Bencic, Ivanovic make early exits at Indian Wells
CALIFORNIA – Swiss seventh seed Belinda Bencic was stunned by Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova while former champion Ana Ivanovic was also sent packing in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in California on Monday.
The 97th-ranked Rybarikova, who eliminated 31st seed Daria Gavrilova in her previous match, got by the powerful Bencic 6-4 3-6 6-3 while Czech Karolina Pliskova dumped former Serbian world number one Ivanovic 6-2 6-0 in 49 minutes.
After an uneven start at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, 18th seed Pliskova’s game clicked into gear in spectacular fashion, reeling off 10 consecutive games to close out her one-sided victory.
Ivanovic entered the tournament fresh off a run to the quarter-finals and semi-finals in Dubai and St. Petersburg, respectively, while Pliskova had suffered a couple of early exits in the Middle East.
Pliskova, perhaps, perked up in seeing Ivanovic across the net. She had won all three of her previous encounters with Ivanovic, including earlier this year in Sydney.
“We’ve played a few times already and I’ve always won. But I think I played really good tennis today and I’m happy that I made (the next round) so fast,” said Pliskova, who powered in 18 winners.
Next up for Pliskova will be Britain’s Johanna Konta, who advanced 6-4 6-1 over Czech Denisa Allertova, who had conquered second-seeded Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber in the previous round.
Rybarikova advanced to another challenging test against U.S. Open runner-up Roberta Vinci.
The ninth-seeded Italian hurried past Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 6-1 6-3 to book her spot in the fourth round.
Russian Daria Kasatkina defeated Puerto Rican Monica Puig 6-4 3-6 7-6(2). Kasatkina’s fourth round opponent will be Swiss Timea Bacsinszky. The 12th seed overcame Canadian Eugenie Bouchard 6-2 7-5 6-2.
Australian Samantha Stosur advanced past American Christina McHale 6-4 2-6 6-4. Stosur will next meet 13th seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, who defeated China’s Zhang Shuai 6-4 6-3. -Reuters