AUSTRALIA'S Sam Stosur is still struggling to rediscover her best form and was ousted from Indian Wells this morning by Nadia Petrova in a tough third-round battle.
The US Open champion started poorly against the Russian and was the highest seeded woman (sixth) to lose today, tumbling 6-1 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-5) at the Californian tournament.
Petrova took some revenge for her narrow loss in New York last year when the Australian was marching to the US Open title, winning on third match point after 2hr 46min.
"After that loss in New York, it's been hard," said Petrova, who lost that match after 3hr 16min. "I was very pumped coming out today. I wanted to turn everything around. I wanted to win and walk off the court with a win."
Stosur has lost five of seven career matches to the world No.33 Petrova dating back to their first meeting at the 2004 US Open.
No.2-ranked Maria Sharapova defeated Simona Halep of Romania 6-3 6-4, while Francesca Schiavone became the eighth player to withdraw because of a viral illness sweeping the Coachella Valley.
France's Marion Bartoli beat Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa 6-2 6-0 and Lucie Safarova advanced when Italy's Schiavone retired from their match after the first set.