An emotional Naomi Osaka says being targeted by a heckling spectator during her loss to Veronika Kudermetova reminded of abuse the Williams sisters were subjected to at the Indian Wells Open.

Osaka was reduced to tears as she crashed out with a 6-0 6-4 third-round defeat to 21st seed Veronika Kudermetova at Indian Wells on Saturday.

A member of the crowd could be heard shouting "Naomi, you suck" after the four-time grand slam champion had been broken in the first game of the match.

Osaka approached the chair umpire to report the incident and held further discussions with the court supervisor after being insulted again.

Serena and Venus Williams were subjected to verbal abuse at the prestigious tournament in the Californian desert back in 2001.

The legendary siblings' father, Richard Williams, claimed he had been racially abused at Indian Wells, while Venus Williams said she "heard whatever he heard".

Former world number one Osaka said while trying to hold back the tears after her exit: "I've been heckled before and it didn't really bother me.

"But being heckled here... I've watched videos of Venus and Serena get heckled here and if you've never watched it, you should watch it.

"I don't know why, but it went into my head and got replayed a lot. I just want to say thank you and congratulations [to Kudermetova]." 

Serena Williams boycotted the competition for 14 years before making her Indian Wells return in 2015.

Naomi Osaka was brought to tears by a heckling spectator during her Indian Wells Open match with Veronika Kudermetova before going on to lose 6-0 6-4.

The incident happened after Osaka had been broken by Kudermetova in the first game, with someone in attendance reported to have yelled "Naomi, you suck".

Four-time grand slam winner Osaka, competing in her first tournament since January's shock early Australian Open exit, appeared to ask the chair umpire to take action.

Osaka initially put that unneeded distraction behind her by taking the next point, but she wasted two break opportunities and Kudermetova successfully held to move 2-0 ahead.

The 24-year-old was in tears as she prepared to serve her next game and held further discussions with the court supervisor after going 3-0 down.

She could not recover and, after losing the first set 6-0, Osaka suffered the only break of serve in the seventh game of the second set to lose the contest fairly resoundingly. 

Kudermetova will now face Marie Bouzkova for a place in the last 16 after the Czech recovered to see off home hopeful Jessica Pegula 5-7 6-2 6-0.

Two-time champion Victoria Azarenka also made it through on Saturday with a 6-3 7-5 victory over lucky loser Astra Sharma, setting up a meeting with Elena Rybakina.

Leyla Fernandez saved four match points against Amanda Anisimova in a dramatic match that came to an end when the American retired through illness.

After losing the opener 6-2, Fernandez took the second set to a tie-break but felt unable to continue. Anisimova will meet Shelby Rogers in a rematch of last year's last-16 encounter.

Angelique Kerber and Maddison Keys each required three sets to reach the third round of the Indian Wells Open, while Coco Gauff held off Claire Liu to advance on Friday.

Number 15 seed Kerber was handed a banana skin tie of sorts against Zheng Qinwen and was made to work hard for her 6-2 5-7 6-4 victory against the rising Chinese star.

Zheng battled back with three breaks of serve in the second set to level up and led 4-1 in the decider, but her opponent dug deep to prevail in a time of two hours and 18 minutes.

Daria Kasatkina awaits Kerber – who had not previously won this calendar year – after the Russian beat Katie Volynets 6-4 4-6 7-5 earlier in the day.

Keys was also pushed all the way in her clash with Misaki Doi before coming out on top 6-4 3-6 6-1 to set up a meeting with Alison Riske in round three.

The Australian Open semi-finalist struggled in the second set after holding her serve throughout the first, though she had enough quality to see off her Japanese opponent.

Gauff had less trouble against fellow American Liu, advancing in a little over an hour to reach the third round, the stage in which she was eliminated on her debut here last year.

She will take on former world number one Simona Halep on Sunday, the day she turns 18, in a rematch of their last-16 showdown from Wimbledon three years ago.

Emma Raducanu and Iga Swiatek are among the others already through to the last 32 in California.

Alison Riske produced a breathtaking comeback to beat Garbine Muguruza at the Indian Wells Open, turning around an apparent lost cause after losing the first nine games of the match.

Muguruza, who won the WTA Finals title at the end of last season, was cruising at 6-0 3-0, but 31-year-old American Riske, despite tossing her racket in frustration, refused to give up. Incredibly, she won 12 of the next 13 games to reach the third round at the expense of the world number nine.

"After the first set, it literally could not get any worse," Riske said in her on-court interview following a 0-6 6-3 6-1 success.

"So if I could try to get two balls in the court we might get somewhere. I was just trying to hang in there. I've played Garbine many times before and it's always been a battle."

This was Riske's fifth match against Spanish star Muguruza, and despite losing the first two of those, she had since beaten the two-time grand slam winner twice, albeit most recently at the 2019 US Open.

"I felt if I could get in there a little bit, I was going to have my chances," Riske said. "I know I've beaten her before, and if I could just bring out some of my game, good things were going to happen."

It was world number 53 Riske's 10th career victory against a player ranked in the top 10.

British player Harriet Dart pulled off a shock win over Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, as the world number 122 snatched a 2-6 6-3 6-3 victory over the 12th seed.

Three of the biggest names in the draw took the long route through to the last-32 stage, with Emma Raducanu, Simona Halep and Iga Swiatek taken to a deciding set in their opening matches, having benefited from first-round byes 

Raducanu fended off Caroline Garcia 6-1 3-6 6-1, while Halep was a 6-2 4-6 6-2 winner against Ekaterina Alexandrova, the Russian who is playing under a neutral flag.

Polish third seed Swiatek put a slow start behind her to beat Ukrainian Anhelina Kalinina 5-7 6-0 6-1 and is looking to build on her recent Qatar Open triumph. She said: "I'm pretty happy I could turn my head on to fight mode and stay focused, because that was the key I guess."

Last year's Wimbledon runner-up Karolina Pliskova bowed out, the Czech seventh seed losing 2-6 7-5 6-4 to Danka Kovinic of Montenegro.

Emma Raducanu landed her first Indian Wells victory as the US Open champion said Andy Murray inspired her to see off Caroline Garcia.

There was a certain irony about that, given Garcia is the player Murray famously once tipped to become a world number one.

But seeing fellow Briton Murray battle past Taro Daniel prior to her own match fuelled Raducanu for her opening test at the WTA Indian Wells Open.

While it was not always comfortable for the 11th seed, Raducanu recovered from a shaky second set to win 6-1 3-6 6-1 against her French opponent.

Murray's pronouncement about Garcia's prospects came on Twitter in 2011 as he watched the then little-known player take on Maria Sharapova in the French Open.

Garcia reached as high as number four in 2018, and it is now Raducanu who looks the likelier future number one, having landed a breakthrough grand slam against all the odds in New York last year.

Raducanu was beaten on her Indian Wells debut by Aliaksandra Sasnovich last October, so to land a first win came as a relief.

She said in an on-court interview: "It's amazing to be back and I'm so happy to have got my first win in the desert here. I hope to come back for many more years.

"I thought the level of tennis was pretty high today, and it means a lot to have come through that because it could have gone either way."

Raducanu said Garcia "climbed on top" of her game in the second set, but, like Murray earlier, she kept enough back for a decider.

Speaking to Amazon Prime, she revealed how seeing Murray show his battling qualities against Daniel reminded her of what it takes in trying circumstances.

"I was watching pretty much the whole match until I had to go warm up," Raducanu said. "He was down, and it was a really tough one. To see him, I kind of wanted to follow him and learn from him and he kind of inspired me to dig in today when it got tough."

She added: "To get this win after a stop-start year that I've had at the beginning, it means a lot. I'm just really happy to have given myself another opportunity.

"For sure it's difficult after dropping a set. I knew I'd slipped up, and I'd missed too many first serves, and I was just thinking... 'Just think how bad you're gonna feel after the match if you let this one go'."

Naomi Osaka produced a spirited performance as she defeated Sloane Stephens in three sets at Indian Wells on her return to the court.

Osaka was in action for the first time since a shock early exit at the Australian Open in January, but she ultimately had too much for Stephens in a 3-6 6-1 6-2 success.

Stephens initially looked the sharper of the two former major champions in the second-round clash, impressively taking a first-set lead, but Osaka found her groove after a slow start to level the contest.

Osaka then had to save three break points at 2-0 down in the decider, and that appeared to inspire another surge as she rattled off six successive games to roar to an emphatic win.

Shelby Rogers got past Nuria Parrizas-Dias in almost three hours, winning 6-1 5-7 7-6 (7-3), and last week's Monterrey Open runner-up Camila Osorio retired down 6-4 5-0 against Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

Yulia Putintseva got past Ashlyn Krueger 6-3 6-2 and Ukraine's Marta Kostyuk won in three hours and nine minutes over Maryna Zanevska 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (8-6) 7-5.

Last month's Abierto Zapopan runner-up Marie Bouzkova eased past China's Wang Qiang 6-3 7-6 (7-5), while American Amanda Anisimova defeated compatriot Emma Navarro 6-2 6-2.

Caroline Garcia reached the second round of the Indian Wells Open after coming through a gruelling encounter with Dayana Yastremska.

Garcia had gone three matches without a win against her Ukrainian opponent, who reached the final of last week's Lyon Open.

Although she squandered two match points in the second set, Garcia eventually prevailed 6-4 6-7 (8-10) 7-5 after nearly two and a half hours to set up a second-round clash with US Open champion Emma Raducanu.

Sofia Kenin's difficult start to the year continued as she suffered a straight-sets defeat to Brazil's Beatriz Haddad Maia.

The Australian Open champion and French Open runner-up two years ago, Kenin has now lost six matches in a row since reaching the quarter-finals in Adelaide back in January.

The 23-year-old, who has dropped to 130 in the world, threw in 11 double faults in her 6-3 7-5 defeat to Haddad Maia, who next meets 29th seed Clara Tauson.

Ekaterina Alexandrova will face Simona Halep, the 2015 champion, in round two after coming through 4-6 6-2 7-6 (9-7) against 18-year-old American Elvina Kalieva.

There were also wins for Kaia Kanepi, Alison Riske and Harriet Dart, who next meets 12th seed Elina Svitolina.

World number 37 Jil Teichmann lost in straight sets to Danka Kovinic, Ann Li beat compatriot Madison Brengle in an all-American thriller, and wildcards Katie Volynets and Claire Liu also progressed.

Naomi Osaka has been handed a difficult first round draw against 2017 US Open winner Sloane Stephens upon her return to the WTA Tour at Indian Wells which starts on Wednesday.

Four-time major winner Osaka has not played competitively since her 2022 Australian Open third-round exit to Amanda Anisimova in January.

The Japanese, whose ranking has dropped to 78th, had been handed a wild card for Indian Wells but was upgraded to the main draw after Camila Giorgi's withdrawal.

The Indian Wells draw was made on Monday with Osaka to face Stephens who won her first WTA title since 2018 with last month's Abierto Zapopan crown.

The top seeds all have been waived through to the second round with top seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Aryna Sabalenka book-ending the draw.

Leylah Fernandez saved five championship points before converting her first to successfully defend her title at the Monterrey Open over Camila Osorio on Sunday.

Last year's US Open runner-up Fernandez triumphed in two hours and 52 minutes over the Colombian fourth seed winning 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 7-6 (7-3).

The Canadian second seed held her nerve after a 15-minute delay due to a light failure inside the stadium upon Osorio's fifth championship point. Fernandez won the next three points upon the resumption to force a tiebreak which she won.

The triumph is 19-year-old Fernandez's second WTA title, both in Monterrey, having lost the Mexican Open final in 2020 as well as at Flushing Meadows to Emma Raducanu last year.

Osorio, 20, was chasing her second WTA title but will be left to rue missed opportunities, converting only four of her 15 break points for the match.

The reigning champion had led 4-1 in the opening set before Osorio fought back to win the set in a tie-break.

Fernandez again led 4-1 in the second set before Osorio responded with a break, but the Canadian steadied to level the match.

Osorio broke Fernandez in the fourth game of the final set and also led 4-1 before the popular 19-year-old leveled at 4-4.

The Colombian failed to convert her first championship point on Fernandez's serve at 40-30 when up 5-4, as well as four more opportunities on the Canadian's serve at 6-5. Fernandez was ruthless in the tie-break, swooping on her first championship point.

Zhang Shuai secured her third career title as she battled past Dayana Yastremska in a Lyon Open final thriller on Sunday.

Ukrainian Yastremska fled her hometown of Odessa last month amid the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia, and embarked on an emotional run throughout this tournament.

Yastremska credited the support she received from across the globe as a motivating factor for her success after reaching the final, where she could not get the better of eighth seed Zhang.

China's Zhang had not lost a set all week, though she did falter as world number 128 Yastremska claimed the first set before succumbing 3-6 6-3 6-4.

Yastremska, 21, was twice two games ahead in the deciding set, at 2-0 and 4-2 up, but Zhang reeled off four straight games to take the trophy.

Zhang was keen to credit her opponent after the match, saying: "Big congrats to Dayana and her team for working so hard.

"I know it's a tough time for you, but you are a fighter, you play unbelievable tennis. You are the best. For sure, you will win a lot of tournaments. Keep going."

Yastremska announced she would donate her prize money to a charity to provide aid back home, saying: "If Ukrainian people are watching me, you guys are so strong, you have an amazing spirit.

"I try to fight for Ukraine and I want to say thanks to every single person for standing by us and showing everyone we have a really strong spirit."

Leylah Fernandez's title defence at the Monterrey Open remains on track after progressing through to the final where she will face Camila Osorio.

The Canadian second seed, who reached last year's US Open final, comfortably accounted for Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-1 6-4 on Saturday.

Fernandez triumphed in one hour and 12 minutes, even as Haddad Maia took a medical timeout in the second set.

The 2021 US Open runner-up was exceptional on first serve, making 77.6 per cent, while she was not broken once throughout the match, taking three of her four break points.

Colombian fifth seed Osorio defeated sixth seed Nuria Parrizas Diaz 6-4 6-4 in one hour and 29 minutes.

Osorio's triumph means she qualifier for her third WTA Tour singles final, having claimed her only title in Bogota last year.

Dayana Yastremska says she did not expect the support she has received on her run to the final of the Lyon Open after edging second seed Sorana Cirstea in a three-set semi-final thriller.

The Ukrainian was forced to flee her home in Odessa last month amid the escalation of the Ukraine-Russia crisis and has embarked on an emotional run through this week's tournament.

Yet the 21-year-old wildcard admitted she has been overwhelmed by the support from across the globe amid her winning streak, crediting them for their help in her 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 6-4 victory on Saturday.

"It was a really tough match," Yastremska said. "In the third set, when I had match points and I lost that game, I was a bit crazy. I thought, I'm done, I've lost, because I don't have any more power.

"Then everybody was supporting me, and I felt like, 'you can do it'. I got a lot of messages from French people and from all over the world. But when I arrived here, I didn't expect I would get that huge support."

Yastremska will face Zhang Shuai in Sunday's final, after the Chinese eighth seed defeated French home favourite Caroline Garcia 6-2 7-5.

For Yastremska, it will be her first final since losing to Ash Barty in Adelaide at the start of 2020 – her only previous tournament success came in Strasbourg the year before.

Elina Svitolina saw her hopes of delivering an emotional title for Ukraine ended by Camila Osorio in a tough quarter-final loss at the Monterrey Open.

Top seed Svitolina wore the yellow and blue colours of her home country, which has come under attack from Russia's military in the past fortnight.

However, the former world number three could not capitalise on a fast start, or a big lead in the deciding set, as she slipped to a 1-6 7-5 7-6 (7-5) defeat in two hours and 33 minutes.

Svitolina held a 4-1 lead in the third set, but 20-year-old Colombian Osorio recovered the double break to edge out the 2020 champion, sealing the win in a deciding tie-break.

That was the third tight three-set battle of the day, with Brazil's Beatriz Haddad Maia earlier scoring a 4-6 6-4 7-6 (9-7) win over Marie Bouzkova, and Nuria Parrizas Diaz achieving a 6-3 1-6 6-4 victory in an all-Spanish clash with Sara Sorribes Tormo.

Parrizas Dias will face Osorio in Saturday's semi-finals, while Haddad Maia faces a tussle with US Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez, who was a late-night 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 winner against China's Wang Qiang.

Dayana Yastremska maintained her emotional run at the Lyon Open by beating fifth seed Jasmine Paolini in straight sets to book a semi-final spot. 

The Ukrainian wildcard secured her place in the last four on Friday with a 6-4 7-6 (7-3) victory over the Italian amid the war with Russia in her home country. 

The 21-year-old fled Odessa with her sister last week, separating from her parents in the process, and has spoken about her desire to honour those back in Ukraine with a title. 

She will face second seed Sorana Cirstea after the Romanian made short work of Anna Bondar with a 6-3 6-3 victory. 

Elsewhere, Caroline Garcia toppled another seed after fighting back to beat Alison van Uytvanck 4-6 6-3 7-5. The home favourite knocked out top seed Camila Giorgi in the first round and has a semi-final clash against Zhang Shuai to look forward to. 

Zhang did not have to sweat to make her place after Vitalia Diatchenko was forced to retire at three games down in the first set through injury. 

Ukrainian top seed Elina Svitolina was made to work hard but triumphed in more than two hours against Viktoriya Tomova as she booked her Monterrey Open quarter-final spot on Thursday.

Svitolina won 7-6 (7-3) 3-6 6-2 over the Bulgarian qualifier in two hours and 24 minutes, having trailed 2-0 in the final set, before rattling off the final six games to set up a last-eight meeting with fifth seed Camila Osorio.

The Ukrainian won the title at Monterrey in 2020, with her victory on Thursday maintaining her unbeaten record at the event.

"It was an extremely tough match today," Svitolina said during her on-court post-match interview. "I think Viktoriya played a really good match, and I had to really fight back in the third set to bring back my best game and try to come back in the match.

"In the end, I managed to win six games in a row, so it's a good effort for me. It was an extremely tough first set, second set didn't go my way, and then the third set I was 0-2 down. I was not playing my best, but I was fighting, until the very end.

"And you know, the Ukrainian flag [in the crowd] really helped me today to fight... I was really fighting until the end, and I found my game in the end."

Last week's beaten WTA Abierto Zapopan finalist Marie Bouzkova maintained her good form with a 6-4 6-2 victory over Petra Martic.

Sixth seed Nuria Parrizas-Diaz won 6-4 7-6 (7-2) over Briton Heather Watson, while Wang Qiang defeated Mayar Sherif 6-0 6-7 (2-7) 6-3.

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