Tennis

World No. 1s knocked out at Indian Wells

Djokovic, Osaka suffer shock defeats in California

The top-ranked men's and women's tennis players Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka were both knocked out of the Indian Wells yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Djokovic struggled to find an explanation for his shock third-round defeat by German Philipp Kohlschreiber, 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.

"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, 31, said.

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

Osaka, meanwhile, was trying to find the positives after falling in the fourth round 6-3, 6-1 in just 66 minutes to a red-hot Belinda Bencic of Switzerland.

She added that despite failing in the first title defence of her career, she thought she had handled the challenges well, saying: "I didn't lose in the first round. That's a plus.

"It's just really exciting to come out here every day and for everyone to be so kind. There were so many fans, that's part of the experience. Yeah, I did well for my first time."

The 21-year-old added that she could see a change in herself since her Indian Wells victory last year sparked a stellar 2018 campaign that included a win over Serena Williams in the US Open final.

Osaka, who parted ways with coach Sascha Bajin after winning the Australian Open and becoming the world No. 1 in January, is also confident that her decision to bring American coach Jermaine Jenkins into her team is working out.

"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 Jenkins, who served as a hitting partner to Venus Williams from 2015 until the end of last season.

"We are all sort of on the same page and we are all looking forward to Miami (Open)," she said. - AFP

Tennis