Townsend wins WTA debut; Hantuchova moves on

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Updated: March 8, 2013

American teenager Taylor Townsend came up
a winner in her WTA debut, while former champion Daniela Hantuchova of
Slovakia was tested in her first-round match at the $5.186 million BNP Paribas
Open.

Townsend, a 16-year-old left-hander from Chicago, posted a 3-6, 7-6 (7-1), 6-3
victory over Czech Lucie Hradecka on the hardcourts at Indian Wells Tennis
Garden. The top-ranked junior in the world at the end of 2012 will next face
former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic in the second round.

Hantuchova, who titled here in 2002 and ’07, needed all three sets to get past
French qualifier Stephanie Foretz Gacon, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.

Two all-American matches went the distance, as Madison Keys defeated Melanie
Oudin, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, while Jamie Hampton earned a 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 comeback win
over Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who was a finalist in Kuala Lumpur last week.

Swede Sofia Arvidsson overcame promising British lefty Laura Robson 2-6, 7-6
(7-2), 6-1, while additional wins came for Romanians Monica Niculescu and
Irina-Camelia Begu. The hot Niculescu was a finalist in Brazil last week.

Meanwhile, 42-year-old Japanese veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm snuck past
Kazakhstan’s Galina Voskoboeva 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 and Poland’s Urszula Radwanska
doused Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus 6-3, 6-3 to set-up a second-round match with
rising American Sloane Stephens, who’s seeded 15th here.

In other first-round matches on Thursday, Stefanie Voegele, Alize Cornet,
Garbine Muguruza and Kiki Bertens all advanced after dropping their first
sets, while Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, Magdalena Rybarikova and Alexandra Dulgheru
were straight-set winners.

Victoria Azarenka beat former champion and fellow former world No. 1 Maria
Sharapova in last year’s final in the California desert. The two women are
this week’s top seeds.

Other former Indian Wells champs in the field are former world No. 1s Caroline
Wozniacki, Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic.

This Premier Mandatory WTA event will pay its newest champion $1 million.