BEIJING, China - Angelique Kerber became the latest seed to exit the China Open as she was beaten in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4 by Alizé Cornet on Monday.
"I am pretty happy about the way I played," Cornet said. "It was a very consistent match. It's never easy to play Angie, she's a great player, a great fighter - I'm happy I got through."
The pair enjoyed some long rallies in the first set as both players sought the early breakthrough.
Kerber struck first, breaking in the third game, but Cornet recovered her poise to continue momentum from her recent quarterfinal appearances in Wuhan and Guangzhou. The Frenchwoman leveled at 3-3 after Kerber saved the first of Cornet's pair of break points.
Cornet maintained her form and earned a pair of set points, both of which Kerber saved. A fine cross-court volley presented Cornet with a third opportunity, which the 27-year-old took to secure the first set.
Kerber recovered to break Cornet in the first game of set two, only for the former World No.1 to surrender her service game straight away as Cornet leveled at 1-1.
The German edged ahead again in breaking for 3-2 but Cornet was displaying fine resolve and agility as she again replied with an instant break back. The set stayed on serve until the 10th game, with Cornet leading 5-4.
Kerber saved two match points but Cornet's drop shot earned a third, which she made the most of to complete victory in just over one and a half hours. She becomes the first player to make round three and will face either Elise Mertens or in-form compatriot Caroline Garcia for a place in the last eight.
"It would be fun if I could play Caroline," she continued, looking forward to her third round match.
"It would be a fun match, she's playing amazing at the moment and it would be a good test to see what level I am at. Elise is a really nice girl too, a good friend, so I will take a look at their match and have a better idea of what to expect."