Naomi Osaka reacts to claiming comeback win over Sloane Stephens in Indian Wells



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Naomi Osaka reacts to claiming comeback win over Sloane Stephens in Indian Wells

Former world No. 1 Naomi Osaka survived a tricky Indian Wells Masters opener as she overcame 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens in three sets 3-6 6-1 6-2. Stephens was 2-0 up in the third set, before Osaka claimed three breaks in a row and won six consecutive games to overturn the deficit and complete a comeback win.

"Honestly, I didn't know what the score was. I had to ask [coach] Wim [Fisette] afterwards. I was just really concentrating on trying my best on every point," Osaka said after her win. "As tight as I was in the first two games of the final set, I just figured that I learned from every match that I play and I learned a lot from my three-set match against [Amanda] Anisimova in Australia.

I told myself that I would have opportunities for sure and I just need to capitalize on that. I knew I was hitting a lot of double faults in the first game of the third set, so I was just trying to fix that first of all."

Osaka beats Stephens for the first time

Osaka has beaten Stephens for the first time but the American still leads their head-to-had 2-1. Osaka acknowledged that Stephens - who won Monterrey a week ago - arrived to Indian Wells confident.

"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," Osaka added.

"I feel like I played well in Australia, but I keep taking these long breaks and I'm aware that I'm taking them, but hopefully, I'll get more into the flow of things with this U.S. hard court swing."