WTA Indian Wells: Roberta Vinci Saves Two Match Points To Edge Margarita Gasparyan In Thriller
Roberta Vinci en route to the third round in Indian Wells. Sοurce:Christopher Levy/@tennis_shots on twitter

It was a thoroughly entertaining two hour and forty six minute matchup between the fabulous one-handed backhands of Roberta Vinci and Margarita Gasparyan. In the end, Vinci's experience was enough to exploit the Russian's inability to close important points and the nine seed made it to round three.

Roberta Vinci comes back from a break down to win the first

Gasparyan entered the match fresher of the two and after an exchange of holds, she broke and consolidated to lead 3-1. She was constructing her points well and she was putting enough depth to prevent her opponent from coming to the net. Despite this, she still looked mentally fragile as she needed to give a battle to consolidate. So, she quickly got broken back by Vinci,who was dominating the one handed backhand rallies with her slices being proven more effective. After some good serving, she made it 4-3 and got the crucial break that let her serve for the set in the next. The final game was a marathon, and the Italian needed six set points to close it as the youngster was giving an immense fight.

Margarita Gasparyan showing emotion after losing a point. Photo:Christopher Levy
Margarita Gasparyan showing emotion after losing a point. Photo:Christopher Levy

Gasparyan survives tiebreak choke to win dramatic second set

Once again, the Russian was the one to take the break first in the set after an exchange of holds to lead 3-1. She once again proved to be unable to keep her lead as Vinci broke back quickly enough and made it 3-all. The Italian seemed tired as the match was getting all the more physical with the backhand rallies but she was working on cutting down the points especially on serve to hang up. Like this, none held a break point for the rest of the set,with both of them serving solid. However, the tiebreak had many ups and downs. The Russian started better, nailing some perfectly timed backhands to lead 6-1 and have five opportunities to send the match the distance. That was when Vinci reacted, and although she seemed to have little energy remaining, the veteran turned it around to six-all, showing her awesome net play. The Italian held a match point, but it was saved and the youngster eventually closed the set on her sixth set point, 9-7 in the tiebreak.

Margarita Gasparyan firstpumping her way through the second set. Photo:Christopher Levy
Margarita Gasparyan fist pumping her way through the second set. Photo:Christopher Levy

Vinci comes back from two breaks, saves two match points to proceed in the next stage

As the third set started, Vinci seemed shattered with no energy at all and was barely running to Gasparyan's shots. The Russian was able to put on display her best play and was dominating the rallies. Once again, she led the set by a break, this time by two actually, up 4-0. Quickly, Vinci woke up and after a love hold she broke back and consolidated to make it 4-3.

Gasparyan then rebounded and held to love for 5-3. In the next game, she had two match points to close it but the nerves got to her and Vinci held in a deuce game. Once again ,the Russian youngster would crumble under pressure and fail to serve it out giving new interest to the encounter. A pair of comfortable holds would follow and we will get into a third set tiebreak. It was a really close tiebreak with the Italian taking the important mini-break at 6-5 and holding to seize the match. It was a great fight and both players played amazingly, entertaining the crowd in Stadium 6. Gasparyan actually left the court in tears, really sad she was not able to close a match that was actually hers. Vinci's experience played a really important role in the end.

Slices like this gave Roberta the victory. Photo:Christopher Levy
Slices like this gave Roberta the victory. Photo:Christopher Levy


The stats were quite balanced in the whole match, proven by the score. Gasparyan's struggle in the important points was the key to Vinci's win.

Vinci will know face Elina Svitolina in the third round for a place in the last 16.