Osaka shrugs off Indian Wells upset

Carrie Guzman
March 16, 2019

Having not lost a match since January, Belinda Bencic might've scored her biggest win yet on Tuesday in Indian Wells.

World number one and defending champion Naomi Osaka powered past American Danielle Collins 6-4, 6-2 on Monday to book a fourth-round berth in the WTA premier mandatory tournament at Indian Wells.

Osaka, who is the reigning US and Australian Open champion, saw her first career title defence go down in flames at the hands of a razor-sharp Bencic, who won their fourth-round match 6-3 6-1.

Bencic has thrashed four top 10 players in Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Championships held in February 2019. "But honestly, I think at a time like this with that scoreline, I would usually feel very depressed and sad".

After dropping the first set, Djokovic displayed his frustration by banging his racquet against his foot until it crumpled.

The world No. 23 player will next battle against fifth seed player Karolina Pliskova for her place in the semi-finals.

"It's always a bit tricky whenever you change someone in the team, but I feel like for a first tournament we did really well", Osaka said.

Unseeded Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova stunned world number two Simona Halep to reach the quarter-finals at Indian Wells.

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Naomi Osaka won her first career title at Indian Wells a year ago, propelling her to a career-best year in which she defeated Serena Williams for the U.S. Open title.

"I didn't lose in the first round".

The win was 19-year-old Vondrousova's first over a top-10 player in six attempts. "She won everything in the past couple of months", Bencic said.

She will be doing the same in the round of 16 against Aryna Sabalenka, the ninth seed from Belarus who defeated Lesia Tsurenko 6-2, 7-5.

Ukrainian Elina Svitolina came from a break down in the third set to defeat Australian Ashleigh Barty 7-6 (8) 5-7 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals for the first time. She rallied past Andrea Petkovic in the opening round and followed up by outlasting No. 3 seed Petra Kvitova in a third-set tiebreaker.

That set the tone for Bencic, who was in impeccable form as she broke again for a commanding 4-1 lead against the two-time grand slam victor.

"[Matches like this] give me again confidence that I can turn around matches; that I can play also three sets; also in the close moments that I'm there, that I can trust myself", Kerber said.

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