After getting past Ajla Tomljanovic in straight sets in the first round of the US Open, Angelique Kerber talked about how it feels to play with no fans around to cheer, react, or simply watch every ball going past the net, and it seems that the vibe is exactly how Serena Williams predicted it would be about a week ago – weird.
“Of course, it's a little bit weird to play without fans, without the support, and the atmosphere on the center courts. It's kind of a little bit the feeling when you play practice matches, but it's like a serious game,” Angie Kerber told during the post-match press conference.
Kerber managed to get past the unusual feeling of playing a Grand Slam match on an empty stadium, but the German admitted that she had to work on her mindset beforehand. “For me today it was more so mentally to prepare for the match.
We play without the fans and all the situation, so it was not so easy at the beginning but then you get used to it a little bit”.
Kerber felt exactly how Serena Williams had predicted
About a week before the Grand Slam, Serena Williams was asked during a “Chase Chats” podcast episode about how she thinks the US Open will unfold with no fans populating the stands.
The 23-times Grand Slam champion had no precise answer to that, but she anticipated that it would be like never before. “I have no idea. I think it’s going to be really weird. I think it would actually be good for some players that don’t like big fans, I definitely think I drive a little energy from the fans but you know, not too much because there’s been a long time during my career where I had to drive it from myself.
So I am right in the middle, I really don’t know how’s it going to be”. said Serena Williams. Regarding past performances, Angelique Kerber already surpassed her last year’s US Open run. In 2019, the German player lost in the first round to Kristina Mladenovic in three sets. Her next opponent will be Anna-Lena Friedsam, who dispatched young American player Caroline Dolehide in straight sets.