Compatriots and best friends faced off in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open as Angelique Kerber dominated Andrea Petkovic in straight sets, dropping just three games along the way. After the withdrawal of Serena Williams in the tournament, Kerber is assured to go back to the top spot in the rankings when the tournament concludes. With this added pressure gone, Kerber played her best tennis and strolled to the victory within just an hour.
Kerber plays amazing tennis
The two-time grand slam champion started the match the best way possible, as four unforced errors that came from Petkovic gave her the advantage just in the opening game of the match, breaking serve to 15. The next game saw Kerber having some difficulties consolidating the break as Petkovic became more solid on her groundstrokes, hitting more precise shots and caused Kerber to be the one making unforced errors now. Nevertheless, Kerber relied on her serve to clinch her the service game, and a two game lead on the scoreboard.
The world number two then gave out four consecutive unforced errors to allow Petkovic to get onto the scoreboard with a service hold to love, lessening the deficit to just one game. After a couple of comfortable service holds for both players, the next break of serve did not come sooner than in the seventh game of the match. Dealing with the booming forehand of Kerber and the pressure, Petkovic’s groundstrokes let her down once again as she gifted some points to her compatriot due to her unforced errors, including on break point.
This gave Kerber the formidable double break lead and gave her the opportunity to serve out the first set. Having to break back for the first time to stay in the set, Petkovic seemed like a comeback was incoming as she got to break point with some amazing offensive tennis. However, Kerber once again used her lefty advantage on her serve and eventually closed out the set on a powerful backhand that forced an error out of Petkovic.
Kerber storms to victory
Petkovic started the second set with an encouraging hold of service and looked to send the match into a deciding set as her performance in the opening game of the set was a delight to watch. A nervy service hold for Kerber followed along as she held her serve to 30 and kept herself level on the scoreboard.
The next game saw Petkovic getting broken to love in her service game, with Kerber stepping up her game and being the more proactive one, causing her compatriot to go down with a deficit of a set and a break. A sloppy start from Kerber in her service game gave Petkovic the golden opportunity to break straight back and return level in the set, but she failed to do so as Kerber maintained her composure and played her best tennis to fend off all three break points she faced and held her serve to consolidate the break and extend her lead to two games.
Kerber’s excellent run continued in the next game as the momentum allowed her to break serve once more, winning her eighth consecutive point on the return and getting a double break lead in the second set, edging closer to the victory. A hold of service from 15-30 down then placed Kerber just one game away from the victory, with her offensive tennis proving to be effective.
Petkovic had a very poor showing in her service games after the opening game of the set as she lost her 11th straight point on her serve to gift Kerber three match points. Second time lucky, an unlucky net cord for Petkovic threw her shot wide and Kerber sealed the win in just 59 minutes.