The Estonian began brightly, breaking the number seven seed on her way to opening up a 3-0 lead in the first set. However, Kerber fought back with three consecutive breaks of serve to take it 6-3.
Both players gave little away in the second set, although Kerber had a scare at 4-4, saving two break points before winning the game. The set went to a tie-break, which Kanepi took 8-6.
Kanepi's confidence grew as she raced 5-1 ahead in the deciding set thanks to two breaks of serve. Kerber made a break of her own in the seventh game but Kanepi held on to take the final set 6-3.