Sunday saw the opening matches for the ATP World Tour’s top-seeds. Both Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal needed three sets to get past Bjorn Fratangelo and Gilles Muller. Meanwhile, the top-half of the WTA draw battled for positions in the Round of 16. Serena Williams, defending champion Simona Halep, Agnieszka Radwanska, Petra Kvitova, Jelana Jankovic all advanced. In just her second BNP Paribas Open, 23-year-old Nicole Gibbs from Santa Monica, CA will compete for a spot in the Quarterfinals, after a win over Yaroslava Shvedova.
In doubles, it was Bloody Sunday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Santina – the top-ranked team of Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza – fell to Vania King and Alla Kudryavtseva, who entered the doubles draw thanks to a protected ranking. Before Doha two weeks ago, “Santina” were on a 40-match win streak. They won the US Open, the WTA Finals and the Australian Open, but after an opening match win in Qatar, they fell to Daria Kasatkina and Elena Vesnina. That’s now two consecutive early departures for the dream team, who fired-up their partnership exactly one year ago here at Indian Wells. Happy anniversary.
Santina weren’t the only seeds sacked. On the men’s side, top-seeds Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau fell to the Poles Lukas Kubot and Marcin Matkowski in a match tie-break. The 2-seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo fell to Juan Martin del Potro and Leonardo Mayer. That said, regardless of who’s playing on Stadium-1, look for huge crowds around Delpo’s next match with Chardy/Martin. He is revered and adored here…
Weather is starting to make headlines at the BNP Paribas Open for the first time…in like…ever. Rain suspended play for an hour on Friday. The wind was ridiculous on Stadium-1 Sunday night. Fans huddled under blankets while tournament staff wore ski-jackets on court. Stadium-2‘s conditions were slightly better throughout the day. Radwanksa, Tsonga, Simon, Jankovic and Isner all muscled through their matches with relatively quick wins, despite the swirl.
— Rafa Nadal Fans MR™ (@RAFANATICONADAL) March 14, 2016
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA. Round-3.
Agnieszka Radwanska is an artist with a bottomless bag of tricks. Monica Niculescu is the most frustrating opponent on tour, with a mastery of mixing up spin and pace, keeping competitors off balance and out of rhythm. When they clash, as they did in Doha two weeks ago, it is like going back in time. Shot pace is typically slower, rallies are longer, and the on-court creativity can be brilliant. (Next time, they should both have to use wooden racquets).
Radwanska won it 6-2, 6-1…a similar scoreline to their match in Doha. Despite the score, it was actually a tough match for Radwanska, requiring a ton of effort and her usual contributions to the highlight reel. She’ll face Jelena Jankovic in the Round of 16, who didn’t have to work nearly as hard against a struggling Coco Vandeweghe.
— WTA (@WTA) March 13, 2016
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA. Round-2
World #166 Vincent Millot battled through qualifying and overcame American wild card MacKenzie McDonald to reach the second round – and he held his own against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the first. The crushing blow came at 5-6 when Millot lost the set on a double fault. He’d never regain his composure, falling to Tsonga 5-7, 1-6. Jo-Wilfried looked sharp, hammered a few aces, and played smart, tactical points to keep his opponent guessing. He’ll face Sam Querrey in the 3rd-Round. Two years ago, Tsonga won an epic 5-setter over Sam at Wimbledon 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-7(4), 6-3, 14-12. Tuesday could interesting…
— BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) March 13, 2016
GILLES SIMON. Round-2.
Very weird match. Gilles Simon picked up his third win over Pospisil this year. He won in straight-sets last weekend in their Davis Cup Tie and won three consecutive sets in Melbourne, after dropping the opener in a tie-break. On Sunday at Indian Wells – Simon fell-behind 0-5 in the first (as he’d done in their Davis Cup rubber) – and Pospisil threw an enormous fist-pump after capturing the set 6-1. Vasek wouldn’t win another game until 0-5 in the third. Seriously. Total mental vacation. After losing 11 games, Pospisil finally held – but the damage was done. Simon advanced 1-6, 6-0, 6-1. He’ll face Alex Zverev in Round-3, who knocked Simon out of Rotterdam in the Round of 16 one month ago.
— BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) March 13, 2016
JELENA JANKOVIC. Round-3.
Coco Vandeweghe will have to forget this ever happened. She couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn on Sunday. It was tough to watch because it wasn’t nervy…it was just a crappy day at work. It happens. Good news for Jelena Jankovic, who advanced to the 3rd-Round without having to exert much physical or mental energy. Jelena won this title in 2010 and was a Finalist here last year. She’ll need deep-reserves in the Round of 16 as she makes her 9th run at Agnieszka Radwanska.
** Did you know? – Jelena and Coco are actually neighbors in San Diego.
— BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) March 14, 2016
JOHN ISNER. Round-2.
This is John Isner‘s brand of tennis. With Andreas Seppi on Sunday, he pounded 22 aces, won the first set in a tie-break, then scored two breaks in the second to give himself two shots at serving out the match. Mission accomplished 7-6(1), 6-4. One of John’s “hitting partners,” 100-year-old Nels Glesne looked-on from court-side, admiring the win. Next up for Isner – Adrian Mannarino of France. John beat him twice last year in Madrid and Shanghai…both in straight sets.
— BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) March 12, 2016
RESULTS. BNP Paribas Open 2016. Day Seven. Round-3 WTA Singles.
-  S. Williams (USA) d Y. Putintseva (KAZ) 76(2) 60
-  A. Radwanska (POL) d  M. Niculescu (ROU) 62 61
-  S. Halep (ROU) d  E. Makarova (RUS) 62 64
-  P. Kvitova (CZE) d J. Larsson (SWE) 63 46 75
-  J. Jankovic (SRB) d C. Vandeweghe (USA) 60 61
- [Q] K. Bondarenko (UKR) d L. Tsurenko (UKR) 36 64 76(7)
- B. Strycova (CZE) d [Q] K. Nara (JPN) 36 61 62
- [Q] N. Gibbs (USA) d Y. Shvedova (KAZ) 60 64
RESULTS. BNP Paribas Open 2016. Day Seven. Round-2 ATP Singles.
-  N. Djokovic (SRB) d [Q] B. Fratangelo (USA) 26 61 62
-  R. Nadal (ESP) d G. Muller (LUX) 62 26 64
-  K. Nishikori (JPN) d M. Kukushkin (KAZ) 63 63
-  J. Tsonga (FRA) d [Q] V. Millot (FRA) 75 61
-  J. Isner (USA) d A. Seppi (ITA) 76(1) 64
-  D. Thiem (AUT) d [Q] J. Kovalik (SVK) 76(4) 76(3)
-  R. Bautista Agut (ESP) d M. Youzhny (RUS) walkover
-  G. Simon (FRA) d V. Pospisil (CAN) 16 60 61
-  F. Lopez (ESP) d G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 62 62
- A. Mannarino (FRA) d  B. Paire (FRA) 61 63
-  J. Sock (USA) d [Q] M. Berrer (GER) 62 64
- A. Zverev (GER) d  G. Dimitrov (BUL) 64 36 75
- F. Verdasco (ESP) d  M. Klizan (SVK) 53 Retired
-  P. Kohlschreiber (GER) d D. Kudla (USA) 60 61
-  S. Johnson (USA) d J. Millman (AUS) 64 62
-  S. Querrey (USA) d T. de Bakker (NED) 76(5) 64
RESULTS. BNP Paribas Open 2016. Day Seven. Round-2 WTA Doubles.
- [PR] V. King / A. Kudryavtseva d  M. Hingis / S. Mirza 76(7) 64
- J. Goerges / K. Pliskova d D. Kasatkina / E. Vesnina 61 67(5) 10-4
RESULTS. BNP Paribas Open 2016. Day Seven. Round-1 ATP Doubles.
- L. Kubot / M. Matkowski d  J. Rojer / H. Tecau 76(6) 36 10-6
- [PR] J. Del Potro / L. Mayer d  I. Dodig / M. Melo 63 62
-  E. Roger-Vasselin / N. Zimonjic d [Alt] M. Michalicka / I. Minar 63 67(6) 17-15
- D. Inglot / R. Lindstedt d J. Cabal / R. Farah 63 31 Retired
- D. Goffin / J. Sousa d D. Marrero / B. Tomic 61 46 10-6
- D. Nestor / R. Stepanek d R. Klaasen / R. Ram 63 62
THE SERENITY OF THIS BALL GIRL, THOUGH!…
— Ricky Dimon (@Dimonator) March 14, 2016