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Interview: Angelique Kerber

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Originally published on: 03/06/12 00:00

World No.10 Angelique Kerber is through to the second week of a Grand Slam for only the second time in her career after a straight sets win over Petra Martic of Croatia at the French Open. Earlier in the year we sat down with the German to talk about her impressive rise to the top of the women's game.

Is there something about your game that’s really changed in the last 12 months or so?
Now I play more aggressively. I believe in me. I know that I can play with the best. It’s not like before the [2011] US Open – I was not believing me so much really, so that’s changed for sure.

So do you think it was your performance at the US Open that improved your self-belief or do you think that had changed before that tournament?
Before the US Open I was practising for five weeks. I was withdrawing [from] every tournament and trying to make my fitness better. After my workout I went to the US Open and was feeling better and then played better. It was after the US Open that everything changed in me.

We understand you also put in a lot of training during the off season?
Yes, I was practising with Andrea Petkovic in Germany. We did a lot of fitness, but not so much tennis. For the last three weeks we played a little more tennis but at the beginning it was all about making our fitness better.

There’s obviously a lot of good German girls coming through – do you think that’s coincidence or something to do with the way you train?
I think we know each other very well. We were practising as children together but now everyone is going their own way. And I think now is the time when every one of us is having the time of our lives.

You play left-handed – do you use your left hand all the time?
No, I’m right-handed. I write and eat with my right hand. And I throw with my right. I just play tennis with my left hand!

Is it true that you love fast cars?
Yes, that’s true. I love them!

Do you drive fast?
Yes, but shhh…

Ever had a speeding ticket?
Yes!

Going back to your tennis – is there any shot from a player, past or present, that you’d love to have?
The serve of Serena Williams.

Why?
I think that my serve isn’t the best one so I’d like to pick up her serve.

Can you think about the best piece of advice that anyone has given you about tennis or life?
Smile at the world and the world will smile back at you. And also to keep going and keep looking forward – never look back.

What do you think is the most successful ingredient for a tennis player?
To be yourself. Practice hard. And believe in the people with you. Also believe in what you’re doing.

Read the full interview with world No.10 Angelique Kerber in the June issue of tennishead magazine. Click here to subscribe to the world's greatest tennis magazine.

 

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