Angelique kerber enjoyed the silence before the hustle and bustle. Unlike in previous years, when the top-ten player from kiel always had to take part in countless media and sponsor activities before the start of the US open, this time kerber was not in the limelight.
So she got something positive out of her so far weak season. “I am very happy to have peace and quiet. I”m trying to put all my focus on tennis so that I can get back my consistency and rhythm,” kerber said before the start of the last grand slam tournament of the tennis year, which begins for her on monday against frenchwoman kristina mladenovic.
A total of four germans are challenged on the first day of the US open. Besides kerber, who won the second match after 17.00 o"clock in the third rough stadium of the imposing facility in the new york district of queens, laura siegemund will play against zhang shuai from china, qualifier dominik koepfer against spanish jaume munar and veteran philipp kohlschreiber against lucas pouille from france.
Germany’s top player alexander zverev, who like kerber is in crisis, will then join the other six german players in the action on tuesday. After mona barthel’s cancellation due to injury on sunday, a total of eleven germans are still qualified for the main draw.
While zverev is still sixth in the world despite his recent disappointing performances and was thus in demand in various media rounds on the weekend before the start of the tournament, kerber was simply able to do her thing. A short chat with the german journalists, that’s it. Internationally, the 2016 new york winner, who has slipped to 14th place, is not playing a major role at the moment.
Most people doubt that this will change in the next 14 days in new york. Kerber has been too inconsistent and unconvincing this year. The separation from trainer schuttler after her early exit from wimbledon has done nothing to change that. At the tournaments in montreal and cincinnati, she lost right at the start and then disappeared for a while.
Some critics have already accused kerber of having lost her taste for tennis and therefore no longer wanting to sacrifice everything for the sport. But the three-time grand slam tournament winner rejects that notion. "The spirit is still there, the desire and passion for the sport is still there," the 31-year-old said. "This is the most important."German women’s head coach barbara rittner also continues to believe in kerber. "She has to get more consistency in her game again, then she will be successful again," said rittner.
On a positive note, kerber feels at home in new york and has already played her best tennis twice in flushing meadows. In 2011 she stormed into the semifinals in a complete surprise, in 2016 she triumphed in the final in new york against the czech karolina pliskova. "This is where it all started for me in 2011, and not least the title in 2016 is one of the best moments in my career. We’re looking forward to the US open," said kerber. "Especially here at a grand slam you realize that you still love this sport very, very much."
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