Angelique Kerber had an easier outing on court at the Australian Open Tennis Championship Thursday night. In a show of control on court, the German tennis star completed a straight sets victory against Alexandra Dulgheru winning 6-2, 6-4 on Margaret Court Arena at Melbourne Park.
The German gets into a third game and the first in four months against Dulgheru who has never been successful against her. The Romanian got another game winner against Kerber at the U.S. Open but inevitably fell in straight sets. With another chance at improvement or an upset, Dulgheru would need to hope that Kerber’s long battle two nights ago still lingers around.
The sixth ranked star had more scares in a match than she wished playing two sets to a tiebreaker before she finished strong in the third that ended 2 hours and 41 minutes of fighting Misaki Doi. Though she faces a lower ranked opponent, the German hoped to avoid having to push her body to the limit.
Kerber came out of the gate winning her opening serve before a brief fight in the second went in favor of Dulgheru. From the third game on, it was the German in complete control of things up until the seventh game where a double fault and the Romanian countering helped her stay alive.
The set didn’t go any further for Dulgheru as Kerber attacked on her opponents serve ending the set in 28 minutes watching a group of errors committed by Romanian. Though she landed 20 0f 26, the double faults and nine unforced errors took a toll against her giving Kerber a better outlook for the second.
The seventh seed turned up the heat on Dulgheru with a burst of speed that caused the backhand shot to fail. She recovered in the second getting into a short draw on deuce before serving up an ace down the line to set herself in a tie. She earned a second straight win before Kerber increased her lead by a game in the fifth. Another tie ensued as Dulgheru’s service helped her battle back Kerber and take a double game point shot with the forehand smash winner.
The tenacity paid off briefly as the two traded off wins one last time before Kerber lost her patience to end the match. She won the ninth on a double game point before sealing the victory with a backhanded winner across court. It took Kerber one third of the amount of time she spent in her last match while maintaining a successful serve percentage of 77 landing 33 of 43. The first and second serves worked like a well oiled machine that helped produce 15 winners in favor and 31 of 60 on the return.
With things slightly back to normal, Kerber can move into the third round with the knowledge of another non ranked player in her path. Saturday’s matchup against Madison Brengle promises to have an interesting turnout on the road to the round of 16.