Osaka shrugs off Indian Wells upset

Simona Halep lost to teenager Marketa Vondrousova in the fourth round at Indian Wells

Simona Halep lost to teenager Marketa Vondrousova in the fourth round at Indian Wells

World No 1 and defending champion Naomi Osaka powered past American Danielle Collins 6-4, 6-2 on Monday to book a fourth-round meeting with resurgent Swiss Belinda Bencic at Indian Wells.

The 38-year-old Williams, who showed her mettle in the second round where she upset world number three Petra Kvitova, will meet unseeded German Mona Barthel in the fourth round.

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

"I had never played (McHale) before, so you feel like you don't really know what's going to happen". "But honestly, I think at a time like this with that scoreline, I would usually feel very depressed and sad. He was aggressive in key situations and I couldn't execute", said Nishikori, who had his left calf taped.

Czech fifth seed Karolina Pliskova stands in the way of Bencic and the semi-finals following her 7-6 (7-0) 4-6 6-2 win over Anett Kontaveit.

"When I hit a good return, I was wondering why this didn't happen in singles", he said. I really enjoy that and that's what I work for. Vondrousova, who beat 2018 runner-up Daria Kasatkina and former French Open victor Jelena Ostapenko on the way to the fourth round, will go for another big win when she faces sixth-seeded Elina Svitolina, who battled to a 7-6 (10/8), 5-7, 6-4 victory over Australian Ashleigh Barty.

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"I was running a lot - I felt like I was dying for a moment", Vondrousova joked in an on-court interview. "I played I think a great match".

Bencic has thrashed four top 10 players in Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Championships held in February 2019.

Japan's Osaka, whose second straight grand slam title at the Australian Open propelled her to the top of the rankings, traded breaks with Collins early in the first set.

French Open champion Halep, who is still without a permanent coach, has not won a WTA title since the Canadian Open in August.

Seven-time grand slam victor Venus Williams also found it tricky facing fellow American Christina McHale for the first time, but she pulled back early breaks in each set to win 6-2, 7-5.

Her departure came less than 24 hours after Serena Williams was unable to continue her match on Sunday, also citing a viral illness. The 22-year-old Bencic was the teenager star who won the position of number seven in a world but unfortunately her career was stalled after back and wrist injuries.

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