In a match between the last two finalists at the BNP Paribas Open, Angelique edged Daria Kasatkina of Russia in three sets to reach the fourth round.
Reported by WTA Staff
Daria Kasatkina and Angelique Kerber played for the ninth time in the past five years on Monday at the BNP Paribas Open, and the longtime head-to-head now favors the German.
Two one-sided sets for each player gave way to a tense decider. The pair traded breaks twice across the first four games, before Kerber earned the decisive break at 3-3—but needed five break points after leading 0-40 to do it. She served out victory from 15-40 down, sealing the win in 1 hour and 47 minutes.
The ninth career meeting between Kasatkina and Kerber represented a match between the last two finalists at Indian Wells. Kerber was runner-up to Bianca Andreescu in 2019 while Kasatkina was beaten by Osaka in 2018. Their previous head-to-head was all square at 4-4 and Kasatkina had won the last two matches between the two on hard courts: that included a 6-0, 6-2 victory in the quarterfinals in the aforementioned breakthrough.
“It’s always tough to play against Daria. We’ve played so many matches in the past… and today was a bit of a rollercoaster match for me. I played very well in the first set and she played well in the second, so I was just trying to stay mentally strong and to play point by point,” Kerber said after the match.
“At the end it was just one or two points that decided the match and I’m happy to be through. I’m feeling good… I’m just trying to get through as far as I can, playing good tennis again.”
Kerber will next face the winner of the match between No.26 seed Tamara Zidansek and Ajla Tomljanovic in the fourth round. She’s never faced the Slovenian and is 2-0 against the Aussie all-time, but says she’ll be focused on what’s been the key to her resurgent season so far.