WTA Insider Courtney Nguyen | Angelique Kerber is set to return to No.1 after the BNP Paribas Open, but her focus over the fortnight is finding her game.
WTA Staff

INDIAN WELLS, CA, USA - Angelique Kerber is set to return to No.1 after the BNP Paribas Open, but her focus over the fortnight is finding her game.

Kerber's return to the No.1 ranking comes after Serena Williams announced her withdrawal from both the BNP Paribas Open and Miami Open due to a left knee injury. The news meant Kerber, who ceded the top spot to Serena after the American won her Open Era record-breaking 23rd major title at the Australian Open in January, would move back up without swinging her racquet.

"I've been there already, but at the end, of course it feels good to reach the spot again," Kerber told reporters at All Access Hour at the BNP Paribas Open, "but for me I came here to really focus not on becoming No.1 or the ranking.

"I was coming here to win matches. This is what I love and this is what I was practicing for the last weeks. This is more what I'm focusing on. I will try and really stay with my focus because this is my priority and I will try now not to think about getting No.1 again."

Reflecting on her 7-5 start to the season, Kerber believes her best is just around the corner.

"Of course it was so-so," Kerber said, rating her start. "It could be better. But in the end I'm still feeling good. I'm positive. So I practiced good. I think it's just one or two matches that I have to win again and then I'm in my rhythm."

Kerber is coming off her best result of the year so far, a semifinal run at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships two weeks ago, where she lost to Elina Svitolina. The 29-year-old picked up a knee and back injury in Dubai and hopes those problems will not flare up again when she gets back to competitive play.

"After Dubai I went back home and had treatments and everything and I started practicing here again," she said. "That's why I came here earlier.

"The knee is fine. I don't how it is during a match, it's always different. But for the moment it's fine."

A two-time semifinalist in Indian Wells, the German will be looking to snap a four-match losing streak in the California desert, having lost in her opening round the last three years.

Kerber opens her tournament on Saturday against either Andrea Petkovic or Vania King.