"It was a good match," she said in her post-match press conference. "I was trying to feel my game again. I was moving good, but it was not so easy because she didn't play badly. I was trying to stay positive and play my tennis."
Kerber was playing her first match since her late-night victory against Duan Ying-Ying, and suffered a slow start to Rogers, who reached the French Open quarterfinals last spring and began 2017 with a win over Simona Halep at the Australian Open.
The German reclaimed World No.1 from Serena Williams at the start of the fortnight in Florida, and showed some of why the two-time Grand Slam champion has been so tough to beat in the last year, rolling through six of the next seven games from a break down to take the opening set.
"It's always good to have close sets, especially when you win them at the end because they give you confidence that you can go out in your next match knowing you can win close matches because you've just done it a day ago. I'm looking forward to the next match."
Rogers kept fighting, however, and fought off multiple break points in the fifth game to engineer another service break. Much like the first set, Kerber took control from there, winning five of the final six games to seal the hometown favorite in just under 90 minutes.
"If you win the match, you're always happy about your performance. In the second set, she was 4-2 up and we'd played a long game. That was important because she was playing well, but I was staying positive and believing in my chances. I think that was the key to the match."
In all, Kerber struck 17 winners to only 22 unforced errors; Rogers took far more risks throughout, her 34 winners were ultimately undone by 51 unforced errors.
Up next for top seed is Japanese qualifier Risa Ozaki. Ozaki was already enjoying her best-ever result at a Premier Mandatory tournament when she broke new ground on Sunday, besting Kerber's countrywoman Julia Goerges, 7-6(5), 6-3.
"I've never played against her, but I saw a little bit on TV because she played Julia today. I think she's playing good here, coming from qualies, so she has a lot of matches and confidence.
"She has nothing to lose, so it'll be another good match."
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This article was first seen on www.wtatennis.com.