In terms of sport, Angelique Kerber knows what to expect after her first win this tennis year - emotionally, on the other hand, she cannot properly assess it before the duel with Russian Daria Kasatkina.

“I try to turn that off on the pitch, which isn't that easy.

My grandparents are from Poland, I live in Poland too, it's all very close," said the 34-year-old of the German Press Agency after her hard-earned success against the Chinese Qinwen Zheng late Friday evening (local time).

The war instigated by Russia in Poland's neighboring country Ukraine is keeping Kerber busy.

"It's all really incredibly crazy what's going on in the world right now.

I really hope we just get peace.

After Corona, this crazy thing is happening there – madness,” she said.

"Of course everyone's talking about it and you're checking the news every hour what's going on - well me especially because we're close and it's not such a nice feeling."

Kerber still has to catch up

Kerber knows Kasatkina as an opponent from last fall, when she also won three sets against her in Indian Wells.

"It's always very tricky to play against them.

She plays very variably.

I have to stay tuned and dictate myself.

I know what's coming," said the native of Kiel.

The former number one in the world rankings, on the other hand, was not even aware that she had clinched her first victory of the year under floodlights in the Californian desert.

The win against Kasatkina in October was followed by another in the round of 16, since then there has been no success.

In December, Kerber became infected with Corona, and in Australia and Doha she flew out of the tournament after the first match.

At Indian Wells, she had a first-round bye as the No. 15 seed.

"I feel good, but of course I needed the weeks and days to get fit again," reported Kerber.

"Everything that you actually do in the offseason, I've now tried to catch up after Australia and in the time.

It will take time. ”That is why she cannot expect herself to play her best tennis right away.

This was seen in the duel with Zheng.

Kerber gave up the second set against the 19-year-old, and in the third set she was two breaks behind.

"In the end I was just trying to come back," she said.

“Now I have a match here and I always enjoy playing my way into the tournament.

So I hope the next one will be a bit better from my side.”

Victories for Koepfer and Otte

Three of the six German tennis pros in the men's main draw of the Tennis Masters in Indian Wells are also in the second round.

In addition to Olympic champion Alexander Zverev, who only starts in the second round duel with Tommy Paul from the USA in the individual competition due to a bye, Dominik Koepfer and Oscar Otte are also there.

Koepfer needed an energy performance for the 2: 6, 7: 5, 6: 4 against the French Benoit Paire.

The 27-year-old from Furtwangen fended off four match points on Friday (local time).

At the hard court tournament in California, Koepfer now meets the Russian Andrei Rublev in the second round.

Oscar Otte had previously won his first-round match.

Otte defeated Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-2, 1-6, 6-3.

In the next round he meets Poland's number eleven seed Hubert Hurkacz.

Philipp Kohlschreiber was the first German tennis pro to drop out of the Masters, followed by Daniel Altmaier and Jan-Lennard Struff during the day.

The 38-year-old Kohlschreiber from Augsburg lost to Emil Ruusuvuori from Finland 3:6, 3:6.

Altmaier was beaten by qualifier Steve Johnson from the USA 3:6, 6:7 (3:7).

Struff lost to John Millmann from Australia 6: 7 (6: 7), 4: 6.

The Masters in the Californian desert is one of the most important tournaments on the WTA and ATP tours.

The hard court event is worth $8,584,055.

Kerber was in the final in 2019 and lost in the quarterfinals last year to the later winner Paula Badosa from Spain in the edition that was postponed to autumn due to Corona.

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