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Kerber advances in Miami, continues strong start to 2018

24 March 2018

Simona Halep, world number one in the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) rankings, came from a set down to beat France's Oceane Dodin in the second round of the Miami Open.

Halep broke Dodin's serve for the seventh time at 4-4 in the third set before closing it out.

If anyone knows how to dig themselves out of a hole in the third set, it's Simona Halep.

Dodin, ranked 98th, aggressively attacked Halep's serve but the joy she found there was offset by a failure to make her own service games count, the Frenchwoman's 16 double faults significantly aiding her Romanian opponent's cause. "So when I go to the third set, I don't panic".

"This year I have had many tough matches", Halep said afterwards.

But the defensive-minded Halep, who at times reached down to rub a troublesome right ankle, improved as a match lasting over two hours wore on, getting the better of Dodin in extended rallies and in the key moments of the match. "I think that's why I won today, because I didn't give up".

Kerber, the 2016 Australian Open and U.S. Open champion, won her first tournament since that U.S. Open at Sydney in January.

Belarus' Victoria Azarenka also progressed to the third round after US Open finalist Madison Keys was forced to retire with an injury.

It was a mixed day for the other seeds, but Pliskova - ranked sixth - and two-time grand slam champion Kerber - ranked 10th - both made it through, with Caroline Garcia a notable departure.

The favourite sought a swift response and broke early in the second, yet her struggle for momentum continued when Dodin broke back to love, measuring a wonderful forehand into the corner of the court.

"I'm relaxed and I'm just fighting till the end, and I'm sure that I have a big chance to win the match, so I just go for it".

Kerber advances in Miami, continues strong start to 2018