- Angeliqe Kerber eased past Polona Hercog to make round two in Melbourne
- The German is among the favourites to lift this year’s Australian Open
- She beat her Slovenian opponent 6-2, 6-2 in stifling temperatures
Second seed Angelique Kerber eased into the second round of the Australian Open with victory over Polona Hercog.
The German lost a titanic semi-final clash with Simona Halep last year before winning her third Grand Slam title at Wimbledon and is many people’s favourite for the title.
She had few problems in the heat on Rod Laver Arena, easing to a 6-2, 6-2 victory over her Slovenian opponent, and next faces Brazilian qualifier Beatriz Haddad Maia.
Angelique Kerber celebrates as she claims the first set 6-2 against Polona Hercog
The German plays a backhand shot during her opening match at the Australian Open
Fifth seed Sloane Stephens was also comfortable, beating fellow American Taylor Townsend 6-4 6-2, but Julia Goerges and Jelena Ostapenko are out.
Maria Sharapova got out of the Melbourne heat as quickly as she could, needing just 63 minutes to beat British qualifier Harriet Dart 6-0, 6-0 in the first match on Rod Laver Arena.
Slovenian Polona Hercog looked lost for answers during Monday’s match in Melbourne