Defending champ Osaka gets Mladenovic revenge in Indian Wells opener

Defending champ Osaka gets Mladenovic revenge in Indian Wells opener

Defending champ Osaka gets Mladenovic revenge in Indian Wells opener

Naomi Osaka's ascent to tennis' summit began last March when she claimed her first WTA title at Indian Wells and, while the world No. 1 has since clinched two successive Grand Slams, the Californian event remains her sole victory outside of the majors.

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, a 6-4, 6-1 victor over Kirsten Flipkens.

The champion in Melbourne, Osaka broke in the sixth game of the first set against Mladenovic, closing it out after a tough hold in the ninth.

"I think in the tiebreak I played best tennis of the match, I was really focused", said Nishikori, who opened 2019 with a title in Brisbane and then reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

Osaka, who was able to win the Australian Open just a few months back, said that she finds it hard to adjust with the people's expectations.

The last time I played her, I lost, so anything's a bonus.

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

"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. "I was so frustrated with myself from the half of the second set to the end, which shouldn't happen to me", she further explained. "I know most of my team members at the time were against me playing in Indian Wells and Miami because it was too early after the surgery", Djokovic said on Thursday during his pre-tournament press conference.

The 21-year-old defeated Mladenovic 6-3, 6-4 in the opening match of her title defence on Saturday (local time).

There was disappointment, too, for 2011 victor Caroline Wozaniacki, who fell 7-5, 2-6, 7-5 to 59th-ranked Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova.

Karolina Pliskova booked her place in the third round after a hard-fought win over qualifier Misaki Doi. Then at the start of the year, I had a little strain on my thigh and I could not play in Brisbane.

In another women's singles clash, Germany's Angelique Kerber eased past Yulia Putintseva of Russia 6-0, 6-2 to set up a round-of-32 clash against another Russian player Natalia Vikhlyantseva.

He'll play Guido Pella, who ended the hopes of another Aussie qualifier, Alex Bolt, 7-6 (7/5), 2-6, 6-3.

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