Tennis: Top seed Kerber advances at Miami Open

Kerber returns a shot against Shelby Rogers.
Kerber returns a shot against Shelby Rogers.PHOTO: AFP

MIAMI (AFP) - World number one Angelique Kerber came back from being a break down in both sets to beat American Shelby Rogers 6-4, 7-5 on Sunday (March 26) 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 next round by Britain's Johanna Konta and Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova who both 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 games.

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.

Seventh seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, beaten finalist in Indian Wells, was broken early by confident America 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 in her laboured opening, three-set, two hours 40 minute win against Belarussian Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

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 on the gusty winds of her opening game 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.