Tennis

Kerber out, but reclaims top spot

Angelique Kerber won't celebrate her return to world No. 1 with an Indian Wells title after a shock fourth-round exit at the hands of Elena Vesnina yesterday.

Russia's 14th-seeded Vesnina toppled the second-seeded German 6-3, 6-3 to notch her first career victory over a top-three player.

Kerber, the top-ranked player in the draw, will return to No. 1 in the world on Monday despite the defeat, thanks to Serena Williams' injury withdrawal from the event.

The winner of last year's Australian and US Opens said she never found her rhythm against Vesnina.

Kerber said: "It was not my day.

"I was doing a lot of mistakes. I was not moving, actually, good. But it's happened.

"I mean, she played from the beginning until the end good tennis, and she was aggressive. So she took the game in her hands."

Vesnina, the 14th seed, broke Kerber five times, and managed to stifle a would-be rally that saw the German close the gap from 4-1 to 4-3 in the second set.

"I was a little nervous at the end of the match," Vesnina said.

"So I'm really happy that I closed that match because this win means a lot to me."

Vesnina will meet American Venus Williams in the quarter-finals tomorrow morning (Singapore time).

Williams earned her last-eight spot after battling back from a break down in the final set to beat Chinese qualifier Peng Shuai 3-6, 6-1, 6-3.

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.

This morning's two quarter-final matches see eighth-seeded Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova take on compatriot Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, and third-seeded Czech Karolina Pliskova tackle seventh-seeded French Open champion Garbine Muguruza. - WIRE SERVICES

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