It’s the story in women’s tennis right now. Angelique Kerber is just two wins from taking over the No. 1 ranking from Serena Williams this week in Cincinnati.
Kerber won the silver medal last week in Rio for which she gained no points, but by winning Cinnciati she would overtake Serena who had to withdraw from her title defense earlier this week.
Kerber, though, isn’t feeling any added weight of the chase for No. 1. So she says, at least.
“I’m not feeling more pressure, to be honest,” Kerber said yesterday after a 3-set win over Carla Suarez Navarro. “I’m here to really playing every single match. I learned a lot from last tournaments and last matches about pressure, and when I put the pressure too much on myself, I mean, that’s not the way I would like to play my tennis.
“So that’s why I’m not thinking about this. Of course everybody is asking me this question, and, yeah, let’s see what’s happen in the next weeks or next days. When the time is ready, maybe I can reach the No. 1. Still, it’s a long way. It’s closer than few days ago when I sit here, but tomorrow is a new day, a new match, and another step to going forward.”
And today she’ll meet rival Simona Halep. Kerber beat the Romanian en route to her Wimbledon final, but she’s 0-4 against Halep on hard courts and she’s played a lot of tennis the last few weeks, but she’s not concerned.
“I think I’m really trying to staying in the moment and not thinking too much about the things around me, about the weather, about that I’m playing like every single day, and every match is really tough,” Kerber said.
“When you have like more days you can get rest. You can really focusing on things on the court to improve. Yeah, just try to make the days a little bit easier,” she said. “When I can choose, I prefer this thing: tight schedule, waking up and playing matches every day.”
Serena has held the No. 1 ranking 183 consecutive weeks and she’s just three from tying Kerber’s countrywoman Steffi Graf’s record streak of 186.
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