Kerber-Wozniacki: two mothers ready for a 'popcorn' challenge

The two former WTA No.1s will compete in the 4th round of the BNP Paribas Open

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Kerber-Wozniacki: two mothers ready for a 'popcorn' challenge
© Clive Brunskill / Staff Getty Images Sport

Motherhood changes things (I'm telling you from personal experience, I see it all the time with my wife!) but that doesn't mean it makes female athletes less competitive.

Think of Serena Williams, who after her first pregnancy reached 4 Slam finals, before her retirement. Think of Elina Svitolina, who is achieving excellent results, after returning last season following her pregnancy.

Ask Caroline Wozniacki and Angelique Kerber. The two tennis players came back to the WTA Tour after their respective pregnancies and, despite a comeback which inevitably presents some little problems, it has not changed their competitiveness.

They have changed their priorities, they have changed the mentality of their approach, but they have certainly not canceled their ambitions. They just remodeled them according to the family. They won a lot in their careers (Majors, Olympic medal, both were WTA No.1), they got the impossible from their professional life. We are talking about two tennis stars of 35 year-old (Kerber) and 34 year-old (Wozniacki), who still want to amaze theirselves and their fans. An example for young players who approach tennis.

Angelique Kerber and Caroline Wozniacki
Angelique Kerber and Caroline Wozniacki© Yong Teck Lim / Stringer Getty Images

And here they are, Caro and Angie, ready to compete in a super 4th round at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

The two tennis players, winners of a total of 4 Slam titles (1 for Caroline, 3 for Angelique), spoke on the eve of their match, which will begin in a few hours, talking about their friendship and their come back on the court, considering how things have changed during their absence from the WTA Tour.

"Travelling with the whole family is wonderful, but it's not the best if I think of the good of everyone. That's why I will try to play less in the future. On the one hand I want to enjoy every moment with my children, even during tournaments.

But I should also preserve some energy for the next match, which is what I try to do. In short, being with them is a lot of fun, I love it. Luckily I have my mother and nanny who help me, so I can even train a bit. It will be a great match. We know each other well and each knows the other's secrets, strengths and weaknesses. It can go either way, it's a 50/50 match," explained Wozniacki.

Their last challenge dates back to 2018, when the two tennis players were at the top of the WTA Tour and had not yet become mothers.

Kerber talked about her friendship with Caroline, underlining how they will remain friends even after the match she will see against her.

"What has changed today? A lot, starting with the emerging ones who make me feel old. In fact, I'm one of the oldest on the Tour. But it's nice anyway, trying to compete with what you have, even if it's all very different compared to when I was number 1.

Staying out for so long and then coming back is something extremely complicated, even if I know I have the necessary experience to be able to manage certain situations. In some ways, however, I feel more like a tournament player, I don't suffer from pressure and I prefer competition to training.That's why I couldn't wait to come back and understand what level I was at.

Caroline Wozniacki and I are friends and we will be friends after the match, no matter what. I can't wait to get on the field and compete with Caro, we will definitely have fun. It will be a popcorn match!" she explained.