The last tournament the 12-time WTA titlist Jelena Jankovic won was Indian Wells in 2010, and the fact that she was coming off back-to-back semifinals in Dubai and Kuala Lumpur, made us expect more from her, but the Serb lost her opening match to 99th-ranked Jamie Hampton in straight sets.
The young American wildcard, who has for the first time moved into the Top 100 this week, defeated the 12th-seeded Jankovic 6-4 6-3, surpassing what was just a match before her career-best victory, the 6-0 6-1 upset of world No.38 Polona Hercog in the first round of Indian Wells.
World No.1 Victoria Azarenka was on the verge of extinction, but survived Mona Barthel’s winning streak (ten out of 12 games won from 4-6 1-5), the German’s 4-1 lead in the third set and two times when she was serving for the match, to eventually win 6-4 6-7(4) 7-6(6) after three hours, despite actually winning overall one point less than her opponent. Azarenka has thus kept her 2012 win-loss record intact, 18-0.
Two-time Indian Wells champion Daniela Hantuchova, seed No.19 this year, lost to Klara Zakopalova 6-3 6-7(7) 6-3 after a grueling match that also lasted three hours. This is the Slovakian’s third straight exit from Indian Wells in her opening match. (photo: Johan Rivera)
There have been some dramatic matches so far in Indian Wells and a lot of chokes too! A great fight from Barthel but disappointed she could not take her chances. She is going to be a real force on the WTA tour in future years to come and she seems to have a real fighting spirit, which I admire.
Hopefully with time, she can start to win these kind of matches and improve her mental toughness. Fingers crossed she gets a much more favourable draw in Miami because she could easily take out a number of seeds and go deep in the draw.