Playing her first match at the 2017 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, top seed Angelique Kerber couldn’t find her game on the red clay of Stuttgart and Kristina Mladenovic steadily progressed to victory in their second-round match.
Having won just one set off Kerber in their three previous meetings, Mladenovic survived a very long opening game on serve and from then on pretty much cruised through the first set, continuing the momentum in the second set by going 3-0 up.
While Mladenovic’s break point conversion was perfect 3/3 to that point in the match, the world No.2 Kerber finally used her first in seven break opportunities and improved her position, catching up from 0-3 to 3-3 in the second set. Overall, however, the German simply couldn’t find her rhythm and movement and Kiki eventually advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-2 7-5 victory.
The loss of the two-time defending champion Kerber means that pregnant Serena Williams will keep the No.1 ranking for the next two weeks.
Angie has not been playing well. It must be confidence issues. I can see her falling out of Top 10 this year. Kiki on the other hand plays well in singles and she begins to mature on court. The results are there. I think she’ll be dangerous in slams as well. If she continues the trend, she’ll be close enough to gain a Top 10 ranking.