The year like seemingly all her years start, with a good but not stellar performance in the 2 Australian tune-up events. But her run to the Sidney semis already spelled trouble, as bad scheduling forced her to play a "possessed" (Angie's own words) Gavrilova until 3 o'clock in the morning. The next day she actually kept going, beating Muguruza after being bageled in the first set (We would've cherished that win more if we had known how the rest of the year played out), but then she fell silently and quickly to Pliskova. A first-round exit against Begu in Melbourne then was her first really, really bad loss at a slam in forever and marked the beginning of the slump.
In Fed Cup she lost the opening match to Gajdosova and only Petko's epic matches that followed saved the German team. She got a win over Stosur, but Stosur looked completely done after her previous match had gone to extra time. Then came the next real shocker, winning just 2 games off of Schiavone. Early exits in the Middle East saw her split from her long-time coach Benny, rehire Torben Beltz (initially on a temporary basis) and fly to Vegas for some hitting with Steffi Graf and Darren Cahill. Initially this only showed slightly improved play, but no improvement in results, as she exited Indian Wells and Miami with just 1 win under her belt.
Expectations were low for Charleston, the last North American tournament of the spring, and they certainly didn't improve when Angie dropped the first set to a severely peaking Evgeniya Rodina. Somehow, somewhere Angie found something extra inside of her and went on to beat Rodina in 3.
"Beating Rodina in 3", not exactly the phrase you would associate with a year-changing experience, but it was. A straightforward win over Arruabarrena, a tight straight setter against her Melbourne demon Begu and a relatively straightforward over the defending champion Andrea Petkovic saw her make the final. In itself already a big success after the previous 2 months there still was another demon to slay. It wore the face of Madison Keys, but it really was the final itself that was her biggest opponent. Her record in finals had been less than stellar in recent years, and after a wild match she found herself down 1-4 in the final set. I doubt there were many fans with any belief left at this point, but gritty defending and lethal dropshots got her to 4-4, then to 5-5 and then finally made the young American break down in a seemingly endless service game. Serving for the championship, the impossible happened: A hold to love, and 5 minutes later she was holding the trophy.
R2 - Angie Kerber def. Evgeniya Rodina 3-6 6-3 6-4
F - Angie Kerber def. Madison Keys 6-2 4-6 7-5
With the win in Charleston under her belt the Fed Cup weekend was a personal success but a letdown for the team. Both Angie and Petko arrived late after their deep runs in South Carolina and therefore Barbara Rittner entrusted Görges and Lisicki with the singles matches on the first day. 2 flops later Angie was subbed in for singles duty Angie demolished Pavlyuchenkova as thoroughly as you're ever going to see a relevant player demolished. Alas, it was not enough to get Germany to a second consecutive Fed Cup final, but that certainly wasn't on Angie.
With a lot of travel done and her trademark draw luck she was set to face Maria Sharapova, who had won the tournament the last 3 years, in the 2nd round of Stuttgart. Things seemed to be going their way, when, down 2-6 5-5 Angelika decided to peak. And by peak i mean PEAK. She broke, she held, and she kept doing that. 8 of the last 9 games wrestled off a by no means bad Sharapova and her biggest win of the year was done.
She then proceeded to dismiss Top 10 player Makarova like an annoying fly, was as confused as everybody else what the hell Madison Brengle was doing in the Stuttgart semis, and faced Caroline Wozniacki in the final, with a shiny new Porsche 911 on the line. Like her previous final it was a topsy-turvy, but quality affair, but eventually Angie had Woz right where she wanted her: Serving for the championship. Singing Atemlos like she just don't care Angelique reeled off the final 4 of the tournament and, with the last Forehand. Down. The. Line! got herself a new ride.
Russia - Germany:
SUN - Angie Kerber def. Anastisiya Pavlyuchenkova 6-1 6-0
R2 - Angie Kerber def. Maria Sharapova 2-6 7-5 6-1
F - Angie Kerber def. Caroline Wozniacki 3-6 6-1 7-5
She had conquered the green clay, she had conquered the indoor clay, but clay outdoors wasn't hers this year. It was an uneventful red weeks, ended by a three-set loss to Muguruza in Paris.
Her grass season was off to a very nice start. After a labored win over Pironkova Angie just cruised to the final of Birmingham, the third time this year she made it to the Sunday in a Premier tournament this year. Her opponent was Karolina Pliskova, the big Czech server who was having her breakout season. A topsy-turvy final (can you spot the recurring theme?) saw Angie try and fail to serve for things quite a lot, but in the end she made it 3 out of 3 when she finally dotted the i in a final set tiebreak.
Wimbledon started as great as humanly possible, making it very, very clear to young German upstart Carina Witthöft that Grandma Angie does not enjoy the kids skateboarding on her sidewalk. Pavlyuchenkova was probably just happy she needed fingers to count her games this time around and then...well then came probably the saddest loss of Angie's year. Once again facing the Spanish big hitter Muguruza they played probably the set of the year, a set that saw Angie have 8 (eight) set points and was finally lost 12-14 (not a typo either) in tiebreak. They both won one more straightforward set each, and so that damn first set that Angie went home and Muguruza went to the Wimbledon final. One of those big what-if matches...
SF - Angie Kerber def. Sabine Lisicki 6-3 6-3
F - Angie Kerber def. Karolina Pliskova 6-7 6-3 7-6
The return to hard courts saw Angie do what she did this year: Winning Premiers. On the sunny west coast of the US Angie traveled to Stanford, dismissed Gavrilova, dismissed Konjuh and faced Agnieszka Radwanska in the Quarterfinals. Their Head-to-Head tight as a drum many observers expected a good, close match. Little did they know that they were for what was the match of the year, one outstanding point following the next. The Highlights video is 29 minutes. 'nuff said.
The semifinal against Svitolina was not much more than an afterthought, and in the final Angie faced a familiar face: Karolina Pliskova. If you've read until here you can probably guess the appropriate adjectives for the final. Anyway, Angie won it 6-4 in the final set and made it 4 titles on 4 surfaces in 2014. Pliskova also kept irritating by being really nice in her Runner-Up speech.
With so much effort and energy spent on Stanford Angie found herself a little flat in the next tournaments. She fought admirably against Halep in Toronto, but eventually came up just short. In Cincinnati she (obviously) drew Belinda Bencic, he had just beaten anything the WTA has to offer in Toronto, and unfortunately Angie became the next scalp for the young Swiss talent.
Then came the US Open. Having angered the tennis gods in a previous life Angie drew a certain Victoria Azarenka in the third round. It was a fantastic match, Angie played really well, but in the end it was just not enough. At least Azarenka was too out of breath to sing afterwards.
R3 - Victoria Azarenka def. Angie Kerber 7-6 2-6 6-5
Then came the Asian Swing. Qualifying for Singapore, the WTA's Year-End Championship, was on everybody's mind. A competitor there in 2012 and 2013 Angie had just missed out last year, and the struggle to qualify was the theme of the final weeks of the season. In Wuhan she could've qualified with a win over Garbine Muguruza. She didn't. In Beijing she could've qualified with a win over Agnieszka Radwanska. She didn't. In Hong Kong it was Jelena Jankovic between her and the finals. Nope. In the end she qualified sitting on the couch, when her last competitors fell short in Moscow. The finals themselves started off well, with a two-set win over Petra Kvitova. But then, once again, Muguruza, who by now has firmly planted herself inside Angie's head, got the better of her and in the end Angie needed one more set against Safarova to make the finals for the first time. But the pressure got to her and Angie's season on a sad note.
SF - Garbine Muguruza def. Angie Kerber 6-4 7-6(5)
Great thread Katja I thought about doing such a thread as well but you were quicker and yours is much better
It was an incredible year and it went by so quickly. So many ups and downs, so many emotions, so many heartbreaking losses, so many amazing victories and of course so many titles
This year had really a lot of memorable moments. I also want to thank everyone here in her forum. I enjoyed this season a lot mostly because you all were around and it was a pleasure to follow her this season together with you. It took some time but finally we have a little Angie Fans community in TF and I hope you'll all stay next season
Nice summary! Hopefully next year Angie is gonna have more luck on her side! By the way, does anyone know if Torben stays for next season or is Angie still not sure about that? Maybe considering somebody else to take his place or any changes (maybe a consulatant during an off season)?
The Rodina match really was vital, up until then she was heading out of the top 20 in a rush. If she hadn't gone on and won Charleston then she wouldn't have taken any momentum into Stuttgart either and the season would look a lot different, even if she was definitely coming good again after getting Torben back.
It says a lot about how much she managed to transform expectations this year that there are some disappointments and what ifs. Worst was Wimbledon, which she looked prime for after winning Birmingham on top of the Lazarus comeback. I stopped watching it after the first set in anger and frustration as Muguruza, who seemed mostly hype until that point, suddenly started GOATing and painting the lines on grass of all surfaces, while Angie crapped herself on set points and tapped down serves that made Errani look like Karlovic. I couldn't even bring myself to watch it again when everyone was raving about it being the set of the year. She had a straight path to the final after that and with Serena also nervous about the calendar slam who knows.
I know people were gutted by the Azarenka result but for me the writing was on the wall already when she lost the first set having had a big lead. I just knew at that point it was going to be heroic failure again and wasn't that shocked or as deflated as after Wimbledon. It looks worse in retrospect as Vika is still clearly nowhere near the level she was in making two finals there.
I sort of checked out after the US Open but was pleased she made Singapore. To be honest I'm not that bothered about it but the last match again confirmed her choker tendencies. She really needs to address these quickly if she is ever to fulfill her talent and at the very least reach a slam final, unless they change the rules and let coaches on so Torben can give her a pep talk.
But still a very good year overall with an amazing turnaround and the fact she won so many titles shows she can change for the better, so hopefully the final piece in the jigsaw will come. Also pleased to have seen her play live a couple of times, especially seeing her epic defence game against Muguruza in Paris even though she lost.
i saw that. seems less user friendly, or maybe still so new, maybe still WIP? where's all her gallery and video pics from before?? seem's like less links to click on, and less recent or archived news. what is "career-high singles = 5" ?