Photos from Indian Wells: Second-round drama in the desert

Friday at the 2017 BNP Paribas Open saw the start of second-round play and the tournament’s top seeds started their Indian Wells campaigns.

While several seeds cruised to comfortable wins, the day had quite a huge surprise in store with young American talent Kayla Day managing to upset Australian Open semifinalist Mirjana Lucic-Baroni. At seventeen years of age, Day is the youngest player in the WTA Top 200. Day is continuing an impressive run in her native home of California after first making her mark in the pro circuit at the US Open last August.

The tour’s prospect Belinda Bencic keeps on struggling, as her woes continued on Friday. Exactly a year ago, Bencic made the Top 10 for the first time, while 12 months later little of that is left as the Swiss player has recently dropped out of the Top 100, following a year full of injuries. After finally winning her first WTA match of the season on Wednesday, Bencic’s second-round encounter was somewhat of a setback. The 20-year-old was blown off the court by Dutch Kiki Bertens and in shambles between games during what was less than a happy 20th birthday for the Swiss player.

There was even more drama in store for the night session as Olympic Gold medalist Monica Puig took on Karolina Pliskova. The Czech player, one of the favorites to win the event, had massive problems dealing with Puig from the get-go, quickly finding herself losing the first set. Pliskova recovered to win the second, only to go a break behind in the final set as well. The Puerto Rican could not convert this lead into a win, as the Czech’s growing experience with high-pressure situations allowed her to escape and edge out a three-set win.

The tournament’s second round will conclude on Saturday as the final of the top seeds will be playing their first match, including the comeback of Madison Keys, who is due to play her first match since the WTA Finals in Singapore last October.

Keep checking back to Women’s Tennis Blog for more from Indian Wells all week.

MORE PHOTOS FROM THE 2017 BNP PARIBAS OPEN:

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