World number one Angelique Kerber made it through to the second round of Wimbledon on Monday, seeing off a spirited challenge from American qualifier Irina Falconi to prevail 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 27 minutes.
Last year’s finalist came into the tournament following a generally disappointing season so far and was far from perfect on Centre Court today, though was solid enough to start her quest to keep her number one ranking and win her third Grand Slam title today against Falconi, who proved a tricky test but was just a tad too inconsistent to provide a serious challenge to the German.
Kerber will undoubtedly be relieved to make it through to the second round at the All England Club, especially following her first round loss at the French Open to Ekaterina Makarova, though faces a potentially tricky second round clash against former Wimbledon semifinalist Kirsten Flipkens next.
World number one proves a tad too strong for American qualifier
It has undoubtedly been a disappointing year for Kerber so far, though she had put in a fairly good run at Eastbourne just last week and it seemed as if the two-time Grand Slam champion would put in a great performance following the opening stages of match, with some superb movement and aggressive play seeing the German take a double break lead over the American qualifier within the opening 15 minutes of the match.
Falconi, who did not drop a set in qualifying for the tournament, did not make things easy however, getting one of the breaks back and looked more threatening as the two engaged in some entertaining rallies, many in which the American was winning or at least holding her own. However, Kerber continued to hold onto her own serve despite becoming a little more passive, saving a break point at 4-3 and went on to serve out the set, taking it 6-4 in 48 minutes.
Things had not been massively easy for Kerber in the opening set, with Falconi certainly playing well above her ranking of 247th, and two were fairly even throughout the opening stages of the second set, though the world number one increased the pressure and came through a tight game to break the American, and put herself potentially just three games from victory.
However, a little bit of luck, including a net cord on break point, saw Falconi break back and a comfortable hold saw the American go just two games away from the set. Despite Falconi’s efforts, Kerber once again increased the pressure, and broke to put herself in the position to serve for the match; the German made no mistakes, holding to love to secure a straight sets victory.