No. 2 seed Angelique Kerber booked her spot in the BNP Paribas Open third round on Saturday with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over fellow German Andrea Petkovic.
Under the glaring sun in the Coachella Valley, the World No. 1 broke Petkovic to open the match, and never let up on the gas pedal to close out the win in 57 minutes. She evens her head-to-head against the World No. 79 to 3-3.
"It was not so easy [playing Petkovic]," said Kerber after the match. "We've known each other forever. It's always tough to play against a friend on court."
Read Kerber Feature: For Angelique Kerber, 1 is Just A Number
Twice a semi-finalist here in Indian Wells (2012 , '13), Kerber will return to the No. 1 ranking when the latest list is released on Monday.
"I love this tournament it's one of my favorites," Kerber told the Stadium 1 crowd after her victory. "You are supporting us so much, especially also in the pratice courts."
The left-hander will play Pauline Parmentier of France for a place in the Round of 16.
Watch Linette Hot Shot
2011 champion Caroline Wozniacki needed 76 minutes to seal her 6-3, 6-0 victory over Polish qualifier Magda Linette. The Dane, this year seeded No. 13, also reached the 2013 final (l. to Sharapova). She awaits the winner between Siniakova and Suarez Navarro.
No. 9 seed Madison Keys toughed out qualifier Mariana Duque-Marino of Colombia with a 6-1, 7-5 performance on Stadium 3. Should she survive a rematch of her grueling 2016 US Open clash with Naomi Osaka, No. 4 seed Simona Halep, the 2015 BNP Paribas Open champion, looms as a potential quarter-final opponent.
Also slated for play on this first Saturday is No. 12 Venus Williams vs. Jelena Jankovic.