Indian Wells, March 12: World number one and defending champion Naomi Osaka powered past American Danielle Collins 6-4, 6-2 on Monday to book a fourth-round berth in the WTA premier mandatory tournament at Indian Wells.
Japan’s Osaka, who moved to the top of the world rankings with her Australian Open title in January, took an hour and 22 minutes to get past Australian Open semi-finalist Collins.
She will face resurgent Swiss Belinda Bencic, a 6-4, 6-2 winner over Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia.
Bencic stunned two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the final at Dubai last month to capture her first WTA title in four years.
The 21-year-old Swiss lifted the WTA trophy in Toronto in 2015 before sliding down the rankings as she battled a series of back and wrist injuries.
Ailing Zverev toppled, Djokovic rained out at Indian Wells
Ailing world number three Alexander Zverev crashed out of the ATP Indian Wells Masters.
Jan-Lennard Struff, ranked 55th in the world, notched his first victory over Zverev in five tries, breaking him once in the first set and three times in the second for a 6-3, 6-1 victory.
“I’ve been sick for a week,” said the 21-year-old Zverev, who lost the Acapulco final to Australian Nick Kyrgios the week before Indian Wells began. “That hasn’t changed, unfortunately.
“I think I just got unlucky, I got a virus somewhere and that’s how it is.”
World number one Novak Djokovic, playing his first tournament since grabbing a record seventh Australian Open title in January, completed just one game against unseeded German Philipp Kohlschreiber before rain swept across the California desert. (AFP)