Kerber defends Stuttgart title

 25 Apr 2016 - 0:00

Kerber defends Stuttgart title
Angelique Kerber of Germany poses with her trophy in front of her reward, a Porsche Boxster 718, after winning her final match against Laura Siegemund of Germany at the WTA tennis tournament in Stuttgart, Germany, 24 April 2016. (EPA/Marijan Murat)

 

Stuttgart, Germany: Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber picked up her second title of 2016 with a 6-4, 6-0 victory over qualifier Laura Siegemund for back-to-back wins in Stuttgart on Sunday.

"It's amazing to be able to defend my title here," beamed Kerber after her repeat success in the WTA claycourt tournament.

"I had goosebumps, it's simply been a perfect week."

In an all-German final, Kerber claimed her first win since her Melbourne triumph in January with an impressive display against Siegemund.

The qualifier had beaten seeds Simona Halep, Roberta Vinci and Agnieszka Radwanska, all ranked in the world's top ten.

"I have never felt so much emotion out on the tennis court as I have in the last few days," said Siegemund, a trained psychologist who is working towards her doctorate.

"It happened exactly as I feared it would: God pulled the plug on me," she added, after the final took just 81 minutes.

"I haven't had a day off here and no time to enjoy my results, so I'll definitely do that now."

Having not dropped a set en route, this was Siegemund's debut in a WTA final and Kerber's first since the Australian Open.

Kerber beat her Germany Fed Cup team-mate Annika Beck in the second-round, then Spain's Carla Suarez-Navarro in the quarters and Petra Kvitova in the semi-final.

But the world number three got off to a false start when she found herself 3-0 down in the tight first set before fighting her way back.

She then raced into a 2-0 lead in the second as Siegemund had to briefly receive treatment.

Kerber then dominated the 28-year-old Siegemund, who will shoot up the world rankings from 71 to 42 on the back of her performances in Stuttgart, and kept finding her shots on the baseline to quickly race to a 4-0 lead.

Having broken Siegemund to go 5-0 up, Kerber used her first championship ball to seal the win which again includes the prize of a luxury sports car.

Having suffered a drop in form after her Melbourne triumph, Kerber says she has had to learn to deal with the hype of being a Grand Slam winner.

"I have learnt in the last few weeks to use every single minute to store up with energy and strength," said Kerber as she got her clay-court season off to a winning start.

AFP