Venus edges Kvitova as Osaka, Kerber advance

Venus edges Kvitova as Osaka, Kerber advance

Javier Howell
March 13, 2019

In the other women's ties, seven-time major victor Venus Williams pulled off the upset of the day, rallying from a set and two breaks down to topple third-seeded Petra Kvitova 4-6, 7-5, 6-4.

"A double break is not ideal against a great server, especially a left-handed server".

Naomi Osaka will face 67th-ranked Kristina Mladenovic in her second-round Indian Wells opener.

"I think in the tiebreak I played the best tennis of the match, I was really focused", said Nishikori, who opened 2019 with a title in Brisbane and then reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

"Honestly, I'm over that now", Kyrgios said, adding that he was mentally ready for his Indian Wells opener but just didnt' play well.

Williams booked a third-round clash with fellow American Christina McHale, a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 victor over 30th-seeded Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Rafael Nadal has claimed that the only regret of his recent tennis performances has been his failure to rival Novak Djokovic in the final of the Australian Open.

"It sounds bad saying it but it's true because I never really went far in a tournament like this". We started, I think, pretty nervous, both.

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The champion in Melbourne, Osaka broke in the sixth game of the first set against Mladenovic, closing it out after a tough hold in the ninth. A trainer visited Williams on court before she departed. Kohlschreiber put together a consistent all round display resulting in a 6-4,6-4 straight set win.

Kvitova racked up 10 aces, but also 10 double faults, and despite more than doubling Williams' total of winners (38 to 15), she also more than doubled her total of unforced errors (56 to 25).

As expected, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were the highlight attractions when they played their first matches on Sunday, and Jon Wertheim has an inside take of what it's like working with the two champions.

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

The world number 97 needed only a single break of serve to take the lead in the match.

Among other Japanese players, Misaki Doi lost to former world No. 1 Karolina Pliskova 6-7 (4), 6-1, 6-1.

Djokovic next faces German Philipp Kohlschreiber, a 6-4, 6-4 victor over Australian Nick Kyrgios.

Barthel's compatriot Angelique Kerber was almost flawless en route to a 6-0 6-2 dismantling of Yulia Putintseva, winning 93% of her first service points under sunny skies in the Southern California desert.