Osaka sees off Collins

12 March 2019 04:52:33 EST

Defending champion Naomi Osaka moved into the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells by beating Danielle Collins 6-4 6-2.

The world number one, who won the Australian Open in January, came through a tight first set before dominating the second.

Collins was no pushover having reached the semi-finals in Melbourne where she recorded impressive victories against Caroline Garcia and Angelique Kerber.

Osaka will play Belinda Bencic, who recorded a straight-sets win over Ekaterina Alexandrova, in the fourth round.

Meanwhile, Venus Williams produced a solid performance as she defeated the qualifier Christina McHale 6-2 7-5.

Seven-time Grand Slam champion Williams, who reached the last four in Indian Wells 12 months ago, was broken at the beginning of both sets before hitting back to emerge victorious.

"I have never played her, so you're out there learning what they do well, what shots they select," Williams said after her win.

"At [5-3 down in the second set], I'm, like, 'Okay, I understand.' And I felt comfortable with trying to control the points from there."

Williams, who knocked the world number three Petra Kvitova out in the second round, will face Mona Barthel of Germany next.

Barthel defeated Julia Goerges 7-5 1-6 6-4 having come out on top against Madison Keys in the second round.

"I have played [Barthel] a few times," added Williams. "Not recently, but it's definitely a different match. I feel definitely more comfortable going into that match than, for example, today. I had never played [McHale] before, so you feel like you don't really know what's going to happen.

"At least tomorrow I'll walk out on the court knowing what to expect, having played her, and then adjust as the match goes on."

Williams is 3/10 to beat Barthel while Osaka is 8/15 to emerge victorious against Bencic.

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