Cyprus Mail
ATP & WTA Tours

Djokovic and Osaka crash out at Indian Wells

Novak Djokovic, who currently holds three of the four Grand Slam titles, was beaten 6-4 6-4 by German Philipp Kohlschreiber

World number one Novak Djokovic struggled to find an explanation for his shock third round defeat by German Philipp Kohlschreiber at the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday, saying he wanted to quickly “turn the next page”.

Kohlschreiber, 35, stunned the top seed and five-time former champion 6-4 6-4 in Indian Wells, leaving the Serb to conclude it had just been “one of those days”.

“To be honest, I don’t enjoy losing, nobody does, but especially in a tournament like this, a tournament where I have had plenty of success in the past,” Djokovic told reporters.

“I thought I was in good form. I was practicing well. But it just happens, one of those days. You just have to deal with it, move on, turn the next page.”

The tournament in Indian Wells was Djokovic’s first since winning his seventh Australian Open title in January and the 31-year-old said he had already put the defeat behind him and turned his thoughts to next week’s Miami Open.

“I had to get over it in an hour, because I played doubles,” Djokovic added. “I must admit I was thinking about it… but it’s part of our world, and we just have to bounce back very quickly.

“Miami is the next tournament singles-wise for me. I’m not at my highest level, I know that… but hopefully I’ll be able to peak in Miami.”

There was also a huge upset in the women’s draw, with Naomi Osaka downplaying her straight-sets loss to Belinda Bencic, saying she was learning to stay positive as she wrestles with the perils of being the world’s top player.

Osaka, who is the reigning U.S. and Australian Open champion, saw her first career title defence go down in flames at the hands of a razor-sharp Bencic, who won their fourth-round match 6-3 6-1.

“I didn’t play that well,” Osaka told reporters. “But honestly, I think at a time like this with that scoreline, I would usually feel very depressed and sad.

“But I feel pretty good right now because I think, given the circumstances, I tried my best and I don’t really have any regrets.”

Osaka, 21, said she lacked maturity when as a relative unknown player she won the tournament last year to kick off her meteoric rise through the rankings.

“One of the biggest things is I wanted to be more mature,” she said when asked how she has changed in the past year.

“I feel like this is something I’m still working on, on and off the court. It’s one of the biggest goals that I have had my entire life.

“Because I might have thrown a few tantrums last year and this year it’s something I’m working on improving and I feel like it’s going well.”

The last year has been a whirlwind for the Japanese, who defeated her idol Serena Williams in the U.S. Open final in a match best remembered for the American’s heated argument with the chair umpire as Osaka looked on.

After winning the Australian Open, Osaka shocked the tennis world by parting ways with her coach Sascha Bajin.

She lost in straight sets in her next match to Kristina Mladenovic at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, which left Osaka in tears.

But there were no tears on Tuesday as Osaka said she was adjusting to being the world number one and always having a target on her back.

“I feel like there is no anonymity,” she said.

“That was something that I used to my advantage maybe when I was like 18, 19. But I think now there is way too many videos and too many people have watched my matches.”

Despite the loss, Osaka is guaranteed to lead the rankings after the tournament since world number two Simona Halep also lost on Tuesday.

Related posts

Nadal and Djokovic head French Open cast as Federer returns

Reuters News Service

Celtic beat Hearts in cup final to complete historic ‘triple treble’

Reuters News Service

Hamilton honours Lauda with Monaco pole for Mercedes

Reuters News Service

Messi finishes Europe’s top scorer for third straight year

Real say Pochettino never asked to stay at club’s residence

Reuters News Service

Australian Kyrgios pulls out of French Open

X