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Simona Halep is among top seeds ousted at Indian Wells

Simona Halep is among top seeds ousted at Indian Wells
Simona Halep returns a shot on the way to an upset loss to Marketa Vondrousova on Tuesday at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. (Larry W. Smith / European Pressphoto Agency)

Simona Halep, ranked No. 2 in the world and seeded No. 2 at the BNP Paribas Open women’s event, was another victim of the upsets that swept women’s No. 1 Naomi Osaka and men’s No. 1 Novak Djokovic out of the tournament Tuesday.

Pressed by unseeded Czech left-hander Marketa Vondrousova in their fourth-round match on Court 2, Halep wilted. Vondrousova, 19, moved on to the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 victory that left Halep in tears.

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“I suffer for every loss. So I think it's a good thing,” Halep said. “I found the rhythm after the second set. I felt like I can win that match. But after that first game, I lost a lot of energy and I feel like I rushed a little bit more after and I made some mistakes. Then she dominated the match. I think I played a little bit wrong. I was running too much and too defensive.”

Vondrousova knew she’d have to fight for every point against Halep.

“I think I’m playing well all week but this is something special,” she said.

Vondrousova will face No.6 Elina Svitolina, who outlasted No. 12 Ashleigh Barty 7-6 (8), 5-7, 6-4.

No. 20 Garbine Muguruza started the upsets in the day’s opening match by rallying to defeat No. 7 Kiki Bertens 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 and reach the quarterfinals. She will face Canadian wild-card entry Bianca Andreescu, who took out No. 18 Qiang Wang 7-5, 6-2.

Venus Williams, unseeded here, got past Mona Barthel of Germany 6-4, 6-4.

“I was pretty determined this year. I haven't played that much, so I wanted to make it count,” Williams said. “It's not going to get any easier from here, so I just have to continue to raise my game.”

Williams will face No. 8 Angelique Kerber, who defeated No. 9 Aryna Sabalenka 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 in the final match.

Taking the rap

Denis Shapovalov’s shot-making mastery was on glorious display Tuesday when the Canadian teenager, seeded 24th, upset No. 10 Marin Cilic of Croatia 6-4, 6-2. But Shapovalov wasn’t as smooth afterward, when he took the on-court microphone to perform a rap song he had written.

Shapovalov started but forgot the words and had to retrieve his cellphone for a prompt. Among the lyrics: “Loving the support, I leave it all on the court,” and that he was “fighting like a wolf.” He probably should keep his day job.

“I remember we were talking after my second-round match and we just said, prepare something in case I win today. So I wrote down a couple of things, took me two, three minutes,” he said. “Didn't actually look at it until after the match today. So I was like, ‘Oh, my God, what are the lyrics again? What are the words?’

“Yeah, that was fun. That was cool. It's something I have been doing as a hobby. It's just a fun little part of me.”

His fourth-round opponent will be unseeded Hubert Hurkacz of Poland, who upset No. 6 Kei Nishikori 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. Hurkacz is ranked 67th to Shapovalov’s 25. They’ve never faced each other.

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American John Isner, the No. 8 seed, defeated Guido Pella of Argentina 6-3, 6-4 and will face Karen Khachanov of Russia, who defeated Andrey Rublev in straight sets.

Wednesday’s featured matches

Top matches Wednesday at the BNP Paribase Open at Indian Wells (play begins at 11 a.m.):

STADIUM 1

Filip Krajinovic vs. Rafael Nadal

Not before 1 p.m.

Garbine Muguruza vs. Bianca Andreescu

Kyle Edmund vs. Roger Federer

Not before 6 p.m.

Elina Svitolina vs. Marketa Vondrousova

Not before 8 p.m.

Philipp Kohlschreiber vs. Gael Monfils

STADIUM 2

Third match

John Isner vs. Karen Khachanov

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