London: Former Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber was put through the wringer early in her third-round clash with unseeded Aliaksandra Sasnovich todaybut the German rallied from a set down to win 2-6 6-0 6-1 after a rain delay.
Kerber faced a tough test against Sara Sorribes Tormo in the previous round before overcoming the Spaniard in the longest women’s match at Wimbledon since 2011 and made a sluggish start by twice dropping serve in the opening set to give Sasnovich a 4-0 lead.
World number 100 Sasnovich, taking on a second former All England champion this week after watching Serena Williams limp off injured in their opener, wrapped up the first set in style after rain temporarily halted the action on Court Two.
Kerber had warmed up for Wimbledon with her first title in three years at the inaugural Bad Homburg tournament last week and the 33-year-old showed why she cannot be written off on grass with a blistering response in the second set.
Gifted the advantage
The 2018 champion shot out of the blocks, playing inspired tennis to hand her 27-year-old opponent a bagel and level the contest at one set apiece.
A wayward forehand by Sasnovich gifted Kerber the advantage at 3-1 in the decider and the only remaining Wimbledon champion in the women’s singles draw further tightened her grip on the match before finishing with an ace to reach the last 16.
In the fourth round, 25th seed Kerber will face the winner of the match between American teenager Coco Gauff and unseeded Slovenian Kaja Juvan.