Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Whooops! At the 2014 BNP Paribas Open Monday was a day of upsets as defending champion (and World #1) Rafael Nadal lost to Aleksandr Dolgopolov in a 3rd set tiebreak. This was a pretty big surprise since Nadal went undefeated on North American hard-courts in 2013, winning 2 ATP Masters series shields and the 2013 US Open. However, in his first match with Radek Stepanek Nadal was clearly not at his best, eking out a win 7-5 in the third set. He is not serving at 100%, which some people think may be due to a lingering back injury.
Amazingly, Nadal was not the only defending champion to lose on Monday because World #5 Maria Sharapova lost an ugly 3-set match to qualifier Camila Giorgi 6-3 4-6 7-5. Giorgi is clearly a big match player since last year she ousted former World #1 Caroline Wozniacki at the 2013 US Open.
The highest remaining seeds in the draw on the men's side are World #2 Novak Djokovic, World #3 Stanislas Wawrinka and World #5 Andy Murray. Roger Federer, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet are still in the draw. Wawrinka and Federer are into the quarterfinals in the doubles!
On the women's side of the draw the top seed is Li Na and Agnieska Radwanska is still in the draw, but Victoria Azarenka and now Sharapova are both out. Simona Halep and Jelena Jankovic are still around. Sloane Stephens eliminated Ana Ivanovic Monday night in straight sets.