Tennis: Elena Vesnina upsets Angelique Kerber to set up Venus quarter-final

Elena Vesnina plays a backhand against Angelique Kerber in their fourth round match during day nine of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 14, 2017.
Elena Vesnina plays a backhand against Angelique Kerber in their fourth round match during day nine of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 14, 2017. PHOTO: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Indian Wells, California (Reuters) - Russia's Elena Vesnina ousted German second seed Angelique Kerber 6-3, 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, California on Tuesday.

The victory was the 14th-seeded Vesnina's first against a top-three player and put the doubles specialist into a last-eight showdown against Venus Williams.

Seven-time grand slam singles winner Williams, the 12th seed, recovered from a slow start to grind down China's Peng Shuai.

After battling back from match-point down earlier in the week against Jelena Jankovic, Williams executed another turnaround against Peng to win 3-6, 6-1, 6-3.

World No. 3 Karolina Pliskova advanced to the last eight after 15th seed Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland retired from their match while trailing 5-1 in the first set.

The Czech will face reigning French Open champion Garbine Muguruza of Spain, a 7-6 (7-5), 1-6, 6-0 winner over in-form Ukrainian Elina Svitolina.

Caroline Wozniacki, the 13th seed and 2011 champion, reached the quarters with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over ninth-seeded American Madison Keys.

The Dane will meet Kristina Mladenovic of France, who beat American Lauren Davis 6-3, 6-3.

Eighth-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova, 31, was the first to advance with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Caroline Garcia of France.

She will compete in an all-Russian quarter-final against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 upset winner over fifth seed Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia.