WTA Indian Wells: Alexandrova stuns Wozniacki. Kerber and Sabalenka advance


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WTA Indian Wells: Alexandrova stuns Wozniacki. Kerber and Sabalenka advance

The 24-year-old Ekaterina Alexandrova has earned one of the biggest wins of her career, ousting the 13th seed Caroline Wozniacki 7-5, 2-6, 7-5 in two hours and 25 minutes. The struggling Dane lost just seven games in the previous two matches against the Russian although it wasn't to be for her in this match despite winning two points more than her rival.

Both players scored five breaks and it was the younger player who grabbed two of those in the decider to halt Caroline and advance into the third round. They traded breaks in the opening two games of the match and Ekaterina was ready to push a former Grand Slam winner to the limits, breaking with a deep return in game 11 and closing the opener a few minutes later after saving a couple of break points.

Wozniacki bounced back in set number two, grabbing three breaks for a 6-2 and the momentum before the decider that she failed to keep. Alexandrova broke in the third game when Wozniacki sent a backhand long and served for the match at 5-4.

Caroline made one last push to break back and level the score, only to lose serve at love in game 11, allowing Alexandrova to seal the deal with a service winner a few minutes later. The 8th seed Angelique Kerber took down Yulia Putintseva 6-0, 6-2 in just 63 minutes, fending off both break points she faced and destroying Youlia in the return games to take away almost 60% of the points and score five straight breaks for ten consecutive games and commanding win.

A qualifier Christina McHale defeated the 30th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in two hours and 17 minutes, scoring an extra break to prevail in the tenth game of the deciding set. Another qualifier Natalia Vikhlyantseva is through to the last 32 thanks to a rock-solid 6-2, 6-0 triumph over Carla Suarez Navarro in 63 minutes, demolishing the Spaniard on the return to claim seven breaks in a row and march towards the finish line.

The 9th seed Aryna Sabalenka prevailed against Ajla Tomljanovic 6-3, 4-6, 6-0, leaving the second set behind her and dominating in the decider to book the place in the next round. The 15th seed Julia Goerges ousted Kaia Kanepi 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 in just over an hour, digging deep in the deciding set to repel five out of six break points, breaking the Estonian twice to cross the finish line first.

Mona Barthel took down the 17th seed Madison Keys 3-6, 6-1, 7-5, overcoming a 3-1 and 5-4 deficit in the final set to take the last three games and steal the triumph in front of the struggling American who is yet to find the form in 2019.