Kerber Wins In Eastbourne


Nature Valley International, Great Britain

[5] Angelique Kerber (GER) vs. [7] Simona Halep (ROU)

In a battle of former number ones, Kerber came out victorious. The German was pushed by Halep and was forced to elevate her game to secure the straight sets victory (6-4, 6-3). Halep may have led their head-to-head 6:4 prior to this match, but she had lost their only encounter on grass; thus, the odds favored Kerber. Although Halep was able to break once in each set, Kerber never allowed much more than that. Yet, despite the score, it was not an easy victory for Kerber.

Trying to get her game on grass ready for the challenge of defending her Wimbledon title, Kerber can truly say that she was tested and passed with flying colors. Next up for the German is the unpredictable threat of Ons Jabeur. I am not sure if Jabeur will be fully ready to give Kerber much of a challenge since she rolled her right ankle today in her match against Alize Cornet. However, if she is fully fit, she could make life a tad uncomfortable for Kerber.

Two Americans Still In The Draw

Serveandrally original: Sam Querrey

[36] Fernando Verdasco (ESP) vs. [79] Sam Querrey (USA)

Recently recovered from injury, Querrey is looking to get his game ready for the third major of the season. Although he led their head-to-head 4:1 coming into this match, they had never faced each other on grass. Verdasco should have been the player with more confidence and he proved so in the first set when he was right there with the American; however, Querrey never gave him an opportunity to take the lead. Once the American secured the first set, there was not much that the Spaniard could do to avoid the inevitable 7-6(4), 6-2 loss and that sense of resignation was evident in Verdasco’s body language.

Getty Images Europe: Taylor Fritz

[42] Taylor Fritz (USA) vs. [52] Hubert Hurkacz (POL)

In the first meeting of what may be many between these two up and coming stars, American Fritz got the hard-fought victory. While the statistics were not impressive for the American, he managed to save all seven break points against his serve in the first set and took full advantage of his one break chance to steal the first set. The second set got a tad more complicated for the American, who served for the match 5-3 up but succumbed to those pesky nerves. Having broken back, Hurkacz amped up his game and forced a tiebreak, which was thrilling; however, Fritz never quit believing and he won 6-4, 7-6(5).

SOURCE OF IMAGES: (main image: Getty Images North America-Angelique Kerber)

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