Rusty Kerber exits, Sharapova through

Germany's Angelique Kerber suffers on the hard court in her first match since her Wimbledon triumph, losing 6-4, 6-1 to France's Alize Cornet in the second round of the Rogers Cup.
Germany's Angelique Kerber suffers on the hard court in her first match since her Wimbledon triumph, losing 6-4, 6-1 to France's Alize Cornet in the second round of the Rogers Cup.PHOTO: REUTERS

MONTREAL • German Angelique Kerber's first match since becoming Wimbledon champion ended in a sobering 6-4, 6-1 defeat by Alize Cornet of France at the rain-hit Rogers Cup on Wednesday.

The world No. 4, who was playing for the first time after beating Serena Williams in last month's Grand Slam final, committed 32 unforced errors and looked rusty in her 85-minute second-round exit .

It was her second straight loss - after the setback on the Beijing hard court last year - against the 34th-ranked Cornet, who will next face the Australia Ashleigh Barty in the third round

"It was my first match after three weeks now," said Kerber. "It's not always so easy to change the surface. I need a little bit more time to get used to hard courts again."

There was no such problem for Maria Sharapova, who fired 25 winners past fellow Russian Daria Kasatkina, 21, in a 6-0, 6-2 victory.

The former world No. 1 needed just 66 minutes to see off the 12th seed, who managed only three winners, in an impressive and timely display of big-hitting ahead of the final major of the year, the US Open, that starts in under three weeks' time.

"I came on court having a lot of respect for my opponent because she's up-and-coming but has already established herself," said the f ive-time m ajor winner.

"I knew I had a tough match ahead of me. I was focused from the beginning and finished it that way."

She will face sixth seed Caroline Garcia for a place in the quarter-finals, having lost for the first time to the Frenchwoman on clay in Stuttgart in April after winning the previous four.

Defending champion Elina Svitolina also went through to the third round after in-form Romanian opponent Mihaela Buzarnescu was forced to retire with an ankle injury.

Svitolina, the fifth seed from Ukraine, was leading 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 4-3 when Buzarnescu, fresh off winning her first WTA singles title at San Jose last weekend, turned her ankle and was inconsolable as she left the court in a wheelchair.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 10, 2018, with the headline 'Rusty Kerber exits, Sharapova through'. Print Edition | Subscribe