Kerber pushes into third round

Angelique Kerber (AFP)
Angelique Kerber (AFP)

Melbourne - World number seven Angelique Kerber booked her place in the Australian Open third round Thursday with a workmanlike 6-2, 6-4 win over Romania's Alexandra Dulgheru.

The German survived a huge scare in her opening-round clash, pulling herself back from the brink by saving a match point in a second-set tiebreaker against Japan's Misaki Doi.

She learned from the fright and was far more focused against Dulgheru, who had never been beyond the first round in four previous Australian Opens appearances.

"I'm very happy about my game tonight. The first round was really difficult for me. I wasn't really playing my game," said Kerber.

"Today I was more aggressive. I have worked more on my serve and movement."

She praised the atmosphere on Margaret Court Arena and vowed to "be around for a few more days yet".

Her reward is a third-round match-up with America's Madison Brengle as she stayed on track for a projected quarter-final against third-seeded Spaniard Garbine Muguruza.

Dulgheru pulled herself up through the rankings to 61 last year and reached her third career final at Kuala Lumpur last year, losing to Caroline Wozniacki, but was no match for the seasoned German in the first set.

Kerber, who is looking to go beyond the fourth round at Melbourne Park for the first time, got a break in the fourth game and another in the sixth with the Romanian outclassed.

But it was a closer affair in the second set with a revitalised Dulgheru going ahead with a break in the third. But Kerber, who turned 28 this week, immediately broke back and then again to seal victory in 73 minutes.

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