- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 5, 2015

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) - Angelique Kerber remembers fondly her time at Stanford last year, when she reached the final of the Bank of the West Classic.

She drew on that experience Tuesday night in beating Russia’s Daria Gavrilova 6-1, 6-3 in the first round.

“I played a lot of good matches,” Kerber said. “I actually like it a little bit faster.”

Without world No. 1 Serena Williams, who withdrew because of an elbow injury, Kerber may get to create even more good memories.

Playing in her first match since Wimbledon, where she reached the Round of 32, the sixth-seeded and 14th-ranked Kerber had an easier time of it in her third meeting of the year with the 41st-ranked Gavrilova.

“It wasn’t easy,” Kerber said. “I just played better. She moves very well and I always have a tough time against her. I am actually very happy about my performance.”

Kerber has already won three WTA titles this year and is 3-0 against Top 10 players. Her runner-up finish last year was her best effort of the season.

Eighth-seeded Elina Svitolina, who reached the quarterfinals of the French Open, needed three sets to beat qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko.

The 20th-ranked Svitolina had lost four of her last five matches before knocking off her fellow Ukrainian in a match that lasted two hours, 31 minutes.

Svitolina plays favorite daughter Nicole Gibbs, a Stanford grad, in the second round.

In other matches, American Varvara Lepchenko topped Croatia’s Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(4); fellow Croatian Ana Konjuh downed China’s Saisai Zheng, 6-3, 6-4; and Ajla Tomljanovic defeated Russian Vitalia Diatchenko, 3-6, 6-0, 6-0, and next meets seventh-seeded American Madison Keys.


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