Fifth seed Angelique Kerber victoriously started her Wimbledon title defense by beating fellow German Tatjana Maria 6-4 6-3 on Center Court.
The world No.65 Maria rallied from a 2-4 deficit in the opening set, but the three-time Grand Slam champion Kerber broke back right away and served out the set on her first try. In the second set, Kerber was a point away from a 4-1 lead, but Maria survived a 0-40 situation on her serve and then broke Kerber in the following game to level the set at 3-3.
Still, Maria didn’t have the strength to force the third set, as Kerber broke straight back and then once again in the final game that featured a number of amazing points, including one with Kerber’s skillful tweener which prolonged the point that Maria eventually won with a drop volley. By the way, more than half of Maria’s 15 winners in this match were volley winners.
In the second round of Wimbledon, Kerber will face American Lauren Davis, who defeated Kateryna Kozlova 6-3 6-2.
At the same time on No.1 Court, Ashleigh Barty won her first match as top-ranked WTA player by beating Zheng Saisai 6-4 6-2 in the first round and extending her winning streak to 13. Barty’s next opponent will be Belgium’s Alison Van Uytvanck, who eliminated two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4 4-6 6-2.