Thursday's on-court action in Indian Wells Tennis Garden emerged all the pairings of second round of the BNP Paribas Open 2023. Second day of main draw brought some notable names to start their Sunshine Double campaign and delivered both good emotions and a few upsets.
The play on main stadium was started with a match between Danielle Collins and Dalma Galfi. The American was supposed to play against Tamara Korpatsch, but the German withdrew on Wednesday's afternoon because of the illness and got replaced by Galfi, who not passed the qualies despite being a top seed there. The Hungarian utilized her lucky-loser chance brilliantly, making a huge upset on Collins who was condifent pre-match favorite. Galfi won 6-4 6-4, utilizing a really bad day in the office for Collins, who was coming back to a good form, achieving the semifinals in last week's WTA 250 ATX Open. "Danimal" was clearly off today, looking like not feeling well on court, making a big amount of unforced errors with unusually low quantity of winners (just 8 to 47 UFEs in whole the match). Galfi was pretty reliable on serve and used the weaknesses of her opponent, taking the initiative in rallies and winning last 4 games of second set. The Hungarian came back from being down 2-4 in second set and managed to achieve a straight set win against the best ranked and recognisable player in her career so far. Caroline Garcia will be the next opponent for the world's number 80.
Sofia Kenin earned her biggest victory since struggling with health issues and coming back to competition on top level, defeating Sloane Stephens 6-4 6-1 in confident style. The Australian Open 2020 champion was a dominant force in one of the most interesting all-American matchups on the main stadium today. Stephens started better with an early break, but Kenin gave her no chances since leveling the score in first set, producing 10 breakpoints and converting 4 of them in general. Kenin will set up the very interesting matchup against Elena Rybakina - another one between the Grand Slam champions.
Emma Raducanu came back to competition despite still dealing with wrist's injury issues. The Brit has performed really well against Danka Kovinic, advancing into 2nd round with a win 6-2 6-3. Raducanu came back from being 0-2 down in both sets and dominated the game in general, scoring the series of 6 games won in a row in first set and 4 in second. Magda Linette is the next stop for Raducanu.
Peyton Stearns lives a big dream two weeks in a row. The NCAA 2022 champion, who earned her first ever WTA level victories in last week's ATX Open, where she achieved QFs as a wild-card receiver, god another WC into the biggest tournament in her life so far. The young American did not waste it, prevailing this year's WTA 250 Auckland runner-up Rebeka Masarova, coming back from being a set down and winning 4-6 6-4 6-4. Stearns will play against Bianca Andreescu in next round.
Karolina Muchova won another interesting three-setter, defeating Yulia Putintseva in one of the best WTA match-ups on Thursday. The Kazakh was 4-1 up with a single break advantage, but Muchova managed to come back with a strike of 5 games won in a row. Victoria Azarenka waits for the Czech in 2nd round.
ATP action delivered some interesting matches as well. Andy Murray prevailed in another tennis marathon this year, defeating Tomas Martin Etcheverry after 3:14 hours of battle. Opening set of this match was a highlight, as it lasted 88 minutes, ending up in tiebreak, won by the Argentinian 7-5. It could never discourage the gallant Scot, who was a confident pre-match favorite. Murray was much better player since then and won two following sets 6-1 6-4.
Marton Fucsovics performed an unusual comeback against J J Wolf. The American, who was a pre-match favorite, won the first set dominantly 6-1, but Fucsovics came back with a bagel in second set. Wolf looked like taking back the control of this match with an early break in decider, being 3-1 up, but Fucsovics fought back again, winning 5 games in a row and moving into next round with a score 1-6 6-0 6-3.
Dominic Thiem, who was starting to show some signs of coming back to a decent shape in recent months, did not utilize the wild card entrance to Indian Wells main draw too well. The Austrian lost to Adrian Mannarino in the match which was decided in 3rd set tiebreak. Thiem was already up 6-4 4-1 with a single break in second set, but the Frenchman came back to match and forced decider. Thiem had his chances there, coming back from being a break down and leading 5-3 in tiebreak. Mannarino won 4 last points and clinching the victory.
ATP Day 2 highlights: