Once more at Wimbledon, the title will not be defended. Serena Williams‘ pregnancy means that it is all up for grabs at Wimbledon with a whole host of contenders gunning for the title. The World No.1 Angelique Kerber should be one of those although last year’s losing finalist is having a dismal 2017. Nonetheless, she is awarded the opening slot on Centre Court Tuesday – reserved for the previous year’s winner. She plays Irina Falconi to begin her tournament.
A model of consistency in 2016, everything seems to have fallen apart for Kerber who has been hanging on to her ranking by a thread. It should finally go after this fortnight if Karolina Pliskova goes far and Kerber disappoints as predicted by most. A 0-8 record against the top 20 sums up her year, as does her record of 20-13 on the year. For reference, she went 56-16 last year.
“For me, it’s now the next tournament, the next Grand Slam here,” said the German. “You know that everything is possible, especially in this big tournament. My mind is just day by day here, like last year. I will try to play good tennis again.” After withdrawing from Birmingham with injury, she played Eastbourne instead. She made the quarter finals there but came up wanting against the first difficult opponent, losing to Johanna Konta in straight sets.
“I am here to play good tennis, trying to win every single match. I’m really happy that I’m playing good tennis again on the practice courts, but now I have to make the [transition]. I think this is more in my mind, and not putting too much pressure for this tournament on my belt.” she added. Her confidence has been scorched this year and the once solid player looks incredibly fragile. She’s vulnerable to an early exit here, but may avoid it due to her draw. The top quarter remains very weak and one of the top attacking players, Lucie Safarova, may well have injury concerns after retiring in her last match.
Prediction – Angelique Kerber in straight sets