Ranked Naomi Osaka, Novak Djokovic ousted at Indian Wells

Lynette Rowe
March 16, 2019

Naomi Osaka rolled past Danielle Collins 6-4, 6-2 in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open on Monday night, keeping the world's No. 1 player on track to defend her title.

It was a first win over a top-five player for the 19 year old, who is ranked 61st in the world.

Osaka, meanwhile, was trying to find the positives after falling in the fourth round 6-3, 6-1 in just 66 minutes to a red-hot Belinda Bencic of Switzerland.

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. "But honestly, I think at a time like this with that scoreline, I would usually feel very depressed and sad".

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.

Top seed Naomi Osaka was blitzed by Belinda Bencic, while Simona Halep went down to Marketa Vondrousova in the last 16.

"I think 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", she said of her partnership with Jenkins, a former U.S. collegiate star who served as a hitting partner to Venus Williams from 2015 until the end of last season.

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Halep's loss ensured Osaka will retain her number one ranking after the tournament.

"[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.

That marked the start of a remarkable rise that included Osaka's first Grand Slam title at the US Open. "I was just fighting for every point". "I didn't feel like I was moving well at all", Osaka said.

Osaka, 21, said she lacked maturity when as a relative unknown player she won the tournament a year ago to kick off her meteoric rise through the rankings. Muguruza next faces 18-year-old Canadian Bianca Andreescu, who surprised China's 18th-seeded Wang Qiang 7-5, 6-2.

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

Williams converted seven of nine break points and hit 20 winners as she earned a meeting with Mona Barthel, who stunned 15th seed Julia Goerges 7-5 1-6 6-4. She rallied past Andrea Petkovic in the opening round and followed up by outlasting No. 3 seed Petra Kvitova in a third-set tiebreaker.

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