Patience pays off for Kerber

Fognini and Lajovic win to reach Monte-Carlo quarter-finals

Heavy rain in Sydney caused significant delays to play and held up this second-round clash in which fifth-seeded German Kerber eventually triumphed with a 6-7 7-6 6-3 win against the young Russian in over two-and-a-half hours.

Kerber’s triumph – in a match that finished after 3am local time – set up a quarter-final match against Garbine Muguruza, who successfully saw off 2013 winner Agnieszka Radwanska with a shock defeat.

Kerber wrote on Twitter: “Playing tennis all night long, finish my match at 3.10am!”

Radwanska, who alongside Jerzy Janowicz helped Poland claim the Hopman Cup, won the first set against Muguruza but then lost the next two as the Spaniard hit back for a 3-6 7-6 6-2 triumph.

A gracious Radwanska said of her opponent: “I think she has really good potential.

“I think every day she’s playing really good tennis, better tennis, and definitely the tennis that we are going to see much more of in the future.”

Top seed Simona Halep withdrew from the tournament ahead of her scheduled match with Karolina Pliskova on Tuesday due to gastrointestinal illness.

The Romanian, who was replaced in the draw by American lucky loser Nicole Gibbs, hopes to be healthy for the Australian Open, though.

“You never know with the stomach, but hopefully in two or three days I’ll be ready to play again,??? she said.

???Right now I just need to think about recovering, then I will worry about matches later.”

Second seed Petra Kvitova enjoyed a relatively comfortable outing as she beat Shuai Peng 6-1 7-5 but two of her fellow seeds fell by the wayside.

Sixth seed Ekaterina Makarova crashed out having won the first set as Carla Suarez-Navarro came back to record a 4-6 6-1 6-4 triumph.

Ninth seed Roberta Vinci could also have joined the list of second-round casualties but she fought back against Annika Beck to beat the German 3-6 6-3 6-3.

Barbora Zahlavova Strycova and Tsvetana Pironkova also won their matches.