MADRID, Spain - World No.2 Angelique Kerber made quick work of Timea Babos to begin her Mutua Madrid Open campaign on Sunday, ousting the Hungarian 6-4, 6-2 to begin the day's play on the Manolo Santana Court.
The top seed ran her head-to-head against Babos to 5-0 with the victory, as she broke serve four times and won nearly 80 percent of points behind her own first delivery in the one hour, 20-minute victory.
The win is Kerber's first in the Spanish capital since she reached the quarterfinals in 2013, as she had lost her last four matches at the tournament.
"I think it was a good match for me," Kerber said post-match. "I mean, especially after the last match I played [a loss to Kristina Mladenovic in Stuttgart], I'm really happy about the way I played from the beginning. I think it was a tough match.
"The score is not maybe looking like that, but at the end, every single game was really tough. We both run a lot. I'm happy that I won it in two sets and I played like I played today."
Though Kerber hadn't won a match at the Caja Mágica in four years, she hardly put a foot wrong en route to claiming the first three games of the opening set with a pair of service breaks. Babos got on the board in the next game, as she engineered a love break in what turned out to be her lone opportunity of the match.
Nonetheless, Kerber hung on to her early edge to claim a one-set lead; Babos saved a trio of set points on her serve to win a lengthy eighth game, but couldn't save a fourth a short time later.
A love hold in the opening game of the second set earned Babos her first lead of the match, but her joy was short lived as the World No.2 ran off the next five games to put herself in commanding position.
The World No.34 was undone by unforced errors in defeat, as she found few solutions against the patented counterpunching of Kerber on clay. Babos struck 35 over the course of the match, nearly twice her amount of winners.
"It's now a very good feeling because the last three years I lost here in the first round," Kerber joked. "It was not the best tournament I played, that's true. That's why I have no preparation. I mean, every single round I'm going through, it's actually good for me. Yeah, I really was not playing so good the last years - but maybe [it'll] change this year."
Other early winners on day two included Kristina Mladenovic, who advanced as Ana Konjuh retired prior to the start of the third set, and CiCi Bellis, who saw off Daria Gavrilova in a tight tussle, 7-5, 5-7, 6-2.