After the long break induced by the pandemic that put a lock on tournaments around the world, and after successfully recovering after an injury, the odds finally smile to Angelique Kerber which has a great team to support her and much fewer top opponents to battle through besides her out-of-shape rival Serena Williams.
Kerber got past world number 59 Ajla Tomljanovic in the first round of the US Open with flying colors, admitting during the post-match conference that she trained a lot before Flushing Meadows and that she steered clear of her left leg injury that made her withdraw from this year’s Indian Wells tournament.
“After Australia is a long break. I was just at home trying to relax a little bit. I was a little bit injured, so this is also fine now, after 6 months already, but in the last 2 weeks I was working hard, we practiced a lot, played a lot of tennis, did a lot of gym stuff…”, Kerber told during the press conference.
Kerber is trained again by the coach that brought her 2 Grand Slams
Angelique Kerber reunited with Torben Beltz again after parting ways with Dieter Kindlmann in July, and this is a warning signal for Serena Williams. Kerber won two of her three Grand Slams of her career under Torben, namely 2016’s US Open and Australian Open.
“It's nice to have again someone which I really know and which knows me, and how my game is working. He knows how to improve my game as well, we are speaking the same language, and he knows me since I was 16-17. I'm really happy that I have now a good team around me.
We had a lot of fun in the last few weeks also during our preparation,” said Kerber. Although Kerber may look capable of winning this year’s US Open edition, she isn’t putting pressure on herself, especially as this is the first tournament after a long break.
“You don't really have expectations on your side, you don't really know where you are and how you can make the transition now to the match courts which is always a little bit different than just practicing.
Right now, for me, it’s important to not look too much back. It’s more like being now in the moment here and trying to take the experience from the past years that I have on my belt”.