An­gelique on course for ti­tle

New Straits Times - - Sport -

IN­DIAN WELLS: An­gelique Ker­ber might yet cel­e­brate her re­turn to num­ber one with an In­dian Wells ti­tle af­ter bat­tling past Pauline Par­men­tier 7-5, 3-6, 7-5 to reach the fourth round on Mon­day.

Pauline, the World No 62 from France, had the two-time Grand Slam cham­pion from Ger­many on the ropes with a break and a 4-1 lead in the third set.

But An­gelique fought back with a break in the sev­enth game and another in a marathon 11th game that gave her a 6-5 lead and a chance to serve for the match.

“I think I was start­ing to be­lieve in my­self again and try­ing to take this chal­lenge and try­ing to play point by point,” An­gelique said of her mind­set af­ter go­ing down a break in the de­cid­ing set.

“I was not think­ing about 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.”

An­gelique, who rose to num­ber one in the world with her US Open tri­umph last year, is set to re­gain the sum­mit no mat­ter how far she goes this week thanks to the in­jury with­drawal of Ser­ena Wil­liams.

An­gelique next faces Rus­sian Elena Ves­nina, a 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 win­ner over Hun­gar­ian Timea Ba­bos.

Fourth-seeded Ro­ma­nian Si­mona Halep, yet to re­gain peak form in the wake of a nag­ging knee in­jury, was dis­patched by in-form Kristina Mlade­n­ovic 6-3, 6-3.

France’s Kristina , who has al­ready lifted one tro­phy and reached another WTA fi­nal in 2017, had no trou­ble notch­ing another top-five win.

Seven-time Grand Slam cham­pion Venus Wil­liams booked a fourth-round berth with a 6-4, 6-2 vic­tory over Lu­cie Sa­farova.

The Amer­i­can next faces China’s Peng Shuai, who ousted sixth-seeded Ag­nieszka Rad­wan­ska of Poland 6-4, 6-4.

Amer­i­can Madi­son Keys, play­ing her first event of the year af­ter surgery on her left wrist, eased past Ja­pan’s Naomi Osaka 6-1, 6-4. AFP

I was not think­ing about 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. AN­GELIQUE KER­BER

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