Sharapova loses in Indian Wells 1st round

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Los Angeles, March 8 (IANS) Russian star Maria Sharapova returned to the Indian Wells tennis tournament after three years only to lose in the first round to Japan’s Naomi Osaka in straight sets.

Osaka dominated her highly rated opponent and carved out a 6-4, 6-4 victory here on Wednesday, reports Efe news agency.

Osaka will now play World No.31 Agnieszka Radwanska in the next round.

Meanwhile, Sam Stosur recovered after losing the first set to American Lauren Davis to win the game 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 and advance to the second round where she will face Kristina Mladenovic.

Sixteen-year-old Amanda Anisimova beat 94th-ranked Pauline Parmentier 6-2, 6-2 to set up a second-round clash against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

“I’m really proud of myself. The biggest thing (in the pros) is about being tougher mentally. I try to take things one point at a time,” Anisimova told the Tennis Channel.

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In a marathon battle spanning two hours and 23 minutes, Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic knocked out Timea Babos 1-6, 6-1, 7-6 to set up a second-round clash with Jelena Ostapenko while Sachia Vickery beat Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard 6-3, 6-4.

–IANS

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