Lara Arruabarrena, of Spain, returns a shot to Angelique Kerber, from Germany, at the Volvo Car Open tennis tournament in Charleston, S.C., Tuesday, April 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)
Mic Smith
April 05, 2016

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber opened defense of her Volvo Car Open title with a three-set victory over Lara Arruabarrena on Tuesday night.

Kerber, the top seed and ranked No. 2 in the world, moved on and won her sixth straight match here with a 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (3) win. It was also the second straight year Kerber upended Arruabarrena in Charleston, although the Spaniard put up more of a fight than in the 6-3, 6-0 defeat in 2015.

Other seeded winners at the clay-court even included No. 10 seed Sam Stosur and 14th-seeded Daria Kasatkina.

Mirjana Lucic-Baroni topped 11th-seeded Kristina Mladenovic, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (13).

The highest-rated American in the field, No. 3 seeded Venus Williams, begins play Wednesday.

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