LONDON, Great Britain - World No.1 Angelique Kerber held off a late charge from former semifinalist Kirsten Flipkens in the second round at Wimbledon to advance to the round of 32 on Thursday, 7-5, 7-5.
"I think it was not an easy match, I mean, especially against Kirsten is always tough to play because she plays good on grass with the slice," Kerber said, post-match. "I couldn't find my rhythm in the first few games, but then I was trying to moving good and playing the ball back.
"It was for sure maybe not the best tennis that I played, but I was trying to fighting again for every point, and I think that was the key at the end."
Playing for the second time in their careers at Wimbledon - Kerber came from a set down to win in the third round in 2014 - the World No.1 served at 78 percent and struck a clean 20 winners in the one hour, 45-minute encounter.
Though Flipkens tallied 37 winners - in part thanks to a staggering 58 trips to the net where she won 60 percent of the points (35/58) - her 31 unforced errors were some too many as the German broke her a total of five times.
The first set concluded with five breaks in seven games, as the Belgian twice went up a break of serve - but could not serve out the opener on her only attempt at 5-3.
A love hold stamped the World No.1's authority as she got back even at 5-5, and her run extended to four games as she pocketed the opener with a hold after breaking the 2013 Wimbledon semifinalist in the 11th game.
The second set saw Kerber find her footing early, as she went up a break in the fifth game, but an inspired Flipkens played her best game of the match - as she rallied the crowd's support - to break the German as she served for the match and level the set at 5-5.
However, the World No.88 comeback effort was short-lived, as she was broken at 30 in her ensuing service game, and though she held a break point to force a tiebreak, saw Kerber serve out the match.
Next up for Kerber is American Shelby Rogers, who rallied from a set down to defeat No.32 seed Lucie Safarova on Court 9. The duo played earlier this year at the Miami Open, with Kerber winning, 6-4, 7-5.
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