Rediff India Abroad
 Rediff India Abroad Home  |  All the sections


The Web

India Abroad

Sign up today!

Mobile Downloads
Text 67333
Article Tools
Email this article
Top emailed links
Print this article
Contact the editors
Discuss this Article

Home > Sports > Tennis > Reuters > Report

Serena survives gritty Kerber

August 28, 2007 11:10 IST

Australian Open champion Serena Williams [Images] worked harder than expected but came away with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over unseeded Angelique Kerber of Germany [Images] in the first round of the US Open Monday.

The eighth-seeded Williams, an eight-times Grand Slam winner, needed 77 minutes to dispatch the 19-year-old Kerber.

"I didn't play well at all, at all," said 25-year-old Williams, who has been bothered by a sore left thumb and was playing in her first match since losing in the Wimbledon quarter-finals to Justine Henin [Images].

Williams, often left short of breath after being sent corner to corner by the German lefthander, served for the match at 5-4 in the second set but Kerber rose to the occasion, scoring a service break set up by a crosscourt passing shot.

That seemed to motivate the American, who broke right back and then served out the match as 67th-ranked Kerber netted a forehand on double matchpoint.

Williams was at a loss to explain her lacklustre performance, joking that perhaps she was uptight about extending her streak of never losing in the first round of a grand slam to 32 events.

"No, it was me," she said when asked what the German did to throw her off balance.

"I think she definitely played a tough game but I just think I made a lot of errors. I didn't feel I moved my feet well. I felt like I was just flat footed. I felt like I was just heavy. I don't know."

Williams had 38 winners to just 12 for the German, but she also committed more unforced errors -- 26 to 12 for Kerber.

Next up for Williams is unseeded Maria Elena Camerin of Italy [Images], a 6-3, 7-6 winner against Tatiana Poutchek of Belarus.

"I'll be fine," Williams added.

© Copyright 2007 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.