Three big names on the WTA tour who were not seeded in the BNP Paribas Open being played in the desert town of Indian Wells, California, this week and next have made it to the second round of this huge tournament, just a step down from a Grand Slam.
The highly experienced Slovak veteran, Daniela Hantuchova, now ranked at 73, took on the qualifier from France, Stephanie Foretz Gacon, ranked at 114. These two players battled for almost two and a quarter hours before the Slovak finally prevailed, 6-3 3-6- 6-4, to earn a match up with world number two, Victoria Azarenka.
Sweden’s 49th ranked Sofia Arvidsson played against Britain’s Laura Robson, ranked at 43, also in the first round. With two powerful hitters so closely ranked, on paper this seemed to be a very interesting match and so it turned out to be. In a hard fought battle which lasted four minutes past the two hour mark, the Swede eventually came out on top, 2-6 7-6 6-1 and set up a meeting with 21st seed Julia Goerges of Germany.
63rd ranked Irina-Camelia Begu of Roumania took on another of the British players, Heather Watson, who is ranked at 39. Once again there was no luck for the British contingent, as Begu played well to take what was a tight match – despite the score – winning 6-2 6-4 in an hour and forty three minutes. She will next meet 4th seed Angelique Kerber.