No. 1s Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka are Ousted at Indian Wells
(March 12, 2019) Both top seeds and world No. 1s were ousted at the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday. Novak Djokovic fell to Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-4 while Naomi Osaka lost to No. 23 Belinda Bencic 6-3, 6-1
Djokovic appeared to be a bit sluggish in his match against the German. For the 35-year-old veteran Kohlschreiber, this was his first victory over a No. 1 player in 12 tries, just his second win career-wise over Djokovic.
The match was supposed to have been completed on Monday night, but rain suspended play, with the match being held over until Tuesday.
“It’s a very special win today,” Kohlschreiber said after the match. “I had a great strategy to play against him. I had two good wins. So everything came together. Very special to beat the No. 1. Unfortunately, the tournament is not over. I have to get back tomorrow with a great mindset. Today I want to take the moment, celebrate with my coach. I’ve got a lot of messages.”
The German will play Frenchman Gael Monfils for a place in the quarterfinals. There were more men’s upsets on Tuesday with No. 6 Kei Nishikori, No. 10 Marin Cilic and No. 14 Daniil Medvedev all losing.
No. 2 seed and three-time Indian Wells champion Rafael breezed by Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-1. Five-time champion and No. 4 seed Roger Federer beat his Swiss countryman Stan Wawrinka 6-3, 6-4 in 59 minutes.
Bencic, the 23rd seed from Switzerland, is on a roll, winning 11 straight matches and beating Top 10 players in her last five matches. Bencic captured the Dubai title last month.
This win was her first victory over a No. 1 not named Williams.
“I tried my best and I don’t really have any regrets,” said Osaka to media. “I tried to be positive throughout the entire match. Honestly, she was just playing so well, and she’s such an incredible player.”
Venus Williams is into the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Mona Barthel. Last year the 38-year-old American reached the final four.
“She forced the issue on every point, didn’t make a lot of errors, played defensively when she had to, played offensively,” Williams said of her German opponent, ranked No. 97.. “I was really impressed with her game. I was happy to come through. It wasn’t easy.”
Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine came back from a break down in the third set to beat Australian Ashleigh Barty 7-6(8), 5-7, 6-4 to reach the Indian Wells quarterfinals for the first time.
In addition to the top seed falling on the women’s side of the draw, the second seed, Simona Halep lost to teenager Marketa Vondrousova 6-2, 3-6, 6-2. It was the teens first victory over a Top 10 player.
“I was running too much and too defensive,” the Romanian said to media. “But it’s everything I could do today.” Halep had to take a medical time out for blisters on her feet.
No. 7 seed Kiki Bertens was defeated by 20th seed Garbine Muguruza 5-7, 6-1, 6-4.
Unseeded Canadian Bianca Andreescu’ run continues, upsetting 18th seed Wang Qiang of China 7-5, 6-2 to reach the final eight.
More to follow…