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By Richard Pagliaro | Friday, March 9, 2018

Sachia Vickery

American qualifier Sachia Vickery shocked Wimbledon champion Garbiñe Muguruza , 2-6, 7-5, 6-1 in Indian Wells, scoring her first career Top 10 victory.

Photo credit: Dan Huerlimann/Beelde Images

INDIAN WELLS—Sachia Vickery covered her mouth with her hand in astonishment, locked eyes with her family in her support box and broke into a celebratory smile.

Roaring back from a one-set, love-three deficit, the 100th-ranked American qualifier shocked Wimbledon champion Garbiñe Muguruza, 2-6, 7-5, 6-1 in Indian Wells, scoring her first career Top 10 victory in realizing what she called “the most amazing night of my life.”

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Vickery grew up in Florida knocking a rubber ball her mom bought from the dollar store against the side of her house—until she smashed a window prompting mom to take her to a public court.

Tonight, she fought fiercely in driving the two-time Grand Slam champion up the wall.

“I was really, really surprised,” Vickery told the media afterward. “I really couldn't believe that I won, especially after being down a set and 3-0. It just all went so quickly, and I was just really shocked and surprised. That's the best way to describe it.”


That feeling when you deliver the biggest upset of the #BNPPO18

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One round after knocking former Wimbledon finalist Genie Bouchard out in the opening round, Vickery played fearless tennis and mixed depth, angle and a brilliant backhand down the line to drive Muguruza up the wall.

The third-seeded Spaniard suffered her second opening-round exit of the season.

“It was a very tough match, I would say that,” Muguruza said. “I think she really came back playing much better. I think she, you know, at the game of 3-1, she started playing much better, and she kind of believed a little bit more and start hitting better shots.

“And maybe I did couple mistakes here and there, and she, you know, took advantage of that. And with the match, I think she was raising her level more and more.”

Vickery, who was one point away from going down 4-1 in the second set, stormed back belting a ball down the line to seal the second.

Empowered by that surge, Vickery slashed an ace holding to start the third set.

Reading Muguruza’s slice serve wide on the deuce side, Vickery boldly stepped inside the baseline and challenged the former No. 1 to try to bang the serve down the T.

Creeping a few feet inside the baseline in a predatory return posture reminiscent of the young Monica Seles, Vickery got in Muguruza’s head drawing successive double faults to break for 3-1.

“Just as the match went on, I kind of got a read on her wide serve, and I know she was really going after it and she was hitting it well,” said Vickery, whose mother sat with the media watching her daughter’s presser. “So I just figured on a few second serves just put a bit more pressure and make her go for the T, even if she comes up with something big. You know, she was really burning me on the wide serve, so I just tried to take that away.”

Rolling through 10 consecutive points, Vickery cracked a backhand down the line breaking again for 5-1 prompting Muguruza to toss her Babolat racquet in frustration.

Vickery closed the biggest win of her career with composure conceding afterward she was still in a semi state of disbelief.

“Honestly, probably when I wake up sometime tomorrow my coach will call me and say You just beat Muguruza. And I'll be like, No way,” Vickery said. “I didn't expect to win because I was down by so much. And to make that kind of turnaround on the world No. 3 player, you don't do that often. I think that's why I kept saying I was so surprised. I couldn't believe I won.”


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