Roberta Vinci is the highest remaining seed in the lower half of the BNP Paribas draw. The Italian knocked off Elina Svitolina on a sunny Tuesday afternoon to book her spot in the round of 16, matching her best Indian Wells performance to date.
The Italian improved to 3-0 vs. the Top-20 this season with her 6-1, 6-3 victory over the Ukrainian. She didn’t face a break point in the first set and fought off a late rally by Svitolina in set two, saving all four break points she faced to close out her victory in 61 minutes.
The ninth seed will move on to face Great Britain’s Johanna Konta. On her main draw debut here in the desert, Konta has continued her run of fine form with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Denis Allertova of the Czech Rebublic.
Konta is closing in on becoming the first British woman to crack the Top-25 since 1987.
The biggest surprise of the day happened on Stadium 2, as Belinda Bencic’s late comeback failed against Magdalena Rybarikova. Bencic saved three break points to avoid going double-break down in set three and then broke to get back on serve as the Slovakian’s nerves began to show.
But the world No. 97 kept it together to grab the final two games and book her place in the round of 16 at Indian Wells for the first time.
Rybarikova had not won back-to- back matches all season, but has won three here at Indian Wells, with the last two coming against seeds.
Today’s victory over Bencic was Rybarikova’s sixth career Top-10 win and first since Wimbledon last year.
In the first match on Stadium 1, Karolina Pliskova needed just 49 minutes to blast past Ana Ivanovic, 6-2, 6-0. Pliskova improved to 4-0 over Ivanovic with the win.
The Czech told WTA Insider Courtney Nguyen that she had taken a week off after what she perceived to be a poor showing in the middle east.
Pliskova will try to best last year’s performance when she meets Konta in the round of 16 on Tuesday.