BNP Paribas Open top seed Svetlana Kuznetsova played her first match of the tournament in Indian Wells yesterday, and was defeated by Carla Suarez Navarro, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1. Kuznetsova's error-filled performance became worse as the match wore on, and toward the end, she she seemed to not be there at all.
Kuznetsova wasn't the only seeded player to go. 21st seed Daniela Hantuchova lost to Roberta Vinci, the woman who beat Melanie Oudin in the first round. Anastasija Sevastova defeated 24th seed Ana Ivanovic 6-2, 6-4. This loss puts Ivanovic out of the top 50. 26th seed Dominika Cibulkova was upset by Sara Errani.
Defending champion Vera Zvonareva probably got more than she bargained for in qualifier Sloane Stephens. Stephens, who had never before played in a big stadium in front of a very large crowd, was remarkably composed throughout the match. She repeatedly engaged in long rallies with Zvonareva, and held her own. She also set up a lot of short balls from Zvonareva, but--most of the time--did not know what to do with them. She hit a number of them into the net, and others she hit long. Had she been able to finish what she started, the match might well have gone to three sets. Stephens has an impressive forehand, and it will be interesting to see how her game progresses.