Niculescu, Ostapenko Score Opening Day Wins At Indian Wells
Published March 08, 2017 12:16
It was the pair's second meeting in as many weeks; Ostapenko emerged victorious in the pair's first-round match in Acapulco last week on her way to the quarterfinals. But while their last match was a straightforward 6-2, 6-2, this encounter was anything but.
"I played Danka last week and won. I think we were both nervous today because it was the first round here," Ostapenko explained.
The Latvian started out strong with a double break powering her to take the first set, but Kovinic refused to fade away. Kovinic rallied back after being another break down in the second to reel off six straight games and level the score. The pair wrestled for momentum in the deciding set - which went to a tiebreaker - and Ostapenko edged through to book her spot in the second round.
"It was a really tough match today. I was very nervous," Ostapenko said.
"It is the first time that I'm playing here, and I wanted to do well. I'm still getting to know the court. I really like being here and hope to do well in my next match."
Up next for Ostapenko will be the No.5 seed Dominika Cibulkova.
Meanwhile, Monica Niculescu emerged victorious in an all-Romanian clash against Sorana Cirstea, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 to move into the second round of the BNP Paribas Open, where she'll take on No.15 seed Timea Bacsinszky.
Also through in a battle was Kirsten Flipkens, who had to come back from a set down to defeat on-the-rise American CiCi Bellis 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. She's rewarded for her efforts with a second-round clash against No.7 seed Garbiñe Muguruza.