Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Pennetta, 33, shocks Sharapova at Indian Wells

Maria Sharapova lost to defending champion Flavia Pennetta
3-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open.
2014 photo by Paul Bauman
   Flavia Pennetta is still going strong at age 33.
   The No. 15 seed and defending champion from Italy ousted No. 2 seed Maria Sharapova 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 on Tuesday to reach the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.
   Pennetta has beaten Sharapova three consecutive times and leads the head-to-head series 3-2. All five meetings have gone to three sets. Sharapova, 27, has won two of her 34 career singles titles at Indian Wells (2006 and 2013).
   Meanwhile, qualifier Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine knocked off a seed for the third straight round, outlasting No. 6 Eugenie Bouchard of Canada 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-4 after defeating No. 9 Andrea Petkovic and No. 20 Alize Cornet.
   Pennetta, the highest remaining seed in the bottom half of the draw, will play No. 24 Sabine Lisicki of Germany. Also, Tsurenko will face Serbia's Jelena Jankovic, the 18th seed and 2010 champion.
   In the top half of the draw, No. 1 seed Serena Williams will meet No. 27 Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland, and No. 3 Simona Halep of Romania will take on No. 12 Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain.
   Bacsinszky extended her winning streak to 15 matches, including the titles in Monterrey and Acapulco.
   On the men's side at Indian Wells, No. 2 seed Roger Federer dismissed Andreas Seppi 6-3, 6-4 in the third round to avenge a loss to the Italian in the same round of the Australian Open in January.
   Federer, bidding for an unprecedented fifth Indian Wells title, will face unseeded American Jack Sock for the first time in the round of 16. Sock, playing in his first tournament of the year after undergoing hip surgery in mid-December, surprised 15th-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 to reach the fourth round of a Masters 1000 tournament for the first time.
   Sock has lost the first set in all three of his matches. At 22, he already has won two Grand Slam titles, mixed doubles in the 2011 U.S. Open with Melanie Oudin and men's doubles at Wimbledon last year with Vasek Pospisil of Canada.
   In a match that ended at 12:43 a.m. today, top-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan edged Marin Draganja of Croatia and John Peers of Austria 6-7 (8), 6-4 [10-7].
   The 36-year-old Bryan twins, who starred at Stanford, will meet eighth-seeded Pospisil and Sock in the quarterfinals in a rematch of last year's Wimbledon final. The Bryans seek their third straight Indian Wells crown in their native Southern California.       

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