Saturday, 23 January 2016

Kerber survives seed carnage

Seventh seed Angelique Kerber from Germany is the highest seed left in the bottom half of the women's draw and to remain in contention she would need to defeat American Madison Brengle, who made the fourth round here last year. Kerber's best efforts here have been fourth round performances in 2013 and 2014.

Kerber has some form coming in, having made the Brisbane final before being thrashed by Azarenka. Brengle lost in the same tournament to Kerber in the second round and bowed out of the Hobart event a week later in the first round.  Her form here however is much more promising, with her wins including one over fellow American Co Co Vandeweghe.

Brengle began serving and messed things up with a double fault and unforced errors presenting three break points, the third converted for 1-0 to Kerber.  Two backhand winners assisted Kerber to consolidate the break and lead 2-0.

Brengle improved her serve markedly and with a backhand winner won the third game.  Kerber won her service game to increase the advantage to 3-1.

The fifth game was the best to date.  The two exchanged backhand winners for 15-15 and at 30-30 a winner each took it to deuce.  Another Kerber backhand winner produced break point, silenced by a similar winner from Brengle.  The break did arrive with a duo of German forehand winners, volley and smash.  Kerber led 4-1 and ominous.

Further strife for Brengle with a solid hold of serve by Kerber, recovering from 0-30 with winners from either side.

5-1 became a set win for Kerber as she served a love game complete with two forehand winners and a volley winner just for fun.

Kerber began set two with a love game but unfortunately it was in the wrong direction, a double fault and errors giving Brengle a 1-0 lead.  Brengle returned the favour, surrendering her serve on the second break point for 1-1.

Another love game, this time positive, put Kerber in front 2-1, an ace and forehand winner assisting.   2-2 arrived but after a long delay.  Many errors, two break points both saved, and four deuces before Brengle prevailed.

Love game once more for Kerber, forehand proving a powerful weapon, producing several winners and forcing errors off the American racquet.  Brengle levelled at 3-3 with her own love game, the backhand featuring well.

Kerber was in control now and raced to 4-3 with winners from both sides.  In the key eighth game Kerber converted a break point on the back of three clean winners, two backhand and one forehand.
5-3 Kerber.

Brengle made the task of serving for the match easy for Kerber by contributing three errors. Kerber won the match appropriately with a forehand.  Score 6-1 6-3 and another fourth round appearance which Kerber would expect to be turned into something bigger considering her position as highest remaining seed in her half of the draw. 

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