Kerber eases into third round at Indian Wells, Halep advances
Former world number one Angelique Kerber opened her BNP Paribas Open campaign with a win, while Simona Halep also progressed to the third round.
After receiving a first-round bye, second seed Kerber was a class above Andrea Petkovic in Saturday's all-German affair at Indian Wells.
Halep played her first tournament since St Petersburg and won in straight sets against Donna Vekic.
Australian Open finalist Venus Williams triumphed in the second round, outlasting Jelena Jankovic in a thriller, as Agnieszka Radwanska and Madison Keys also advanced.
KERBER ENDS INDIAN WELLS DROUGHT
The German star had lost three consecutive first-round matches at the WTA Premier event but that all changed on the weekend.
Kerber - who is set to return to the summit of the WTA rankings regardless of results due to Serena Williams' absence - accounted for Petkovic 6-2 6-1 in less than an hour.
"My goal for here and for this trip was not in my mind to becoming the No.1," Kerber said. "It's more like coming here, winning matches, having the feeling again on court."
Next up for Kerber is Pauline Parmentier, who defeated 27th Yulia Putintseva 6-2 6-3.
HALEP MAKES SUCCESSFUL RETURN
Sidelined since the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy in January, 2015 champion Halep had been itching to return.
And the Romanian fourth seed won her comeback, dispatching Vekic 6-4 6-1.
Kristina Mladenovic awaits in the third round after the 28th seed beat Annika Beck 6-0 7-5.
VENUS IN EPIC COMEBACK
She faced elimination but won in a classic at Indian Wells.
Williams, who lost to younger sister Serena in January's final at Melbourne Park, rallied from a set down and fought off three match points to edge Jankovic 1-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-1.
The win saw Williams progress to the third round of the tournament for the first time in 16 years.
RADWANSKA AND KEYS WIN THROUGH, STOSUR ELIMINATED
Polish sixth seed and 2014 runner-up overcame Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-3 6-4 and ninth-seeded American Madison Keys downed Mariana Duque-Marino 6-1 7-5, while Carolina Wozniacki eased past Magda Linette 6-3 6-0.
Samantha Stosur's struggle for consistency continued, the 16th seed ousted 4-6 6-4 6-4 by Julia Goerges.
Seeds Carla Suarez Navarro, Shuai Zhang and Ana Konjuh also departed.