Despite battling for 3 hours and 16 minutes to win the Strasbourg final over Kaja Juvan four days ago, and then for 2 hours and 28 minutes to hold off Magdalena Frech in the first round here, Kerber is still going.
The former World No.1 extended her winning streak to seven matches, though will be relieved to have come through in 2 hours and 4 minutes after withstanding a valiant comeback attempt from 19-year-old Jacquemot in the second set.
Kerber had successully smothered the Frenchwoman’s game to take a 6-1, 2-0 lead, keeping a lid on Jacquemot’s intermittently impressive shotmaking with greater focus in tight moments. At this point, five games had gone to at least two deuces, and Kerber had won them all.
But Jacquemot, the 2020 Roland Garros girls’ champion, kept her head up and was finally rewarded when she broke back for 2-1 after a seven-deuce tussle. She had been demonstrating classic reflexes at net and punishing the Kerber second serve with panache, and the teenager took this energy through the rest of the set.
No.215-ranked Jacquemot struck 44 winners in total to Kerber’s 36, but committed 40 unforced errors to the German’s 25. Buoyed by her home support, Jacquemot delivered some bold tennis to successfully serve to stay in the match twice, while Kerber’s footwork slowed and her intensity dipped.
But experience told in the tiebreak. Kerber remained solid to chase down Jacquemot’s dropshots, while the youngster dug herself a hole with a pair of over-enthusiastic forehands.
“You have to fight in tennis, you know,” Kerber said afterwards. “I think it’s part of the game, as well. Everyone can play tennis. At the end, it’s just one, two points which decide matches. You know, I have it inside of me. If it’s coming out of me, I’m playing always my best tennis, because I really want it.”
Reported by WTA Staff