2016 Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber

Everyone told me to enjoy the match but I wanted to win

Interview by Stern, translation by Tennis Buzz

After her Australian Open victory, Angelique Kerber is at the zenith of her career and in the footsteps of her idol Steffi Graf. “Everything that happened for the last two weeks is amazing”, said Kerber after her surprising triumph in the final against world number one Serena Williams.

The following night was short for Angelique Kerber. The new world number two did not sleep a wink. The day after her big win in Melbourne, she did attend various press events and jumped into the Yarra river.

How was your night and when did you leave the stadium on Saturday?

I have not slept a minute. I think it was something like three o’clock when I left the stadium. I did four hours of press. Then I had the doping test, and after that we came back to the hotel. I got changed quickly and we went out. And here I am.

Have you any idea of what awaits you in Germany now?

I know that when I land on Monday morning in Francfort, something is being organized. What exactly, I don’t know yet. Then I’ll definitely spend Monday night with my family and friends and go eat something. And on Tuesday I’ll go Leipzig for Fed Cup. For sure, lots more will happen to me.

If you had to give an explanation on this success, what would it be?

I really think the explanation is that I believed in me. I always have, but never as I did after the match against Victoria Azarenka in the quarterfinals, it was new.
Somehow it made something ‘click’. Even when I went against Serena, I said, I want to win this thing. Everybody told me I should just enjoy it and just play a good match. But I said myself: to enjoy it is good, but you can enjoy it afterwards. You go out there and try, and make the best of the chances you get.

And you succeeded…

Yes, I really did. I don’t know how I managed it, but I believed in me. I think this was the key to victory. I enjoyed the whole two weeks, but I wanted to show that I was worthy of the final and that I wanted to defeat her.

If you look back at your beginnings, what is the biggest step you made since then?

I think the whole experience I’ve made since then helps me now and for the future. Now I’m ready to really enjoy it. If I had won two or three years ago, I don’t know if I would have enjoyed and experienced it as I do now. Now I know, thanks to the tournaments I won before, what will happen to me.

It has often been said, that of this generation of you, Andrea Petkovic and Sabine Lisicki, nobody will make it and win a Grand Slam. Why did you managed it?

This is hard to say. I think I’ve experienced so many things in the last two weeks. I also learned you don’t need to play your best tennis two weeks long. But you have to believe in you for two weeks. You also need a little luck.
I simply believe that the time has come. I’ve always said, when the time comes, I’ll win something big. And I’ve just done it. Lots of people didn’t believe in but I think now, I don’t need to prove anything to anyone.
I am the world number two and I won a Grand Slam title. What more?

Do you think you will be perceived differently now on the tour? After all you are now a Grand Slam champion.

I don’t think a lot will change. I am curious, but I’m looking forward. Now I reached a high point in my career. I’m curious to see how things will change and how people react. It’s something different now. There are not many Grand Slam winners.

Is it even more special to win the title against Serena Williams?

In any case, that means a lot to me. Serena is an absolute champion, she wrote history and is a huge inspiration for me. To play against her is always something special. To face her in the final is an absolute honor, and to have played a good match makes the title even more special.

Serena Williams, Australian Open 2016

Even though there has been a lot of talks prior the Australian Open about Serena’s form, her presence in the final is all but a surprise. On the other hand, Angelique Kerber’s run to the final is quite unexpected.

Serena Williams’ road to the final

Serena‘s toughest match to advance to the final was her first round victory over the unpredictable Italian Camila Giorgi: she lost 9 games, the same number of games she lost to Maria Sharapova and Agnieszka Radwanska, combined! She’ll be the heavy favorite against first time Grand Slam finalist Angelique Kerber.

Round Opponent Score
R1 Camila Giorgi 6-4 7-5
R2 Su-Wei Hsieh 6-1 6-2
R3 Daria Kasatkina 6-1 6-1
R4 Margarita Gasparyan 6-2 6-1
QF Maria Sharapova [5] 6-4 6-1
SF Agnieszka Radwanska [4] 6-0 6-4
Angelique Kerber’s road to the final

Angelique Kerber, Australian Open 2016

Angelique Kerber saved a match point to get past Misaki Doi in the first round and then never looked back. She beat only one seed en route to the final: Victoria Azarenka that many saw as Serena’s main rival in Melbourne.

Round Opponent Score
R1 Misaki Doi 6-7 7-6 6-3
R2 Alexandra Dulgheru 6-2 6-4
R3 Madison Brengle 6-1 6-3
R4 Annika Beck 6-4 6-0
QF Victoria Azarenka [14] 6-3 7-5
SF Johanna Konta 7-5 6-2
Serena Williams – Angelique Kerber head to head: 5-1

Serena and Angelique met six times, each time on hard court:

Year Tournament Surface Winner Score
2007 US Open R1 Hard Serena Williams 6-3 7-5
2012 Cincinnati QF Hard Angelique Kerber 6-4 6-4
2012 WTA Championships R1 Hard Serena Williams 6-4 6-1
2013 WTA Championships R1 Hard Serena Williams 6-3 6-1
2014 Miami QF Hard Serena Williams 6-2 6-2
2014 Stanford F Hard Serena Williams 7-6 6-3

Only three players have beaten in a Grand Slam final so far: her sister Venus (2001 US Open and Wimbledon 2008), Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon in 2004 and Sam Stosur at the 2011 US Open. Will Angelique Kerber be the fourth?

Who will be the 2016 Australian Open champion?

  • Serena Williams (38%, 41 Votes)
  • Maria Sharapova (22%, 24 Votes)
  • Other (14%, 15 Votes)
  • Garbine Muguruza (9%, 10 Votes)
  • Agnieszka Radwanska (7%, 8 Votes)
  • Angelique Kerber (5%, 5 Votes)
  • Simona Halep (2%, 2 Votes)
  • Karolina Pliskova (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Petra Kvitova (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Venus Williams (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Timea Bacsinszky (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 107

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Photo credit: Margarette Reyes, Emma McPherson

Victoria Azarenka, Australian Open 2016

Angelique Kerber defeats Annika Beck 6-4 6-0

Angelique Kerber advanced to the quarterfinals in Melbourne for the first time, after a straight-set win over fellow German Annika Beck, ranked 39.

“It was really tough match today. First of all, congrats to Annika for an amazing week, well done to her. She’s a great player with great future.
The first set was very close. It was up and down with breaks and I just tried to stay in the match, be aggressive and take my moments.”

Annika Beck

Annika Beck

Angelique Kerber
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Rafael Nadal

Smiling Sabine:

Sabine Lisicki

Sabine Lisicki

Sabine Lisicki

Smiling and not so smiling Aga Radwanska:

Aga Radwanska Aga Radwanska

Aga Radwanska

Lucie Safarova:

Lucie Safarova
Read More

Wimbledon 2014 has certainly seen the event live up to its billing as the ‘most social Wimbledon ever’, with the event organisers bringing people closer to the action with a string of cutting edge activations promoted via the @Wimbledon Twitter profile. Adding to this is the fact that 85% of the competing seeded players now have a presence on Twitter, and with this in mind I wanted to have a look at some of the themes emerging from the outbound activity published to Twitter by those competing in week one at this years event.

Celebrity Spotting

If you have an interest in our great sport then Wimbledon is the place to be, and that is consistently the case for a series of superstar actors, musicians and sports people who turn out annually to watch the action live, to the delight of the players

There happens to be World Cup Taking Place

Novak Djokovic has shown support for the countries neighboring his native Serbia, and appears to have taken a particular liking to Greece

As has Nick Kyrgios, who despite representing Australia has family roots in Greece

Given Spain’s early exit, Rafa Nadal has refrained from tweeting about the tournament, which is in contrast to Roger Federer, who has been ever so insightful in his live tweets during Switzerland’s matches

Maria Sharapova has been following Russia’s progress – luckily for Maria, should things not fair so well with Grigor, she will have no problems finding a new partner in her native homeland

Whilst Tomas Berdych weighed in on the discussion around the Luis Suarez ‘bite’ – Tomas, are you implying that Suarez is a vampire?

Players interacting with one another

Andrea Petkovic is always good value on Twitter and after the BBC referred to her as “an up and coming 20 year old rising star”, she took to the micro blog to highlight her secret to sustaining her youthful complexion, prompting replies from fellow players Ana Ivanovic and Angelique Kerber

The Sky

Tomas Berdych lost out to Marin Cilic in a match that ended at 21:38 in almost total darkness – the latest end time for an outdoor match in Wimbledon’s history. Despite the ‘Bird man’s’ protests to the umpire to suspend the match at the latter end of the third set and with Hawk Eye failing to operate given the lack of light, Berdych took to Twitter to congratulate Cilic on his victory

His tweet prompted humorous response from the @PseudoFed profile (in my opinion at least) one of the best parody accounts on Twitter

On the subject of Mr Federer, the Swiss maestro also appears to have a slight sky obsession this Wimbledon, and sparked conversation amongst his community with this ”what do you see?” tweet

Roger seemed to enjoy some of the responses too….

It is great to see players take to Twitter to give an insight into their thoughts, feelings and personalities at an event that ranks as the pinnacle of the sport, and the highlight in the annual ATP and WTA calendar. As we transition from the middle Sunday to the ‘business end’ of Wimbledon 2014, I look forward to seeing yet more fun, reactive and heart felt Twitter activity from the players.

Article written by Andreas Plastiras

Rafael Nadal

Andy Murray poster at Wimbledon Station: Wimbledon awaits

Maria Sharapova’s Sugarpova pop-up store in Wimbledon Village:

Sugarpova pop-up store

2001 Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic:

Goran Ivanisevic

Henman Hill (or Murray Mound?)

Henman Hill

Petra Kvitova leaving practice courts:

Petra Kvitova

Last year’s runner-up Sabine Lisicki practising:

Sabine Lisicki

The queue arriving at Wimbledon:

The queue arriving at Wimbledon

Centre Court before play starts:

Wimbledon Centre Court

Ball Boys and Girls:

Ball Boys and Girls

Rafael Nadal and Lukas Rosol arrive on Centre Court for a rematch of their 2012 second round meeting:

Rafael Nadal

Crown Prince Frederick and Princess Mary of Denmark in the Royal Box:

Crown Prince Frederick and Princess Mary of Denmark

Denise Lewis, Jonathan Edwards, James and Pippa Middleton in the Royal Box:

Denise Lewis, Jonathan Edwards, James and Pippa Middleton

Rafael Nadal:

Rafael Nadal

Lukas Rosol:

Lukas Rosol

Chelsea Pensioners enjoying the match:

Chelsea Pensioners enjoying the match

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Lukas Rosol and Rafael Nadal

Led 4-6 2-4, Nadal rallies and wins in 4 sets 4-6 7-6 6-4 6-4. He’ll face Mikhail Kukushkin in the third round.

Next on Centre Court, Angelique Kerber and Heather Watson:

Angelique Kerber

Angelique Kerber

Heather Watson

1969 Wimbledon champion Ann Jones watching the match (to know more about this champion who also excelled in table tennis, read her portrait written by journalist Rex Bellamy)

Ann Jones

6-2 5-7 6-1 win for world number seven Angelique Kerber.

Angelique Kerber

Last match of the day on Centre Court: 7-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer faces Gilles Muller.

Roger Federer

Mirka Federer:

Mirka Federer

Stefan Edberg:

Stefan Edberg

Gilles Muller:

Gilles Muller

Rain stops play at Wimbledon. Rain on Henman Hill:

Rain on Henman Hill

View from Henman Hill, you can see the Shard in the background:

View from Henman Hill

Empty practice courts:

Empty practice courts

The roof makes its first appearance at Wimbledon 2014:

Centre Court at Wimbledon

Centre Court at Wimbledon

Good day at the office for Federer who wins in straight sets 6-3 7-5 6-3.

Roger Federer

Gilles Muller and Roger Federer

Thanks a lot to Karen for her pictures and story. Follow our Wimbledon 2014 coverage