INDIAN WELLS, California - A trio of American women ruled the evening session on Day 2 at the BNP Paribas Open, with No.51 Alison Riske leading the way to set up a second-round matchup Saturday against defending champion Bianca Andreescu.
Riske earned her first main-draw win at Indian Wells since 2015 on Thursday night, defeating qualifier Liang En-Shuo, 6-2, 6-2 in 74 minutes. The 31-year-old comes into the tournament having snapped a prolonged drought of back-to-back wins, making the final in Portoroz two weeks ago.
Playing contained, first-strike tennis, Riske pulled away from 2-2 in the first set, reeling off six consecutive games before closing out a dominant win over the former junior standout.
Amanda Anisimova and Lauren Davis also booked their spots into the second round with dominant straight-set wins. No.81 Anisimova needed just 54 minutes to defeat compatriot Katrina Scott 6-1, 6-1. The 2019 Roland Garros semifinalist won 90% of her first serve points and did not face a break point against the 17-year-old wildcard. Anisimova will face Montreal champion Camila Giorgi in the second round.
No.91 Lauren Davis came through her opener against Spain's Nuria Parrizas Diaz, winning 6-2, 7-5 in 1 hour and 36 minutes. The win earns Davis a shot at No.22 seed and San Jose champion Danielle Collins next.
Astra Sharma and Mayar Sherif victorious in tournament debuts
Australia's Astra Sharma continued her momentum after a successful qualifying campaign, defeating Donna Vekic 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 to win in her tournament main draw debut. Ranked No.102, Sharma fired seven aces and benefited from 9 double-faults from the No.99 Croatian. Sharma will face 2018 finalist Daria Kasatkina in the second round.
Egypt's Mayar Sherif earned direct entry into Indian Wells after her strong season pushed her ranking to a career-high No.72. Coming into the tournament after winning the WTA 125K event in Karlsruhe, Germany last month, Sherif rolled to a 6-1, 6-3 win over Montenegro's Danka Kovinic. Sherif faces No.29 seed Nadia Podoroska next.
Singles stars light up the doubles court in opening wins
Simona Halep and Elena-Gabriela Ruse pulled off the doubles upset of the day, ousting No.7 seeds Darija Jurak and Andreja Klepac 7-5, 7-6(7). In front of a packed crowd on Stadium 9, the Romanians converted five of six break points to edge Jurak and Klepac, who are in the hunt to qualify for the Akron WTA Finals Guadalajara. The Croatian-Slovenian duo came into Indian Wells at No.8 on the Porsche Race to the WTA Finals Leaderboard.
No.3 seeds Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara have already secured their spot for Guadalajara, but the Japanese pair were made to work to get past Sania Mirza and Zhang Shuai, winning 4-6, 6-3, [15-13] in the first round. No.5 seeds Nicole Melichar-Martinez and Demi Schuurs also advanced with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Kveta Peschke and Arantxa Rus.
French Open finalists Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Iga Swiatek are also in the hunt for a qualifying spot at the Finals and are into the second round after a 6-1, 6-3 win over Julia Lohoff and Alexandra Panova. Mattek-Sands and Swiatek No.13 in the Race, but could find them in contention with a deep run in Indian Wells.
But the doubles stars of the day were the teenage pairing of Coco Gauff and Leylah Fernandez, who put on a show on Stadium 8 with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Irina-Camelia Begu and Renata Voracova. With Caty McNally forced to withdraw from the tournament due to injury, Gauff and Fernandez have linked up with great success.