Saturday, 23 March, 2019

Indian Wells: Naomi Osaka through, Venus downs Kvitova

Tennis BNP Paribas Open Day 9 China's Zheng Saisai loses in first round of BNP Paribas Open - Xinhua | English.news.cn
Jennie Wade | 12 March, 2019, 04:59

In the women's singles, Osaka began the defence of her Indian Wells Open title with a comfortable win over Kristina Mladenovic of France.

Wawrinka won a taut thriller against 29th-seeded Hungarian Marton Fucsovics 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 7-5, finally sealing it on his fifth match point after three hours and 24 minutes when Fucsovics lofted a lob long.

"The second set I think he saved some crucial break points with good serving".

"I've never been a defending champion before, that's new and I was really nervous", said Osaka, who booked a third-round meeting with American Danielle Collins, who was a 6-4, 6-1 victor over Kirsten Flipkens.

In the other women's ties, seven-time major victor Venus Williams pulled off the upset of the day, rallying from a set and two breaks down to topple third-seeded Petra Kvitova 4-6, 7-5, 6-4.

"Today I just fought and tried my hardest", said Williams, now ranked 36th in the world.

She booked a third-round clash with fellow American Christina McHale, a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 victor over 30th-seeded Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

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"Don't remind me of the stats", Wawrinka quipped after gutting out a 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 7-5 second-round victory over Marton Fucsovics.

World number one Novak Djokovic raced over to shake hands with tennis legend Pete Sampras after a second-round win over Bjorn Fratangelo at Indian Wells.

Watch: Djokovic Prepares For Indian Wells With Practice Session With WawrinkaThe Serbian will be playing for the first time since winning his 15th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open on 27 January. "Being four months away with all the things that happened to me since the US Open, I injured my tendon, then when I came back to play in Paris Bercy, I had an abdominal injury, (and then) I injured my foot a little", Rafael Nadal said during an interview with ESPN, as reported by Tennis Worls USA.

There was disappointment, too, for 2011 victor Caroline Wozaniacki, who fell 7-5, 2-6, 7-5 to 59th-ranked Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova. I think his serve really picked up. "I'm sure her game suits well here as the defending champion, and I'm sure she wants to build on some wins again".

Kvitova served 10 aces and 10 double-faults in the 2 1/2-hour match.

Britain's 22nd seed Kyle Edmund advanced to round three with a 6-2 6-0 victory over Chile's Nicolas Jarry. "So it's nice to know that in that sort of situation I can still play and just lift my level".

Italian 16th seed Fognini went down to qualifier Radu Albot 6-0 7-6 (7-4), while Pouille suffered a 6-2 3-6 6-4 loss to Hubert Hurkacz.

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