Day 8 Action:
It was a seesaw day for big names at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on Day 8, with top seeds surviving stern tests and others succumbing to the tough draw.
No. 2 seed Angelique Kerber spent two hours plus in the intense heat before booking her Round of 16 clash against Elena Vesnina who also endured a tough fight in her first meeting against Hungary’s Timea Babos.
Dominic Thiem was a comfortable straight-sets winner over Mischa Zverev in the third round, but Tomas Berdych and Vasek Pospisil both squandered match points as they were ousted by Yoshihito Nishioka and Dusan Lajovic, respectively.
2015 Simona Halep became Kristina Mladenovic’s latest Top-5 scalp after beating World No. 3 Karolina Pliskova in Dubai two weeks ago. The Frenchwoman is coming into her own this season, having lifted the St. Petersburg title and finishing runner-up in Acapulco. Mladenovic will play Ohio native Lauren Davis for a quarterfinal berth.
Stan Wawrinka was happy with his performance after dismissing Philipp Kohlschreiber to reach the fourth round. “I was serving well. I think I'm moving better and better, and it's all positive so far,” said the Swiss.
2014 finalist Agnieszka Radwanska also stumbled, falling to qualifier Peng Shuai, a former Top 15 player continuing her comeback from back injury that left her sidelined for two years. She will play two-time finalist Venus Williams, who followed her daring comeback against Jelena Jankovic with a straight-sets victory over Lucie Safarova.
Gael Monfils brought his A-game to dismiss former finalist John Isner 6-2, 6-4 in just 69 minutes.
In a rematch of the 2016 US Open third round three-set marathon, the performance played out in line with their respective rankings: the World No. 9 Keys, in her first tournament of 2017, dismissed the World No. 52 Osaka in less than an hour.
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