Kerber celebrates birthday with shift to 3rd round

Thursday, 19 January 2017 01:22 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Germany’s Angelique Kerber blows out candles on a cake she was presented for her birthday during a promotional event at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, January 18, 2017 - REUTERS 

AFP: Defending champion Angelique Kerber celebrated her 29th birthday with a gritty win at the Australian Open on Wednesday – andwas rewarded by fans serenading her on centre court.

The top seed beat 89th-ranked fellow German Carina Witthoeft but the round two win was far from gift-wrapped and Kerber had to overcome a second-set stutter before taking it 6-2, 6-7 (3/7), 6-2. As an impromptu rendition of “Happy Birthday” rang out, Kerber, who will next play Czech Kristyna Pliskova, said she was still getting to grips with being world number one.

“To have this pressure is a privilege. It’s completely new for me, but I’m doing well. I’m just trying to enjoy it,” she said. Kerber joined Venus Williams and Svetlana Kuznetsova in round three as the Grand Slam-winning veterans enjoyed smooth progress in sunny conditions on day three.