MIAMI: World number one Angelique Kerber came back from a break down in both sets to beat American Shelby Rogers 6-4, 7-5 on Sunday and move into the fourth round at the Miami Open.
With no sign of the rain that interrupted the past two days on Key Biscayne, Kerber was joined in the round of 16 by Britain’s Johanna Konta, American Venus Williams and Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova all who had comfortable wins.
Although ranked 61st in the world, Rogers has beaten Karolina Pliskova, Petra Kvitova, Simona Halep and Daria Kasatkina in the last year and had her eye on beating the top seed.
An upset looked possible when the American won the first three games of the opening set but Kerber recovered to win six of the next seven.
It was a similar story in the second set where Rogers, having saved a break point, hit some good winners to go 4-2 up only for the German to power back and secure a fourth round meeting with Japanese qualifier Risa Ozaki who beat German Julia Georges 7-6 (7/5), 6-3.
“If you win the match, you’re always happy about your performance. In the second set, she was 4-2 up and we’d played a long game. That was important because she was playing well, but I was staying positive and believing in my chances. I think that was the key to the match,” Kerber said.
Williams had no such difficulties in beating Romania’s Patricia Maria Tig, 6-3, 6-0 to set up a tough challenge against Russia’s Kuznetsova.
“We’ve had a lot of great matches. I played her in the very beginning of her career and now we both have had great careers that are continuing to be amazing,” Williams said.
“I know her game. I don’t think there will be any surprises. She knows mine. I just want to continue to control the court. That’s what I’ll try to do.”
Kuznetsova, beaten finalist in Indian Wells last week, was broken early by confident American Taylor Townsend.
Townsend had beaten experienced Italian Roberta Vinci in the previous round, but Kuznetsova wasn’t about to be another victim and took four straight games to take the set and then never looked in danger.
Tenth seed Konta beat 57th ranked Pauline Parmentier of France, 6-4, 6-0 looking in better form than she had in laboring to a three-set win over Belarussian Aliaksandra Sasnovichher in two-hours and 40 minutes.
The contest turned in Konta’s direction when she converted her third break point to take a 4-3 lead in the first set and the Australian-born Briton lost just five points in the second set.
Conditions were much improved over the gusty winds of her opening match, but Konta said she was pleased with both victories.
“My first round was very good because I could get through a difficult situation. Today was a cleaner match, so in that sense, it was also a good performance,” she said.