Sachia Vickery has a story to tell, and it unspooled for all to see in the desert last week. She backed up her sound defeat of Eugenie Bouchard at the BNP Paribas Open by upending two-time major champion Garbine Muguruza in three sets.
Her mother, Paula Liverpool, has willed and charted this course for her 22-year-old daughter. If you don't know their backstory, Liverpool formerly bartended in a notoriously crime-ridden strip club in Miami to make ends meet, and even suffered the sight of someone shot 10 feet away from her there. That was all to help make her young daughter's dreams come true.
Perhaps that story of triumph through trials has, in part, inspired Vickery's adoration for the new Black Panther film, the first to feature a predominantly black cast in the Marvel movie universe, and her ensuing run to date in the Indian Wells event.
Vickery has noted that she has seen the film four times already, including twice in Indian Wells, and that—based on her current form in matches—she might as well keep watching.
Vickery (and Gael Monfils) have taken to crossing their arms post-victory and thumping their chest with their forearms, a hallmark of the Black Panther protagonists' ardent pride in their (fictional) country of Wakanda and support of each other.
#WakandaForever @SachiaVick has seen it four times already including twice this week in Indian Wells. “I guess I’ll keep seeing it.” She’s obsessed with @theblackpanther.#BNPPO18 pic.twitter.com/9ZlxsSEAf2— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) March 10, 2018
"That was definitely 'Wakanda Forever,'" Vickery said of the gestures after her upset of Muguruza. "I'm so obsessed with the movie. It's taking over my life."
Vickery would face her next test in the form of 20-year-old Naomi Osaka, but fall, 6-3, 6-3. There's still plenty of upside to the American's week, and career, moving forward.
Follow Jon on Twitter @jonscott9.