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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 June 2018

Garbine Muguruza beaten even as Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova are through at Indian Wells

Muguruza, seeded third concedes making 'mistakes here and there' in defeat to Sachia Vickery

Garbine Muguruza had five double faults and had her serve broken five times. John G Mabanglo / EPA
Garbine Muguruza had five double faults and had her serve broken five times. John G Mabanglo / EPA

Reigning Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza crashed out of the WTA Indian Wells tournament on Friday night losing 2-6, 7-5, 6-1 to world No 100 Sachia Vickery.

Muguruza, who was seeded third, was named WTA player of the year last year after winning titles in Wimbledon and Cincinnati. The 24-year-old player also reached No 1 in the world in September and was ranked third heading into Indian Wells.

"I did a couple mistakes here and there and she took advantage of that," Muguruza said. "She was raising her level more and more."

This the Spaniard's first loss to a player ranked in the 100s since she was beaten by Jana Cepelova (124) at Wimbledon in 2016.

Muguruza had five double faults and had her serve broken five times in the two hour, 11 minute night match.

Crowd favourite Vickery, of the US, posted her first career win over a top 10 player as she served masterfully and controlled the rallies with her ground strokes.

Vickery defeated former Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard in the first round before recording the biggest win of her young career against Muguruza.

Sachia Vickery is a crowd favourite at the Indian Wells. John G Mabanglo / EPA
Sachia Vickery is a crowd favourite at the Indian Wells. John G Mabanglo / EPA

"I played on big courts before but nothing like this," Vickery, 22, said. "Honestly I can't believe I won. I just tried to fight every point."

Vickery said the partisan crowd motivated her. "The atmosphere really helped me even though I was feeling it a bit physically. I kept telling myself 'just do your best'."

Vickery next faces Japan's Naomi Osaka who posted the first surprise win of the tournament by eliminating Maria Sharapova in her opening match.

Halep progresses

World No 1 Simona Halep roared into the third round of the Indian Wells WTA tournament, overpowering Kristyna Pliskova 6-4, 6-4 on Friday.

The 26-year-old Romanian will meet the winner of a match between American wildcard Caroline Dolehide and Dominika Cibulkova, of Slovakia.

"I was ready to play. I was ready to work and ready to fight," Halep said. "It was a nice day.

"It wasn't an easy match. But I am really happy I won my first match here and I get a chance to play again."

Simona Halep, who beat Kristyna Pliskova, has been taking turns at No 1 this year with Caroline Wozniacki. Jayne Kamin-Oncea / Reuters
Simona Halep, who beat Kristyna Pliskova, has been taking turns at No 1 this year with Caroline Wozniacki. Jayne Kamin-Oncea / Reuters

Ostapenko crashes out

Rising star Jelena Ostapenko battled her way into the third round of the WTA Indian Wells WTA tournament on Friday, outlasting Swiss Belinda Bencic 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.

The 20-year-old reigning French Open champion will next face Petra Martic of Croatia who beat Czech 26th seed Barbora Strycova 7-5, 6-4 on Friday.

Ostapenko, of Latvia, beat the top seed here Simona Halep in last year's French Open final in three sets, becoming the lowest ranked and first unseeded player in history to win at Roland Garros.

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One Pliskova loses even as the other wins

Kristyna Pliskova's twin sister Karolina Pliskova, who won three titles in 2017, defeated Irina-Camelia Begu 7-6, 6-1 to reach the third round of the WTA Indian Wells tournament on Friday.

The Czech fifth seed, ranked fifth in the world, smashed four aces and won 76 percent of her first serve points in the 92 minute match.

Pliskova, who turns 26 on March 22, is hoping to improve on her semi-final finish here in 2017. Last year she won titles in Brisbane, Doha, and Eastbourne, rising as high as number one in the world last July.

On a when her sister lost, Karolina Pliskova triumphed against Irina-Camelia Begu. Paul Buck / EPA
On a when her sister lost, Karolina Pliskova triumphed against Irina-Camelia Begu. Paul Buck / EPA