Friday, 22 March, 2019

Naomi Osaka Thrashed By Belinda Bencic In Indian Wells 2019

Tennis: Osaka finds positives despite Indian Wells upset Former Champions Osaka, Halep Fall At Indian Wells While Venus Keeps Winning
Cassandra Castillo | 15 March, 2019, 22:25

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

She will play Spain's Garbine Muguruza next, after the former world number one beat Kiki Bertens 5-7 6-1 6-4.

She said she could see a change in herself since she arrived unheralded at Indian Wells a year ago and walked away with a victory that sparked a stellar 2018 campaign that included a win over Serena Williams in the US Open final.

Collins, trying to build on a breakout run to the Australian Open semi-finals, failed in her bid to avenge her 6-1, 6-0 loss to Osaka in their only prior meeting in Beijing a year ago. But she never found her feet against Bencic, whose crisp groundstrokes and precise service game propelled her to victory in 66 minutes.

"I don't really play that often, so when I do, I need to play well", she said. But I feel pretty good right now, because I tried my best and I don't really have any regrets.

"I feel like there is no anonymity", she said.

Recalling her loss to Bencic at last year's Hopman Cup, the Japanese, who is seeking her first title defence, said: "That's really wonderful, the fact that she was able to come back from her injury and still play at a really top level".

"She sort of came out there really aggressive", Osaka said.

"I'm so happy to be through and so happy with my play".

Sevastova was down 5-0 in the first set of her third round match with Estonian 21st seed Anett Kontaveit when she retired.

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"I think I'm just more confident in myself". I'm hitting the ball well.

"I felt somehow odd and the match was unusual", said Pliskova.

It was a tough day for seeded players at the BNP Paribas Open, with Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka, the world's top-ranked players, ushered out in the desert.

Despite the loss, Osaka is guaranteed to lead the rankings after the tournament since world number two Simona Halep also lost on Tuesday.

I think before I didn't realize that so much. I knew that she's young, and she has nothing to lose today.

Vondrousova had defeated 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko and last year's Indian Wells finalist Daria Kasatkina prior to beating Halep.

Bencic, the world number 23, has made a habit of upending top 10 players of late, defeating four en route to winning the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships last month.

Among those women still feeling healthy, three-times grand slam champion Angelique Kerber battled back to beat Russian qualifier Natalia Vikhlyantseva 3-6 6-1 6-3.

She will play either Ukraine's Elina Svitolina or Australian Ashleigh Barty in the last eight.

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