Indian Wells tournament just grows and grows

World No.1s Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka made light work of their opening games at the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday night, cruising to straight-set victories in the desert setting of Indian Wells.

Djokovic beat Bjorn Fratangelo 7-6 (5), 6-2 as he went after a sixth title at the event, and Defending champion Osaka beat Kristina Mladenovic 6-3, 6-4.

For Osaka it was a match-up that could have caused an upset, given Mladenovic upset her in straight sets two weeks ago at the Dubai tournament.

“I learn the most when I lose matches, and honestly, it was great that I got to play her again because I was able to learn from the mistakes I did back then,“ Osaka said.

“I just learned to be really positive and not give her anything.”

Djokovic took 90 minutes to dispose of Fratangelo and improve to 11-1 on the season.

Novak Djokovic has got off to a solid start in Indian Wells in California. Photo: Andy Cheung/ArcK Images/ Tennis Magazine

“I think I tried too hard in the first set to impress him,” he said.

Djokovic said he was rusty at the start, he had taken over a month off after winning the Australian Open in January.

“I was waiting for him to do something with the ball rather than doing it myself,” he said.

“That resulted in a very close first set. He was the one that was really aggressive and dictating the points from back of the court for entire first set.”

Venus Williams beat off  No. 3 seed Petra Kvitova 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 in her second round tie. Kvitova served 10 aces and 10 double-faults in the match that lasted over 2 hours.

“She (Kvitova) has been playing so well this year. You never know what’s going to come off her racket,” Williams said. “I just loved the battle.”

Williams, who has made the semis three times previously at Indian Wells, is the oldest woman in the tournament at 38.

Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber had little trouble beating  Yulia Putintseva 6-0, 6-2. Kerber broke serve to open the match on her way to winning the first 10 games in a row.


“I was playing really aggressive,” Kerber said. “Yeah, it’s good to start the tournament like that.”

Other seeded winners were: Karolina Pliskova (5), Aryna Sabalenka (9),  Anastasija Sevastova (11), Anett Kontaveit(21)  and Lesia Tsurenko (24).

Alexander Zverev, Milos Raonic, Gael Monfils, Gilles Simon and Laslo Djere were seeded winners in the men’s event.

Angelique Kerber had little trouble beating  Yulia Putintseva. Photo Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd

But there some upsets: No. 9 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas was ousted by Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 6-2. And No. 11 seed Borna Coric, No. 23 seed Alex de Minaur and Nick Kyrgios (31) all lost.

In the women’s draw, Caroline Wozniacki (13), Madison Keys (17), Carla Suarez Navarro (26), Donna Vekic (28) and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (30) all lost.

Men – Rd 2
Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN) bt 21-Roberto Bautista (ESP) 7-6(3) 6-4.
1-Novak Djokovic (SRB) bt Bjorn Fratangelo (USA) 7-6(5) 6-2.
Prajnesh Gunneswaran (IND) bt 17-Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) 6-4 6-7(6) 7-6(4).
3-Alexander Zverev (GER) bt Martin Klizan (SVK) 6-3 2-0 ret.
Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) bt Ricardas Berankis (LTU) 3-6 6-3 6-2.
Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) bt 31-Nick Kyrgios (AUS) 6-4 6-4.
27-Gilles Simon (FRA) bt Malek Jaziri (TUN) 6-3 6-7(6) 6-4.
13-Milos Raonic (CAN) bt Sam Querrey (USA) 7-6(1) 6-4.
Albert Ramos (ESP) bt 15-Marco Cecchinato (ITA) 6-4 6-2.
18-Gael Monfils (FRA) bt Leonardo Mayer (ARG) 6-4 3-6 6-3.
Ivo Karlovic (CRO) bt 11-Borna Coric (CRO) 6-4 7-6(2).
Marcos Giron (USA) bt 23-Alex De Minaur (AUS) 1-6 6-4 6-2.
30-Laslo Djere (SRB) bt Guido Andreozzi (ARG) 6-3 6-4.
Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) bt 9-Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) 6-4 6-2.
Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB) bt Maximilian Marterer (GER) 6-3 6-2.

Women – Rd 2
1-Naomi Osaka (JPN) bt Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 6-3 6-4.
Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS) bt 13-Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 7-5 2-6 7-5.
15-Julia Goerges (GER) bt Kaia Kanepi (EST) 6-3 2-6 6-3.
23-Belinda Bencic (SUI) bt Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) 6-4 6-1.
Venus Williams (USA) bt 3-Petra Kvitova (CZE) 4-6 7-5 6-4.
25-Danielle Collins (USA) bt Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 6-4 6-1.
Christina McHale (USA) bt 30-Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 6-4 3-6 6-4.
5-Karolina Pliskova (CZE) bt Misaki Doi (JPN) 6-7(4) 6-1 6-1.
24-Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) bt Jessica Pegula (USA) 3-6 7-5 6-4.
Mona Barthel (GER) bt 17-Madison Keys (USA) 3-6 6-1 7-5.
11-Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) bt Madison Brengle (USA) 6-3 6-4.
21-Anett Kontaveit (EST) bt Monica Puig (PUR) 6-3 7-6(4).
Ysaline Bonaventure (BEL) bt 28-Donna Vekic (CRO) 1-6 7-6(5) 6-4.
9-Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) bt Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 6-3 4-6 6-0.
8-Angelique Kerber (GER) bt Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) 6-0 6-2.
Natalia Vikhlyantseva (RUS) bt 26-Carla Suarez (ESP) 6-2 6-0.


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