Tennis: Osaka beats Kerber to reach 3rd round of Miami Open

© Kyodo News

Japan's Naomi Osaka beat German Angelique Kerber 6-2, 6-3 in a battle of multi-time Grand Slam women's singles champions to reach the third round of the Miami Open on Thursday.

Four-time Grand Slam champion Osaka, who is unseeded at the WTA 1000 event being played at the Hard Rock Stadium, served six aces without a double fault while finishing off 13th seed Kerber in 60 minutes to set up a last-32 clash against the Czech Republic's Karolina Muchova.

"She's like the first high-seeded player I've beaten this year," the WTA website quoted Osaka saying about the three-time Grand Slam champion and former No. 1 Kerber.

"I feel like I came into the match wanting to dictate. My power on the shots was working really well."

Muchova is returning from an injury-enforced break and an impressive upset win over 18th-seeded Leylah Fernandez. Osaka and Muchova have played twice before with each getting one win.

Osaka, who is also a former world No. 1, has dropped to 77 in the rankings due to a lack of activity.

Elsewhere for Japan, in the first round of the men's singles, Yoshihito Nishioka beat Ecuador's Emilio Gomez 6-2, 6-7(2), 6-1 to advance.

In the first round of the women's doubles, the all-Japanese team of Eri Hozumi and Makoto Ninomiya advanced, but the Japan-Taiwan team of Shuko Aoyama and Chan Hao-ching did not.