(March 13, 2017) Angelique Kerber avoided and upset, while Venus Williams dominated her opponent to reach the round of 16 at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California on a hot Monday.
Kerber survived France’s Pauline Parmentier 7-5, 3-6, 7-5. The German rallied from 1-4 down in the final set. An out call not made nor challenged by Parmentier, which could have given her a 5-2 lead in the final set made the difference.
“When I was 1-4 down in the third set, still to believe that I can change matches like this,” Kerber told media.
Kerber talked about her adjustments when coming back in the third set: “I think I was starting to believing in myself again and trying to taking this challenge and trying to playing point by point and not thinking what has happened before. Just going for it and trying to move in good, bring a lot of balls back, and going for it when I have the chance.”
“She is really tricky opponent. I mean, she played a lot of spin, especially from the forehand side. So I think that I need a little bit time to get used to it.
“And she was really playing good. I think we both play on a really high level. I mean, it was completely different match than I played here on my first round.”
Kerber will face off against Elena Vesnina next. The Russian defeated Timea Babos 6-4, 1-6, 6-4.
Seven-time major winner Venus Williams had few problems with the heat or her opponent, former French Open finalist Lucie Safarova, beating her 6-4, 6-2.
“I felt like I was being able to string points together, which of course puts pressure on my opponents if I’m not making as many errors,” Williams said.
“I felt really pretty good off the ground. This court is tricky as the ball stops, so a lot of the times you’re not hitting the ball where you think you’re going to hit it. So it definitely takes adjustments.”
“I don’t know if there’s enough time to adjust, anyway. You just kind of like deal with it. So it’s an interesting court.”
2015 winner and fourth seed Simona Halep lost to 28th seed Kristina Mladenovic 6-3, 6-3.
“I think I played obviously a great match, because you don’t beat a Top 5 player just like that,” said the Frenchwoman. “I felt the conditions were extremely difficult for both of us. I could feel that — I mean, I don’t know. 36 degrees, I think, that was pretty solid for playing tennis.
“We always had very tough battles. I was actually, head to head, 2-1. That’s not very often against a Top 5 player. I mean, at the change of ends, when I saw, like, 2-1, 30 minutes, I was, like, Great. This is going to last forever again.
“I think that match was a big win for me on the physical part, like, fitness part. I think I could see that, you know, the efforts there she gave me was like — because I was forcing her to give it to me, because I was there solid and hanging in there and putting sometimes balls back and being brave.”
This was her second Top 5 win this year, besting Karolina Pliskova in Dubai last month.
No. 9 seed Madison Keys in her first tournament back from wrist surgery put on a demonstration of solid power against Japan’s Naomi Osaka in a rematch from the U.S. Open, with the American Keys winning 6-1, 6-4.
Keys was asked if she had any expectations coming into the tournament:”Not very high,” she said. “I was, like, if I get a set, I’ll be happy. And a win — it’s always tough to come back and everyone is in the middle of their season. I definitely had really low expectations, which is probably why, when I was up there and serving for the match in the first round, I was, like, Oh, this is exciting. I didn’t think this was going to happen.
“Yeah, I’m just happy with all of it.”
A disappointed Osaka said, “I didn’t think anyone expected me to win. So at least I wanted people to see a good match. And I played terrible.”
Keys will take on Caroline Wozniacki in the round of 16. The Dane defeated Katerina Siniakova.
Number six seed Agniezska Radwanska lost to Peng Shuai, 6-4, 6-4.
American Lauren Davis was a winner over Julia Goerges of Germany 6-1, 6-4.
In men’s action, No. 3 Stan Wawrinka defeated 28th seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-5, 6-3. Wawrinka is the highest seed left in the top half of the draw since No. 1 Andy Murray lost to Vasek Pospisil.
“It was a really good match,” said the Swiss. “I’m very happy, in general. First set was not easy, for sure, all the match, but in general I’m happy with my game. I need to every time to adjust a little bit in the return. It’s not easy.”
Wawrinka will be playing lucky loser Yoshihito Nishioka, who rallied from 6-1, 5-2 down to beat 13th seed Tomas Berdych 1-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4.
Asked about playing Nishioka, Wawrinka said: “I know him well. Like, in general, I know how he’s playing. I watch him a few times, not only here but last year, also.
“I know how he’s playing, more from the baseline, use his power. It’s going to be interesting. I never practice with him, so it’s going to be the first time we going to be against each other. So I’m sure it’s going to be a good match.”
“I was down 1-6, 2-5, and, you know, I tried to do my best, but today I couldn’t figure out how can I beat Berdych,” said Nishioka.
But down 2-5, I tried to find a way, and then I think he give me a little bit chances. So I find a way, and then just keep trying to every point. Then he show me, like, a little bit angry, a little bit feeling tired. So, you know, I figured out how to win from down 2-5.
“And then my body feeling like I cannot move, like, that much, but just stay on focus and try fight. And then I find a way.”
Andy Murray’s conqueror in his second-round match has been conquered – Vasek Pospisil served for the match at 5-3 in the third set, but could not close out the match. Fellow qualifier Dusan Lajovic won a 6-7 (4), 6-3, 7-5.
Other men’s winners included No. 8 Dominic Thiem, No. 11 seeded David Goffin and No. 21 Pablo Carreno Busta who moved on when 16th seed Roberto Bautista Agut withdrew from the tournament due to an abdominal muscle injury.
More to follow….