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Fitness the key for Kerber

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Originally published on: 22/08/12 00:00

The 24-year-old German climbed to a career-high No.6 in the world this week following her run to the final in Cincinnati at the weekend.

Exactly 12 months ago Kerber was world No.107 before embarking on a run that turned her year around. Last summer she followed up a semi-final appearance in Dallas by reaching the last four at the US Open. She has continued to perform well in the first three Grand Slam events of 2012, reaching the third round at the Australian Open, the quarter-finals at the French Open and the semi-finals at Wimbledon.

Asked what had made the difference, Kerber said: “I think there are maybe a lot of things. I think the first one is that I improved my fitness a lot.”

Kerber believes that the training she did alongside her close friend, Andrea Petkovic, was particularly useful. “We were just working together on fitness a lot,” Kerber said. “I did three weeks of fitness training with her. We were also playing tennis, but what we worked on most was fitness. She's a very fit player, I think maybe she’s the fittest player on the tour.

“She was supporting me a lot. She was telling me: ‘Come on, you can do it.’  She was supporting me. It made me feel better because I knew that we were actually on the same level.”

Kerber said it has been “amazing” to reach No.6 in the rankings. She added: “It’s unbelievable, but it's actually just a number before my name. I am not looking at how many points I have to defend or how many points I get. It's just amazing to be there. I’m still improving and I’m having fun on the tour.”

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