Indian Wells: Venus Williams scripts stunning comeback to beat Petra Kvitova

I wouldn't bet against Nadal on clay Roger Federer on fast courts- Becker

World No. 1 Naomi Osaka launched her BNP Paribas Open title defense with a 6-3, 6-4 victory in a grudge match against Kristina Mladenovic on Saturday.

Stunned by Mladenovic in Dubai last month, Osaka had no such problems in California, claiming a 6-3 6-4 victory in the second round.

Eager to avoid a repeat, Osaka marched through the opening set in 38 minutes, but hit a speed bump as she was broken when serving for the match at 5-2 in the second.

That victory gave the Serbian his third consecutive Grand Slam title after last year's Wimbledon and US Open triumphs. "After that things went better for me", added the Serbian, who dominated the second set to book a third-round meeting with German Philipp Kohlschreiber, a 6-4, 6-4 victor over Australian Nick Kyrgios.

Djokovic went down an early break to the 128th-ranked Fratangelo, but leveled the set with a break for 5-5.

"Today I just fought and tried my hardest, waited for opportunities and sometimes created them", said Williams, now ranked 36th in the world.

McHale won her match 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

She received a first-round bye in Indian Wells and then beat Victoria Azarenka 7-5, 6-3 on Saturday [NZ time].

Djokovic, seeking a record sixth Indian Wells Masters crown, was pushed all the way in the opening set by American opponent Bjorn Fratangelo before he secured a 7-6, 6-2 win.

Nishikori, ranked seventh in the world, opened his year by snapping a nine-match losing streak in finals, capturing his first ATP title in 51 tournaments at Brisbane in January.

"I haven't played in forever, so that was challenging in itself, to get back into competition", said Williams.

A tougher test awaits in the third round in Wawrinka, who got past Marton Fucsovics 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 7-5 in a clash lasting nearly three and a half hours.

"I had a few bad volleys that cost me a break back, but I kept fighting, executing the plan", said Mladenovic. "I'm sure her game suits well here as the defending champion, and I'm sure she wants to build on some wins again. I still feel like I have a lot to learn".

The last time I played her, I lost, so anything's a bonus.

Kvitova served 10 aces and 10 double-faults in the 2 1/2-hour match.

Karolina Pliskova booked her place in the third round after a hard-fought win over qualifier Misaki Doi.

Former world No 1 Angelique Kerber was almost flawless en route to a 6-0 6-2 dismantling of Yulia Putintseva, winning 93 per cent of her first service points under sunny skies.

"I just started to miss so much, and I didn't put the first serve in".

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