World No. 1 Simona Halep roared into the third round overpowering Kristyna Pliskova 6-4, 6-4 while third seed Garbine Muguruza crashed out of the WTA Indian Wells tournament on Friday losing 2-6, 7-5, 6-1 to world number 100 Sachia Vickery.
This was the reigning Wimbledon champion’s first loss to a player ranked in the 100s since she was beaten by Jana Cepelova (124) at Wimbledon in 2016
Muguruza had five double faults and had her serve broken five times in the two hour, 11 minute night match.
Crowd favourite Vickery, of the US, posted her first career win over a top 10 player as she served masterfully and controlled the rallies with her ground strokes.
Vickery defeated former Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard in the first round before recording the biggest win of her young career against Muguruza.
The 2015 Indian Wells champion Halep won 58% of her first serves and made just one double fault in the 75 minute match. Kristyna Pliskova, who is ranked 77th in the world, blasted eight aces but had her serve broken six times as she struggled mightily with her second serve.
Halep won three out of the final four games in the second set, claiming victory when Pliskova sailed a forehand long on the first match point.
The 26-year-old Romanian will meet US wildcard Caroline Dolehide who beat Dominika Cibulkova, of Slovakia, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4.
Elsewhere, ninth seeded Petra Kvitova won her 14th straight match to equal the longest winning streak of her career by outlasting Yulia Putintseva 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/3), 6-4.
Rising star Jelena Ostapenko battled her way into the third round, outlasting Swiss Belinda Bencic 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.
The 20-year-old reigning French Open champion will next face Petra Martic of Croatia who beat Czech 26th seed Barbora Strycova 7-5, 6-4 on Friday.
Karolina Pliskova, who won three titles in 2017, defeated Irina-Camelia Begu 7-6 (7/4), 6-1.The Czech fifth seed, ranked fifth in the world, smashed four aces and won 76 percent of her first serve points in the 92 minute match.
Pliskova, who turns 26 on March 22, is hoping to improve on her semi-final finish here in 2017. Last year she won titles in Brisbane, Doha, and Eastbourne, rising as high as number one in the world last July.
In other women’s matches on Friday, Japan No. 1 Naomi Osaka cruised past veteran Agnieszka Radwanska, of Poland, 6-3, 6-2 and former US Open winner Svetlana Kuznetsova was bundled out of the tournament by Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus in straight sets 6-4, 6-3.
Other winners included China’s Wang Qiang and American Coco Vandeweghe.
Simona Halep (ROM x1) bt Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) 6-4, 6-4
Wang Qiang (CHN) bt Elise Mertens (BEL x22) 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
Kristina Mladenovic (FRA x14) bt Samantha Stosur (AUS) 7-5, 7-5
Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) bt Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS x19) 6-4, 6-3
Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) bt Johanna Konta (GBR x11) 7-6 (7/5), 6-4
Naomi Osaka (JPN) bt Agnieszka Radwanska (POL x31) 6-3, 6-2
Coco Vandeweghe (USA x17) bt Kaia Kanepi (EST) 6-0, 7-6 (8/6)
Petra Kvitova (CZE x9) bt Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/3), 6-4
Petra Martic (CRO) bt Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE x25) 7-5, 6-4
With inputs from AFP