Sharapova exits as India's Bhambri wins men's qualifier
Women's star sensation Maria Sharapova bowed out of the Indian Wells tournament in the USA after losing in the first round itself. The Russian tennis player was beaten by 20-year-old Japanese youngster Naomi Osaka. Sharapova was beaten 4-6, 4-6 in 1 hour and 37 minutes. Meanwhile, Yuki Bhambri won his qualifier against fellow Indian Ramkumar Ramanathan to book a berth in main draw.
World number 41 Maria's loss against a youngster, ranked three places below her, derailed her quest to go far amongst the top ladies in the sport. Sharapova's low ranking had forced her to play the first round and it didn't end well.
India's highest ranked singles player Yuki Bhambri won his second round qualifier to advance to the main event. The win against Ramkumar has earned the player a battle against France's Nicolas Mahut. Bhambri won his game 6-4, 6-2 and will look to do well in his first major Masters appearance in nine years. Bhambri is ranked 110 in the world in the ATP rankings.
Veteran Samantha Stosur survived a scare to move to the next round after overcoming Lauren Davis 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. The 33-year-old, who lost in the Round of 32 in Dubai Championships, will face 14th seed Kristina Mladenovic next. Canada's wild card entry Eugenie Bouchard suffered a 3-6, 4-6 shock against qualifier Sachia Vickery and world number 68 Belinda Bencic won a thriller against Babos.
23-time singles Grand Slam winner Serena Williams is set to play in the first round of the Indian Wells. The un-seeded player in the tournament makes a return to tennis after a 14-month lay-off. The former world number 1 would play Kazakhstan's Zarina Diyas.