Halep survives bad day for seeds at Indian Wells

Simona Halep survived a scare in the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells on Sunday, hitting back for a 1-6, 7-6(7-3), 6-2 win over young American Caroline Dolehide, but several other seeds were not so lucky.

The 19-year Dolehide shocked top seed Halep in the first set, but the Romanian called on all her experience to get back into the match, winning a second-set tiebreak as she ground out the win to make the fourth round.

Another young American, 16-year-old Amanda Anisimova, enjoyed better fortune, advancing to the fourth round with a big upset win over ninth seed Petra Kvitova.

Wild card Anisimova won 6-2, 6-4, to sensationally end the Czech’s winning streak at 14 matches after she claimed recent titles in St. Petersburg and Doha.

The junior U.S. Open champion becomes the first 16-year-old to reach the fourth round at Indian Wells since Viktoriya Kutuzova in 2005.

“I’m still in shock,” said the 149th ranked Anisimova.

“She’s the best player I have ever played, and it was the biggest court I have ever played on.”

“I was enjoying the moment, but at the same time, I was trying not to make myself nervous because of the huge crowd, and everything, and the big stage,” she added.

Sixth seed and reigning French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko went down 6-3, 6-3 to Croatia’s Petra Martic, while France’s Kristina Mladenovic (14) went out after a 6-1, 6-2 defeat to China’s Wang Qiang.

Coco Vanderweghe (17) also made her exit after losing 6-2, 6-4 to Greece’s Maria Sakkari.

US Open champion Sloane Stephens, seeded 13, managed to buck the trend with a 6-1, 7-5 win over Victoria Azarenka.

It was a first tournament in eight months for Belarusian Azarenka, who has been involved in a bitter custody battle over her daughter.

“Obviously a lot of work to do,” she said afterwards.

“For me, the most important is to have a clear head, which obviously right now is not.

“Once I figure all my stuff outside of the court, I’ll be able to focus and be 100 percent when I’m on the court to be there.”