Angelique Kerber beats defending champion Elena Vesnina to reach the Round of 16 at Indian Wells
Angelique Kerber beat defending champion Elena Vesnina 7-5 6-2 to advance to the Round of 16 at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.
Vesnina had won her past two head-to-head matches against Kerber, including their clash at last year’s edition at Indian Wells.
In the opening set Kerber went up a double break in the second and fourth games to race out to a 4-0 lead. Vesnina fought back by winning five games in a row thanks to three consecutive breaks in the fifth, seventh and ninth games to take a 5-4 lead and served for the first set. Vesnina was unable to create a set point and Kerber reeled off the final three games.
Kerber broke straight back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5 and held her serve at deuce after saving four break points. As Vesnina was serving to stay in the set, Kerber converted her fifth break point in a marathon 12th game to seal the first set by 7-5.
Kerber broke twice in the second and sixth games to race out to a 5-1 lead. As the German was serving for the match, she dropped her serve at love, but wrapped up the match in the eighth game with her third break on her first match point at deuce. Kerber will take on Caroline Garcia in the Round of 16. After this defeat Vesnina will slip outside the top 40.
Kerber is bidding to equal her best result at Indian Wells, where she reached the semifinals twice in 2012 and 2013.
The German player beat a title holder for the first time since Monterrey 2017, when she beat Heather Watson in the quarter finals.
“I had a good start to the match, but she came back. I think that it was a high-quality match and I am happy that I have got through to the next round”, said Kerber.