Indian Wells: Naomi Osaka gets through Sloane Stephens test; Marta Kostyuk wins

Aliaksandra Sasnovich and Amanda Anisimova were among the other winners

by Abbey Johnson
Indian Wells: Naomi Osaka gets through Sloane Stephens test; Marta Kostyuk wins

Naomi Osaka withstood windy conditions to outlast her opponent, Sloane Stephens in their first-round match at Indian Wells on Thursday. The former world no. 1 came from a set down, and a break down in the final set to clinch a 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 in an hour and 53 minutes.

Earlier, the American who’d gained the upper hand in the match after winning the first set shrugged off conceding the second set and went on break Osaka in the third set’s opening moments and go up 2-0. As it turned out, those would be the only two games she won in the set and Osaka romped home by winning six games in a row.

For a place in the second round, the four-time Major winner will play 21st seed Veronika Kudermetova.

Indian Wells: Marta Kostyuk shows resilience

Stephens’ compatriot, Amanda Anisimova, meanwhile, reached the second round with a comfortable 6-2, 6-2 victory over fellow American and wildcard, Emma Navarro.

Anisimova needed just 53 minutes to finish off the match. Anisimova will take on 18th seed Leylah Fernandez next. This will be the first time that the two will be playing against each other on the tour. Meanwhile, the Monterrey Open finalist, Camila Osorio had a tearful exit in the Californian desert.

Aliaksandra Sasnovich led the Colombian 6-4, 5-0 when the latter decided to stop the match with an injury. Incidentally, the world no. 35, who was playing the WTA 1000 event for the second time in her career, had lost in the first round of the 2021 edition to the same opponent.

Sasnovich will take on 27th seed Petra Kvitova next. Lastly, Marta Kostyuk also reached the second round at Indian Wells on Thursday. The Ukrainian beat Maryna Zanevska 6-7(5), 7-6(6), 7-5 in three hours and nine minutes. Next up for Kostyuk’s another Zanevska’s fellow Belgian, 20th seed Elise Mertens.

Naomi Osaka Sloane Stephens Aliaksandra Sasnovich