Indian Wells: Clijsters ousted in first round, Nishikori advances
Former world number one Kim Clijsters' return to tennis wasn't a smooth one as she was knocked out of the Indian Wells Masters. Clijsters was beaten in the first round by Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 2-6, 6-2. The Belgian was playing just her second tournament of the year following a knee surgery. In the men's event, Kei Nishikori advanced. Here's more.
Not a happy return for Clijsters
Four-time Grand Slam winner Clijsters had suffered a first-round exit at last week's Chicago Fall Tennis Classic. She was beaten by Hsieh Su-wei 3-6, 7-5, 3-6. Clijsters also tasted a first-round exit in women's doubles. The 38-year-old had earlier returned to action in February 2020 after retiring for the second time in 2012. However, her comeback was curtailed by injury in October 2020.
After her defeat in Indian Wells, Clijsters shared her views on the performance. "I fought my way into the match well in that second set, and I kind of put her under pressure a little bit better. Overall there's definitely moments where I'm feeling really good out there, and there's moments where I feel too inconsistent," Clijsters said.
Nishikori beats Sousa in three sets
Japan's veteran tennis ace Nishikori beat Portugal's Joao Sousa 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-2 in two hours and 22 minutes to reach the second round in Indian Wells. Nishikori, who was under pressure from the start, secured his opening main draw match at this ATP Masters 1000 event. The 31-year-old Nishikori will next play 18th seed Daniel Evans. Nishikori leads Evans 3-1 in head-to-head meetings.
Nishikori feels Sousa was very steady
Nishikori said that match was tough and praised his opponent for being steady. "[It was] very tough," Nishikori said in his on-court interview. "He took the first set and I was a break down in the second set, so I tried to be a little bit more aggressive. He was very steady."
Other crucial results in the men's and women's singles
Frances Tiafoe overcame Benoit Paire 6-4, 6-4 in straight sets. Tommy Paul beat Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 7-6. In the women's section, Australia's Astra Sharma beat Donna Vekic 6-4, 2-6, 6-3. 30-year-old Polona Hercog of Slovenia was beaten by Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova 3-6, 6-2, 6-0.