• BNP Paribas Open

Safarova serves up a storm in the desert

ESPN staff
March 9, 2011
Melanie Oudin concentrates on a backhand as she battles past Elena Vesnina © Getty Images

BNP Paribas Open seedings

Most of the big names were busy confronting the media on Wednesday but Lucie Safarova led the group of second-tier players to announce themselves as threats at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

Safarova fired down 18 aces, the most of any player on the WTA Tour this year, as she fought off stern resistance from Kristina Barrois to win 7-6 6-7 6-0.

Local hope Vania King threatened an upset over Gisela Dulko but the world No. 47 fought from behind to win 2-6 6-3 6-2 and move through to the second round.

It was left to Bethanie Mattek-Sands to lead the American charge past the first hurdle. She recorded her fourth win in as many matches against Vera Dushevina in a 6-4 6-4 victory.

Former top ten player Kimiko Date-Krumm set up a second-round clash with Ana Ivanovic by beating Yaroslava Shvedova in straight sets, 6-4 7-5.

Wildcard Coco Vandeweghe was another American to go through as she overcame Edina Gallovits-Hall in a taxing 4-6 6-3 6-4 triumph.

Melanie Oudin, Sybille Bammer and Sara Errani also progressed, the latter of whom benefited from Greta Arn's retirement with the score at 6-6.

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