The 27th-ranked Angelique Kerber scored her first Top 10, more precisely a Top 5, victory against top seed Maria Sharapova in the quarterfinals of the Open GDF Suez, and after beating Yanina Wickmayer in the semis 6-7(2) 6-3 6-4, Kerber completed the career milestone week by overcoming second seed and home force Marion Bartoli in the final to win her first title on the WTA Tour. It’s not that the early rounds were easy for the ninth-seeded Kerber. First she faced an always-tricky Lucie Safarova and in the second round Monica Niculescu pushed her to 6-3 4-6 6-3.
Bartoli is world No.7, so the victory in the title match is Kerber’s second against a Top 10 player. But it wasn’t a simple task, as the two fought for two hours and 39 minutes until Kerber won 7-6(3) 5-7 6-3. The first set contained four service breaks, two on each side, and Bartoli was 100% successful on break point conversions, but Kerber came out strong and took the set in a tiebreak. The German was on a roll until 5-2 in the second set, when Bartoli took charge and won five straight games to take the match to the third set. Kerber then again established a lead and this time she kept it alive until the final point to her advantage. (photo: Upali Wickramasinghe)