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Davis topples Azarenka in Indian Wells

March 10, 2014 03:13 PM
Lauren Davis celebrates following her victory over Victoria Azarenka at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.

By E.J. Crawford, USTA.com

It’s been a year of firsts for 20-year-old Lauren Davis. In January, she advanced to the third round of a Grand Slam event for the first time, at the Australian Open. And in February, she made her debut for the U.S. Fed Cup team in Cleveland, just outside her hometown of Gates Mills.

Friday night at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., Davis captured her first victory over a Top 10 player, knocking off a laboring Victoria Azarenka, 6-0, 7-6, to advance to the third round against fellow American Varvara Lepchenko.

Afterward, the diminutive Davis (she’s 5-foot-2) credited the home-country crowd for helping her top the two-time Australian Open champion and current world No. 4, who was hampered by a foot injury.

“They were awesome, really, really supportive,” Davis told the Desert Sun of Palm Springs, Calif. “I think that really helped me a lot just having them behind me.”

A former junior standout who peaked at No. 3 in the ITF World Junior Rankings, Davis is currently ranked No. 66 in the world and is a threat to break into the Top 50 for the first time in her career with her showing in Indian Wells. Already this year, she has qualified and reached the round of 16 at the WTA event in Sydney, Australia, and she also reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Open tune-up event in Auckland, New Zealand.

Editor's Note: Davis defeated Lepchenko, 6-3, 6-2, to advance to the round of 16, where she was forced to withdraw prior to her match against Australian Casey Dellacqua due to illness.



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