2018 champion Angelique Kerber continued her strong form at Wimbledon 2022, as the German No.15 seed beat Poland’s Magda Linette 6-3, 6-3 to reach the third round in London.
Former world No. 1 Kerber, who beat Serena Williams in the 2018 Wimbledon final for her third career Grand Slam title, needed an hour and 25 minutes on Court No. 2 to oust Linette, ranked 65th.
Angie advances again: Kerber and Linette had only faced each other once before, with Kerber picking up a three-set victory in the quarter-finals in Strasbourg last month. Kerber won this title.
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Kerber is playing her 51st consecutive Grand Slam event this fortnight, and she has now won 84 matches on grass at tour level. Only two active players have more wins on grass 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 crosscourt backhand winner to earn a chance to lead 5-3. Kerber converted that opportunity with an error-forcing forehand, and she served the first set from there.
A similar scenario played out in the second set, where Kerber deployed another backhand crossover to grab a decisive break and lead 4-3. Kerber broke again for good measure in the final game to wrap up the win.
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Linette won three-quarters of her points at net and she shot 34 game-winning points in the game, but Kerber was more consistent on the day at key times. The German converted four of her 13 break points while successfully erasing four of the five break points she faced.
Minnen stuns Muguruza; Pegula defeats Vekic
Earlier on Wednesday, two Top 10 players residing in the top quarter of the Wimbledon draw completed their delayed first round matches, with mixed results for the top seeds.
Greet Minnen of Belgium shocked former Wimbledon champion and No. 9 seed Garbiñe Muguruza of Spain 6-4, 6-0 in two days on No. 2 court. Minnen earned his first victory in the Top 10 in the process.
But No. 8 seed Jessica Pegula of the United States booked a safe passage to the second round, beating former Top 20 player Donna Vekic of Croatia 6-3, 7-6 (2).
Best career win: Minnen had lost her previous three matches to Top 10 opponents, but the world No. 88 finally picked up a victory over a member of that echelon, edging out former world No. 1 Muguruza after just over an hour in the game. total.
Minnen clinched the first set on Tuesday night when the delay pushed the rest of the match to Wednesday. 2017 Wimbledon champion Muguruza couldn’t turn the tide despite the overnight break, and Minnen needed just 18 minutes to sweep the second set.
Minnen finished the match with 15 winners for 14 unforced errors, while Muguruza’s nine winners were nullified by 33 unforced errors. The Belgian now enters a second-round clash with rising Chinese teenager Zheng Qinwen.
Pegula prevails: It took an hour and a half Wednesday for Pegula to stop Vekic and win their first-round case. Pegula and Vekic were originally scheduled for Tuesday night, but their match never started that night.
Vekic has been a tough customer on grass during her career, with a Hologic WTA Tour title, two additional WTA Finals and a round of 16 at Wimbledon 2019 on the surface.
But Pegula, who reached the quarter-finals at both the Australian Open and Roland Garros this year, triumphed to reach the second round at Wimbledon for the second consecutive season. Vekic came back twice from a breakdown in the second set before Pegula broke through the tie-break.