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Kerber dominant at Wimbledon opener against Mladenovic

MAngelique Kerber threw her white towel into the audience with a happy smile. The 2018 winner had mastered her opening task at the beloved lawn classic in Wimbledon in a hurry and presented herself in a strong early form. At 6: 0, 7: 5, Kerber outclassed French Kristina Mladenovic at the beginning and also mastered tight situations in the second set.

“I played well from the first point, but then Kristina found her rhythm. I had to stay calm and then play my best tennis. I’m happy to be through,” said the 34-year-old from Kiel.

After just 62 minutes, Kerber crowned the strong performances of several German tennis professionals at the start of the tournament. Jan-Lennard Struff narrowly missed a first-round coup against young Spanish star Carlos Alcaraz in five sets, Jule Niemeier and Maximilian Marterer celebrated their premiere wins at Wimbledon.

Already the 37th success

For the three-time Grand Slam tournament winner Kerber, on the other hand, it was the 37th success at her self-proclaimed “magic place” on the legendary Church Road – and a special one. In her 14th Wimbledon participation, she managed to win a set without losing a game for the fourth time.

It was only in the more competitive second round that Kerber was really challenged, but she showed her class in the decisive situations and made the decisive break to make it 6:5. With a backhand, she converted her match point. In the next round, last year’s semi-finalist meets Magda Linette from Poland and is also a favourite.

Shortly before Kerber’s performance on Court 1, the spectators said goodbye to Struff under the closed roof of the second largest stadium with thunderous applause. Despite a great fight, the 32-year-old Warsteiner had to admit defeat after 4:10 hours 6:4, 5:7, 6:4, 6:7 (3:7), 4:6 and applauded the seventh in the world rankings The back.

Struff conceded the decisive break to make it 4: 5 in the fifth set, and Alcaraz, number five, converted his second match point a little later. “He played very well,” Alcaraz praised his opponent. Struff defeated the child prodigy in the first round of the French Open last year. After winning four tournaments alone this year, the 19-year-old Spaniard has a completely different status and is currently seventh in the world rankings.

The 22-year-old Niemeier prevailed after only 73 minutes 6: 1, 6: 4 against the Chinese Xiyu Wang and thus celebrated her first victory ever in a Grand Slam tournament. “I’m extremely happy with my performance today because I played very well from start to finish,” said the Dortmund native. Niemeier now faces an extremely difficult task and meets Estonian Anett Kontaveit, who is number two.


Maximilian Marterer cheers after winning the match.
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Image: dpa

Marterer defeated the Slovenian Aljaz Bedene after 3:04 hours 4:6, 7:5, 6:4, 7:5 and was not discouraged by two longer breaks in the rain. “It feels unbelievable, I wouldn’t have expected that before the tournament,” said the man from Nuremberg, who fought his way through qualifying. Marterer achieved his first victory in Wimbledon in his second main round participation, he is now dealing with Frances Tiafoe from the USA.

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