LONDON (Reuters) – Former world number one Angelique Kerber made a wobbly start against Wimbledon debutant Nina Stojanovic on Tuesday before finding her groove to seal a 6-4 6-3 victory and reach the second round.
Kerber, one of five former champions in the draw, came into Wimbledon full of confidence following her first title triumph in three years at the inaugural Bad Homburg grasscourt event last week.
The German left-hander made a slew of errors at the start of her first career meeting with Stojanovic, however, trailing 3-0 before switching gears to surge ahead of the 24-year-old and bag the opening set under the roof on Court One.
Serbian Stojanovic, who had troubled Kerber with her huge serve and variety of strokes, struggled to find her range and was left with a mountain to climb as the 2018 winner broke early in the second set to race 3-1 ahead.
Serving with authority at key moments, Kerber fended off a late comeback attempt by her unseeded rival to complete the win on her fourth match point when Stojanovic sent a return long.
Up next for 2016 runner-up Kerber is unseeded Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo or Croatian qualifier Ana Konjuh.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)