INDIAN WELLS, CA, USA -- Former World No.1 Angelique Kerber was achingly close to claiming her first Premier Mandatory title at the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday, but despite a narrow defeat to Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu in the final, the German still moves on from Indian Wells with a much-desired boost of confidence.
"After the first set, I was trying to come back," Kerber told the media in her post-match press conference, as the German lost the opening frame via a single break of service in the very first game. "[Andreescu] played good, especially in the third set. When she had the chances, she'd just go for it. She put the balls in the court. At the end, she deserved to win.
"She played the whole tournament good. I know that I had to play my best tennis. But at the end I was not able to take my chances, but she did it."
Even with an opponent who was increasingly fatigued by the end of the match, Kerber still found Andreescu to be an extremely capable rival. "She was still moving good and hitting the balls very fast," the reigning Wimbledon champion stated, when asked about the final stretch of the encounter. "She was going for short rallies and she hit the balls in the court. So I couldn't do nothing in the moment."
"I was tired, as well, but I mean, for me, it's more that she played good," Kerber told the press. "My conditions [are] there, and I can always trust my legs. For me, it was fine."
"I was trying to not looking too much on her side, but she played good, and I was [hitting] too short," Kerber continued. "So I think this both makes her then to play better."
Nevertheless, Kerber will take momentum from her performance during the week, which included big wins over Venus Williams in the quarterfinals and Belinda Bencic in the semifinals. Moving onto next week's Premier Mandatory event in Miami, the three-time Grand Slam champion feels on the upswing.
"I was not expecting two weeks ago to be playing here in the finals, especially after the last few weeks where I was a little bit struggling," admitted Kerber, who had not made a final in 2019 prior to Indian Wells. "So that's why I'm happy about this tournament and that gives me a lot of confidence."
"Also today, the match, it was a good one," Kerber admitted. "I know that I have still few things to learn and to do better the next time."
"Miami, it's a new tournament completely," added Kerber, as she looks forward to her next big event. "The conditions are completely different. You know, like I said, everything starts from zero. Everything is mixed up again. You have to play your first round again. You have to play good tennis.
"I'm really looking forward because for me it's first time there with the new venue and everything. So let's see. I'm looking forward to going there."