Indian Wells 2022: Naomi Osaka beats Sloane Stephens
Naomi Osaka started her Indian Wells journey with a crucial win over Sloane Stephens. Osaka was made to work hard before sealing her victory in 1 hour and 53 minutes. Osaka prevailed 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 to advance. Youngster Amanda Anisimova needed just 53 minutes to ease past American wildcard Emma Navarro. Meanwhile, Shelby Rogers had a superb comeback to defeat Nuria Parrizas Diaz.
This was Osaka's first match since the 2022 Australian Open. She had lost in the third round in Melbourne, suffering a three-set defeat against Anisimova. This was her first win against Stephens in three meetings. It marks a winning return for the 2018 champion here. She didn't play last year's edition when it was rescheduled. She had lost in the fourth round on 2019.
"To play against Sloane, she just won a tournament and I'm sure she's feeling really confident with herself, that was a really good test for me. But at the same time I do need to play a lot more matches and I do need to give myself the opportunity to get more into the swing of things," said Osaka after her win.
World number 59 Aliaksandra Sasnovich moved into the second round after her opponent Camila Osorio retired from their match while trailing 6-4, 5-0. She will next face two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the second round. They have a 1-1 record in the H2H meetings. Anisimova thrashed Navarro 6-2, 6-2 to set up an exciting second-round match against Leylah Fernandez.
Rogers came back to beat Diaz, 6-1, 5-7, 7-6(3) in 2 hours and 53 minutes. She trailed 1-5 in the final set before winning five consecutive games. She also had the momentum, dominating the decisive tiebreak. She will face No.10 seed Jelena Ostapenko next.
Marie Bouzkova beat Wang Qiang 6-3, 7-6, Astra Sharma beat Magda Linette 6-4, 7-6, Marta Kostyuk beat Maryna Zanevska 6-7, 7-6, 7-5, Tereza Martincova beat Heather Watson 6-2, 6-1, Daria Saville beat Zhang Shuai 6-3, 6-2.