TENNIS

Indian Wells WTA roundup: Vickery stuns Muguruza, Halep, Pliskova, Ostapenko advance

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.

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.

Results

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

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Do you really need to use that plastic straw?

The hazards of single-use plastic items, and what to use instead.

In June 2018, a distressed whale in Thailand made headlines around the world. After an autopsy it’s cause of death was determined to be more than 80 plastic bags it had ingested. The pictures caused great concern and brought into focus the urgency of the fight against single-use plastic. This term refers to use-and-throw plastic products that are designed for one-time use, such as takeaway spoons and forks, polythene bags styrofoam cups etc. In its report on single-use plastics, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has described how single-use plastics have a far-reaching impact in the environment.

Dense quantity of plastic litter means sights such as the distressed whale in Thailand aren’t uncommon. Plastic products have been found in the airways and stomachs of hundreds of marine and land species. Plastic bags, especially, confuse turtles who mistake them for jellyfish - their food. They can even exacerbate health crises, such as a malarial outbreak, by clogging sewers and creating ideal conditions for vector-borne diseases to thrive. In 1988, poor drainage made worse by plastic clogging contributed to the devastating Bangladesh floods in which two-thirds of the country was submerged.

Plastic litter can, moreover, cause physiological harm. Burning plastic waste for cooking fuel and in open air pits releases harmful gases in the air, contributing to poor air quality especially in poorer countries where these practices are common. But plastic needn’t even be burned to cause physiological harm. The toxic chemical additives in the manufacturing process of plastics remain in animal tissue, which is then consumed by humans. These highly toxic and carcinogenic substances (benzene, styrene etc.) can cause damage to nervous systems, lungs and reproductive organs.

The European Commission recently released a list of top 10 single-use plastic items that it plans to ban in the near future. These items are ubiquitous as trash across the world’s beaches, even the pristine, seemingly untouched ones. Some of them, such as styrofoam cups, take up to a 1,000 years to photodegrade (the breakdown of substances by exposure to UV and infrared rays from sunlight), disintegrating into microplastics, another health hazard.

More than 60 countries have introduced levies and bans to discourage the use of single-use plastics. Morocco and Rwanda have emerged as inspiring success stories of such policies. Rwanda, in fact, is now among the cleanest countries on Earth. In India, Maharashtra became the 18th state to effect a ban on disposable plastic items in March 2018. Now India plans to replicate the decision on a national level, aiming to eliminate single-use plastics entirely by 2022. While government efforts are important to encourage industries to redesign their production methods, individuals too can take steps to minimise their consumption, and littering, of single-use plastics. Most of these actions are low on effort, but can cause a significant reduction in plastic waste in the environment, if the return of Olive Ridley turtles to a Mumbai beach are anything to go by.

To know more about the single-use plastics problem, visit Planet or Plastic portal, National Geographic’s multi-year effort to raise awareness about the global plastic trash crisis. From microplastics in cosmetics to haunting art on plastic pollution, Planet or Plastic is a comprehensive resource on the problem. You can take the pledge to reduce your use of single-use plastics, here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of National Geographic, and not by the Scroll editorial team.