Novak Djokovic makes winning Indian Wells start along with Alexander Zverev and Naomi Osaka
Last Updated: 10/03/19 1:04pm
World No 1 Novak Djokovic picked up steam during his second-round match against American Bjorn Fratangelo as he goes in search of his 74th ATP title in Indian Wells.
Djokovic sprinted over to the stands to shake hands with his idol, 14-times Grand Slam champion Pete Sampras, immediately after the 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 win.
"I was a bit nervous, I don't get to see Pete that often," the 31-year-old Serb told reporters.
"It's a thrill to see someone that I looked up to when I was a kid."
A sharp Philipp Kohlschreiber broke Nick Kyrgios twice en route to a shock 6-4 6-4 win that took just over an hour.
Third seed Alexander Zverev had a stress-free opening match of the tournament, winning 6-3 2-0 over Martin Klizan, who was forced to retire with a right ankle injury in the second set.
Venus Williams fought back to down third seed Petra Kvitova 4-6 7-5 6-4, while Naomi Osaka got her title defence off to a flying start with a straight sets win over Kristina Mladenovic.
World No 1 Osaka beat Mladenovic 6-3 6-4, the win under the stadium court lights sweet revenge for the reigning US and Australian Open champion after she lost to the same opponent in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships first round last month.
"I've never been a defending champion before so I was pretty nervous and I'm glad I got the win," the Japanese 21-year-old said.
Former world No 1 Angelique Kerber was nearly perfect en route to a 6-0 6-2 dismantling of Yulia Putintseva, winning 93 per cent of her first service points under sunny skies.
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