Angelique Kerber shows a strong performance in Wimbledon and reaches the second round. Other Germans are also convincing. Jan-Lennard Struff just missed a big surprise against Carlos Alcaraz.
Angelique Kerber threw her white towel into the audience with a happy smile. The 2018 winner mastered her opening task at the beloved grass classic in Wimbledon in a hurry and presented herself in strong early form.
At 6: 0, 7: 5, Kerber outclassed French Kristina Mladenovic in the first set in just 16 minutes and also mastered tight situations in the second round.
“It was a very tricky match. I started well, but she didn’t play really well either,” said the 34-year-old from Kiel. “I had to stay calm and then play my best tennis. I’m happy to be further.”
Kerber crowns the Germans’ strong start to the tournament
After just 62 minutes, Kerber crowned the strong performances of several German tennis professionals at the start of the tournament. Jan-Lennard Struff narrowly missed a first-round coup against young Spanish star Carlos Alcaraz in five sets. Oscar Otte clearly won the German duel with Peter Gojowczyk and underpinned his position as German number one in the 6: 1, 6: 2, 6: 1 in the absence of the injured Olympic champion Alexander Zverev. Jule Niemeier and Maximilian Marterer celebrated their premiere wins at Wimbledon.
For the three-time Grand Slam tournament winner Kerber, on the other hand, it was the 37th success at her self-proclaimed “magic place” on the legendary Church Road – and a special one. In her 14th Wimbledon participation, she managed to win a set without losing a game for the fourth time.
It was only in the more competitive second round that Kerber was really challenged, but she showed her class in the decisive situations and made the decisive break to make it 6:5. With a backhand, she converted her match point. In the next round, last year’s semi-finalist meets Magda Linette from Poland and is also a favourite.
Shortly before Kerber’s performance on Court 1, the spectators said goodbye to Struff under the closed roof of the second largest stadium with thunderous applause. Despite a great fight, the 32-year-old Warsteiner had to admit defeat after 4:10 hours 6:4, 5:7, 6:4, 6:7 (3:7), 4:6 and applauded the seventh in the world rankings The back.
Struff conceded the decisive break to make it 4: 5 in the fifth set, and Alcaraz, number five, converted his second match point a little later. “I’m very happy with my performance, but it hurts a lot to lose like that,” said Struff. “But the way encourages a lot more this year to get back to the front.” Struff had to pause this season for more than two months because of a broken toe.
He defeated the child prodigy Alcaraz in the first round of the French Open last year. After winning four tournaments alone this year, the 19-year-old Spaniard has a completely different status and is currently seventh in the world rankings.
Niemeier celebrates first Grand Slam victory
The 22-year-old Niemeier prevailed after only 73 minutes 6: 1, 6: 4 against the Chinese Xiyu Wang and thus celebrated her first victory ever in a Grand Slam tournament. “I’m extremely happy with my performance today because I played very well from start to finish,” said the Dortmund native. Niemeier now faces an extremely difficult task and meets Estonian Anett Kontaveit, who is number two.
Marterer defeated the Slovenian Aljaz Bedene after 3:04 hours 4:6, 7:5, 6:4, 7:5 and was not discouraged by two longer breaks in the rain. “It feels incredible, I wouldn’t have expected that before the tournament,” said the man from Nuremberg, who had fought his way through qualification. Marterer achieved his first victory in Wimbledon in his second main round participation, he is now dealing with Frances Tiafoe from the USA.
Struff makes a big fight
Struff, on the other hand, narrowly failed in his first second round entry since 2019. The fracture of his big toe, which had stopped him for more than two months this year, was not noticeable for a long time. In view of the “brutally difficult task” he had announced before the game that he would deliver a “monster fight” – and Struff kept his word.
Especially with his up to 218 km/h fast serve and crashing forehands, he put his opponent under pressure at the beginning and kept his nerve in numerous tight moments. In the end, Struff also visibly lacked the strength.