Kerber defeats Venus in Sydney

Angelique Kerber upset second seed Venus Williams in the second round of the Sydney International on Tuesday.

The 29-year-old German came from a set down to defeat 37-year-old Williams 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 in an event where six of the tournament’s seven seeds have lost their opening match.

In the first set, after four holds it was the American who dropped serve to trail as Kerber continued to find the corners of the court to lead 5-3.

But Kerber dropped her serve twice in a row to hand Williams the opener 7-5.

In the next set, it was Kerber who drew first blood, with a lob to a break for 3-2. Though Williams did break back for 3-3 she dropped her own serve a game later and the German went on to claim the set 6-3.

Thereafter it was all Kerber as she stormed to a 5-0 lead and though Williams fought off three match points on her own serve to avoid the bagel she could not undo the German’s stranglehold on the set and lost it and the match 6-1.

After the match, Kerber said she was happy with how things had gone. “I’m feeling really good. I say goodbye to 2017 and I’m really happy that the new year’s beginning.

“I had good matches in the last few days and I’m really looking forward to being here. It’s always tough, she’s a champion. She played an unbelievable 2017 so I just tried to play my game tonight,” Kerber said.

“I’m really looking forward to a lot of matches before going to Melbourne. Close matches, tough ones, second round against Venus is a tough round but I’m in the next round now.”

Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova won a second-round contest against Russian Elena Vesnina to reach the quarter-finals winning 6-4, 6-4.

Czech Barbora Strycova and Australian Samantha Stosur also had wins on Tuesday.