WTA Miami: Angelique Kerber Powers Past Barbora Strycova

Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber made her debut at the Miami Open today against Barbora Strycova. The German, who won her first Grand Slam back in January, has struggled to find her rhythm after the biggest victory of her career. It was a strong display of tennis from Kerber who only needed an hour and three minutes to book her spot in the third round with a scoreline of 6-1, 6-1. This marks the first victory for Kerber in a WTA event after winning in Australia.

Kerber Doesn't Waver And Takes The Opening Set

It was a shaky start for the German as she struggled to hold her serve in a marathon opening game. After two break points saved, Kerber began playing more solid and needed just one break point to be ahead early in the match, leading 2-0. Strycova had a display of great tennis at the start of the match, but she got broken her level of tennis dropped dramatically while Kerber managed a hold to lead 3-0. The frustration was evident on Strycova as Kerber's game was on point and once again threatened to widen her advantage. The German needed just one break point to lead 4-0.

The scoreboard was against Strycova, but the Czech still had inner strength to keep fighting and it paid off when she broke Kerber to get on the scoreboard. That little setback didn't last long for Kerber who broke in the next game to lead 5-1 and serve for the opening set. The German started her service game with an outstanding crosscourt backhand winner. On set point, Kerber didn't waste much time and wrapped the first set with an ace and a hold to love.

Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic plays a backhand against Angelique Kerber of Germany in their second round match during the Miami Open. | Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic plays a backhand against Angelique Kerber of Germany in their second round match during the Miami Open. | Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Kerber Dominates To Win In Straight Sets

The start of the second set was not better for Strycova who after a difficult game of serve was a set and a break down. The Czech wasn't playing bad, in fact, she was doing things right but on the other side of the court, Kerber was like a wall and hit everything back. Another great crosscourt backhand confirmed the lead in the second set for the German. Kerber was unstoppable, playing an intelligent and solid brand of tennis as she won probably the best point of the match. A point that Strycova dominated with a drop shot and a lob, but Kerber overcame and won the point after the Czech sent the ball long. The German broke to lead 3-0.

It seemed like a repeat of the first set as Kerber held her serve for the third time on a row to love. She was leading Strycova 4-0. For the first time in the match, Strycova was able to hold her serve but it was too late for the Czech to prepare a comeback. Again, Kerber didn’t hesitate to hold her serve and be one game away from her first WTA win since she became a Grand Slam winner. Three unforced errors gave Kerber three match points, Strycova double faulted to hand the victory to Angelique Kerber 6-1, 6-1.

Angelique Kerber of Germany plays a backhand against Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic in their second round match during the Miami Open. | Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Angelique Kerber of Germany plays a backhand against Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic in their second round match during the Miami Open. | Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Next For Kerber: Kiki Bertens

Angelique Kerber will continue her quest in Miami against Dutch player Kiki Bertens on the third round. This will be the first meeting between these players. Bertens defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova today in three sets.

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