World No. 5 Anett Kontaveit made a fine start to her Indian Wells Masters campaign as she saw off Kristina Kucova 6-4 6-1 to progress into the Indian Wells Masters third round. Kontaveit, who had a first round bye in Indian Wells, struggled a bit at the start of the match but once she found her game and rhythm, it was over for Kucova.
"I think I started the first few games pretty well, felt the ball really well, then felt I started rushing a little bit," Kontaveit said. "The surface is a little bit slower than in previous weeks. "It was just about playing the points through.
When I was down a break I realized I don't have to go for quick winners, just play the points through a bit more. I had to work my way back into the set and then managed to play a consistent match from there."
Kontaveit claims a routine win over Kucova
Kucova claimed the first break of the match in the fifth game and served out the following game to take a 4-2 lead.
After falling down to a 4-2 deficit, Kontaveit responded with back-to-back breaks to overturn the deficit and win the opener. Kontaveit started the second set with a 2-0 lead but Kucova broke back in the third game. However, that was the last game that Kucova won as Kontaveit finished the match on a four-game won run to book a straight-set win.
Kontaveit has a tricky third round meeting as she faces next Tokyo Olympics silver medalist Marketa Vondrousova. Kontaveit owns a 2-1 head-to-head record against Vondrousova as she will be aiming to beat the Czech for the third time when they meet in Indian Wells.
Kontaveit enjoyed her best Indian Wells run last year, when she made the quarterfinal before losing to Ons Jabeur. Kontaveit certainly came to Indian Wells with the aspirations of winning her first Masters title. It remains to be seen how far can Kontaveit go in the desert this year.