Reigning Roland Garros champion Garbine Muguruza reached the third round of the BNP Paribas Open after posting a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens on Friday.
"I think it was a difficult match," said Muguruza. "I think she's very talented and she can hit some critical shots and she can be tricky. I'm happy because it was not a first, easy match, like a first round. I don't know. It was a big win for me, actually."
With the win, the Spaniard equals her best result here in the Coachella Valley. The No. 7 seed next plays American wildcard Kayla Day for a spot in the Round of 16.
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Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova, the fifth seed, fought off Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko to advance, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. The reigning WTA Year-End Champion will next battle unseeded Czech Kristyna Pliskova, who dropped only three games in an upset of No. 33 Daria Kasatkina.
Two-time finalist Svetlana Kuznetsova posted a 7-6(3), 6-4 victory over Sweden’s Johanna Larsson in just over 90 minutes. Kuznetsova, 31, next plays fellow over-30 player Roberta Vinci.
Karolina Pliskova completed a dramatic comeback against reigning Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig of Puerto Rico. The No. 3 seeded Czech stormed back to win 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 just inside the two-hour mark, totaling six aces and converting five of seven break points.
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Friday’s other winners include No. 15 Timea Bacsinszky (d. Niculescu), No. 17 Barbora Strycova (d. Errani), and No. 19 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (d. Kontaveit).