Osaka starts title defense with a vengeance

Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka will fight for a fourth-round berth at the ATP Indian Wells Masters

China's Zheng Saisai loses in first round of BNP Paribas Open - Xinhua |

The two-time Grand Slam champion, Naomi Osaka has settled for her first loss as the World Number one in the opening round of the Dubai Open as she defeated the French woman, Kristina Mladenovic in the round-of-64 of the Indian Wells 2019.

Eager to avoid a repeat, Osaka marched through the opening set in 38 minutes, but hit a speed bump as she was broken when serving for the match at 5-2 in the second.

The media was the biggest thing that was my problem - no offence, guys, I'm sorry, being asked to take photos with fans is still taking some getting used to, especially outside of tournaments - It usually shocks me, because it is sometimes not when I am anticipating it. if I am just walking around in a mall or something, then it just catches me off-guard, she said.

Her surprise triumph at Indian Wells past year launched a 2018 campaign that would eventually include her first Grand Slam crown at the US Open.

Osaka next faces Danielle Collins, the 25th-seeded American who beat Belgian Kirsten Flipkens, 6-4, 6-1.

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Djokovic went down an early break to the 128th-ranked Fratangelo, but leveled the set with a break for 5-5.

The Croatian 10th seed converted just four of 15 break points but still progressed in straight sets.

"The tournament in Australia was awesome considering all these things, the only regret is that I could not compete at my best in the final but I found a great Djokovic and I think I was missing something to be able to play at this level", Rafael Nadal added.

"For the first round I actually felt really good", he told reporters.

He next faces Argentina's Diego Schwartzman, a 6-3, 6-1 victor over Spain's Roberto Carbralles.

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Eighth-seeded German Angelique Kerber eased into the third round with a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva. He can tie second-ranked Rafael Nadal's record of 33 Masters 1000 titles should he claim a record sixth Indian Wells title.

While the outcome was an upset on paper, Auger-Aliassime held a 3-0 advantage over Tsitsipas when they met as juniors.

"She has been playing so well and you never know what's going to come off her racket", a beaming Williams said in front of a fawning crowd as night fell on her native Southern California. "I thought [the match] was at 8, not 6". "I just had to acquaint myself with the new sensations, mental, physical, emotional, and it was all a great learning curve for me".

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. "I don't get to see him very often and wanted to impress him".

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