Angelique Kerber returns to tennis this week in Wuhan, China. The German comes in off her second career Grand Slam title winning the US Open. And she will also play her first match as the No. 1 player in the world! With that ranking comes the big target on her back.
“Every player would like to beat me now,” Kerber said. “So I will just try to going out and not thinking about this. I’m going out to think like they are: to beat everybody on court as well, to win the matches. I think when I’m going with this focus in the match, like I did also the last few months and tournaments before, that worked. So I will try to continue that.”
And as the No. 1 and a Grand Slam winner, Kerber says life is different.
“It’s different,” she said. “It’s really different. Before, like one year ago, if somebody asked me, Would you prefer to be No. 1 or win Grand Slams? My answer was always, First I would like to win a Grand Slam and then the next step is to be No. 1. Like I said then, to win a Grand Slam for me, it was always the biggest dream, but then to reaching the No. 1 was the second one. To do it in one tournament, that was really special.
“I think I will never forget the two weeks in New York with all the emotions, all the positive feedbacks what I get. That was really, really the best feeling that I had in my career.”
Kerber added that coming home after her US Open win was different from her win in Melbourne.
“I knew what came, so that was good, because I have the experience from Australia,” she said. “But I just came home, and I was really, like, enjoying every day at home, first of all. After the eight weeks of the U.S. trip, I was just trying to enjoy every moment at home.
“We celebrate actually, yeah, at home with a nice dinner, with music, with friends and family. So more easy. I was really tired after that.”
Kerber opens her Wuhan bid Tuesday against Kristina Mladenovic. With Serena taking the Asian swing off, Kerber could come close to wrapping up the year-end No. 1 ranking if she wins the title this week.
You Might Like:
Angelique Kerber: If The Day Comes When I Reach No. 1, That Will Be Amazing
2016 Wimbledon Women’s Final Open Thread: Serena Williams v Angelique Kerber
Angelique Kerber, Surprising Laura Siegemund Battle In All-German Stuttgart Final
Angelique Kerber: I’m Not Thinking About The No. 1 Ranking
Angelique Kerber Outlast Karolina Pliskova For Fourth Title Of The Year In Stanford