For the first time in her career, Angelique Kerber defended her title for the first time at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. The current Grand Slam champion delivered a successful performance against fellow German Laura Siegemund 6-4, 6-0 on centre court at the Stuttgart Porsche Tennis Arena Sunday. It became Kerber’s second title of the season and the ninth WTA title of her career.
The 28 year old came into her first WTA final pitted against the defending champion of the tournament having never played her once. Kerber seemed to make Stuttgart her rise back into dominance since her struggles to be competitive after winning the Australian Open back in January. From that point on, getting deep into tournaments was something she couldn’t accomplish. When the time came to switch to clay, Kerber still had to play more than she wanted but knew she had the upper hand against the current 71st ranked fellow countrywoman. While it would be an exciting match with two German players in the final for the first time, the two ladies will give it all they have to be the one left standing.
Siegemund opened service in the match putting together a set of shots that challenged Kerber off the racket. She took the first break setting up a drop shot during her double break point attempt where Kerber answered but couldn’t get in position in time to hit back an angled line drive. The lower ranked German found herself in a commanding 3-0 hold, as she had Kerber struggling to do much against her service that was at 80 percent.
Kerber found the energy to win in the fifth where her ground strokes during the rallies had her adding speed to the ball that saw Siegemund short of getting to it. She made it a two game streak capturing the break on yet another angled winner to get within reach of a tie. Siegemund didn’t let her opponent do work on serve as she instead fought for control on the break returning a two game buffer. Kerber won an important break in the seventh that had her staying within one through the rest of the set with the winners continuing to play an important role.
She leveled back with a quick hold of serve in the eighth that had her looking to take point and be the one across the line to take the set. After winning the break, Kerber served for the set feeling all her skills return in time where she dealt with a short fight in the tenth to win set point completing the comeback in 40 minutes.
The second opened with a challenging deuce draw for both players where Kerber had two chances early to lock down a winning streak but couldn’t against Siegemund who wanted to find a good start to the set like she did in the first. After six breaks and four game point attempts, it was Kerber winning the opening game that look 11 minutes to finish. Kerber quickly notched a second game win for herself in the set before a medical timeout was taken by Siegemund for an unknown reason.
After five minutes, Siegemund returned to court but still found herself struggling to find an answer to getting on the board as Kerber went up 3-0 putting her halfway to a successful defense of her title. The level of physical strength that Kerber had on court was too far ahead of Siegemund who had very little strength left to compete. It led her to witnessing a 5-0 rout for Kerber who returned to serve out the match and a second straight Porsche Grand Prix title. Although Siegemund had a couple of points in the sixth, Kerber got on the championship point where an unforced error gave her the title in a 1 hour and 20 minutes. Kerber had a 66 percent service average at the end of the match where she landed two thirds of her shots while winning 7 of 11 points near the net and 6 of 11 on the break.
All the good things that helped her win a second title allowed Kerber to join the likes of Tracy Austin, Martina Navratilova, Lindsay Davenport, Maria Sharapova and others that have won the tournament twice or more. With the victory on clay and two tournaments in view before the French Open, the high ranked German could find herself ready to continue her dominance further on.