Germany’s Angelique Kerber, the No.10 seed at the BNP Paribas Open, overcame a strong challenge from 20th seed from Russia Daria Kasatkina 6-2, 1-6, 6-4, to reach the fourth round of the WTA 1000 event here for the sixth time on Tuesday (IST).
Two one-sided sets for each player gave way to a tense decider. The pair traded breaks twice across the first four games, before Kerber — the three-time major winner — earned the decisive break at 3-3.
“It’s always tough to play against Daria. We’ve played so many matches in the past… and today was a bit of a rollercoaster match for me. I played very well in the first set and she played well in the second, so I was just trying to stay mentally strong and to play point by point,” Kerber said after the match.
“At the end it was just one or two points that decided the match and I’m happy to be through. I’m feeling good… I’m just trying to get through as far as I can, playing good tennis again,” the German told wtatennis.com.
Kerber will next face the winner of the match between No.26 seed Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia and Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia in the fourth round. She’s never faced the Slovenian and is 2-0 against the Aussie all-time, but says she’ll be focused on what’s been the key to her resurgent season so far.
“It doesn’t matter against who I’m playing. It’s more about how I feel, that I’m ready for every point, that I play my game like in the last few months and few weeks, so this is more my goal.”
Canada’s Bianca Andreescu’s two-year reign as BNP Paribas Open champion came to an end at the hands of Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit, 7-6(5), 6-3. For the second time this year, the Estonian got the better of the Canadian in straight sets, having beaten her in the second round in Eastbourne, and extended her head-to-head advantage over Andreescu to 3-0.
“It was extremely close throughout the match and I was just trying to stay tough. I was ready for a tough match,” Kontaveit said. “She’s such a good player, such a great competitor, so I knew it wasn’t going to be over until it was really over.”
“I’ve really been enjoying being out here, really enjoying playing competitive matches and I’ve been having a lot of fun,” Kontaveit said. “I think that’s been the key.”
Up next, she’ll face Brazilian lucky loser Beatriz Haddad Maia, who became the first women from her country to defeat a player ranked in the WTA top-3 with a straight-sets victory over top seed and World No.3 Karolina Pliskova.