Saturday, March 10, 2012

Azarenka escapes upset in Indian Wells

Mona Barthel served for the match twice, but both times she was broken by top Indian Wells seed Victoria Azarenka tonight in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open. Until the match was on the line, the German's serving was superb, but the closer she got to victory, the more trouble she had getting her first serve in. The third set went to a tiebreak, and that, too, contained the kind of momentum swings that characterized the match. But in the end, not surprisingly, it was Azarenka who pulled through, 6-4, 6-7, 7-6. It took her three hours to do it, but she won.

Azarenka and Barthel played each other in the Australian Open and also in Doha, and Azarenka won both of those matches, also.

Also getting herself out of a tough spot was Angelique Kerber. Kerber was down a set and 2-5, with wild card Sloane Stephens serving for the match. But Kerber broke, then went on to win the whole thing, 2-6, 7-5, 6-4.

Wild card Jamie Hampton beat 12th seed Jelena Jankovic 6-4, 6-2 today. Jankovic won the tournament in 2010.

Also out are Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Daniela Hantuchova and Yanina Wickmayer, defeated by Vania King, Klara Zakopalova and Jarmila Gajdosova, respectively. King also beat Pavlyuchenkova in Tokyo last year.

There have already been several retirements in Indian Wells. Greta Arn hurt her neck, Alexandra Dulgheru injured her knee, Jelena Dokic injured her wrist, and Timea Bacsinszky retired with a forearm injury.

On Saturday, defending champion Caroline Wozniacki plays Australian Open quarterfinalist Ekaterina Makarova.

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