Bouchard outplays Ozaki in BNP Paribas Open opener


Eugenie Bouchard beat qualifier Risa Ozaki 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 on Thursday night to close out first-round women’s play in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

Bouchard, a 22-year-old Canadian who is trying to recapture the form that carried her to No. 5 in the world late in 2014, battled with her own inconsistency throughout the match, but won on her first match point when Ozaki hit a backhand just long.

Bouchard, No. 42 this week, will face 21st-seeded Sloane Stephens of the U.S. in the second round.

American Ryan Harrison beat Dusan Lajovic of Serbia 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) in their first-round match.

Earlier, teenagers Frances Tiafoe and Brona Coric grabbed the center-court spotlight.

In other first-round matches, American Lauren Davis defeated Nao Hibino 6-2, 6-4 and Madison Brengle of the United States ousted Misaki Doi 6-1, 7-5.

Tiafoe outlasted Taylor Fritz 3-6, 6-2, 3-6, in a battle of 18-year-old Americans, and Coric, a 19-year-old Croatian, beat Lucas Pouille of France 6-2, 7-5.

Those two matches helped kick off the opening day for the men, with Nicolas Mahut of France, Leonardo Mayer of Argentina and Robin Haase of the Netherlands also advancing. Mahut beat qualifier Renzo Olivo of Argentina 6-2, 6-4; Mayer ousted Sam Groth of Australia 6-4, 6-3; and Haase toppled Diego Schwartzman of Argentina 6-3, 6-4.

Daniela Hantuchova, a two-time tournament champion, lost to Daria Kasatkina of Russia 6-2, 6-4. It was the second straight first-round loss for Hantuchova, who won her titles in 2002 and 2007.

The women will begin second-round play Friday with Venus Williams scheduled to play her first match at the tournament in 15 years in the afternoon and top-ranked Serena Williams on the schedule for the night session.