Sport

Halep, Osaka bow out at Indian Wells

Halep, Osaka bow out at Indian Wells”

The previous year has been a whirlwind for the Japanese, who defeated her idol Serena Williams in the U.S. Open final in a match best remembered for the American's heated argument with the chair umpire as Osaka looked on.

Osaka surprised the tennis world when she parted with coach Sascha Bajin shortly after winning the Australian Open and moving to number one in the world.

"Yeah, I think she played really well today", Halep said of Vondrousova. "But I feel pretty good right now, because I think, given the circumstances, I tried my best and I don't really have any regrets".

"I never played her, so you're out there learning what they do well, what shots they select", Williams said, admitting that it wasn't until the second set that she felt 'OK, I understand'.

Bencic, who turned 22 on Sunday, is back on the rise after a string of injuries stalled a career that had exploded with two precocious WTA titles in 2015.

The 23rd seed, who beat Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-4, 6-2, appears to have solved her problems after stunning two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in Dubai last month to capture her first WTA title in four years.

The victory over Osaka came in "very high" in her list of big wins. "I haven't played that much, so I wanted to make it count". It's one of the biggest goals that I have had my entire life. I congratulate him for playing tactically really well and getting me out of my comfort zone. "It was a little bit more windy in the second set, but I think tactic-wise, I played very solid". I'm hitting the ball well. "The defense got me today", he said.

Halep's loss ensured Osaka will retain her number one ranking after the tournament.

Top seed Naomi Osaka was blitzed by Belinda Bencic, while Simona Halep went down to Marketa Vondrousova in the last 16. Halep got injured during the match and received treatment for blisters on her foot.

The Swiss scored her second career win against a reigning World No.1, having also defeated Serena Williams en route to winning the Rogers Cup in Toronto four years ago.

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.

Former world number ones Venus Williams and Garbine Muguruza made it into the quarter-finals.

With a win, Barty would have cracked the Top 10 for a first time.

Australian Open semi-finalist Collins put up a fight but it was not enough against Osaka, who won 6-4 6-2.



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