Germany’s Angelique Kerber reacts after a point against Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia during their women’s singles match on day three of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 16, 2019. DAVID GRAY / AFP

 

Second seed Angelique Kerber dominated Brazilian qualifier, Beatriz Haddad Maia, to easily reach the Australian Open third round on Wednesday.

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The German Wimbledon champion produced a clinical display to advance 6-2, 6-3 in humid conditions.

“It was a tough match, she played really well and I knew that I had to play my best tennis,” the three-time Grand Slam champion said.

Kerber shut fellow left-hander Haddad Maia out of the first set, with the frustrated Brazilian hitting 13 winners to seven but unable to match her opponent’s consistency.

The German committed only six unforced errors to 29 and racked up an 80 percent success rate on the second serve.

Haddad Maia lifted as the second set began and Kerber had to wait until the eighth game to go up a break, then proceeded to serve out the match.

Kerber, a winner at Melbourne Park in 2016, will meet Australian wildcard Kimberly Birrell next.

She was wary of the threat posed by the 20-year-old, who will be cheered on by a wildly parochial crowd at Melbourne Park.

“I saw a bit of her match, she played really well, she’s on the third round,” she said.

“She’s playing at home, I’ll have to play at my best again.”

Kerber is on course for a quarter-final clash with fifth-seeded American Sloane Stephens if results go as expected.

She reached the semi-finals at the season-opening Grand Slam last year but lost to Simona Halep in a tight three-setter.

AFP

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