Australian Open: Angelique Kerber Eases Past Annika Beck, Earns Quarterfinal Spot

Angelique Kerber continued her Australian Open campaign with a dominant 6-4, 6-0 performance over fellow German Annika Beck. Kerber progressed into the quarterfinals for the first time in her career, completing a "career quarterfinal Grand Slam." She has now made at least the quarters once in each Grand Slam.

Kerber Fights Through Tricky Opening Set

Kerber raced out to a quick 2-0, breaking Beck in her opening service game. Beck then held the next game, getting the match to 2-1. The unseeded German would break back and level the set at 2-2. Both players then exchanged breaks to see a streak of five breaks in a row altogether that brought the score line to 4-4. Kerber then broke at the pivotal time to go up 5-4. She would serve out the opening set, taking it 6-4 courtesy of a Beck backhand error.

Neither player was strong on serve in the opening set with Beck winning 52 percent of Kerber's service points. The 7th seed countered by winning 57 percent of Beck's. Beck was sloppy off the ground with 25 unforced errors in the set, while Kerber has 15.

(Photo: Getty Images)
(Photo: Getty Images)

Kerber Plows Through Second Set

The second set could not have been more different from the first, with Kerber dominating throughout. Kerber began the set breaking Beck's serve for a quick 1-0 lead. Kerber then went on to win the next two games as she raced out to a 3-0 lead. Kerber continued her domination by winning the next two games to move to 5-0. Kerber served out the win, finishing the match off in style with a glittering forehand winner. The 7th seed was much more crisp with her play this set, hitting 15 winners to just five unforced errors.

Kerber Behind The Numbers

The 7th seed played a sparkling match throughout, dominating for almost the entire match. Kerber served well, making 56 percent of her first serves and also winning 56 percent of her first serve points. Kerber won half of Beck's second serve points, one of the big reasons for her easy win. That was perhaps the best part of Kerber's game today, her ability to return well. Kerber won 64 percent of the receiving points, never letting Beck have much time to breathe on her serve. Kerber also converted 54 percent of the break points she saw, breaking Beck seven times throughout the match. 

Next Up For Kerber

In the quarterfinals, Kerber will face 14th seed Victoria Azarenka. Azarenka has been in brilliant form this year, not dropping a set all year, including her title run in Brisbane. Azarenka beat Kerber in that Brisbane final in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2. Azarenka holds a 6-0 head to head against Kerber, with the German only winning two of their 14 sets played.

"You know, I had tough matches against her in the past. The last one was in Brisbane in the finals. I never won against her right now, but that will be a challenge, you know. I will looking forward when I play against her to really take my chances, take the next match," Kerber said about her quarterfinal matchup with Azarenka. 

Kerber and Azarenka played an epic, three set match at the U.S. Open this fall with Azarenka coming out on top 7-5, 2-6, 6-4. Azarenka defeated unseeded Czech Barbora Strycova 6-2, 6-4 in her fourth round match in Melbourne earlier today.