Indian Wells, CA, United States (4E Sports) – Top seed Li Na of China swept past compatriot Zheng Jie, 6-1, 7-5, in one hour and 34 minutes Saturday to book a spot in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open.
Li, a semifinalist here in 2007, is eyeing her 10th WTA singles title, having already lifted trophies this year at Shenzhen and the Australian Open.
The pair also played the first all-China WTA final at Estoril in 2006.
Zheng was the first Chinese player to crack the Top 15 in 2009 and also the first to reach a Grand Slam singles semi-final at 2008 Wimbledon. With the loss, Zheng dropped to 5-15 against Top 5 opponents.
In the next round, Li will meet Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic, who defeated compatriot and No. 28 Klara Zakopalova, 7-5, 6-2. Pliskova struck five aces to finish Zakopalova in one hour and 23 minutes.
No. 11 Ana Ivanovic of Serbia also advanced to the next round after a come-from-behind 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (1) win over Elina Svitolina of Ukraine. She will next face the winner of the Alja Tomljanovic-Sloane Stephens clash.
In other matches, No. 8 Petra Kvitova beat Coco Vandeweghe, 6-1, 6-3; No. 12 Dominika Cibulkova ousted Donna Vekic, 6-3, 6-2; No. 27 Svetlana Kuznetsova defeated Barbora Strycova, 6-3, 6-3; and No. 21 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova beat Caroline Garcia, 6-4, 7-5.
On the men’s side, Alejandro Falla defeated No. 18 Jerzy Janowicz, 6-3, 2-6 7-6 (5) to make it to the next round against the winner between No. 10 Milos Raonic and Edouard Roger-Vasselin.
Other winners were 11th seed Tommy Haas over Jeremy Chardy, 6-3, 6-4 and No. 14 Evgeny Donskoy over Michael Russell, 6-4, 6-3.
Haas will await the winner of the Santiago Giraldo-Kei Nishikori clash while Donskoy will next face the winner between Kevin Anderson and Lleyton Hewitt.