Top seed Angelique Kerber was the last big-name player to kick off her 2016 Ericsson Open campaign in Bastad on Wednesday, playing her first-round match against Sweden’s Cornelia Lister.
On paper, the match between the world #2 and reigning Australian Open champion Kerber and the Swedish world #664 would have been a no-brainer, but it turned out to be a lot more dramatic than people expected.
Suffering from issues with her left elbow, Kerber found herself trailing quickly, losing the first set to Lister under the watchful eyes of Hollywood superstar Hugh Grant in the crowd. It took Kerber all the way until the late stages of the second set to finally swing the match in her favor, as the vast experience from being a Grand Slam champion made the difference in the end.
While Kerber struggled, the #2 seed Sara Errani continues to impress and is through to the quarterfinals, advancing against Gstaad champ Viktorija Golubic in a hotly-contested two-set match. While the Italian can rest on her laurels tomorrow, Kerber is scheduled to play her second-round match against Lara Arruabarrena and the Wimbledon finalist is hopeful to put on a strong showing despite the injury worries.