Kerber Wins All-German Battle
Published May 21, 2014 12:15
Kerber came into her home tournament with some doubts - not only did she go winless in her first three clay court tournaments of the year, but she also retired from one of those matches with a back injury, casting doubt on her fitness for the upcoming French Open. But she silenced all of those doubts on Tuesday with a straight set win in her first round match, and she was hungry for more Wednesday.
The Turning Point
Kerber came out firing in this one, reeling off the first four games of the match and eventually closing the first set out in 33 minutes, 6-2. She also jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second set.
Friedsam is one of the WTA's most promising rising stars, though, and she began showing that promise from there, winning three games in a row to get things back on serve. Kerber went up a break twice later in the set, for 4-3 and 5-4, but Friedsam broke back both times, and they went to a breaker.
But all of Kerber's talent and experience came bursting out at that moment - the No.1-seeded German didn't drop another point, eventually closing out her young compatriot in straights, 6-2, 7-6(0).
"The first set was good - I was feeling good and I found my rhythm," Kerber said. "In the second set Anna-Lena was playing great. She was playing much more aggressive. But I was happy about my game plan and that I was able to win, and I'm really happy to get more matches before Paris.
"But Anna-Lena is a great young German talent, and for sure she has a good future."
Awaiting Kerber in the quarterfinals is Karolina Pliskova, who upset No.5 seed Yvonne Meusburger in the first round and then Alison Van Uytvanck in the second round, winning both matches in straights.
"I know it'll be a tough one because I played her in Doha, in the first round, and it was a very close match," Kerber said. "She has a great serve and hits the ball very fast, so I have to move well.
"I have to be ready."