke Garcia in the fifth game.

However, she gave the break back in the eighth game. A second break of Yastremska’s serve as she tried to stay in the match in the 12th game allowed Garcia to claim the win. For a place in the third round, Garcia will play 11th seed Emma Raducanu.

Lastly, there were a couple of mid-match retirements. Ana Konjuh retired in her match against Heather Dart while down 1-6, 1-3. Likewise, Anna Kalinskaya advanced to the second round after her opponent, Harmony Tan retired with Kalinskaya leading 6-2, 1-0.

For a place in the round-of-32 at Indian Wells, Dart will play 12th seed Elina Svitolina while Kalinskaya will take on 33rd seed Alize Cornet.

Caroline Garcia Dayana Yastremska Vera Zvonareva