Stunning comeback earns Venus Williams third round spot at BNP Paribas Open

Stunning comeback earns Venus Williams third round spot at BNP Paribas Open

World No. 1 Naomi Osaka launched her BNP Paribas Open title defense with a 6-3, 6-4 victory in a grudge match against Kristina Mladenovic on Saturday.

Osaka, whose second straight Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January propelled her to the top of the rankings, was beaten by 65th-ranked Mladenovic in Dubai last month in her first match since she lifted the trophy in Melbourne. "After that things went better for me", added the Serbian, who dominated the second set to book a third-round meeting with German Philipp Kohlschreiber, a 6-4, 6-4 victor over Australian Nick Kyrgios.

After losing 3-6 in the first set, Mladenovic fought back in the second, but Osaka kept her cool to stop her opponent from causing her issues.

In the press conference after her first win at the Indian Wells 2019, Osaka spoke about the inconveniences which are caused to her while playing night matches. "I'm sure her game suits well here as the defending champion, and I'm sure she wants to build on some wins again". He arrived at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden anxious to play, despite his team telling him to rest.

Williams - a three-time Indian Wells semi-finalist - broke for a 4-1 lead in the final set and never looked back.

"Having to play down the whole match and to be able to get that", Williams said of her emotion.

The media was the biggest thing that was my problem - no offence, guys, I'm sorry, being asked to take photos with fans is still taking some getting used to, especially outside of tournaments - It usually shocks me, because it is sometimes not when I am anticipating it. if I am just walking around in a mall or something, then it just catches me off-guard, she said.

There was disappointment for 2011 victor Caroline Wozniacki, who fell 7-5, 2-6, 7-5 to 59th-ranked Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova. Summing up how she felt after the match, Kvitova told reporters: "I want to swear, but I will not".

The number five seed dropped the first set in a tie-break but made light work of the remainder of the match, prevailing 6-7 (4), 6-1, 6-1. "I still feel like I have a lot to learn". "So it's nice to know that in that sort of situation I can still play and just lift my level".

Eighth-seeded American John Isner routed Australian qualifier Alexei Popyrin 6-0, 6-2, the most lopsided win of Isner's career.

Italian 16th seed Fognini went down to qualifier Radu Albot 6-0 7-6 (7-4), while Pouille suffered a 6-2 3-6 6-4 loss to Hubert Hurkacz.

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