- Oldest ex-MLB player dies in Cuba, 2 days shy of 103rd birthday
- ‘Top Gun’ for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy’s approval
- Bill Clinton to endorse Charlie Rangel for re-election
- Pfc. Bradley Manning is now Pfc. Chelsea Manning: Court says so
- Secret base U.S. special forces used to train Libyans now under terrorist control: report
- 9th suspect in N.C. kidnapping turns self in to FBI
- L.A. sheriff admits to testing flyover spy program without notifying residents
- Foreign minister vows response if Russians are attacked in Ukraine
- Robert Griffin III to drive pace car before Richmond NASCAR race
- Material on Australian shore examined in jet hunt
Serena Williams cruises in WTA Championships opener
Williams, the defending champion, had no trouble against Kerber, who also lost to the American 6-4, 6-1 in the round-robin at this event last year. Kerber was the only player to beat Williams last year - in Cincinnati - after the American’s first-round ouster at the French Open.
“Today she was playing unbelievable, and I had actually no chance. I mean, she was serving great and also returning unbelievable,” Kerber said. “So I was just giving all I could, but yeah, it’s tough to play against Serena like this.”
Williams was particularly effective with her backhand return, the shot she also used on her first match point. Kerber, who had two straight double-faults to surrender the first game of the second set, produced another to give Williams three match points.
“Tonight was fine. Always good to get here early, not too early for me, but it’s good to get here and feel the conditions. Plus, I have played here before, so I think that helped, “Williams said.
Although she is 32, considered a ripe age in tennis, Williams is enjoying the finest season in her career, having already won 10 titles.
She added the French Open and U.S. Open titles to bring her Grand Slam record to 17 championships and is 74-4 for the year.
“I was a little rusty at the beginning. I think it’s a little bit expected after a break, and playing right away against a top player always makes it a little bit difficult,” Azarenka said.
In the late match, 2011 champion Petra Kvitova, who had to withdraw during last year’s event because of injury, beat Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 6-4.
Kvitova, a former Wimbledon champion, struggled to close out the match. She had four break points and wasted two match points before winning on a challenge. Radwanska’s shot after a rally did not get a call but Kvitova asked for a review and the replay showed that the ball had gone long.
Williams, making her eighth appearance in the event, is looking to become the first player to successfully defend the title since Justine Henin in 2007.
Henin was also the last to win 10 titles in a season, in 2007.
“I think I served very good, but she was returning unbelievable. Actually, she didn’t give me a small chance to breathe,” Kerber said.
Feds who send arms against ranch families betray American values
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with 'full-time' robots
- Georgia governor signs bill expanding gun rights
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- Opposition rising to Colorado gun control laws
- Professor apologizes after blasting Republicans in class
- Harry Reid using tax dollars to fight Koch brothers, La. GOP chair charges
- Ukraine claims torture by pro-Russian forces on the heels of Biden's stern warning to Moscow
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014