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March 9 - 22, 2020

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Relentless Kerber brushes aside Putinsteva to reach third round

Angelique Kerber

by Jeff Donaldson

The reigning Wimbledon champ loses just two games in BNP Paribas Open opening-round victory

Now that’s how you start a tournament.

It would have been tough to call a result like this given despite a similarly dominant score in the one previous matchup between Angelique Kerber and Yulia Putintseva. That match, played on the slick indoor hard courts of the Luxembourg Open nearly a decade ago in 2010, was won comprehensively by the German – but back then, Putintseva was merely a junior coming off a run to the girls’ singles final at the US Open and Kerber was far from the three-time Grand Slam champion she is today.

However, some things just don’t change and it was clear in the crushing 6-0, 6-2 score on a beautiful Saturday in Tennis Paradise that this is simply a match up that Kerber relishes.

Saturday, March 9, 2019 – Angelique Kerber plays Yulia Putintseva in the 2nd round of the BNP Paribas Open in Stadium 2 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. (Jared Wickerham/BNP Paribas Open)

The world No. 8 came firing out of the gates, immediately generating a triple break point opportunity on the Putintseva serve. On the second time of asking, Kerber secured the break and it was smooth sailing from there.

Putintseva would finally get on the board after the loss of 10 consecutive games, but the challenge of a comeback against one of the modern era’s sturdiest players from the baseline was insurmountable at that point.

Winning (a perhaps uncharacteristic) 93 per cent of first serve points, Kerber closed it out 6-0, 6-2 in just over an hour, booking a third-round encounter with qualifier Natalia Vikhlyantseva.

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