Fifth seed Angelique Kerber took a while to get her groove on in her second round match against Czech Lucie Hradecka, but when she finally got comfortable the German cruised to 6-3 6-1 victory at Australian Open 2013 .
In the 47-minute first set, Kerber saved all five break points against Hradecka and was in position to close the set when serving at 5-2.
The 51st-ranked Hradecka, however, stepped up the pace in that eighth game to break Kerber’s serve at 15-40, but copping the service break only delayed Kerber taking the set by a game – the Czech dropped the next and the set on a double fault.
Kerber raced through the second set in just 22 minutes, winning 26 of the 36 points played. A powerful left-hander, she sealed the win with a scorching forehand down the line.
Kerber, who arrived at Melbourne Park with a 5-0 head-to-head lead on Hradecka, had a strong start to the season, making the quarter-finals at Brisbane and the semis at Sydney.
It is her sixth appearance at the Australian Open, and her win today means she equals her best result at Melbourne. She made the third round in 2010.
Last year also marked a milestone season for Kerber. In October, she attained the No.5 world ranking for the first time in her career, following in the footsteps of other top-five compatriots such as Steffi Graf, Claudi Kohde-Kilsch, Anke Huber and Sylvia Hanika. Graf was the last German to be ranked in the top 5 (August 1999).
In the third round, Kerber will play the winner of the second round match between Tamira Paszek, of Austria, and American wildcard Madison Keys.