The organizers of the BNP Paribas Open should be thankful for small favors. Yesterday's earthquake would have been so much worse if Jelena Jankovic had been on the court. As it is, there was a bit of shaking, and then everyone carried on. (The earthquake cleared the stands in New Haven in 2011 when you-know-who was occupying the court.) My favorite Tweet was Mandy Minella's: "Earthquake in the desert? really? almost dropped my weights on me in the gym. I survived"
Defending champion Victoria Azarenka looked very cranky yesterday evening when she played Kirsten Flipkens. Flipkens didn't seem to be particularly bothered by the situation (I don't think much bothers her on the court), and she took the first set 6-3, while Azarenka sputtered and hesitated and groaned like a neglected automobile. Azarenka managed to grab the second set 6-3, however, and then Flipkens (kind of predictably) let go of her momentum and failed to win one game in the final set.
Next up for Azarenka is Urszula Radwanska, who beat Jamie Hampton 6-0, 7-6. Nadia Petrova defeated Julia Goerges and Caroline Wozniacki defeated Elena Vesnina. Angelique Kerber, victorious over Yanina Wickmayer, will face Garbine Muguruza in the next round. Muguruza, you'll recall, upset both Vera Zvonareva and Flavia Pennetta last year in Miami.
Sam Stosur defeated Peng Shuai yesterday, and will play Mona Barthel in the next round. My mother used to sing an obscure 1940s song called "Oh Monah," and at one point in the match when I said "Oh, Mona...." (as in, Oh, Nadia), the stupid song got into my head and stayed too long--which would be anything over ten seconds). Barthel, however, after losing her way in the second set, walked off with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-0 victory over Ana Ivanovic.
The doubles draw has opened a bit since top seeds Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci were upset in the second round by Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai. 2nd seeds Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka are out, too. Hsieh and Peng play Daniela Hantuchova and Anabel Medina Garrigues in the quarterfinals.