MELBOURNE, Australia – WTA World No.2 Angelique Kerber believes she is in good shape heading into the Australian Open but says she will not put too much expectation on herself in the first major of the year.
Kerber won the event in 2016 and goes into the tournament having won Wimbledon last year.
She is widely regarded as one of the favorites but is aware of the challenges that lie ahead at Melbourne Park, despite winning all four of her singles matches at the Hopman Cup and making the quarterfinals of the Sydney International, where she lost to WTA World No.5 Petra Kvitova.
“I know that I’m playing well right now, that I’ve played good matches and that I have confidence,” she said. “But it’s still not easy to be here. The tournament starts from zero.
“I have good memories, yeah, I have a good feeling but you never know what’s going to happen.
“I mean, conditions are never so easy here, but I’m looking forward to it.
“The only expectation that I have is to give my best in every single match.”
Kerber teamed up with a new coach, former ATP World No.5 Rainer Schuttler, during the off-season and she believes that they have already struck up a positive understanding.
“It’s great to have Rainer on my team. I have a great team right now,” she said.
“He’s the first coach I’ve had who also played. He knows what it’s like to be under pressure, to have emotions on court.
“He understands my thinking. On court, he’s also a hard worker. He loves the sport like me. We are both really trying to do our best.”
Kerber will face Polona Hercog in the first round of the Australian Open, with the match scheduled for Monday.