(REUTERS) - French Open champion Garbine Muguruza got a fright from Kayla Day but outlasted the precocious American teenager 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 to reach the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open in California on Sunday (March 12).
Day took the first set from the seventh seed and had two break point opportunities at 5-5 in the second but the 17-year-old was unable to hammer home her advantage.
Muguruza used her experience to get out of trouble, eventually set up a meeting with Ukrainian 10th seed Elina Svitolina in just over two hours under a relentless sun at Indian Wells.
"I started a bit off," the 23-year-old Spaniard said.
"My shots weren't there. The experience of keeping calm and fighting helped; it's no secret.
"I think I'm improving in general a lot of things, but I know that maybe two years ago this match I wouldn't turn it around. I think that's experience."
Muguruza was impressed with Day, the US Open junior singles champion.
"She reminds me a little of me, when I was super motivated and playing very good," she said.
Day hoped to learn from her defeat.
"I was pretty upset after my match, because it didn't go the way I wanted it in the end but if you look at the big picture, I was able to push a top-10 player really far," she said.