WTA Stuttgart: Angelique Kerber battles to defeat Annika Beck in three sets

Defending Porsche Tennis Grand Prix champion Angelique Kerber took on compatriot Annika Beck in the second round. The recently crowned Australian Open champion won 4-6, 6-3, 6-1. 

Number of breaks determines first set, Beck takes opener 

Angelique Kerber and Annika Beck got the match underway by holding their own serve. In the third game, Kerber broke with a forehand down the line and in the following game, Beck broke back with immediate effect forcing the error from the German number one. Having just got back on serve, Beck was facing a double break at 40-15 and having saved one, the 22-year-old got broken for the second time in three games with Kerber hitting a wonderful passing shot.

Annika Beck plays a forehand to Angelique Kerber (Photo: Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)
Annika Beck plays a forehand to Angelique Kerber (Photo: Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)

The 29-year-old couldn't take advantage, getting broken not long thereafter. The set moved to 3-3 and in the upcoming game, Beck had to work hard and having denied Kerber a break point chance, she held to go ahead in the set. The world ranked number 41 needed only one break to secure the opening set 6-4.

Kerber fights back to take the second set 

The second set started with a break of serve, going the way of Kerber. The world number three failed to consolidate that break and Beck on her second chance, took advantage and broke back. Kerber went ahead once again, breaking to love on Beck's serve. This time, she consolidated and led 3-1 before breaking for a second time. With the score at 4-1, Beck broke Kerber for the second time in this set for 4-2. The upcoming game would be crucial for both players as they looked to pounce.

The first break opportunity came 40-30, but Beck managed to deny her more experienced teammate. The German number four would go on to save four more breaks in the game, before surrendering on the fifth, with Kerber taking full advantage, going 5-2 up. In the eighth game, Kerber raced away to a 40 love lead and with Beck saving two breaks, she couldn't save another and Kerber got back on level terms taking the set 6-3. 

Kerber races away with third, wins match

The momentum from the second was with Kerber and she made sure it stayed with her as she broke in the second game on advantage following a hold in the previous game. The longest game of the set would come in the third game. Beck carved out two break point chances at 40-15, which were quickly denied by Kerber. Beck would have two more breaks on the Australian Open champion's serve, but couldn't get ahead, Kerber would save them both and hold to go 3-0 up in the decider.

Angelique Kerber plays a backhand (Photo: Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)
Angelique Kerber plays a backhand (Photo: Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)

Kerber broke once more for 4-0 and went up a double break, with the task becoming a big one for the young German. Beck held her first game of the set for 5-1 and her opponent was serving to take the match. Kerber finished the match with an ace and booked her spot in the quarterfinals. 

Match statistics

Kerber hit three aces and three double-faults compared to Beck's four double-faults. The world number three won 68 percent on her first serves, but lacked on her second winning only 30 percent, while Beck won 53 on her first serve and on her second struggled immensely winning only six out of 28 points. Kerber saved 54 percent break points with Beck saving 55 percent. The younger German took 46 percent breaks with Kerber taking 45 percent. Overall, Kerber won 54 percent of total point whereas Beck won 46 percent.