Wimbledon: Angie makes winning start
Jul 02, 2019

Angelique Kerber renewed acquaintances with Centre Court and promptly made herself at home again.

The German defending champion, back at the scene of her 2018 victory, answered every question asked by countrywoman Tatjana Mariain a testing first round match-up.

Brains were deployed at the expense of brawn with the unruffled Kerber emerging the winner 6-4, 6-3 despite a topsy-turvy first set in which holds of serve were a rare sight.

Kerber has won more grass court matches than any other woman over the past four seasons and is bidding to become the sixth female player to successfully defend a Wimbledon title.

More importantly, she knows what it takes. In this instance, an opening day to shake off any nerves and a decent performance against a stubborn opponent to instil further confidence.

Take the set point to win the first. Maria prowled the net, poised to smack away the ball which was about to come her way only to crane her neck as Kerber produced a fabulous lob.

The No.5 seed might have expected to romp away but Maria, No.65, bounced back from an early break in the second set to force another rethink. The response was that of a confident player, so confident that Kerber even produced a tweener.

A few minutes later, a first match point, duly converted after a short rally and the first big step taken.