Wednesday’s play brought an exciting slate of women’s action on both the American and international sides, as some of the biggest names in the field took to the courts at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
In a disappointing finish for two American Oracle Challenger Series veterans, Taylor Townsend and Usue Arconada were unable to replicate some of their early event success. First up, Townsend fell to Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu in a swift 6-0, 6-2 finish. Needing just 55 minutes to complete her victory, the former WTA Top-25’er looked every bit the part of top-level player.
Later, an All-American matchup between New Haven finalist Usue Arconada and No. 14 seed Kristie Ahn greeted fans on Court 6. Ahn, the World No. 98, looked fantastic in her opening match at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Employing steady yet relentless pressure, she extended rallies and forced Arconada into timely mistakes. While not the tournament she wanted to put together at the Challenger Series’ final stop, Arconada still sits in second place on the Road to Indian Wells Leaderboard with a great opportunity to earn main draw wild card entry into the 2020 BNP Paribas Open.
For Begu and Ahn, their stellar Wednesday morning performances sets up a highly-anticipated third round showdown against each other, in a match that’s sure to catch the eyes of the tremendous crowds in the desert.
Later in the day on Court 4, another American took the court in tournament No. 3 seed Bernarda Pera. Opening her Oracle Challenger Series Indian Wells campaign against China’s Wang Xinyu, she earned a hard-fought 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 three-set victory.
The American will next meet Japanese Misaki Doi, who also impressed on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon in front of raucous crowds of fervent tennis enthusiasts. She defeated American Asia Muhammad 6-2, 6-3 to book her spot in round three.
Elsewhere, former top-25 ranked Lesia Tsurenko took to the court for the second straight day as she met tournament No. 16 seed Varvara Gracheva on Court 4. In an amazing turnaround, Tsurenko emerged victorious through a dramatic 0-6, 6-4, 6-2 triumph. The Ukrainian WTA veteran will take comfort in knowing she can persevere through a match where she is not playing her finest tennis, and has plenty of opportunities to improve in the coming rounds in the desert.
Her next match comes against Great Britain’s Katie Boulter, who joined the growing group of upsets on a wild Wednesday afternoon in Indian Wells. Facing New Haven champion and tournament No. 2 seed Anna Blinkova, she stayed calm and composed on her way to a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victory.