Karolina Pliskova, Garbine Muguruza and Elina Svitolina were the biggest names to fall on Friday at Indian Wells. The Czech, seeded seventh in the draw, who was playing her first tournament this year after having suffered an injury to her arm at the start of the season, lost to Danka Kovinic.
The Montenegrin dropped the opening set but went on to win, 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 in two hours and 31 minutes. Kovinic won 70% of her first-serve points to Pliskova’s 63%, gaining more momentum as the match extended. In the first set, Kovinic failed to save all three break points she faced while Pliskova saved three of the four break points she faced.
Across the latter two sets though, while Kovinic saved four of the seven break points she faced, she also broke Pliskova’s serve five times out of the 12 chances she had on the latter’s serve. Now, seeking a place in the fourth round, Kovinic will take on 28th seed Liudmila Samsonova.
Samsonova won her second-round against Ann Li, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Indian Wells: Alison Riske edges Garbine Muguruza out
Meanwhile, Alison Riske came through a wonky match against the eighth-seeded Muguruza that saw her make a comeback from 0-6, 0-3 down.
The American finished the match after an hour and 33 minutes, winning 0-6, 6-3, 6-1. She’ll play fellow American, 25th seed Madison Keys who won a three-setter of her own against Misaki Doi, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1. Lastly, Briton Heather Dart ousted the 12th-seeded Svitolina, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 in their second-round match after two hours and 17 minutes of play.
Dart will take on Kaia Kanepi for a spot in the round-of-16. Kanepi posted an upset of her own over 22nd seed Belinda Bencic, 6-4, 6-3. Lastly, third seed Iga Swiatek and 24th seed Simona Halep also moved into the round-of-32 at Indian Wells.
The Pole won her opening-round clash against Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina, 5-7, 6-0, 6-1. The Romanian came through her opener against Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-2, 4-6, 6-2. Swiatek will play 29th seed Clara Tauson next while Halep will play 16th seed Coco Gauff.