Former US Open champion Angellique Kerber says she is taking it one match at a time and not thinking too far ahead after reaching the fourth round of the US Open in New York on Friday. Kerber scored a 6-3, 6-4 win over young American Ann Li to advance to the last 16 in New York - in what is her first event since the Australian Open in January.
Angelique Kerber advances to fourth round but not thinking too far ahead
Speaking to the media after her win, Kerber says, "Yeah, you know, I came here and I have no idea where I am, to be honest. Still, I mean, I had three good matches, also close matches.
Every match was a little bit different. But now the second week and the fourth round, I mean, you know, I'm not thinking too much ahead. It's more like I have a day off tomorrow. Then I have the next match. This is more my focus.
I'm really trying to staying here as well in the bubble, also mentally and getting ready for the next match." The German complimented her opponent as well - who is ranked No. 128 in the world and is playing her first US Open main draw.
"She played pretty well. I mean, especially her forehand. It was really a tough forehand also to return, and she hits the ball really fast and with a lot of spin. Yeah, I need a little bit time to find my rhythm and to also know what to expect, because I had no idea what really to expect.
But she played really well. I think it was a good match, again. And, you know, for me, it was important to stay in the match, especially in the second set to be mental strong and fight for every single point, especially at the end."
The German's next match will be against the in-form American Jennifer Brady, who recently won her first WTA singles title at the Top Seed Open event in Lexington, Kentucky. "I never played against her, I think. So it will be the first match.
You know, I think I will expect a tough challenge again. I try to play like I played the last matches. Of course I know that I have to improve a little bit in few things, but, you know, it's a next match. It will be not easier.
I will just try my best. Yeah, going out there and give everything that I have." The US Open remains a special tournament for Kerber - it was here that she made her breakthrough in 2011 by reaching the semi-finals and she also won the tournament in 2016.
But Kerber says that while the memories motivate her, she knows that she needs to remain in the moment and focus on playing each match at a time. "You know, I think it's more being now in the moment. Of course I have great memories, and it's a special tournament for me, especially because I won it here once.
And 2011 everything starts here for me, so I have good memories, which gives me also the confidence that I can play well here. But this year it's different. We have to start again from zero, so I try to take all the memories with me on court.
But, yeah, like I said, we have to play the match from zero again and try to give my best." (Image Credit - US Open)