Indian Wells: Osaka, Venus surge ahead, Zverev ousted
Defending champion and world number one Naomi Osaka has continued her march in the BNP Paribas Open. She rolled past Danielle Collins 6-4, 6-2 in the third round. Veteran Venus Williams fought valiantly in the second set to down qualifier Christina McHale. Meanwhile, in the men's section, Alaxander Zverev was ousted by Jan-Lennard Struff. Here's more.
Osaka was strong for Collins, who struggled with her serve throughout the match. Collins committed seven double faults and she didn't get the intensity required. Meanwhile, Osaka won 70 percent of her first-serve points. "My mindset was just to keep trying to get my feet moving and stay pumped up and positive.," said the two-time Grand Slam winner.
Venus sealed a commanding 6-2, 7-5 victory over McHale. At 38 years of age, Venus is playing some breathtaking tennis. She is eyeing her 50th career WTA Tour title and a maiden Indian Wells tournament. "I don't really play that often, so when I do, I need to play well. It's extra motivation for me to play just a little bit better," said Venus.
Fifth seed Karolina Pliskova eased past Belgian qualifier Ysaline Bonaventure with a 6-3, 6-2 victory. In other crucial results, Germany's Angelique Kerber outlasted qualifier Natalia Vikhlyansteva 3-6, 6-1, 6-3. Number nine seed Aryna Sabalenka beat Lesia Tsurenko 6-2, 7-5.
Men's third seed Zverev was stunned by his countryman Struff, who is ranked 55 in the world. Struff sealed the proceedings with 6-3, 6-1 victory. Zverev was playing only his third tournament of the year. "I've been sick for a week. That hasn't changed, unfortunately. I think I just got unlucky, I got a virus somewhere and that's how it is," said the German.
Struff will take on Canadian Milos Raonic, who rallied from being 4-1 down in the third set to beat Marcos Giron 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. Novak Djokovic saw his match against Philipp Kohlschreiber get suspended after only a solitary game completed, with rain sweeping across the California desert. The winner will face Gael Monfils, who strolled past Albert Ramos Vinolas 6-0, 6-3.
Roger Federer will face fellow Swiss ace Stan Wawrinka. They have played each other 24 times and Federer has a stunning record of 21 victories. The match will be held at 6:30 AM IST on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Rafa Nadal will face Diego Schwartzman later tonight. The matches will be telecast live on the Sony Ten Network.