Kerber, Venus and Osaka progress at Indian Wells
Angelique Kerber, Venus Williams and Naomi Osaka headlined the list of winners in the third round at Indian Wells.
Angelique Kerber, Venus Williams and defending champion Naomi Osaka moved through to the fourth round of the WTA Indian Wells Open.
Kerber – the eighth seed – rallied from a set down to outlast qualifier Natalia Vikhlyantseva en route to the round of 16 on Monday.
Fellow former world number one Williams and top seed Osaka also advanced in straight sets against Christina McHale and Danielle Collins respectively.
Two-time semi-finalist Karolina Pliskova and Aryna Sabalenka joined the trio in the next round.
Kerber survives scare
The three-time grand slam champion lost the opening set but came storming back to win 3-6 6-1 6-1.
A two-time semi-finalist at the tournament, Kerber was forced to dig deep against the 22-year-old Russian as she set up a last-16 clash with Sabalenka.
"[Matches like this] give me again confidence that I can turn around matches; that I can play also three sets; also in the close moments that I'm there, that I can trust myself,” Kerber said.
Ninth seed Sabalenka accounted for 24th seed Lesia Tsurenko 6-2 7-5.
Venus vanquishes McHale
Williams reached the Indian Wells Open fourth round for the third consecutive year after beating fellow American McHale 6-2 7-5.
The seven-time major winner was broken early in both sets but she still managed to see off McHale in the pair's first meeting.
Williams converted seven of nine break points and hit 20 winners as she earned a meeting with Mona Barthel, who stunned 15th seed Julia Goerges 7-5 1-6 6-4.
Osaka overpowers Collins
Australian Open semi-finalist Collins put up a fight but it was not enough against Osaka, who won 6-4 6-2.
Collins took the match to Osaka from the outset and while the combative American performed well, the Japanese star was too strong in the California desert.
After winning in 82 minutes, Australian Open champion Osaka will face Belinda Bencic for a spot in the quarter-finals after the 23rd seed defeated Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-4 6-2.
Pliskova reaches last 16… again
Czech fifth seed Pliskova eased past Ysaline Bonaventure 6-3 6-2 to book her place in the fourth round for a fifth straight year.
Anett Kontaveit awaits after 2018 US Open semi-finalist Anastasija Sevastova retired due to illness when trailing 5-0 in the first set.