Kerber beats Siegemund to defend Stuttgart title


Stuttgart (Germany)—Angelique Kerber defended her Porsche Grand Prix title with a comprehensive 6-4, 6-0 win over qualifier Laura Siegemund in Sunday’s all-German final.
Siegemund made a great start and went 3-0 up in nine minutes, but Kerber recovered and converted three of her five break opportunities to take the first set in 39 minutes at the indoor clay-court tournament.
The Australian Open champion started the second set with a break and capitalized on a host of unforced errors from Siegemund – playing her first final in her hometown – to wrap up the match in 81 minutes with her first match point.
‘’It doesn’t get any better. I needed a bit of time to find my rhythm and I’m happy I managed it in the end,’’ Kerber said.
It was the ninth career win for the second-seeded Kerber, and the first time she had successfully defended a title.
The 71st-ranked Siegemund bettered her previous best finish, a quarterfinal on clay at Charleston this month. She had seen off top-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska, fourth-seeded Simona Halep and sixth-seeded Roberta Vinci and didn’t drop a set in reaching the final. She’ll reach a career-high 42nd place in the rankings on Monday.
‘’I’m really tired and I know I can play much better,’’ the 28-year-old Siegemund said. ‘’There is no situation in tennis in which you play more games than at a tournament, and at some stage the limit is reached.’’
Meanwhile, Cagla Buyukakcay’s fairytale run at the Istanbul Cup continued on Saturday as she beat Stefanie Voegele in straight sets to book a final date with Danka Kovinic.
Buyukakcay is bidding to become the first Turkish player to win the WTA International tournament in her homeland, and the 26-year-old comfortably defeated Voegele 6-0 7-5.
It took the world number 118 just 23 minutes to wrap up the opening set, and while Voegele put up more of a fight in the second, a crucial break in the 11th game earned Buyukakcay a spot in Sunday’s final.
Fifth seed Kovinic, meanwhile, was made to work hard for her place in the showpiece, as she fought past a spirited performance from Kateryna Kozlova in a match littered with breaks of serve.
The first set featured nine breaks, with Kovinic eventually claiming it 7-5 after saving break point before converting her first set point. And the Montenegrin also shaded the second set, breaking three times on her way to winning it 6-4.
Kovinic will hope her win over Buyukakcay in Charleston earlier this month augurs well for Sunday’s clash.—AP

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