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 dispatched world number 82 Su-Wei Hsieh in two sets 6-1 6-2. Her opponent in the third round is world number 61 Daria Kasatkina.
There has been lots of talk lately about Serena‘s actual form after her withdrawals in Perth. Injured? Healthy?Demotivated? Focused? But on Monday she showed she is ready to defend her title in Melbourne and win a 22th Grand Slam title. Here are a few pictures of her 6-4 7-5 victory over the unpredictable Camila Giorgi:
We already showed the outfit Serena Williams will be wearing at the Australian Open, and today we have a look at the shoes she will be sporting: yellow NikeCourt Flare shoes.
World number one Serena Williams will don the NikeCourt Premier Top and Victory Skirt while on court in Melbourne:
Serena’s outfit for practice:
The Happy Slam is already around the corner! On the men’s side, Novak Djokovic will be once again the huge favorite, but the women’s draw is open than ever: all four of the top-ranked have withdrawn from tournaments they entered this week due to injury.
A trip down memory lane:
Australian Open trivia
The tragedy of Daphne Akhurst
The Norman Brookes Challenge Cup
1960 Australian Open: Neale Feaser, a costly volley
1960: first Grand Slam title for Rod Laver
1960-63 Australian Open: Jan Lehane four time runner-up
1974 Australian Open: Jimmy Connors first Grand Slam title
1975: John Newcombe defeats Jimmy Connors
1981: First Australian Open title for Martina Navratilova
1983: Mats Wilander defeats Ivan Lendl
1984: Mats Wilander defeats Kevin Curren
1985: Edberg wins in Australia and Sweden changes look
1987-1988 Swedes spoil the party
1987: Stefan Edberg defeats Pat Cash
January 11, 1988: first day of play at Flinders Park
1988: Mats Wilander defeats Pat Cash
1990: John McEnroe disqualified!
1990: Ivan Lendl’s last Grand Slam title
1991: Monica Seles first Australian Open title
1994: First Australian Open title for Pete Sampras
1995: Mary Pierce defeats Arantxa Sanchez Vicario
1995 QF: Pete Sampras emotional comeback win over Jim Courier
1995: Andre Agassi defeats Pete Sampras, wins first Australian Open title
1996 Australian Open: Mark Philippoussis defeats Pete Sampras in the 3rd round
Impressions from the 1996 Australian Open: Monica Seles and Boris Becker last Grand Slam titles, Stefan Edberg last appearance in Australia
1997 Australian Open: Pete Sampras defeats Carlos Moya
2001 Australian Open: Pat’s last chance
2001 Australian Open final: Andre Agassi defeats Arnaud Clément
2002: Capriati scripts a stunning sequel in Australia
2003 Australian Open: last Grand Slam title for Agassi
2009 Australian Open: Rafael Nadal defeats Roger Federer
Fashion and gear:
Who will be the 2016 Australian Open champion?
- Novak Djokovic (45%, 66 Votes)
- Roger Federer (22%, 32 Votes)
- Andy Murray (9%, 13 Votes)
- Rafael Nadal (9%, 13 Votes)
- Stan Wawrinka (7%, 10 Votes)
- Other (3%, 5 Votes)
- Kei Nishikori (3%, 4 Votes)
- Tomas Berdych (2%, 3 Votes)
- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (1%, 1 Votes)
- David Ferrer (0%, 0 Votes)
- Richard Gasquet (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 147
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