The 4-6 6-4 6-1 victory was the fourth time in as many matches that Kerber had got the better of her German compatriot, who is ranked 14th in the world and considered as one of the rising stars of the game. “She is a great player who is also a good friend, so it’s not easy playing against her,” Kerber, who won the Paris Indoors last week, said after her victory. “We travel together and live in the same hotels, but I was focused on my game,” Kerber added. Kerber, ranked No.22 in the world, reached at least the semi-finals in six of the past 10 tournaments she played before winning her first WTA title in Paris.
“I am really playing well, but this is a big tournament with many stars playing, but I will really try my best,” she added. The top eight players in the field have been given first round byes and will see kick off their title challenges on Wednesday.