Struggling Kerber toppled by qualifier Kontaveit in Rome

Updated: 

Angelique Kerber suffered more clay-court misery as the world number one was thrashed by qualifier Anett Kontaveit in the second round of the Internazionali d'Italia.

The top seed returned to the summit of the rankings this week despite only reaching the last 16 of the Madrid Open, but there was no upturn in fortune for the German in Rome on Wednesday.

Kerber was given a first-round bye in the Eternal City and spent less than an hour on court against the 68-ranked Kontaveit, who eased to a 6-4 6-0 victory.

Kontaveit beat French Open champion Garbine Muguruza in the Stuttgart Open last month after reaching the final of the Ladies Open Biel Bienne and the 21-year-old Estonian further enhanced her burgeoning reputation on day three in the Italian capital.

Kerber failed to win another game after taking a 4-2 lead in the first set and was out of the tournament in a flash.

The two-time grand slam champion's chances of mounting a challenge at the upcoming French Open look slim after another poor showing, failing to live with Kontaveit and managing only seven winners in the match.

Kerber also racked up 22 unforced errors and must go back to the drawing board, while Mirjana Lucic-Baroni will be Kontaveit's opponent in round three