Dinara Safina made it to the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open tonight by defeating 4th seed Sam Stosur 7-6, 6-4. Safina played extremely well in the first set, though she wasn't able to exploit opportunities to close the set before it went to a tiebreak. Her failure to close didn't get her down, though; she blew past Stosur 7-2 in that tiebreak. The former world number 1 lost her way in the second set, but kept herself together and--in classic Thrill Ride fashion--eventually came back (and took advantage of an error-prone Stosur). The problematic part is that Safina double-faulted 16 times. Nevertheless, her victory over a top seed at a premier tournament made her obviously happy, and it was a lovely moment.
Maria Sharapova looked an awful lot like herself when she defeated 20th seed Aravane Rezai in straight sets. 22nd seed Alisa Kleybanova upset 13th seed Flavia Pennetta, who had defeated the Russian in their four previous matches. Nadia Petrova ended wild card Christina McHale's run, and 9th seed Agnieszka Radwanska beat her former doubles partner, 24th seed Maria Kirilenko. Also advancing were top seed Caroline Wozniacki (def. Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez), 8th seed Victoria Azarenka (def. Urszula Radwanska), and Peng Shuai (def. Lucie Hradecka, who served for the match at 5-4 in the third set).
In doubles, 7th seeds Iveta Benesova and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova were upset by Sania Mirza and Elena Vesnina in 2nd round play.