It was a good day for the German singles players in Birmingham with both Sabine Lisicki and Angelique Kerber coming through in straight sets. Lisicki won 7-6 6-4 over Magdalena Rybarikova while Kerber came through 6-4 6-2 against Jelena Jankovic.
Sabine Lisicki didn’t quite match her aces record of yesterday in today’s win but it was still a major force in victory, where she won over 70% of points on her first serve. After a slow start, Rybarikova showed why she is a former champion at this event by pushing Lisicki all the way in the first set only to falter once closing time came with a double fault on her own set point before making an error on Lisicki’s own set point.
The second set looked like it would be over quickly when Lisicki rushed into a 3-1 lead with 3 more break points but Rybarikova would hold on to force Lisicki to maintain control on her serve. A long protracted service game at 5-3* saw Rybarikova save a match point before Lisicki converted the first on her own service game with the help of her trademark booming service.
Kerber, a one time Wimbledon semi finalist, didn’t have it all her own way in the early proceedings with the 2007 champion Jankovic’s serve working well. It all turned on a decisive game at 4-3 in which the Serbian had four break point chances.
Kerber held her nerve on each of them, playing some stunning points to ensure that the match remained on serve. Jankovic looked far from happy to have failed to convert and it showed as the next game she was broken to love in a disappointing end to a set she had big chances in.
The German took charge in the second set with an early break and that would be enough for Kerber, who was strong on serve through out and only faced a single deuce. With qualifier Katerina Siniakova (def. McHale 6-3 6-0) awaiting in the quarter finals, it looks like the German will be around for the weekend’s proceedings and a probable thriller with Sabine Lisicki. If that is the case, Kerber will fancy her chances given the 5-0 record she holds against the eighth seed.