Garbine survives a scare
INDIAN WELLS: French Open champion Garbine Muguruza got a fright from Kayla Day but outlasted the precocious American teenager 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 to reach the fourth round of the WTA Indian Wells hard court tournament in California on Sunday.
Kayla took the first set from the seventh seed and had two break point opportunities at 5-5 in the second but the 17-year-old was unable to hammer home her advantage.
Garbine used her experience to get out of trouble, eventually set up a meeting with Ukrainian 10th seed Elina Svitolina in just over two hours under a relentless sun.
“I started a bit off,” the 23-yearold Spaniard said. “My shots weren’t there. The experience of keeping calm and fighting helped; it’s no secret.
“I think I’m improving in general a lot of things, but I know that maybe two years ago this match I wouldn’t turn it around. I think that’s experience.”
Garbine was impressed with Kayla, the US Open junior singles champion.
“She reminds me a little of me, when I was super motivated and playing very good,” she said.
Kayla hoped to learn from her defeat.
“I was pretty upset after my match, because it didn’t go the way I wanted it in the end but if you look at the big picture, I was able to push a top 10 player really far,” she said.
On a day when three matches went to third set tiebreaks, there ultimately were no big upsets, with Czech third seed Karolina Pliskova and Russian eighth seed Svetlana Kuznetzkova also winning.
And fifth seed Slovakian Dominica Cibulkova also advanced, if only barely, saving a match point in a 2-6, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-4) win over left-handed Czech Kristyna Pliskova, whose 18 aces were not enough.
Kristyna also had 13 break opportunities in the third set alone, but converted only two.
In an even closer encounter, Swiss 15th seed Timea Bacsinszky survived four match points to beat Dutch 18th seed Kiki Bertens 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (10-8).
Eleventh seed Johanna Konta was the highest ranked player to fall, the Briton edged 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-1) by Carolina Garcia of France.
Garbine Muguruza returns a shot to Kayla Day in California on Sunday.