Top seed Angelique Kerber survived a scare in her third round match in Indian Wells. She narrowly edged in front of Pauline Parmentier to earn a 7-5, 3-6, 7-5 victory in two hours, 30 minutes.
— Angelique Kerber FC (@AngieKerberFC) March 13, 2017
What many thought would be a straightforward match for the German proved to be anything but. This became evident after the current World No. 2 had to dig deep in order to win a gruesome 63-minute first set.
Parmentier, the World No. 66, played beyond her ranking throughout this encounter – physically and mentally. Crediting her solid forehand and quick defence, she did not allow Kerber much space for dictation. She stormed through a much shorter second set, claiming it 6-3 and forcing a deciding set.
Kerber was down a break early in the third set but proved to everyone why she is one of the best in the world. Being down 4-1 at one point, Kerber found the form that won her two Major titles and stormed to a 7-5 victory. Grit and determination have pulled Kerber to a lot of success in the past and that’s what happened again today.
— BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) March 13, 2017
Across the grounds, Elena Vesnina survived her own “upset” scare against Timea Babos. The Russian No. 2 (World No. 15) also had to dig deep to win a three-set battle against Babos in their third round encounter. Vesnina moves on to face Kerber after her 6-4, 1-6,6-1 win.
With Serena Williams’ withdrawal from Indian Wells, Kerber will reclaim the No. 1 ranking after Indian Wells. Given that Serena also pulled out of Miami citing a knee injury, Kerber will surely stay No. 1 for the next little while. Kerber will continue her battle for a maiden title in the California desert and then proceed to Florida where she will try to create some breathing space between their rankings.
Feature image via Australian Open