No. 6 seed Kerber cruises in first round at Dubai

2/21/2018 1:19:23 AM EST

Angelique Kerber made quick work of Barbora Strycova in winning a one-sided, first-round match 6-2, 6-1 on Tuesday at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in the United Arab Emirates.

The No. 6 seed Kerber upped her 2018 singles match record to 17-2 after a dominant victory that lasted only 59 minutes.

"I played a solid match," Kerber said afterward after upping her head-to-head mark against Strycova to 7-1. "It's always tough to play against her. You never know what'll happen. She's always a fighter, but I'm happy to won the match in two sets."

The German Kerber ousted the 31-year-old Strycova by breaking the Czech's serve five times in the victory in her hopes to surpass last year's run to the tournament semifinals when she was defeated by eventual champion Elina Svitolina.

"I don't know what it is, but I like to play here in Dubai. I like the weather. It's always nice. Yeah, it's sunny. You have the hotel on-site. I think I just try to really enjoy my stay here every year."

Strycova struggled mightily with her serve, successfully hitting just 47 percent of first serves and double-faulting six times in the loss.

Kerber will face former champion Sara Errani of Italy in the second round after the 2012 tourney winner defeated fellow qualifier Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine 6-4, 6-3. Errani was helped by a 90-percent first-serve percentage throughout the win.

Errani, 30, has beaten Kerber in two of their three career matchups with the last head-to-head matchup in the fourth round of the 2012 U.S. Open, which Errani won 7-6 (5), 6-3.

In other matches Tuesday, No. 5 seed Caroline Garcia of France advanced by beating Czech Lucie Safarova 6-3, 7-5; Estonia's Anett Kontaveit eliminated Australian Samantha Stosur 1-6, 6-2, 6-4; Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro beat 18-year-old Russian Sofya Zhuk 6-2, 6-2; 18-year-old American CiCi Bellis won in straight sets over Elise Mertens of Belgium 6-3, 6-3; and China's Qiang Wang downed Kiki Bertens of The Netherlands 6-3, 6-0.

--Field Level Media