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Serena bows out in first round of Miami Open

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Serena Williams

Miami (US), March 22: Japan’s Naomi Osaka, fresh from winning the biggest title of her career this month at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, defeated an out-of-sorts Serena Williams 6-3, 6-2 to advance to the second round of the Miami Open.

The 20-year-old Osaka, who was born to a Haitian father and a Japanese mother and grew up in the United States, broke the 23-time Grand Slam champion in the seventh game and then finished off the first set with yet another break of serve here on Wednesday, reports Efe news agency.

Osaka, who broke Williams’ serve on two more occasions in the second set, was clearly the sharper of the two players considering that Serena was playing just her fourth WTA match in the past 12 months.

But the 22nd-ranked Osaka also showed she could match her opponent in the power department and most notably on the serve, ending the match with more aces (seven to three) and winning a higher percentage of first-serve points (78 percent to 76 percent).

She faced just two break points in the match and saved both of them.

Williams’ rust was apparent whenever she had to put in a second serve and enter a baseline rally, as was reflected in her 31 percent winning percentage on second-serve points.

The American went from bad to worse during the one-hour, 17-minute contest and appeared to be shocked at the routine shots she missed to lose her serve in the final game, including a wild forehand well over the baseline on match point.

Next up in the second round of this hard-court event for Osaka, who is unseeded at the Miami Open because she was ranked outside of the top 40 until her strong result in Indian Wells, will be fourth seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine.

IANS

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Sindhu in second round of French Open

In the next round, Sindhu will now take on the winner of the first-round match between Cheung Ngan Yi of Hong Kong and Japan’s Sayaka Sato.

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Paris, Oct 24 (IANS) Ace India shuttler P.V. Sindhu entered the second round of ongoing French Open after thrashing Beiwen Zhang in straight games here on Tuesday.

Sindhu took just 34 minutes to outclass Zhang 21-17, 21-8. With this win, the Rio Olympic silver medalist avenged her loss at the hands of Zhang in the opening round of the Denmark Open, last week.

In the next round, Sindhu will now take on the winner of the first-round match between Cheung Ngan Yi of Hong Kong and Japan’s Sayaka Sato.

Meanwhile, the Indian men’s doubles pair comprising Arjun MR and Shlok Ramachandran crashed out of the tournament after going down 14-21, 17-21 to Chinese pair of Li Junhui and Liu Yunchen in the first round.

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World Wrestling C’ships: India look to Shakshi for change in fortunes

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Summer Olympics

Budapest, Oct 23 : India will expect a change of fortune in womens freestyle event when Rio Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik enters the Papp László Sportaréna for her 62 kilogram bout in the World Championships here on Wednesday.

If the Khel Ratna awardee does manage to climb the podium, she will be the first Indian woman wrestler to etch her name in the history books with a medal in the senior world championships.

Along with Sakshi, the other three that will enter the fray on Wednesday include Ritu Phogat (59 kg), Pinki (53 kg) and Pooja Dhanda (57 kg) on the concluding day of the freestyle events.

On the eve of her bout, Shakshi was upbeat and was looking forward to it.

“The field here looks really great. I have prepared well and ready for the challenge. I will do my best to reach the medal round,” said the 26-year-old.

Equally optimistic was Ritu Photogat, the under-23 world championship’s silver medal winner.

“I have trained really hard for this day and I won’t let the chance go by,” said Ritu, who replaced her injured sister Vinesh, in the squad.

The expectations on the remaining four wrestlers have risen, particularly after the other six, including four today, faded away without making an impression.

On the second day of the women’s freestyle event, Ritu (65 kg) had managed to enter the quarter-finals only to falter when Petra Maarit Olli of Finland won 6-2 on points. The winner secured three each in the two periods while the Indian got one each.

Ritu had beaten Ilona Prokopevniuk of Ukrain 5-4 after getting a first-round bye.

Similarly, Navjot Kaur won her first-round bout 4-2 in 68 kg against Wen Ling Chen of Chinese Taipei, but lost the pre-quarterfinals to Koumba Selene Fanta Larroque of France without a single point. The Frenchwoman won 4-0.

Rajni did not even last one round – she received first-round bye – as she went down to Martina Kuenz of Austria 2-0 in 72 kg category. In the 76 kg class, Kiran lost her pre-quarterfinal bout to Kazkhstan’s Elmira Syzdykova by technical fall (2-12) after defeating Chinese Taipei’s Hui Tsz Chang 6-0 in the qualification stage.

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2nd ODI: Dominant India look to extend winning streak against hapless Windies

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India vs west indies 2nd odi

Visakhapatnam, Oct 23: Their batting in red-hot form, hosts India will look to extend their dominance and take a 2-0 lead against the West Indies when the two sides lock horns in the second One-day International (ODI) here on Wednesday.

In the five-match series, Virat Kohli and Co. have won the first ODI in Guwahati with ridiculous ease despite the Windies managing to post a mammoth total of 322/8 thanks to Shimron Hetmyer’s swashbuckling century.

Rohit Sharma (151 not out) and Virat Kohli (140) helped the hosts gun down the target with 47 balls to spare, smashing a few records in the process.

If captain Kohli adds another 81 runs to his already peerless tally, he will become the fastest batsman to 10,000 runs in this format, surpassing batting legend Sachin Tendulkar.

Tendulkar took 259 innings to reach the landmark while Kohli has so far batted 204 times.

On a flat deck, Indian bowlers did not fare well but the top order took the game away from their rivals in style.

Under fire Mahendra Singh Dhoni will look to get some runs in the second ODI but against this toothless Windies attack, it is unlikely whether the veteran stumper, who is not in the best of form, will get an opportunity to bat.

India could draft in chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav, who did not play in the opening game, to replace Khaleel Ahmed, who looked out of sorts against Hetmyer.

For the visitors, the seasoned Marlon Samuels is part of the squad but he perished quickly in the first match.

He would look to make up for his failure, just like India’s Shikhar Dhawan.

Pace spearhead Kemar Roach is back after missing the Test series due to bereavement in the family, but he could not inspire the team first up.

Roach will get another opportunity on Wednesday, and so will the likes of Devendra Bishoo, and skipper Jason Holder himself.

Squads:

India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Khaleel Ahmed, Umesh Yadav, Lokesh Rahul.

West Indies: Jason Holder (captain), Fabian Allen, Sunil Ambris, Devendra Bishoo, Chanderpaul Hemraj, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Ashley Nurse, Keemo Paul, Rovman Powell, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Oshane Thomas.

IANS

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