Naomi Osaka, Karolina Pliskova, Aryna Sabalenka march on in Indian Wells

WTA Tour
Naomi Osaka in action

Defending champion Naomi Osaka navigated her way into the BNP Paribas Open last 16 with an excellent win over Danielle Collins as fellow seeds Karolina Pliskova, Angelique Kerber and Aryna Sabalenka also advanced.

The world No 1 took just one hour and 22 minutes to beat American Collins 6-4, 6-2.

After trading early breaks, it was Osaka who got the crucial break in game nine while two breaks in the second set were enough for the win.

Next up is Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship winner Belinda Bencic after the resurgent Swiss beat Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-4, 6-2.

Fifth seed Pliskova also produced a solid victory as she a 6-3, 6-2 winner over Ysaline Bonaventure in just over an hour.

The Czech will face Anett Kontaveit for a place in the quarter-final after the Estonian advanced when Anastasija Sevastova retired with a viral illness while 5-0 down.

There will be a tasty last-16 clash between Kerber and Sabalenka after the duo claimed contrasting wins.

Eigth seed Kerber required three sets to beat Natalia Vikhlyantseva, winning 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 while ninth seed Sabalenka was a 6-2, 7-5 winner over Lesia Tsurenko.

The 38-year-old Venus Williams’ run continues as she beat fellow American Christina McHale 6-2, 7-5 to set up a clash against Mona Barthel.

“I feel definitely more comfortable going into that match than, for example, today,” Williams said.

“I had never played (McHale) before, so you feel like you don’t really know what’s going to happen.”


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