- Title: Kerber enjoying being world number one
- Date: 20th October 2016
- Summary: SINGAPORE (OCTOBER 20, 2016) (REUTERS) ****WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** TENNIS WORLD NUMBER ONE, ANGELIQUE KERBER, DRIVING PORSCHE OUT OF GARAGE KERBER COMING OUT OF PORSCHE VARIOUS OF KERBER STANDING NEXT TO PORSCHE
- Embargoed: 4th November 2016 07:20
- Keywords: Tennis World number One Angelique Kerber Singapore
- Location: SINGAPORE
- City: SINGAPORE
- Country: Singapore
- Topics: Sport,Tennis
- Reuters ID: LVA00154T7E4F
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: World number one is a title that Angelique Kerber is still not quite used to saying.
The 28-year-old German only reached the summit of the women's game last month after landing her second grand slam title of the year at the U.S. Open, capping a stunning breakout season for the left hander from Bremen.
Kerber had been nestled in the lower echelons of the top 10 for the last four years and didn't even make the second week of a grand slam in 2015, but it all clicked in January.
A run to the finals in Brisbane preceded a surprise upset win over Serena Williams to land the Australia Open title. The baseliner, known for her strong defensive game, is finally realising her talent.
"I think all the experience, what I had from the last few years came together this year and I think I have a great team around me right now that I can trust. I think the belief in myself, grown up a little bit more this year and of course with victory in Australia I had so much confidence for the rest of the year and of course it's great that continue this last few months and yeah being here right now as the best player of yeah the year and the world actually," Kerber said on Thursday (October 20) ahead of the WTA finals in Singapore.
Kerber is guaranteed the year end number one ranking after Serena Williams pulled out of the $7 million season ending WTA Finals in Singapore, which starts on Sunday (October 23), with a shoulder injury.
Kerber said she would "miss" the 22-times grand slam singles champion.
"Of course I mean she is missing for sure and I was actually looking forward to meet her here and maybe play against her but of course I mean the health is always an important thing and i wish all the best and I hope to see her very soon in the next year and compete with her again," said Kerber, who was talking at an event to promote Porche. Kerber is a global ambassador for the brand.
However, the German didn't offer the same sentiment about Russian Maria Sharapova, who will only return to the WTA circuit in April after her 15 month doping ban expires
"I think we will see it when she's coming back, I don't know and to be honest also I am not thinking about this because I have such a great year so far and I'm thinking about my way and I know she is coming back next year and she will be ready for sure and she loves to compete and to playing tennis but for me it's really important to focusing on my really great year and enjoying every single single moment right now," she added about Sharapova.
Instead Kerber, the first left hander to become world number one in almost two decades, was focussed on making it out of the group at the eight woman end of season championships for the first time.
Last year, she only needed to take a set of the already eliminated Czech, Lucie Safarova, to advance but crumbled under the pressure and was beaten easily to exit early for the third time.
"I remember last year where I had just like the one set to win to get to the semis and it was not the best situation but I think I learned a lot from this special moment because the pressure was very high for me last year and I think this year I was handling the pressure much better and i think this will never happen again for me so I think right now I will just trying to focusing more on the matches and not thinking about winning one or two games or sets to reach the next level here because that's not working, I know this and I think I learnt a lot from the last years," she said.
Pressures to maintain the high standards continue for Kerber, who lost in the finals of Wimbledon and at the Olympics.
She followed up her win in Australia with a first round exit at the French Open and has suffered surprise early defeats to Australia's Daria Gavrilova in Hong Kong and Elina Svitolina in China this month.
"Of course because it's not so easy I mean when you win such a big tournament a lot of things change and you have to get used to it. I mean the pressure is even bigger after because everybody is expecting that you will win every tournament but it's not like that I mean it's sport and you never know what happens so I think you have to get used to it and you have to get like or have a great team around you that they are supporting you and just helping you with all the things which, which happen," she said.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: Audio restrictions: This clip's Audio includes copyrighted material. User is responsible for obtaining additional clearances before publishing the audio contained in this clip.