Teenager Stephens advances
Sloane Stephens won her first match at WTA Tour level at just 16 years old to advance to the second round of the BNP Paribas Open.
By Rachel Griffiths
Last Updated: 12/03/10 10:13am
American teenager Sloane Stephens won her first match at WTA Tour level at just 16 years old to advance to the second round of the BNP Paribas Open.
Stephens, ranked 747th in the world and the lowest-ranked player to win a main draw match at Indian Wells, fought hard before triumphing 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (9-7) over Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic.
The youngster led 5-2 in the second set and had match point on serve in the ninth game, but was made to rally from 3-6 down in the second-set tiebreaker.
The second round will see Stephens pitted against defending champion and 12th seed Vera Zvonareva of Russia.
Her fellow Americans Shenay Perry and Melanie Oudin crashed out in the first round, with Perry losing to Karolina Sprem 6-2 4-6 6-3.
Oudin, 18, suffered a shock 3-6 6-3 6-0 defeat to Roberta Vinci of Italy after reaching at least the quarter-finals of her last two events.
Among those advancing to the second round are Carla Suarez Navarro, Yung-Jan Chan, Tsvetana Pironkova, Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, Petra Kvitova, Sara Errani, Petra Martic, Sybille Bammer, Alexandra Dulghera, Julia Goerges, Anastasija Sevastova and Julie Coin.
Seeded players will enter the second round on Friday, with second seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark set to face American Vania King in the opening match.
British qualifier Elena Baltacha will take on Chinese seventh seed and Australian Open semi-finalist Li Na, while former world number one Justine Henin continues her comeback from retirement against 31st-seeded Gisela Dulko of Argentina.