Angelique Kerber Eyes Return To No.1, Says Coach - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Latest news

Angelique Kerber Eyes Return To No.1, Says Coach

The Belgian coach has spoken about the reasons why the former world No.1 experienced a downfall last year and looks ahead to the future.

Published

on

Angelique Kerber (zimbio.com)

Two-time grand slam champion Angelique Kerber has already got herself back on track, but the German has set herself some big goals to work towards.

 

After a roller-coaster 2017 season that saw her drop out of the top 20, Kerber has regained her momentum on the tour. So far she has won 25 out of 34 matches contested on the tour this year. Claiming her 11th WTA title at the Sydney International in January. Since then, she has reached the quarter-finals or better at five of her six tournaments.

The turnaround in Kerber’s form has been partly attributed to her coach Wim Fissette. Who joined her team at the end of 2017. 38-year-old Fissette is a renowned coach on the tour who has also worked with Victoria Azarenka, Simona Halep and Kim Clijsters. During an interview with wtatennis.com, the Belgian mentor has blamed pressure for Kerber’s downfall last season.

“Angie felt a lot of pressure last year. With all the pressure on her, and also with all the off-court activities as well – because as No.1 you have to do so much more off court – she didn’t feel fresh in her head last year.” He said.
“There was too much to do and she couldn’t enjoy being on the court and enjoy playing tennis and fighting for every point. She felt a lot of expectations on her as No.1 in the world.”

Kerber is currently ranked 12th in the world, but is aiming to reclaim the top spot one day. So far in her career, she has spent 20 weeks as world No.1. Becoming only the second German player to do so after Steffi Graf.

“Her goal is to get back to No.1 again one day, and then do things differently to how she did it last year,” Fissette said.

The next test of the Kerber-Fissette partnership will be at Roland Garros. They will be hoping that lightening doesn’t strike twice at the tournament. Last year Kerber was the top seed in the draw, but crashed out of the first round to Ekaterina Makarova. Kerber hasn’t won a match at the French Open since 2015.

Despite her recent poor record, there are still encouraging signs. At last week’s Italian Open, the German No.2 cruised to the quarter-finals before crashing out to eventual champion Elina Svitolina. A much needed confidence boost for Kerber, who had been dealing with a right thigh injury earlier in the month.

“I was very pleased with the last week in Rome, where she had four matches and played better with every match. She was playing the game she needs to play if she’s going to be successful on clay,” Fissette said.
“When she was young, she practised on carpet, so she feels a lot more comfortable on grass than on the clay. Her grip is a bit more classic so higher contact is difficult for her. But everything is about finding solutions, and adjusting her game to avoid the higher contacts, which she can do through working on her movement.”

Kerber’s best performance at the French Open was reaching the quarter-finals back in 2012. This year will be her 11th main draw appearance.

Latest news

(VIADEO) Australian Open Day Eight: Rafael Nadal Muzzles Kyrgios At Night

The match that everybody was talking about on the second Monday of the grand slam lived up to expectations.

Published

on

Rafa Nadal - Australian Open 2020 (via Twitter, @AustralianOpen)

Ben Rothenberg from The New York Times joins Ubitennis to look back on Rafael Nadal’s latest win over Nick Kyrgios. The four-set triumph now sees the top seed extend his winning head-to-head record to 5-3. However, was the latest match between the two tennis stars as good as their clash at Wimbledon last year?

 

Continue Reading

Latest news

Rafael Nadal Protest Innocence Of Fellow Player Over Failed Drugs Test

The 19-time grand slam champion has jumped to the defence of the former top 50 tennis star from South America.

Published

on

World No.1 Rafael Nadal has said he is “100% sure” that one of his fellow rivals on the tour didn’t deliberately take an illegal substance after being issued with a provisional suspension by the International Tennis Federation.

 

Nicolas Jarry is currently prohibited from playing on the tour after failing a drugs test during the Davis Cup finals last year. A sample of the Chilean player tested positive for traces of Ligandrol and Stanozolo, which are both banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Jarry, who won his first ATP title at the Swedish Open last July, has since issued a statement in which he believes his failed tests was caused by the consumption of multivitamins made in Brazil.

“Last November, while I was playing Davis Cup for Chile, I underwent two urine tests. The first one was clean but the second one detected two banned substances.” Jarry said.
“The levels of these substances are so incredibly low that they are equivalent to a trillionth of a gram, levels so low that neither substances could have provided me any performance enhancing benefit.’
“I would like to let you know that I have never deliberately or intentionally taken any banned substance in my career as a tennis player and in fact, I am completely opposed to doping.”

Questioned about Jarry’s current suspension following his roller coaster win over Nick Kyrgios at the Australian Open, Nadal believes the 24-year-old did not intentionally mean to break the rules. The two have never faced each other on the ATP Tour.

“I am 100% sure it was not of his own accord. I know both Jarry and his family and I know what kind of people they are.” Mundo Deportivo quoted Nadal as saying in Spanish.
“Sometimes things happen unconsciously. We go to restaurants and anyone can leave you in an unprotected situation. From here I want to encourage him and tell him that I believe in him.”

However, it has since emerged that a previous coach of Jarry had also failed a doping test in the past. Former Argentinian player Martin Rodriguez forfeited his prize money earned at the 2002 Swiss Indoors due to an ‘excessive amount of caffeine’ in his sample. It is unclear as to if Jarry is related to Rodriguez by blood. An article published by the ATP says they are, but The Telegraph contradicts this in a separate investigation they conducted.

Nadal isn’t the only player to stand up for Jarry, who has been ranked as high as 38th in the world. Another is Dominic Thiem. The two-time French Open finalist has branded the suspension as ‘ridiculous.’ Thiem is coached by Nicolas Massu, who is the captain of the Chilean Davis Cup team.

“He [Jarry] was tested negative in Paris Bercy,” Thiem told The Telegraph on January 20th. “Then his mother brought him multivitamin tablets to the Davis Cup finals in Madrid. He took them there. Then he was tested positive. For me the whole story, that he was tested positive, is ridiculous.
“First of all, he lost 12 or 13 matches in a row. Then he is not that type of player, where doping would help him.
“In general it is a complete farce how much we are restricted about things. If we forgot our electrolyte drinks at home, we cannot buy anything – not even in a supplement store in the US – without being worried that something is contaminated.”

Jarry is awaiting a hearing with the ITF where a verdict will be made on his future in the sport.

Continue Reading

Latest news

Garbine Muguruza Doesn’t Care About Her Ranking As Australian Open Run Continues

The Spanish star has now achieved her best grand slam run in almost two years at Melbourne Park.

Published

on

After experiencing a roller coaster 2019 on the tour, Garbine Muguruza looks to be back on track at the Australian Open following her latest triumph.

 

The former world No.1 extended her winning run in Melbourne on Monday with a 6-3, 6-3, win over ninth seed Kiki Bertens. Making it the second top 10 player she has defeated in the tournament after Elina Svitolina. In her latest clash, the Spaniard was broken at the start of both sets, but managed to turn her fortunes around with the help of a dominant display behind her first serve. Where she won 28 out of 31 points. Muguruza also hit 19 winners to 18 unforced errors.

“I feel good in this tournament. I’m super concentrated on every single match, especially because I started the tournament so-so. I feel like my body’s getting healthier.” Said Muguruza.
“It’s a Grand Slam, we are all very concentrated here. For me, it’s one of the tournaments that motivates me the most.”

As a result of her latest win, Muguruza is through to the last eight of a major for the first time since the 2018 French Open. It is only the second time she has managed to reach the quarter-final stage in Melbourne and first since 2017.

The surge comes at a time where the 26-year-old is trying to establish her footing on the tour. Unseeded in the draw, she is currently ranked 32nd in the world. 14 places lower than where she was 12 months ago. Not that it bothers her in any way.

“You know what? Who cares about the ranking, honestly. I feel like it’s just a sign of probably the last results. At the end you go out there and you play.” She explained.
“I don’t even know the rankings of the ones I’m playing. I know who they are. I know the matches we’ve had. But it doesn’t affect me so much.’
“Of course, the higher you are, the more beautiful it is. But it’s not that important to me no more after these years.”

Muguruza’s laid back approach to her current position is understandable given the openness of women’s tennis. The past 12 major tournaments have been won by 10 different players. During that period Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep are the only players to win multiple titles. At present there are 16 active grand slam champions playing on the WTA Tour.

The question remains about whether Muguruza has what it takes to go all the way in Melbourne. No Spanish woman has reached the final of the tournament since Conchita Martinez back in 1998, who coincidentally is now coaching Muguruza on the tour.

“She’s very, very aggressive as she was when she was playing her best tennis.” Martinez told reporters about Muguruza’s current form.
“Physically, I see her (playing) very well. She’s getting to the balls early enough. You can see she’s holding her ground really well, accelerating, finishing at the net a lot. That’s always nice to see.’
“Things like that you can see a little bit more and more. So it’s good to see.”

Muguruza will play either Angelique Kerber or Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the next round.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending