INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — Top-seeded Li Na defeated Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-4 to reach the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open.
Li closed out Monday’s third-round match with an ace, one of her 15 winners in a match in which the Chinese star had 28 unforced errors. The Australian Open champion has never been past the semifinals in six previous appearances at Indian Wells.
Trailing 3-4 in the second set, Li rallied to win the final three games and dispatch Pliskova, who at 21 is 10 years younger than Li and was making her main draw debut after losing in qualifying the last two years.
Li needed a third-set tiebreaker to beat countrywoman Zheng Jie in her first match after an opening-round bye.
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