Second-seeded German Angelique Kerber easily won the battle of left-handers against big-hitting Brazilian qualifier Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-2 6-3 to stroll into the third round of the Australian Open on Wednesday. The Wimbledon champion broke the 22-year-old Haddad Maia twice in the opening set and converted her first set point when the Brazilian sent a forehand wide for her 29th unforced error in the set. Kerber, a triple Grand Slam champion who won in Melbourne in 2016, faced just one breakpoint in the match in the second set and converted her first opportunity in the eighth game to go 5-3 up and serve for the set. In the third round the former world number one will meet Australian wildcard Kimberly Birrell, who earlier ousted 29th seeded Donna Vekic 6-4 4-6 6-1.
(With inputs from agencies.)