MADRID, Spain - Former World No.1 Angelique Kerber closed out the day session on Court Manolo Santana with a decisive 6-3, 6-2 win over Lesia Tsurenko to reach the second round of the Mutua Madrid Open.
Kerber had never lost to the two-time Abierto Mexicano Telcel champion in three previous meetings, and extended their head-to-head to 4-0 after one hour and 12 minutes on court.
The German is one French Open away from a Career Grand Slam, and though the reigning Wimbledon winner considers clay her least favorite surface, she has nonetheless enjoyed a solid start to the clay court season, reaching the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix quarterfinals in Stuttgart.
Against Tsurenko, she raced through the opening three games, and though she lost that initial break of serve in the seventh game, she broke straight back and captured the opening set from two break points down.
The second set saw more momentum shifts as the two traded five consecutive service breaks before Kerber was able to take command, winning the last four games and securing victory with a searing forehand winner.
In all, she struck 12 winners to nine from Tsurenko, and converted an impressive six of eight break point opportunities while winning 61% of points off her own first serve.
Standing between the three-time major champion and a spot in the third round is surging Croat Petra Martic. Martic is fresh off her first WTA title at the TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Cup, and thwarted the hopes of hometown favorite and former World No.1 Garbiñe Muguruza earlier in the day in Madrid.