Australia

Sharma through, Clijsters out of Indian Wells

Qualifier Astra Sharma is through to the next round of the Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

The 26-year-old Australian defeated Croatia’s Donna Vekić 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 to set up a round-of-64 encounter against number 20 seed Daria Kasatkina.

Sharma, who is ranked 101 in the world, fought her way through qualifying with wins over Americans Elvina Kalieva and Peyton Stearns.

She served seven aces against world number 99 Vekic and converted three from seven break points.

Meanwhile, former world number one Kim Clijsters, who is on the comeback trail, has lost her opening-round match.

Clijsters was beaten 6-1 2-6 6-2 by Katerina Siniakova, a three-time major doubles champion from Czech Republic.

Kim Clijsters is now 0-5 since her comeback from retirement.(

Getty Images: Clive Brunskill

)

Siniakova teamed with countrywoman Barbora Krejcikova to win a gold medal in doubles at the Tokyo Olympics.

Clijsters, a 38-year-old Hall of Famer, also lost in the first round at the WTA Tour stop in Chicago last week.

The four-time major champion and mother of three originally came back last year, but her attempt was interrupted by knee surgery last October and a bout with COVID-19 in January.

Clijsters committed nine double faults against Siniakova, who converted six of nine break points in the match.

The Belgian received a wild card into the tournament she won in 2003 and 2005. She was runner-up to Serena Williams in 2001.


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