Did anyone see that one coming?
Having lost in the final round of qualifying, top qualies seed Dalma Galfi was surely packing her bags and gearing up for the Miami Open in two weeks. Instead, she scores a spot in the main draw after the late withdrawal of Tamara Korpatsch, faces former Top 10 player and Grand Slam runner-up Danielle Collins, and wins 6-4, 6-4.
Lucky L̶o̶s̶e̶r̶ WINNER 🍀
— BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) March 9, 2023
The Hungarian, a former junior No. 1, was sharp from the start, bludgeoning big serves and heavy, line-clipping forehands down the court at Collins, who started out flat, lacking the usual dynamism in her baseline game. The American was able to claw back in the first set after going down 2-5 – even holding a break point to level for 5-all – but was unable to capitalize as her shots continued to sail long.
It was a more competitive second set, but Galfi was steadfast in her resistance to her opponent’s signature cross-court backhands. Unable to find her range for any consistent period in the match, Collins sent one last groundstroke past the baseline to hand the World No. 80 her first victory at the BNP Paribas Open.
Second up on Stadium 1 was Emma Raducanu, who hasn’t had much luck this season so far as far as results are concerned. The popular 2021 US Open champ hasn’t bee able catch a break since her signature win to become the first qualifier ever to win the Slam in New York, but got off to a flying start at this year’s BNP Paribas Open with a straightforward win over Danka Kovinic on Thursday afternoon.
Playing with angled precision and serving with authority, the Brit was able to secure an early lead in the first set to the dismay of Kovinic, who won their sole previous encounter at the Australian Open in 2022. Although Montenegrin would find her own dose of momentum by start the second set with a break, Raducanu was able to reel off 6 of the next 7 games and close out victory, 6-2, 6-2 after just under half an hour of play.
Elsewhere around the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, doubles No. 1 Katerina Siniakova scored a great singles win over big-hitting Jule Niemeier, while Bernarda Pera, Tatjana Maria and Varvara Gracheva were all successful in out-duelling their respective opponents in the desert heat.