There is an almighty opening for many players in the top quarter of the draw after Karolina Pliskova’s round two exit. Heading them has to be a Angelique Kerber, a champion back in 2016. The German is working once again with Torben Beltz, the coach who helped her to two slams and the World No.1 spot in their initial partnership. Kerber plays Ann Li for a spot in the fourth round.
Watch the Kerber vs Li Live Stream Here.
Li has not had much of the hype afforded to many of her fellow Americans, despite a junior record that included a Wimbledon final. She should break into the top 100 sooner rather than later, especially if her performances here are anything to go by. After battling past Arantxa Rus, she defeated 13th seed Alison Riske to get to this stage. More impressive was the nature of the victory, where she broke five times in a one-sided 6-0 6-3 match.
Kerber has been solid through two rounds, not dropping a set in wins against Ajla Tomljanovic and Anna Lena Friedsam. “After such a long time [away from the courts], I need to make the transition again to be able to focus during the completely whole match, it’s not so easy, so that’s why I’m really happy that I had two close matches, especially today in the second set where just one point decides the second set.” Kerber said after, perhaps not too worried by the tight nature of her 6-3 7-6 win against Friedsam.
Kerber at her best was one of the best tactical players on the tour and it will be interesting to see how far she can go this fortnight, especially with a draw that is wide open. Keeping mentally focused in the new and strange environment could distinguish between the top tier of players and those below, something that the German recognises. “You know, I know I can play tennis, but there are so many things around that has to be good as well, not only hitting balls. I’m trying to enjoy the tennis, and also enjoy the time off court. It’s the journey, and I’m trying to have fun every single day here.” she said.
Prediction – Angelique Kerber in straight sets