Kerber Fights Back; Simona Tumbles

© Michael Cummo/BNP Paribas Open

World No. 2 Angelique Kerber overcame France's Pauline Parmentier 7-5, 3-6, 7-5 in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open on Monday.

The left-handed German, who returns to the No. 1 spot in the WTA Rankings on Monday, needed two hours and 30 minutes to beat Parmentier under the hot sun in Stadium 1.


"You know, when you are in a match like this, you are not thinking about pressure or whatever," said Kerber. "You are there and you are doing everything to win matches like this. This is why we are on court, and this is why I practice a lot and do my fitness stuff. I can run forever, actually, on court, and it doesn't matter if it's hot or not."


The 29 year old set up a Round of 16 clash with Elena Vesnina, who herself needed two hours and 16 minutes to close out Hungary's Timea Babos 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 in their first tour meeting. Vesnina, ranked No. 15 in the world, owns two BNP Paribas Open doubles titles (2013 w/ Makarova, 2008 w/ Safina).

On Stadium 3, American Lauren Davis beat Julia Goerges of Germany 6-1, 6-4. With the victory, Davis equals her best result here in the Coachella Valley; the 23 year old reached the round of 16 here three years ago, beating then World No. 4 Victoria Azarenka en route.

The 5'3" Ohio native awaits No. 28 Kristina Mladenovic, a 6-3, 6-3 winner over 2015 BNP Paribas Open champion Simona Halep. This is Mladenovic's second win over a Top-5 opponent this season, which catapults her into her deepest run in Indian Wells. Mladenovic won the St. Petersburg title earlier this season and came into the Coachella Valley having reached the final in Acapulco (l. to Tsurenko).


"I was quite confident. I have been playing well since the beginning of the year," said Mladenovic. "This is a very big win for me."