Osaka turns tables on Mladenovic, Venus rallies at Indian Wells

Osaka turns tables on Mladenovic, Venus rallies at Indian Wells

World number one Osaka beat Mladenovic 6-3 6-4, the win under the stadium court lights sweet revenge for the reigning USA and Australian Open champion after she lost to the same opponent in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships first round last month.

But she's learning to cope with the pressure of heightened expectations, and that includes thinking of her first ever title defense as a clean slate.

"I've never been a defending champion before so I was pretty nervous and I'm glad I got the win", the 21-year-old said.

On reflection, Djokovic admits that it was not the right decision to play at the California event in 2018, but believes it ended up proving a positive moment in his career.

Williams tipped her hat to the two-times Wimbledon champion after the hard-fought contest. "I don't really believe in defending, I believe in getting another one". Suddenly I was leading in the second, but somehow I just gave her a chance again to be back in the match, and she took it.

World number two Rafael Nadal steamed into the third round of the ATP Indian Wells Masters yesterday with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over American Jared Donaldson. That was the first - and until Saturday had been the only - match Osaka played since winning the Australian Open.

He broke back as Fratangelo served for the set to knot it at 5-5, and then raced to a 4-1 lead in the tiebreaker.

"I really played bad", she said, "and in the end of the match she definitely played better than me".

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In a battle of two ATP young guns, 58th-ranked Auger-Aliassime came out firing, and his aggression paid off with a victory over 20-year-old Tsitsipas, who shot to prominence with a victory over Open.

"I haven't played in forever, so that was challenging in itself, to get back into competition", said Williams. 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.

After wrapping up the victory in one hour and 29 minutes, he loped over to share a word with U.S. great Pete Sampras in the stands.

"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, who was a 6-4, 6-1 victor over Kirsten Flipkens.

The 17th-seed had the match on her racket serving with a 5-4 lead in the third set but lost three straight games, including her final service game to love, allowing the unseeded Barthel to advance.

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

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

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