A hard-fought battle saw Petra Kvitova defeat Angelique Kerber 6-4, 7-5 in the second round of the Mutua Madrid Open on Saturday. The match between the former Grand Slam champions lived up to the billing as neither made it easy for the other to run away with the match. Kerber was the first player to break in both sets before surrendering the advantage quickly as Kvitova often recovered from early setback to win the match.
“I don’t think that I really played like bad games when she broke my serve. It was kind of important to stay calm, which I did very well I think today, through whole match. I just took her straight away back,” Kvitova said after the match. “I served very well, especially in the important points.”
“I think like overall the intensity and the tennis itself was on the high level I would say. I think we really played very well. She even served very well, as well. It was tough to attack her serve. I think I was pretty pleased that I stayed calm during the whole match. I was just there, doesn’t matter what the score [was]. That’s what I’m pleased with.”
There was very little to separate them as they both produced high-quality tennis over the course of one hour and 22 minutes. Kvitova’s winner total of 33 was way more than Kerber’s 14. The German’s unforced error count was at 16.
3⃣1⃣ wins at the #MMOPEN
— #MMOPEN (@MutuaMadridOpen) May 1, 2021
Elsewhere, Ons Jabeur secured a 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 win over 2017 US Open winner Sloane Stephens, to enter the third round.
“I had a little bit of trouble adjusting at the beginning but I’m glad I played well,” Jabeur said on-court after the match. “The second set was amazing, and the third set was a very difficult set.”
“It’s great to be here. I’ve played a lot of matches lately and I’m glad I’m keeping the rhythm. I love the clay and I’m trying to enjoy every match here.”
In the first clay-court match between the two players, Jabeur came from losing the first set to run away with the second 6-1. In the decider, Jabeur earned the decisive break in the sixth game to lead 4-2. She then saw out the set to seal the match.