Tennis - Kerber beats Mladenovic in 1st match as women’s world No. 1
Playing her first match as the No. 1ranked player in women’s tennis, Angelique Kerber dropped the first set before recovering to beat Kristina Mladenovic 6-7 (4), 6-1, 6-4 yesterday to reach the third round of the Wuhan Open. Kerber replaced Serena Williams atop the rankings with her run to the U.S. Open title, and then took time off before heading to China to start her Asian swing in Wuhan, where she had a bye in the first round. The 28-year-old German didn’t face a breakpoint in the second and third sets as she set up a third-round match against two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, who cruised to a 6-3, 6-1 win over Elina Svitolina. Defending champion Venus Williams broke Yulia Putintseva’s serve seven times in a 6-3, 6-2 win that earned her a third-round match against No. 9-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova, who beat Madison Brengle, 6-0, 6-4.