There were some long, close matches at the BNP Paribas Open yesterday. 8th seed Victoria Azarenka defeated 9th seed Agnieszka Radwanska 4-6, 6-3, 7-6, Peng Shuai defeated 18th seed Nadia Petrova 6-4, 5-7, 6-3, 10th seed Shahar Peer defeated 5th seed Francesca Schiavone 6-4, 3-6, 7-6, and 23rd seed Yanina Wickmayer defeated 25th seed Dominika Cibulkova 7-5, 7-5. The first three of these matches lasted from two and a half to three hours.
Some matches weren't so close. 6th seed Jelena Jankovic appeared flat and very out of sorts in her match against 19th seed Ana Ivanovic. Jankovic likes to get on with things (her peers used to call her "JJ Express"), but the way she was rushing along, she appeared to not even want to be on the court. Ivanovic defeated her 6-4, 6-2, and we are left--yet again--to ask: What's the matter with JJ?
Dinara Safina's great run was halted by 16th seed Maria Sharapova, who defeated her 6-2, 6-0. Safina had all kinds of problems with her serve, and was outplayed from start to finish by Sharapova. One hopes that Safina doesn't take this loss to heart too much, since she has worked hard to get herself out of a big slump brought on my serious injury and lack of confidence.
Top seed Caroline Wozniacki needed three sets to defeat 22nd seed Alisa Kleybanova, but she got the job done. And 2nd seed Kim Clijsters won her first set against 15th seed Marion Bartoli, then retired in the second set because of a shoulder injury she has had for a while (Tennis Channel called the retirement "shocking," meaning that, as usual, they were unaware--in fact, they even said they were unaware--of an injury Clijsters has spoken about for several weeks now). Clijsters was considered a favorite to win the BNP Paribas Open, and now she is out, along with the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th seeds.
The two highest remaining seeds, Wozniacki and Azarenka, will play each other in the quarterfinals.