Angelique Kerber told she is ‘still one of the best in the world’ ahead of comeback
Alexander Zverev has backed Angelique Kerber as still ‘one of the best in the world’ as she prepares to make a comeback to the WTA Tour.
Kerber stepped away from the Tour last year when she announced her pregnancy, although she was careful to stress she was not also retiring despite being in her mid-30s.
She returned to training earlier this year and has been slowly working towards a comeback, which may come alongside Alexander Zverev in the United Cup for Germany in January.
Zverev would welcome that, and he has given Kerber his full backing, although he also urged patience due to how difficult it is to get back up to speed after a long layoff.
“You have to see that she wasn’t injured,” Zverev told Bild am Sonntag. “Pregnancy is something different. When she’s fit, she’s still one of the best in the world.
“When you’re out for a year and a half, it’s not easy to come back. I spoke to her, she is already training very, very hard and is already fully prepared. It’s going to be good!”
Angelique Kerber plan for 2024
There were rumours earlier this year that Angelique Kerber may look to play Wimbledon, although she quickly scuppered them saying she was coming back to win, not just play.
That set her stall out as expecting more of herself than just going through the motions – she wanted to regain her previous compete level.
“I’m training again, especially a lot of fitness in the early stages, to get my body used to the training load again,” she said in June. “In Poland, in my academy, I’ve already hit a few balls. Now in Bad Homburg I’ve completed a more intensive session for the first time, playing for over an hour.”
“I will return as the new season begins with the clear aim of playing the Australian Open in 2024. This also includes the preparatory tournaments in January in Australia, maybe the United Cup for Germany. Re-joining the Grand Slam tournament in Melbourne would be a dream.
“I have high expectations of myself, that hasn’t changed. On the other hand, I’m also aware of how long the way back can be.
“I don’t want to come back just to play. That would be the wrong attitude, I don’t have to prove anything to anyone anymore. That’s why I’m taking my time now to get fit.
“The goal is the Grand Slam tournaments, that’s what I’m working towards. And of course the 2024 Olympics in Paris.”
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