Unseeded American Alison Riske came back from a set down and had to save match points en route to a stunning upset over Angelique, winning 5-7, 6-4, 7-6(4) at the inaugural ICBC Credit Card Zhengzhou Open.
“I think it was a really good match from both of us, we played on a really high level,” Angie said. “At the end, it was just one point that decided the match. I had my chances, but she always played great in the important moments.
“I will try to take the positive things, and try to do better next week.”
Reported by WTATennis.com
In the decider, Kerber started out with an early break at 1-0 – and just as many times, Riske responded with two breaks of her own to take the lead, this time for 3-1. With both players dialed in, they wrestled for momentum as they stayed level at 4-4 after combining for six breaks.
Another two breaks exchanged sent them into a tiebreaker, where there was nothing to separate the in-form Riske and Kerber. Ten of the first 12 points went to the server, with both players trading minibreaks to stay apace. Kerber held a match point at 6-5, but Riske found another level to stay in the contest. From there, Riske claimed the next three points to put an end to the two hour and 53 minute battle, booking her spot into the second round.
Riske struck 50 winners and 49 unforced errors across all three sets, far outpacing Kerber’s 19 and 26, respectively. The pair broke each other 10 times each, with Riske serving at 63% first serves and Kerber 72%.