2018 champion Angelique Kerber continued her great form at Wimbledon 2022, as the 15th seed from Germany defeated Poland’s Magda Linette 6-3, 6-3 to reach the third round in London.
Former World No.1 Kerber, who defeated Serena Williams in the 2018 Wimbledon final for her third career Grand Slam title, needed 1 hour and 25 minutes on Court No.2 to defeat Linette, who ranks 65th place in the ranking.
Angie advances again: Kerber and Linette had met just once before, with Kerber recording a three-set victory in the Strasbourg quarterfinals last month. Kerber went on to win that title.
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Kerber is playing his 51st consecutive Grand Slam event this fortnight, and has now won 84 tour-level grass-court matches. Only two active players have more grass-court wins than Kerber: fellow Wimbledon champions Serena Williams (107) and Venus Williams (97).
Match moments: Kerber and Linette combined to save the first eight break points of the match, but Kerber fired a backhand crosscourt winner to earn the chance for a 5-3 lead. Kerber capitalized on that opportunity with a forehand that forced the error and served out the first set from there.
A similar scenario occurred in the second set, where Kerber deployed another backhand crosscourt to grab a pivotal break and lead 4-3. Kerber broke again for good measure in the final game to wrap up the victory.
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Linette won three-quarters of her points at the net and hit 34 game-winning shots in the match, but Kerber was more stable in the key moments of the day. The German converted four of her 13 break points and successfully erased four of the five break points she faced.
Minnen stuns Muguruza; Pegula defeats Vekic
Earlier on Wednesday, a pair of Top 10 players residing in the top quarter of the Wimbledon draw finished their first-round matches delayed, with mixed results for the seeds.
Greet Minnen of Belgium stunned former Wimbledon champion and No.9 seed Garbiñe Muguruza of Spain 6-4, 6-0 over two days on Court No.2. Minnen earned her first Top 10 win in the process.
But No.8 seed Jessica Pegula of the United States booked a safe passage to the second round, defeating former Top 20 Donna Vekic of Croatia 6-3, 7-6(2).
The best victory of his career: Minnen had lost all three of her previous matches against Top 10 opponents, but the World No.88 finally pulled off a victory over a member of that echelon, edging former World No.1 Muguruza after just over an hour in total.
Minnen scored the first set on Tuesday night when the delay postponed the rest of the match until Wednesday. 2017 Wimbledon champion Muguruza was unable to turn things around despite the overnight break, with Minnen needing just 18 minutes to sweep the second set.
Minnen finished the match with 15 winners to 14 unforced errors, while Muguruza’s nine winners were nullified by 33 unforced errors. The Belgian now moves on to a second-round clash with rising Chinese teenager Zheng Qinwen.
Pegula prevails: On Wednesday, it took Pegula an hour and a half to stop Vekic and win their first-round adventure. Pegula and Vekic were originally scheduled for Tuesday night, but they never started their match that night.
Vekic has been a tough customer on grass in her career, with a Hologic WTA Tour title, two additional WTA finals and a round of 16 at Wimbledon 2019 on this surface.
But Pegula, who reached the quarterfinals at both the Australian Open and Roland Garros this year, triumphed and reached the second round of Wimbledon for the second season in a row. Vekic twice recovered from a break in the second set before Pegula overcame the tie break.