WTA Tour

Kerber cruises past Petkovic

2017-03-12 06:47
Angelique Kerber (Getty)

Indian Wells - Second-seeded Angelique Kerber raced into the third round at Indian Wells on Saturday with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over fellow German Andrea Petkovic.

Kerber, who is assured of reclaiming the number one WTA world ranking when the tournament ends thanks to Serena Williams' injury withdrawal, reversed a run of poor fortune in the California desert, where she hadn't made it out of her tournament opener since 2011.

An erratic Petkovic surrendered a break in the opening game, and Kerber needed no other opening. Kerber broke again for a 5-2 lead and shrugged off the only break point she faced in the set in the next game to close it out.

Petkovic opened the second set with a solid service game, but as Kerber turned up the heat she wouldn't win another game.

"Of course it was not so easy to play against her, we know each other very long," Kerber said. "We are both up-and-down in our careers.

"I was trying today just to focus more on my side of the tennis court. Just being focused on my game, because I think the last three years I lose here in the first round, so that was also something in my mind that I would like to change this year and just go through it."

While Petkovic said their long association had her anticipating perhaps too much, Kerber said she tried to stay in the moment.

"I was not thinking too much about her game," Kerber said. "I was not thinking two steps ahead. I knew that I have to be aggressive, moving good against her and, yeah, just going for it."

Kerber next faces France's Pauline Parmentier, who ousted 27th-seeded Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan 6-2, 6-3.

In other women's matches Saturday, Venus Williams and Jelena Jankovic were to clash in a battle of former world number ones.

The two have met 13 times in a rivalry that stretches back to 2005, with Jankovic winning their last meeting in Hong Kong in 2015 to take a 7-6 lead in their head-to-head.

Williams, 36, is playing her second tournament since a scintillating run to the Australian Open final, where she lost to her sister Serena.

She's ranked 13th in the world while Jankovic is 51st, but history suggests she can expect a tough challenge from the Serb.

Women's fourth-seed Simona Halep of Romania was to open her campaign against Croatian wild card Donna Vekic.

Sixth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska was also in action, along with ninth-seeded American Madison Keys and another US contender in Australian Open semi-finalist Coco Vandeweghe.

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