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Defending champ Osaka blitzed by Bencic

16 March 2019

Osaka, who is the reigning US 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.

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. She won everything in the past couple of months.

I think before I didn't realize that so much. "But I think now there is way too many videos and too many people have watched my matches".

"When I hit a good return, I was wondering why this didn't happen in singles", he said. Her triumph in Australia made her No. 1 for the first time, but her time at the top has been rocky.

World number two Simona Halep of Romania is also out, beaten 6-2 3-6 6-2 by Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova.

"I think it's always a bit tricky whenever you change someone in the team, but I feel like for a first tournament we did really well", she said of her partnership with Jenkins, a former United States collegiate star who served as a hitting partner to Venus Williams from 2015 until the end of last season. Halep got injured during the match and received treatment for blisters on her foot. "But it's everything I could do today".

Hurkacz, unseeded, reached the fourth round of a Masters 1000 event for the first time in his career. Vondrousova, who beat 2018 runner-up Daria Kasatkina and former French Open victor Jelena Ostapenko on the way to the fourth round, will go for another big win when she faces sixth-seeded Elina Svitolina, who battled to a 7-6 (10/8), 5-7, 6-4 victory over Australian Ashleigh Barty.

Ranked 36th in the world, Venus Williams endured three sets in her first two matches.

Andreescu improved her match record for 2019 to 25-3, including qualifying, as she became the youngest player to make the last eight at Indian Wells since a 17-year-old Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova reached the semis in 2009.

In other third-round action, three-time grand slam champion Angelique Kerber came from a set down to beat Russian qualifier Natalia Vikhlyantseva 3-6, 6-1, 6-3.

She will play Spain's Garbine Muguruza next, after the former world number one beat Kiki Bertens 5-7 6-1 6-4.

"It gives me confidence that I can turn around matches, that I can play also three sets, also in the close moments that I'm there, that I can trust myself", said Kerber, adding that it was always hard to face an opponent for the first time.

Defending champ Osaka blitzed by Bencic