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Stosur wins opening match at Indian Wells; US teens advance

Stosur wins opening match at Indian Wells; US teens advance

Japan's Naomi Osaka got off to an impressive start at the BNP Paribas Open on Wednesday, advancing to the second round with a 6-4, 6-4 win over former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova.

For Sharapova this loss is another reminder that it's back to the drawing board for the Russian as she makes her way back from a 15-month drugs ban.

In earlier action, American teenager Amanda Anisimova recorded her first top-level victory with a 6-2 6-2 thrashing of Pauline Parmentier. The 16-year-old Anisimova, who earned a wild card into the main draw, is the U.S. Open junior champion. But at 5-5, the pressure appeared to get to the former world number one as she double-faulted to hand the initiative to Osaka.

Sharapova, who returned to the tour in April previous year after a 15-month doping ban, fought back to 4-4 but then a double fault handed Osaka a set point which she took. "Everybody knows that she fights for every point, so I just tried to tell myself if I fight for every point too, then it could be an equal match".

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In a marathon battle spanning two hours and 23 minutes, Switzerland's Belinda Bencic knocked out Timea Babos 1-6, 6-1, 7-6 to set up a second-round clash with Jelena Ostapenko while Sachia Vickery beat Canada's Eugenie Bouchard 6-3, 6-4. The 36-year-old Swiss marvel continues to defy the aging process, claiming his 20th Grand Slam title and sixth Australian Open crown in January. "He keeps on proving it every year on the tour".

Sharapova's world ranking of No.41 forced her to play a first-round match in the tournament she has won twice.

"For me to stand right here as world Number One in San Jose is very, very special for me", Federer said at a charity event in San Jose, California. This was Sharapova's first opening-round loss in Indian Wells and the first time since 2003 when Sharapova had a three-match losing streak. She's the youngest player in the singles draw.

Djokovic won Indian Wells in 2008, 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.