Germany’s Angelique Kerber has secured her first win against Estonian world no. 20, Anett Kontaveit, defeating her in the second round of the Qatar Total Open in Doha 6-1 7-6(3). Kerber had never won a set against Kontaveit, who had beat her on two occasions, though these were both on clay. This win is also Kerber’s 600th career win, making it something to celebrate.
The German got off to a strong start, breaking in the opening game and then consolidating for a 2-0 lead. She had a triple break point in the third game, but Kontaveit fought back to hold her serve; however, she wasn’t able to win any more games in the first set, as Kerber kept making her play one more ball, causing the Estonian to feel uncomfortable.
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Photo: Angelique Kerber of Germany hits a backhand (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)
In the second set, Kerber charged out to a 4-1 lead and looked like she had control of the match, but Kontaveit was able to break back to love in the seventh game, when a double fault by the German brought up the triple break point, and then she hit a backhand into the net whilst on the run, giving Kontaveit her first break of the match.
Kerber was able to break back to gain a 5-3 lead and try and serve out the match, but she was unable to do so, as a ball off Kontaveit’s racquet clipped the net and just fell over on match point. Kerber had another match point in the next game, but Kontaveit saved it with a backhand winner to level the score at 5-5.
Kerber held in the eleventh game to lead 6-5, and had two more opportunities in the next to close out the match. Kontaveit saved the first match point with an impressive forehand that landed right on the baseline, and then Kerber failed to return the next serve, giving away the second match point.
Kerber had now lost five match points and Kontaveit held her serve in the twelfth game, taking the set to a tiebreaker. Kerber finally won the match on her eighth match point, winning it when Kontaveit sent a forehand into the net.
Despite the fact that it was the Estonian who played more winners throughout the match (25 – 10), she also hit a total of 34 unforced errors giving away too many easy points to Kerber, who had only 13 unforced errors for the match.
In the quarterfinals, Kerber will face Babora Strycova of the Czech Republic. Kerber leads the head-to-head, 7-1.