Osaka stuns Sharapova in straight sets at BNP Paribas Open

Eugenie Bouchard suffers a shock defeat to American qualifier Sachia Vickery

Maria Sharapova: bowed out to Naomi Osaka of Japan in the first  round of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, California. Photograph: John G Mabanglo/EPA

Maria Sharapova: bowed out to Naomi Osaka of Japan in the first round of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, California. Photograph: John G Mabanglo/EPA

 

Naomi Osaka beat five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova in straight sets in the first round of the BNP Paribas Open.

In a first meeting between the pair, the 20-year-old overcame the Russian 6-4 6-4 at Indian Wells.

Osaka surged to a 2-0 lead in the first set as Sharapova struggled to find consistency with her serve and made too many unforced errors to give her opponent any trouble.

By the second set, Osaka again gained an early lead as breaks went back and forth. But at 5-5, the pressure appeared to get to the former world number one as she double-faulted to hand the initiative to Osaka.

Another unforced error from Sharapova’s backhand sealed the set and the win for Osaka, who will now face former world number two Agnieszka Radwanska in the second round.

Eugenie Bouchard suffered a shock defeat as American qualifier Sachia Vickery reached the second round with a 6-3 6-4 victory, and Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic was forced to save match point as she saw off Hungarian Timea Babos in three sets.

The Canadian fought back after dropping the first set 6-1 to seal the win 6-1 7-6 (7/4) after a marathon two hours and 23 minutes, thus setting up a second-round match against reigning French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.

There were also wins for Sofia Kenin, Aryna Sabalenka, Marketa Vondrousova, Petra Martic, Kaia Kanepi, Kristyna Pliskova, Maria Sakkari, Samantha Stosur, Irina-Camelia Begu, Qiang Wang, Yulia Putintseva, Amanda Anisimova and Caroline Dolehide.

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