Osaka turns tables on Mladenovic, Venus rallies at Indian Wells

12 March, 2019, 04:59 | Author: Amy Huff
  • Kermode was refused a contract renewal by the three players’ representatives – who include the controversial broadcaster Justin Gimelstob

Naomi Osaka eased past Kristina Mladenovic to begin her Indian Wells Open title defence on Saturday.

World No.4 Federer was dominant in the opening set but was pushed in the second before he wrapped up the 6-1 7-5 in one hour and 17 minutes.

"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.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova, who was runner-up to Osaka in Melbourne, appeared to have taken control of the stadium court slugfest when she broke Williams for a 4-3 lead in the third. The victory makes it two straight over Kvitova, as she also downed the Czech in their most recent meeting at the 2017 US Open.

"I think I created some opportunities".

Honestly, it was great that I got to play her again because I was able to learn from the mistakes I did back then, and I was able to apply it, I just learned to be really positive and not give her anything, Women's Tennis Association (WTA) quoted Osaka as saying.

"I didn't know what to expect today because he's a completely different player (now)", said Auger-Aliassime after their morning match.

"I think I played well in the first set, and he didn't, and then things go very quickly", he said.

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Williams pulled off the unlikely comeback despite failing to produce a single ace although she said her varying serve speeds were "what I needed to do".

The American was up a break in the first set and also ahead in the tie-break, but he was unable to deny the world number one.

However, the American was unable to close it out, a double fault and a pair of errors handing Djokovic the opening set. Summing up how she felt after the match, Kvitova told reporters: "I want to swear, but I will not".

Fourth-seeded Federer, like top seeded Novak Djokovic gunning for a sixth ATP Indian Wells Masters crown, said he was relieved not to go to a second-set tiebreaker after falling behind 3-1 to the free-swinging German who is ranked 85th in the world.

Karolina Pliskova booked her place in the third round after a hard-fought win over qualifier Misaki Doi.

Britain's 22nd seed Kyle Edmund advanced to round three with a 6-2 6-0 victory over Chile's Nicolas Jarry.

Coric, the 11th seed, was beaten by fellow Croatian Ivo Karlovic, the 40-year-old serving 20 aces in a 6-4 7-6 (7-2) win.

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