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No. 3 seed Jessica Pegula fights back at Indian Wells

Mar 12, 2023; Indian Wells, CA, USA;  Jessica Pegula (USA) celebrates after defeating Anastasia Potapova (RUS) in her fourth round match at the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

No. 3 seed Jessica Pegula of the United States and seventh-seeded Maria Sakkari of Greece were among those that rallied back from early deficits to avoid upsets on Sunday in the round of 32 at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif.

Pegula managed to pull off a 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory against Russian 26th seed Anastasia Potapova, while Sakkari claimed a 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 win over 27th seed Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine. Both Pegula and Sakkari were strong when it came to saving break points, as Pegula saved 9 of 13 and Sakkari saved 6 of 9. Sakkari also won 35 of 49 first-serve points.

“I think I started playing a little bit smarter, getting a lot of depth on my shots, everything got a little bit better,” Pegula said. “(Potapova) came out playing really well and I was pretty frustrated. She’s a great player. … I think it was just a respectable battle today.”

Pegula will next face 15th-seeded Czech Petra Kvitova, who, like Pegula and Sakkari, had to rally to avoid an upset on Sunday. Kvitova beat No. 24 seed Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia 0-6, 6-0, 6-4.

Along with Pegula, sixth seed Coco Gauff represented the United States well by dispatching Linda Noskova of the Czech Republic, 6-4, 6-3. However, Americans Madison Keys and Payton Stearns both lost, with the 19th-seeded Keys retiring after one set.

“I feel like I’ve played most of the tournaments now. I have friendships with other players. But, yeah, I feel on the game and inexperience-wise, I’m still on the younger end compared to some other players,” Gauff said. “But I guess in the vibe, just walking around, I don’t feel like the new kid on the block anymore.”

The Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova managed the only upset of the day, earning a 6-1, 7-5 sweep of Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova, the 11th seed. Pliskova’s countrywoman, No. 16 seed Barbora Krejcikova, was also victorious, ousting Xinyu Wang of China, 6-2, 6-7 (1), 6-2.

Fourth-seeded Tunisian Ons Jabeur survived a scare from Magdalena Frech of Poland, but managed to prevail 4-6, 6-4, 6-1. Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson also fought back in a battle between unseeded foes, defeating Switzerland’s Jil Teichmann 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.

In an all-Spanish matchup, Paula Badosa cruised to a 6-2, 7-5 straight-set victory over Nuria Parrizas Diaz.

–Field Level Media