Strasbourg International: Angelique Kerber thwarts Kaja Juvan en route to trophy run

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Strasbourg International: Angelique Kerber thwarts Kaja Juvan en route to trophy run

Angelique Kerber defeated Kaja Juvan in the final of the Strasbourg International on Saturday. The German, who was seeded second in the event, won in three tie-break sets, 7-6(5), 6-7(0), 7-6(5) in three hours and 16 minutes.

It was a topsy-turvy match all throughout with Juvan first taking the lead in the first set before Kerber got back. In the tie-break, it was the former world no. 1’s turn to take the lead and squander it before composing herself again to take the tie-break and the set.

The Slovenian retaliated in the second set and pushed the match into the decider. In the deciding set, Kerber was able to play through Juvan and push through, to clinch the title. Both players hit 86 winners each across the match.

Kerber won 62% of her first-serve points to Juvan's 59% and 46% of her second-serve points to the latter's 41%. Both players lost their serve six times but Kerber saved nine of the 15 break points she faced while Juvan saved 13 of the 19 she faced.

Strasbourg International: Angelique Kerber survives Kaja Juvan threat

Speaking after the match, Kerber said, “The third set, it was head-to-head, it was really close. Playing three tiebreaks in the final shows that it was a really close and tough battle, and I’m really happy how I played at the end, and how I played the last point, actually!” Going into the match, it was Kaja Juvan who’d won against Angelique Kerber the only other time they’d played.

This was also Juvan’s first final. Meanwhile, the Strasbourg International title is the three-time Major champion’s first title on clay in almost six years, since 2016. At the French Open, the 34-year-old will play Magdalena Frech.

Seeded 21st in the bottom half of the draw, Kerber could play Emma Raducanu in the third round. Meanwhile, Juvan will play qualifier Oksana Selekhmetova in the first round in Paris and could play Paula Badosa in the second round.

Juvan’s placed in the top half of the draw in the French Major. Photo Credit: Strasbourg International Twitter