BEIJING, China - It was a tale of two sets for Angelique Kerber at the China Open on Tuesday, but the World No.3 advanced to the third round courtesy of a 7-6(4), 6-1 win over Carla Suárez Navarro.
The Wimbledon champion came from a break down twice in the opening set, as the Spaniard served for it at 5-3, before winning it in a tiebreak, but won the first five games of the second set to ultimately book her place in the last 16.
"I think we both played good tennis in the first set," Kerber assessed. "The conditions with the shadow on court were also not so easy to play in the first set.
"In the second set, I was just trying to keep going, like I finished the first set, just trying to stay in the match and playing even better than in the first set. Actually, I was just more focusing on my game."
Though it was ultimately the World No.23 who was the more aggressive in the match - Suárez Navarro hit 21 winners to Kerber's 13 - she was unable to break down the German's dogged defenses consistently over the course of nearly 90 minutes.
The Spaniard totaled 34 unforced errors in the match, and was broken four times to fall to Kerber for the third straight meeting.
Up next for the World No.3 as she looks to reach the quarterfinals will be the winner of the match between Timea Babos and home favorite Zhang Shuai.