A commanding performance from former world No.1 Angelique Kerber has taken Germany a step closer to a first final in 23 years at the Mastercard Hopman Cup.
The powerful 29-year-old took just 59 minutes to outclass Daria Gavrilova 6-1 6-2 to complete a trio of comprehensive victories in Perth.
Also a winner over Naomi Osaka and Eugenie Bouchard this week, it’s the perfect start to the season after Kerber fell to world No.21 in a frustrating 2017.
Supported by a new coach in Wim Fissette as she starts her season in Perth for the first time, Kerber would be delighted with the composure and aggression she displayed against Gavrilova.
She recovered from a 0-40 start in her opening service game and despite the support coming from the passionate home crowd, the Australian was unable to lift.
“I know Dasha is such a tough opponent, so I was just trying to focus from every ball,” said Kerber, who set the tone as she hit 10 winners to one from Gavrilova in the swift opening set.
“I tried to enjoy it and I hope Sascha will play another good match.”
Appearing to have found a solid groove with Fissette’s guidance, the German is delighted with progress in her Hopman Cup debut.
“I’ve been working on a lot of things, trying to be aggressive, move well but also be more consistent. I’m feeling really good about these three wins.
“I think all three matches have been a little bit different. Of course, I’ve been trying to play my own aggressive game and it’s worked. So I’m just very happy with my performances this week.”
Alexander Zverev now takes to the court against Thanasi Kokkinakis, where a win would secure Germany’s place in the final.