Monday, January 16, 2017

AO 2017 (R1): The defending champion passes first Australian test after a hard win

Everybody was excited and curious to see how the defending champion will start her campaign. She looked quite comfortable and she was only one point away to win in 2 sets by leading 6-2 5-4, but from there, the Ukranian considered one of the toughest first round opponents, showed some incredible tennis to level the match.

Kerber started off really solid, doing what she knows the best, creating angles and making her opponent run to claim the inaugural set in 27 minutes. Continuing playing consistently and making few errors, the German got a quick lead also in the second. Serving at 5-4, Angelique remembered about her last year first round scare, when she had to save a match point to stay in the tournament.

"To be honest, I was thinking about my match last year when I lost the second set after having match points. I'm happy that this time I won, and this is what counts."

A little bit of confusion and some unexpected errors gave a chance to Tsurenko to steal somehow the set. Going into the decider, all were looking for the huge upset. But it was not to be, as the world nº1 save her best tennis that drove her on the top of the ranking, to win the last 5 of 6 games by keeping her chances in defending her title. "I have to say I'm really happy to be back here. Everything started here for me when I won my first Grand Slam here. The first round is always tough, but I just tried to enjoy it as much as I could. I'm so, so happy to be in the second round."

After more than 2 hours, Angelique Kerber prevails against Lesia Tsurenko 6-2 5-7 6-2 and secures a meeting in the second round with her compatriot Carina Witthoeft.    

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