By Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rudd
Kerber reeled off a 6-4 6-4 success without ever really getting out of first gear as she drove past the equally pretty Cirstea in one of the clashes deemed to be a battle of the babes.
The German ace fluffed five match points to concede the 2012 AEGON International title to qualifier Tamira Paszek of Austria, so is expected to steamroll her way to another final.
But Romanian Cirstea was hardly steamrolled past, and put up a strong battle before bowing out in their entertaining 1st Round tie.
Unorthodox but effective Kerber had impressed during the clay court season, polished off by a last 16 place at the 2013 French Open, and continued her fine form against the gritty Cirstea.
Romanian Cirstea is consistent if not a winner, having only captured one WTA Tour crown during her career and a semi-final spot at the Pattaya Open her best run this term.
Cirstea matched Kerber in terms of the big shots, and was riding on a crest of confidence on grass following her run to the quarter-finals at last week’s AEGON Classic in Birmingham that lifted the Romanian to her highest world ranking of no22.
But Kerber’s power game eased her into the next phase, adding another straight set victory over Cirstea this season, and remains on course to come out on top at Eastbourne this year and not settle for second best again.