Tennis Forum banner
641 - 660 of 867 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,530 Posts
Another great article :)


Angelique Kerber erobert die Herzen ihrer jungen Fans - Sport News - Hamburger Abendblatt


Angelique Kerber erobert die Herzen ihrer jungen Fans

Von Annabell Behrmann und Björn Jensen


Die Tennis-Weltranglistenerste zeigte sich in Hamburg sympathisch und Fan-nah. Kaum eine Frage blieb unbeantwortet.

Hamburg. Kurz scheint es, als habe sie der Mut verlassen. Ist ja auch wirklich nicht alltäglich, die Eröffnungsfrage an die Weltranglistenerste zu stellen, während 700 andere Kinder und Erwachsene zuhören. "Äh, äh", beginnt das Mädchen mit den Rastazöpfen, das ihr vorgehaltene Mikrofon lässt ihre Stimme durch die Tennishalle des Harvestehuder THC an der Barmbeker Straße hallen. Doch dann kommt die Frage wie ein schneller erster Aufschlag: "Haben Sie Kinder?" Angelique Kerber lacht, alle anderen lachen mit, Anspannung löst sich in Wohlgefühl auf.

Ein klares Nein hat Angelique Kerber, zweifache Grand-Slam-Siegerin der Saison 2016, Silbermedaillengewinnerin der Olympischen Spiele von Rio und aktuell beste Tennisspielerin der Welt, auf die Frage retourniert, aber schon kurze Zeit später wird deutlich, dass das nicht stimmt. Sie hat keine eigenen Kinder, aber die Herzen der vielen jungen Zuhörer, die auf Einladung der Tennisausrüster Yonex und Tennis-Point auf die Anlage des HTHC gekommen sind, hat sie spätestens mit ihrem gestrigen Auftreten erobert. Sympathischer und Fan-näher als die 28-Jährige kann sich eine Spitzensportlerin nicht präsentieren. Dass am Ende nicht jeder ein Autogramm ergattern konnte, war dem straffen Zeitplan geschuldet und nicht mangelndem Respekt vor ihren Anhängern, die bereits um 13.15 Uhr geduldig im Schmuddelwetter in einer langen Schlange vor dem Clubgelände auf die Kontrollen des extra zugezogenen Sicherheitsdienstes gewartet hatten.

Viele junge Fans kamen zu Wort

Als um 15.16 Uhr hinter dem cremefarbenen Vorhang, der die drei Teppichcourts begrenzt, Kerbers orangegrelle Turnschuhe hervorleuchteten, brach unter den Zuschauern, die sich vorab per E-Mail für das Event anmelden mussten, um des Ansturms der mindestens 3000 Interessierten Herr werden zu können, Jubel aus. Zu den Klängen von Helene Fischers "Atemlos" kam die gebürtige Bremerin auf den Platz getanzt. Und weil es die erste sportliche Betätigung nach zehntägigem Erholungsurlaub für sie war, kam sie tatsächlich bald ins Keuchen. Zum einen, weil die als Gewinnerin einer persönlichen Trainingseinheit ausgewählte Nordligaspielerin Ann-Sophie Funke (15) vom VfL Westercelle spielte, als wolle sie demnächst an Kerbers Thron rütteln. Zum anderen aber auch, weil Moderator Matthias Stach sie während der Ballwechsel mit Fragen löcherte.

Der Tennisexperte, der Kerbers Triumphe als Kommentator für Eurosport live erlebt und eine freundschaftliche Beziehung zu ihr aufgebaut hat, schaffte es in der ihm eigenen Art, Fragen, die er schon zigfach gestellt hat, wie frisch patentierte Neuerfindungen wirken zu lassen. Umso wichtiger war aber, dass er die vielen jungen Fans zu Wort kommen ließ, die im Anschluss an die Kinder-Einstiegsfrage eine ganze Reihe an privaten und sportlichen Dingen wissen wollten. Manches klang wie ein Eintrag ins Freunde-Buch ("Welche Hobbys hast du, was hörst du für Musik"), anderes ("Was ist für dich das Wichtigste im Leben?") tiefgründiger als manche Journalistenfragen – die im Übrigen an diesem Nachmittag, der den Fans vorbehalten war, nicht zugelassen waren. Und das war gut so.

So blieb Zeit für Klamauk. Mit HTHC-Herrenspieler und -Vereinstrainer Marco Lange, Gewinnerin Ann-Sophie und Stach spielte Kerber ein Doppel, bei dem sie eine Bratpfanne als Schläger zweckentfremden musste. Und als HTHC-Ikone Tobias Hauke, zweifacher Olympiasieger im Hockey, mit zwei Hockeyschlägern aufs Feld kam, ließ sich die Nummer eins nicht irritieren und brachte auch mit der dünnen Kelle die Filzbälle auf die andere Seite des Netzes. Zum Abschluss wurden alle Kinder auf den Platz gebeten, um im Halbkreis Fragen zu stellen und Fotos zu machen, was schnell in eine mittelschwere Rudelbildung ausartete.

"Mir hat das sehr viel Spaß gemacht, vor allem mit den vielen Kindern", sagte Kerber noch, bevor sie um 16.11 Uhr hinter dem cremefarbenen Vorhang verschwand. Zurück blieben begeisterte Menschen. "Für uns war es das Tennis-Highlight unserer Geschichte", sagte HTHC-Präsident Cito Aufenacker, dessen Verein (2800 Mitglieder, davon 1400 in der Tennissparte) in diesem Jahr sein 125-jähriges Bestehen feiert. "Ich bin rundum zufrieden", sagte Tennis-Point-Organisator Simon Patz*waldt, der die Veranstaltung innerhalb von nur zwölf Tagen auf die Beine gestellt hatte. "Sie war sehr nett und hat mir viele Fragen gestellt", sagte Ann-Sophie Funke, für die sich das persönliche Treffen anfühlte, "als hätte ich eine Million Euro gewonnen". Und Isabella Gian*caspro (11) vom TC an der Schirnau sagte: "Es war toll, dass wir alle zu ihr durften und Fragen stellen konnten. Sie sah aus, als wäre sie ein richtig netter Mensch, der Kinder sehr gern mag."

Eine Umfrage des Forschungsinstituts Human Brand Index hatte im Oktober ergeben, dass 81 Prozent der Deutschen Angelique Kerber sympathisch finden. Dieser Wert dürfte am Mittwoch locker übertroffen worden sein.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58,616 Posts
  • Like
Reactions: mememe

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,530 Posts
Angelique Kerber: "Brauche keinen Mann zum Glücklichsein"


Tennisstar Angelique Kerber

"Ich brauche keinen Mann zum Glücklichsein"


Sie ist die Königin des Tennissports: Angelique Kerber durfte 2016 über zwei Grand-Slam-Titel und den Einzug ins Wimbledon- und Olympia-Finale triumphieren. Nur ihr Liebesglück hat die 28-Jährige noch nicht gefunden.


Manchmal fühle sie sich deshalb einsam, blicke aber dennoch optimistisch in die Zukunft: "Ich kann noch alles nachholen. Im Moment brauche ich keinen Mann zum Glücklichsein. Ich glaube, das ist so wie im Sport: Was passieren soll, wird passieren", verriet die Ausnahme-Sportlerin dem Magazin "Grazia".

Gleichberechtigung ist ihr sehr wichtig

Wie ihr Familienleben einmal aussehen könnte, weiß Angelique Kerber trotzdem schon: "Wichtig ist, dass jeder seine Freiräume hat. Wenn das für einen Mann bedeutet, dass er sich gern zuhause auslebt, wäre das okay für mich. Hauptsache, keiner von beiden muss dauerhaft für den anderen zurückstecken." Gleichberechtigung? Absolut! Nur beim Heiratsantrag legt Angelique Wert auf die herkömmliche Rollenverteilung: "Da ist mir die traditionelle Vorgehensweise wichtig. Da würde ich den aktiven Part lieber dem Mann überlassen...".

Manchmal belastet sie der Erfolg auch

Im Interview spricht die Weltranglisten-Erste auch über ihren steinigen Weg zur Weltspitze: "Manchmal habe ich schon überlegt, ob das, was ich tue, überhaupt das Richtige für mich ist." Gefragt, ob sie den Druck, der jetzt auf ihr lastet, auch abseits des Platzes spürt, sagt sie: "Ich spüre schon, dass andere Spielerinnen mir jetzt anders begegnen. Die Blicke sind anders. Man fühlt sich mehr beobachtet."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,530 Posts
Angelique Kerber denkt an Fotografie als zweite Karriere | WTA


Angelique Kerber denkt an Fotografie als zweite Karriere

Kerber spricht über Zukunftspläne


Die Weltranglistenerste Angelique Kerber verrät, welche Karriere sie sich nach ihrer Zeit auf dem Court vorstellen könnte. Ein ganz neuer Bereich reizt sie besonders.


Angelique Kerber (28) kann sich nach dem Ende ihrer Profikarriere den Wechsel hinter die Kamera vorstellen.

"Fotografie finde ich sehr interessant, ich mag es, die Dinge aus einem anderen Blickwinkel zu sehen", sagte die Weltranglistenerste Kerber im Interview mit dem Modemagazin Grazia und fügte an: "Ich finde zum Beispiel auch den ganzen Fashion- und Beauty-Bereich spannend. Vielleicht, weil es das Gegenteil dessen ist, was ich mein ganzes Leben lang gemacht habe."

Gespannt blickt die Australian-Open und US-Open-Siegerin, die seit zwei Wochen wieder trainiert, auch der neuen Saison als Branchenführerin entgegen.

"Das wird nicht einfach sein. Aber ich versuche, den Druck nicht so sehr an mich heranzulassen und mir regelmäßige Auszeiten zu nehmen, wo ich mal ein Buch lese, Musik höre oder mich an einen See setze", kündigte Kerber an.

Die Auswirkungen ihres Erfolges hat die Linkshänderin bereits registriert. "Ich spüre schon, dass andere Spielerinnen mir jetzt anders begegnen. Das merke ich auf dem Platz, aber auch außerhalb des Platzes." Die Blicke seien anders. "Man fühlt sich ein bisschen beobachtet", sagte Kerber.

Die Fed-Cup-Spielerin aus Kiel gab auch zu, sich manchmal auf der Tour einsam zu fühlen.

"Ich bin so viel unterwegs, jede Woche ein neues Land, ein anderes Hotel. Da sitzt man dann schon mal abends im Zimmer und sehnt sich nach seinem Zuhause, der Familie und Freunden", berichtete Kerber, deren Saison 2017 mit der Teilnahme am Turnier im australischen Brisbane (ab 1. Januar) beginnt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,530 Posts
Angelique Kerber: Serena Williams' conqueror in 2016 ? Player In Focus | Metro News


Player In Focus: A closer look at end-of-year world No. 1 Angelique Kerber


While there was a lot of focus on Andy Murray reaching world No. 1 on the ATP side of the tour, there is also a new top dog in town in the form of Angelique Kerber on the WTA Tour.

The German ace dislodged Serena Williams at the top of the rankings, the first person to do so since the American replaced Victoria Azarenka at the summit in early 2013.

Given Williams’ incredible form in that period, Kerber’s rise to the top of women’s tennis has been remarkable.

What has she achieved in 2016?

It’s been by far the best year of Kerber’s career. Having never made it to a Grand Slam final prior to the start of the season, she’s now reached three, winning two of them.

While she didn’t win the most WTA titles (3) throughout the year, Dominika Cibulkova topped the pile (4), she did reach the highest number of finals (8), which is a sign of real consistency.

Kerber won the two hard court Slams of the year (Australian Open and US Open), an Olympic silver medal and the title in Stuttgart, while also reaching the final of Wimbledon.

After her win at Flushing Meadows, Kerber also topped the rankings for the first time in her career and ended the year more than 2,000 points ahead of Williams.

Biggest disappointment of the year?

In a year where she endured such great success at the majors, her performance at the French Open was hugely disappointing.

Kerber crashed out in the first round at Roland Garros, losing 6-2 3-6 6-3 to Kiki Bertens.

Aside from that, Kerber will be delighted with her 2016, although she might have hoped to win a few more of her finals.

How long can she stay as world No. 1?

A lot will depend on Williams’ condition next year, both physically and mentally.

At 35, it could be tough for her to reach the levels she has in the past but she does have the added motivation that she can become the outright most successful female player in the Open Era by winning one more Grand Slam to pass Steffi Graf’s total of 22 majors.

But Kerber should be at her peak now and should have confidence in her own ability.

Whether or not she loses the No. 1 spot to Williams during the year, she’ll be in a strong position to wrestle the top ranking back during the inevitable decline at the end of the American’s stunning career.

What are realistic targets for her next season?

Staying in the top two throughout the year should be a priority for Kerber. The German will look to create a gap between her and Williams and the rest of the WTA Tour to establish her as the force to fear.

It will be tough to necessarily match her success in the Slams in 2016 but another major and topping her previous best of reaching the quarter-finals in the French Open would represent a good year.

Often players who enjoy their best season struggle to replicate it the following year but Kerber seems level-headed and determined for success. Don’t be surprised to see her top the rankings at the end of 2017.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,530 Posts
Kerber: "Ich will Wimbledon auf meiner Siegerliste" | NDR.de - Sport - Mehr Sport


Kerber: "Ich will Wimbledon auf meiner Siegerliste"


Angelique Kerber hat ein fulminantes Jahr 2016 hingelegt. Zwei Grand-Slam-Siege, olympisches Silber und der Sprung auf Position eins der Tennis-Weltrangliste haben die Kielerin in den Kreis der großen internationalen Sportstars katapultiert. Warum die 28-Jährige trotzdem die "Angie" bleiben will, weshalb ihr Michelle Obama imponiert und welchen Titel sie unbedingt noch haben möchte, erzählt Kerber im Interview.


Frau Kerber, die besonderen Momente reißen für Sie nicht ab. Sie haben jüngst Barack Obama zum Mittagessen getroffen. Wie ist der US-Präsident denn so?

Angelique Kerber: Er ist ein super sympathischer Typ. Ich war schon ein bisschen aufgeregt, habe mich aber gefreut, auch mal ein bisschen in die Politik reinschnuppern zu können. Für mich war dieses persönliche Gespräch eine riesengroße Ehre.

Hat Obama denn Ahnung vom Tennis?

Kerber: Ja, er kennt sich im Tennis aus, ist Linkshänder und spielt selbst auch. Er hat das Finale zwischen Serena Williams und mir bei den Australian Open geschaut. Obama ist ein großer Tennis-Fan und allgemein sehr sportbegeistert.

Wann ist man eigentlich nervöser, wenn man kurz vor einem Grand-Slam-Finale steht, oder wenn man über den Roten Teppich läuft?

Kerber: Das sind zwei komplett andere Welten für mich. Auf dem Centre Court zu spielen, wenn das Stadion voll ist, das ist eigentlich schon zur Routine geworden. Der Rote Teppich dagegen ist noch ein bisschen Neuland. Andere Welten zu sehen, das ist aber immer interessant. Mittlerweile liegt der Fokus aber wieder auf der Vorbereitung für die anstehende Saison. Ich habe es bislang auch noch nicht geschafft, Weihnachtsgeschenke zu kaufen.

Sind Sie froh, dass Ihnen das alles mit 28 Jahren passiert und nicht mit 20?

Kerber: Ich fühle mich auf jeden Fall viel reifer als noch vor einigen Jahren. Und ich glaube, dass ich das jetzt viel mehr genießen kann.

Einer Ihrer Leitsprüche lautet: "Die Angie bleibt die Angie". Kommen Sie jetzt in Situationen, wo es schwierig ist, diesem Motto treu zu bleiben?

Kerber: Nicht wirklich. Meine Familie und meine Freunde halten mich auf jeden Fall auf dem Boden. Ich bin so weit gekommen, mit genau diesem Charakter, dieser Einstellung, deshalb soll das auch so bleiben.

2016 haben Sie so viel erreicht. Da stellt sich die Frage, was da noch kommen soll und kann?

Kerber: Das ist jetzt eine neue Herausforderung für mich, die ich annehmen werde. Das sind ganz neue Aufgaben und Situationen, die auf mich warten. Natürlich möchte ich so lange wie möglich ganz oben bleiben.

Welche Rolle spielt Wimbledon auf Ihrer 'To-do-Liste' für 2017?

Kerber: Eine sehr große. Wimbledon ist für mich immer etwas ganz Besonderes gewesen. Das ist so ein Turnier, bei dem ich nächstes Jahr alles reinlegen möchte, um auch noch Wimbledon zu gewinnen und auf meiner Siegerliste zu haben.

Wenn Sie Ihre Saison Revue passieren lassen. Welcher Moment kommt Ihnen sofort in den Sinn?

Kerber: Natürlich die erste Runde bei den Australian Open, als ich gegen Misaki Doi einen Matchball abgewehrt habe. Diesen Punkt habe ich mir übrigens noch einige Male angeschaut. Es war der Moment, der für mich der Wendepunkt in diesem Jahr war.

Was geht in Ihnen vor, wenn Sie den Australian-Open-Pokal bei sich stehen sehen?

Kerber: Dieser Pokal, dieser Moment, als ich nach dem Matchball am Boden lag, das wird mir immer in Erinnerung bleiben. Denn da hat alles begonnen. Das war der Moment in meiner Karriere. Der Moment, der alles verändert hat. Ich weiß auch gar nicht mehr, was ich bei der Siegerehrung gesagt habe. Ich war so nervös und so aufgeregt, diesen Pokal hochzuhalten, mit diesen ganzen Fotografen vor mir, dann dieser Applaus. Ich bekomme immer noch Gänsehaut, wenn ich daran denke.

Und dann kam acht Monate später New York.

Kerber: Das war von der ersten Runde kompletter Druck für mich. Denn nach Cincinnati hat jeder darüber gesprochen, dass ich bei den US Open die Nummer eins werden kann. Das hat mich auf der einen Seite gepusht - auf der anderen Seite habe ich dadurch sehr viel Druck verspürt. Aber im Nachhinein bin ich damit ganz gut umgegangen. Das wäre vor einigen Jahren noch nicht möglich gewesen. Und dann hole ich dort meinen zweiten Grand-Slam-Titel und werde die Nummer: Das war schon sehr verrückt.

Formel-1-Weltmeister Nico Rosberg hat in der vergangenen Woche überraschend seinen Rücktritt erklärt. Muss man bei Ihnen auch Angst haben vor solch einer Blitz-Entscheidung?

Kerber: Nein, bei mir besteht momentan keine Gefahr, für mich geht es weiter. Ich stecke mitten in der Vorbereitung und freue mich auf die nächsten Aufgaben, die auf mich warten.

Barack Obama haben Sie schon kennengelernt. Was finden Sie an seiner Frau Michelle so faszinierend?

Kerber: Sie hat schon eine Vorbildfunktion für mich. Und ich glaube, auch für viele andere Frauen mit ihrer Klasse, dem sozialem Engagement und nebenbei auch noch der traumwandlerischen Stilsicherheit. Die Art und Weise, wie sie sich verhält, finde ich einfach nur beeindruckend.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,530 Posts
Home | Live Scores & Latest News | Fox Sports


Angelique Kerber hopes Brisbane International will kickstart another successful year


SHE started the year as a supporting actress on the biggest tennis stages and ended it with accomplishments leading to an invitation to lunch with Barack Obama.

Her first two Grand Slam titles and a rise from No.10 to No.1 in the world rankings during 2016 changed the life of Brisbane-bound Angelique Kerber.

Kerber, the top seed for next month’s Brisbane International, will be making her fifth visit, having been runner-up in 2016 and a quarter-finalist on the previous three trips.

The 28-year-old German’s Brisbane run last summer set in train a campaign that gave her a first major title at the Australian Open three weeks later when she wore down Serena Williams.

“I remember that Brisbane tournament really well – I played in the finals of singles and doubles (losing both), so it was a great start to the year, without imagining what would happen afterwards,’’ Kerber said from her training base in Poland.

“This is a completely different situation for me being ranked No.1. The goals for me will be to be in the No.1 spot for as long as I can and do well in the Grand Slams.

“More people recognise me now and it’s a completely different world from playing well and being a top-10 player.

“It’s hard to get used to. Especially after Australia, it took me a while to work out how everything changed.’’

It all led to Kerber being asked to a lunch with President Obama in Berlin on November 18.

“It was a really big honour for me to meet him and to speak with him a little bit, because he was someone I was wanting to meet one day,’’ she said.

Kerber treated herself last month to three weeks without training, including a holiday in Bali.

Right shoulder trouble prompted Williams to cancel the rest of her season after a US Open in September in which her semi-final loss and Kerber’s win in the final saw the No.1 ranking change hands in an unexpected manner.

While Kerber resumes in Brisbane from January 1-8, Williams plans to restart her 35-year-old motor the same week in Auckland.

“I hope she will be 100 per cent fit again. We will see,’’ Kerber said.

“I think she will be strong again and come back.

“I love to compete with her and I look forward to play against her next year.’’

The super-fit German will prepare for the pressures of her first Grand Slam title defence in Brisbane and then the Sydney International next month.

Eight of the top 16 women have entered the Brisbane International, including French Open winner Garbine Muguruza and the emerging US Open runner-up Karolina Pliskova.

“It will for sure be a goal for me when I start 2017 in Brisbane to hopefully win the title this time,’’ said Kerber, who turned her career around despite having gone four years without making a Grand Slam semi-final.

“I remember I was disappointed after losing the finals because I really like Brisbane as a tournament - the stadium is always full for the matches.

“I’ve been in my pre-season for three weeks already and working hard. I had about three weeks when I had my holidays without any tennis racquets or running shoes, just enjoying life.’’
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,530 Posts
http://www.itftennis.com/news/247752.aspx



Murray and Kerber named 2016 ITF World Champions


The ITF has announced that Andy Murray of Great Britain and Angelique Kerber of Germany are the 2016 ITF World Champions. This is the first year that either player has received this honour.

In an historic year for the Murray family, Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares of Brazil become Men’s Doubles World Champions, while French pair Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic are Women’s Doubles World Champions. This is the first time that two brothers have been named as men’s singles and men’s doubles World Champions in the same year.

Gordon Reid becomes the third British player to be honoured in 2016, being named as ITF Wheelchair World Champion, with Jiske Griffioen of Netherlands becoming women’s World Champion for the second year running. Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia and Anastasia Potapova of Russia are named ITF Junior World Champions.

The ITF World Champions will receive their awards at the 2017 ITF World Champions Dinner on Tuesday 6 June, in Paris, during Roland Garros. Nine of the ten players are being honoured for the first time.

Andy Murray sealed the year-end No. 1 ranking in the final match of the season after defeating his great rival Novak Djokovic to win the ATP World Tour Finals. He won a total of nine titles during a milestone year, including his second Wimbledon triumph, and became the first player in history to win two Olympic singles gold medals with victory over Juan Martin del Potro at Rio 2016.

Murray said: “It means a lot to me to be named ITF World Champion. I have had such a memorable year, winning again at Wimbledon, retaining my Olympic title, and clinching the year-end No. 1 ranking in the last match of the season. It is particularly special with my brother Jamie also becoming World Champion.”

Angelique Kerber becomes Germany’s first World Champion since Steffi Graf received the last of seven awards in 1996. The 28-year-old enjoyed a stunning season, defeating Serena Williams to capture her first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, before going on to win the US Open. She was also a silver medallist at the Olympic Tennis Event and runner-up at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals.

Kerber said: “I’m truly honoured to be named ITF World Champion and to line up with all these past champions. This year was by far the best of my career with so many unforgettable experiences and emotions. I am grateful for the recognition and I’m looking forward to the upcoming challenges.”

Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares clinched the year-end No. 1 team ranking in the very last event of 2016 at the ATP World Tour Finals. The British-Brazilian duo enjoyed a breakthrough first season together, capturing their first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, and going on to win the US Open. These were the first major men’s doubles titles for both players.

Murray said: “We are very proud to receive this award. It's been an incredible year for us, winning two Grand Slams and finishing as the No. 1 team in just our first season together.”

Soares said: “As a new team coming into the season there is a lot of expectation and belief, but also some doubts and uncertainty, so for us to finish the year as the No. 1 team winning two Slams was amazing. It gives us a lot to look forward to in the future."

Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic also enjoyed an outstanding first season together to end 2016 as the No. 1-ranked team, and help France reach the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Final. They captured their first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros, and went on to reach the final at the US Open. This is the second honour for Mladenovic, who received the ITF Junior World Champion award in 2009.

Garcia said: “We really had an exceptional year with great victories on the court, even though we only started playing together at the beginning of 2016. Winning Roland Garros at home was definitely the culmination of the year. It is an incredible success to finish the No. 1 team in the world, and an honour to receive this ITF trophy.”

Mladenovic said: “It is a great achievement for Caroline and I to win this trophy after having played only one season together. The highlight of the year was definitely winning the French Open in our own country. We get on very well both on and off court and are looking forward to more success next year.”

ITF President David Haggerty said: “Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber have both been rewarded for their hard work and dedication with exceptional years that see them worthy recipients of the ITF World Champion awards. Our two doubles World Champions, Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares, and Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic, have shown impressive teamwork in their first season together. All these players have taken great pride in representing their country, and are fine ambassadors for our sport.”

The ITF’s selection of its senior World Champions is based on an objective system that considers all results during the year, but gives special weight to the Olympic Tennis Event, Grand Slam tournaments, and two ITF international team competitions, Davis Cup by BNP Paribas and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas.

Gordon Reid had an outstanding year to become the first British player to become Wheelchair World Champion. The 25-year-old won his first two Grand Slam singles titles at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, and was also runner-up at Roland Garros. He went on to win singles gold at the Paralympic Tennis Event, before clinching the year-end No. 1 ranking by reaching the final of the NEC Masters.

Reid said: "It's a great honour for me to complete the best year of my career by finishing year-end No.1 for the first time. I can't thank all of my coaching team, family and friends enough for all their dedication and support, which was a vital part of my 2016 successes."

Jiske Griffioen is the only repeat ITF World Champion in 2016, collecting the women’s wheelchair honour for the second year. The 31-year-old captured two of the three Grand Slam singles titles at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, and went on to win two gold medals at the Paralympic Tennis Event. She finished 2016 with victory at the NEC Masters and held the No. 1 ranking throughout the year.

Griffioen said: "It was an incredible year for me! To win two Grand Slam titles, the Masters and be on top of the rankings for the whole year is something I'm proud of for sure. And my dream of winning two gold medals at the Paralympics in Rio came true. All the hard work paid off.”

Miomir Kecmanovic is the first Serbian player to be named ITF Junior World Champion following a triumphant end of season. The 17-year-old from Belgrade enjoyed an 18-match winning streak in winning the titles in Mexico City, the Eddie Herr tournament and Orange Bowl to seal the year-end No. 1 ranking. He won a total of four singles and two doubles titles, and was runner-up at the US Open.

Kecmanovic said: “It is great news to be named 2016 Junior World Champion. I also understand that this is just one important milestone on a difficult trip. I am focused on the long road ahead of me, and will do my best to reach the top with the support of my family and a great team around me.”

Anastasia Potapova becomes Junior Girls World Champion in her first full season on the ITF Junior Circuit. The 15-year-old from Russia reached the quarterfinals or better at all four Grand Slam tournaments, winning her first major title at Wimbledon. She was also a semifinalist at Roland Garros, and captured a total of three singles and one doubles title.

Potapova said: “I'm very pleased to finish the year as ITF Junior World Champion. After I won Wimbledon, the next goal for me and my team was to become No. 1 in the ITF ranking, and I am very happy that we've managed to succeed. They key to achieving this was hard work, desire and passion for what you do.”

ITF President David Haggerty said: “The list of 2016 ITF World Champions reflects an exciting year of change in our sport, and I would like to thank all the players for their contribution to another memorable tennis season.”
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,530 Posts
The turning point in Angelique Kerber's career


The turning point in Angelique Kerber's career


It was in Serena Williams' backyard, under the bright lights at Flushing Meadows, that Angelique Kerber began to feel unbeatable.

That – if she played her best tennis – no woman could stop her.

Williams had finished the previous three years as the world No.1 and was playing her best tennis in the twilight of her career.

But the rise of the German in 2016 caused a dramatic shift that allowed the 28-year-old to steal Williams' coveted title as the world's best, doing so in New York City with her second grand slam tournament win of the year.

"I think it started in my US trip," Kerber told Fairfax Media ahead of her return to the Sydney International next month. "After the Olympic Games and then in Cincinnati everyone was talking a little bit about the No.1 spot. After New York, that tournament was the tournament where I really started to believe nobody could beat me."

The "Serena" jitters most players on tour suffer from were erased following an Australian Open triumph at Melbourne Park in January.

She knew half the battle was overcoming the mental fear of facing off against the American.

"That's true – this is how I went into the Australian Open final against Serena," the world No.1 said.

"That was my first grand slam final and for me it was really important to go out and believe in my game. I think that match gave me the confidence for the rest of the year.

"I was believing in myself and feeling I deserved to be in the final and knowing I could beat Serena in a grand slam final. That gives me the belief in side to be mentally very strong."

At the start of 2016, Kerber set herself the goal of making an impact at grand slam events after failing to progress past the third round of all four majors the previous year.

Overtaking Williams was never on the radar, but now that she has, Kerber doesn't intend on handing the top ranking over any time soon.

"Last year the goal was just to play better in majors because in 2015 I wasn't playing well," she said.

"One year ago I wasn't thinking about the No.1 spot at the end of 2016. It came during the year when I was feeling I was playing well and improving my tennis and winning tournaments. Especially winning the Australian Open, which gives me a lot of confidence.

"During the year I said, 'okay, maybe this is the year I can reach the No.1 spot', because that was always my goal in the years playing tennis. I will try to be there as long as possible in the No.1 spot and let's see how long I can be there. If I can continue the next whole year, we will see. This will be my goal. Right now I'm not thinking to lose it, I'm looking forward to staying there as long as possible."

Her first stop leading into her Australian Open title defence is in Brisbane, before returning to Sydney for the fifth consecutive year to round out her preparations.

"I really like this tournament and played a lot of times already," she said.

"For me it's important to have a lot of matches before going to a big tournament to have a lot of confidence. Practice is always different to matches. That's why I always like coming back to Sydney.

"It's not too far from Melbourne, just a one-hour flight. The conditions are the same. This is why I really like this tournament."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,530 Posts
2016 in review: Angelique Kerber | Tennismash


2016 in review: Angelique Kerber

Published by Michael Beattie

2016 was the year that Angelique Kerber went from being a great player to being one of the greats. This is her year in review.


The best of times

Try picking just one. From her axis-tilting run to the Australian Open title in January, to replacing Serena Williams as world No.1 in September en route to claiming her second major at the US Open, via a Wimbledon final and Olympic silver medal-winning run in Rio, in one year Angelique Kerber has elevated her standing in the game from great tennis player to one of the greats.

But pick one we must, and while her breakthrough victory in Melbourne – beating Williams in the final, no less – was undoubtedly the standout moment of her season, her fairy tale in New York showed a player at the height of her powers, fully adjusted to her status as the woman to beat. Playing with the aura of a world-beater, the German toppled three seeds and former world No.1 and US Open finalist Caroline Wozniacki en route to the title, downing Karolina Pliskova in the final.

The worst of times

In the fullness of time, Kerber’s defeat by Kiki Bertens in the first round at Roland Garros would be tempered by the Dutchwoman’s run, which saw her down three further seeds before losing to Serena Williams in the semi-finals. And the warning signs were there; Kerber, having lost her clay-court openers in Madrid and Rome, was struggling with her form, while Bertens believes she would have beaten the then-world No.3 in Miami when, as a qualifier, she led the German 6-1 before illness intervened and she retired in the third set.

Nevertheless, the three-set defeat extended the unfortunate trend of first-time Grand Slam title winners to struggle on their next appearance at a major: Flavia Pennetta and Marion Bartoli both retired, while Victoria Azarenka, Samantha Stosur, Petra Kvitova, Li Na and Francesca Schiavone all failed to reach the quarter-finals following their breakthrough triumph. Garbine Muguruza, the eventual champion in Paris, carried the curse to Wimbledon, where she lost in the second round.

Match of the year

Such is Kerber’s never-say-die attitude, she found herself on the losing side of one of the bona fide 2016 classics against Petra Kvitova in Wuhan – but when it comes to victories, there can surely be only one. Few predicted that the 28-year-old’s Grand Slam breakthrough was on the cards at the Australian Open – fewer still when she found herself match point down against Misaki Doi in the first round. Reprieved, Kerber made full use of the chance, downing the resurgent Victoria Azarenka in the quarters and surprise package Johanna Konta in the semis to reach her first Grand Slam final.

Serena awaited – winner of four of the previous five majors, one title shy of Steffi Graf’s 22-slam haul. But Kerber was fearless, saving her best for last with a pitch-perfect first set as Williams racked up the errors. A tiger in defence, she produced a string of stunning passes, and even when the six-time defending champion responded in the second set the German refused to waver. Two inspired drop shots brought the crowd to their feet and swung the balance her way once more – and undeterred after being broken when serving for the title, she broke back to hand Williams her first three-set defeat in a Grand Slam final.

Quote of the year

“When I was a kid I was always dreaming to one day be the No.1 player in the world, to win Grand Slams. And today is the day. All the dreams came true this year.”
– After winning the US Open, having secured the No.1 ranking by reaching the final

Tweet of the year

What a day it turned out to be…

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,530 Posts
Great article :worship:

Tennis number one Angelique Kerber prepares to defend her Australian Open crown


Tennis number one Angelique Kerber prepares to defend her Australian Open crown


Following an Australian Open win that no one saw coming, Germany’s Angelique Kerber has finally wrested the No. 1 ranking from Serena Williams. Now she’s preparing to return to defend her crown.


Linda Pearce


A week before this year's Australian Open, at the lead-up tournament in Sydney, German tennis player Angelique Kerber discovered a fondness not just for Tim Tams, but Vegemite as well. Later in January, after the women's singles final at Melbourne Park, two of the Women's Tennis Association's communications staff bought supplies of both foods to present to the unfancied outsider. It was a small gesture for Kerber on a night that surprised many.

When the WTA's Eloise Tyson and Catherine Sneddon entered the locker room with what, by then, felt like a slightly feeble offering of chocolate biscuits and yeast extract, they found the new holder of the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup enjoying her first grand slam title with her team. Having just upstaged the great Serena Williams on Rod Laver Arena and won $3.85 million, Kerber happily accepted the modest gift bag, munching on a Tim Tam and handing the packet around.

If that wasn't the typical champion's celebration, neither was what was to come the next morning. A pre-tournament bet saw Kerber, her coach Torben Beltz and physiotherapist Simon Iden – plus a German TV commentator – take a dip in the Yarra River, just as American Jim Courier had first done after his Open win back in 1992.

By the time a dripping Kerber was wrapped in a souvenir tournament towel, having wisely kept her blonde head above the water, her appreciation of most things Aussie had been warmly reciprocated. The proof was in Channel Seven's ratings for the final. With a peak national viewing audience of 2.88 million, the match was the most-watched program of the new year, until the Sunday-evening decider between Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray (2.9 million). Unusually, though, the women's final comfortably out-rated the men's in the host city.

A January that had started with Williams as the favourite to tie the grand slam singles record of Kerber's idol, fellow German Steffi Graf, finished not just with a surprise champion but with an unlikely new darling of the sport. A poster-girl for perseverance. A fitter, leaner, bolder player who had markedly improved her serve. No longer a choker – who, in the words of one insider, tended to retreat into her shell under pressure "like a turtle" – but instead a more determined risk-taker.

"In Australia, we love watching someone who gives their absolute best every single time, fights for every single point, and wants to run down every shot," says Australian Fed Cup captain and former world No. 8 Alicia Molik. "We also love an underdog, and a large majority of the population didn't think she would be holding the Australian Open trophy."

Nor would Kerber have imagined her triumph 12 days earlier, in the opening round against Japan's Misaki Doi, as she stared down a match point. She was, she said, "playing with one leg on the plane back home". So, I ask her, almost a year on, what if one shaky limb had become two?

"I still think about it a little bit sometimes," she says. "Because what's happened after this match, it's just incredible. Australian Open champion? That was for me the first, biggest emotion that I had."

Plenty more major accomplishments followed this past year: a maiden Wimbledon final, Rio Olympics silver, and a crucial follow-up grand slam success at the US Open, where she replaced Williams at the top of the WTA rankings. At 28, she's the oldest woman to reach No. 1 for the first time. Now, long after Graf and Boris Becker's glory days, even soccer-mad Germany is showing an interest in tennis again.

Angelique, born in the north-west German city of Bremen, is the first daughter of Polish-born Slawek Kerber, a club-level tennis coach, and his wife Beata, who still works part-time at a local tennis centre and helps with her eldest child's travel arrangements. Their second daughter, Jessica, now runs a cosmetics and nail studio in Kiel, two hours' drive north of Bremen. "We have a good relationship, but she is completely different than me," says Angelique with a smile. "She is not sporty at all. She can play tennis, but she was always, 'Okay, but I will not sweat.' "

Young Angie was more willing. As a three-year-old, she would hit soft balls and balloons indoors at home, against a wall. Was she good? Kerber believes she always had "the touch" on the basis that, well, "Nothing [got] broken! My mum was always worried that I would break something, but I think it was a good sign that I could hit in one spot."

Though a natural right-hander, Kerber started and stayed a tennis leftie. By her mid-teens, a special, if not extraordinary, talent was apparent. Her mum and dad, though, defied the stereotype of overly ambitious and interfering pro-tennis parents. Now divorced, they were supportive, driving her to practise and tournaments, but never forced the issue. "Completely the opposite," says Kerber. "They [were] actually telling me, 'Okay, let's just play once, not twice, today.' "

"Kerber's parents weren't pushy. 'They were actually telling me, Okay, let's just play once, not twice, today.'"

Since 2012, Kerber has lived in the western Polish village of Puszczykowo, near her maternal grandparents, extended family and her training base, the Angelique Kerber Tennis Academy, now known as the "Angie".

Her profile is lower in Poland, and although the trilingual dual citizen is rarely seen on red carpets, two social media posts on the same day this past November capture her changing world. Click. Lunch with Barack Obama in Berlin, captioned on Twitter as, "A dream come true!!" Smile. A black-tie moment with friend and fellow player Ana Ivanovic and Ivanovic's new husband, German footballing superstar Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Yet winning the 2016 Australian Open in January required some adjustment in the months that followed. More demands – and more pressure. A tighter schedule. Some hard lessons, culminating with a shock first-round loss in her next grand slam event, the French Open, in May. "Everybody would like to have a piece of cake from you," she says, charmingly, her blue-eyed gaze direct. "But now I'm finding the balance to get used to it."

She seems without enemies in the locker room. Kerber's philosophy is simple: "I am trying to be nice to everybody and then of course everybody's nice to me." Non-tennis friends, too, are important. "They know me from the school time, from the beginning," she says. "They don't care about the tennis life and you can spend really a normal life with them." The attention is greater in her homeland. "Germany is of course my country. It's changed in Poland as well, a little bit, but not like in Germany." So, is it tempting to stay inside? Retreat, as she no longer does on the court? "No, I'm still doing what I am doing," she says, firmly. "That will not change at all."

As the saying goes, Kerber took a decade to become an overnight success; battling for eight seasons just to crack the top 50. "A lot of people doubted her because she had some progress, but it was small progress," says German tennis writer Doris Henkel. The most frequent criticism concerned her fitness. Her coach Torben Beltz has said it, and Kerber agrees: she didn't always work hard enough. Her significant upward trajectory started at the 2011 US Open, where she reached the semi-finals, despite being ranked No. 92 in the world. Arriving in Australia last January, she was sleeker after exhaustive pre-season training, but retained her famously powerful quadriceps and the ability to hit her trademark groundstrokes while almost squatting on the baseline. Thanks to her conditioning, though, she could now run and run and run.

Does she wish she'd addressed her fitness earlier? "When I look right now to my career, I think everything came to the best time, because I don't know if I could have handled this, like, five or four years ago. Now I have a lot of experience, and at this age, I know how to deal with it and I really try to enjoy [it]. It's better than if I won it at 18."

Monica Seles, who was 16 when she claimed the first of her nine major titles before a deranged fan of Graf's stabbed her courtside in Hamburg in 1993, says freeswinging innocence can help to mitigate the difficulty of a first grand-slam final win: "The second one is really when you're like, 'Okay, I kind of belong here. I want to prove – not just to everybody in tennis, around sports, but to myself – that I'm meant to be here.' And I think that's what Kerber really did so well."

Although Kerber lost to Williams in straight sets at the Wimbledon final in July, it was a highly competitive final between the world's top two players. But it was this year's Olympic Games that succeeded in raising the profile of a German player who was not the Goethe- and Oscar Wilde-loving Andrea Petkovic, or the extroverted socialite Sabine Lisicki. And it was the US Open that proved she was no one-slam wonder, and that she really did deserve her No. 1 status.

Coach Beltz, the amiable father-of-two with whom she first collaborated as a junior (they split in 2013 before reuniting in early 2015), attributes her rise to more than just fitness and a better serve. "It's the confidence she has now and, for sure, her good powerful strokes. It all comes together and it's really clicking." There is also more positive body language. Kerber talks of not just hoping any more, but "taking it", and not waiting for others to falter.

"She was the forgotten top-tenner, to be quite frank," says respected WTA senior writer Courtney Nguyen. "She's just sort of grown into herself. You knew she could play these great matches; you also knew if it got tight in the third set, she probably wasn't gonna win 'em. To start the year off the way she did and beat Serena set the tone for the rest of the year, but even then we were, like, 'Fluke' – because we've seen those before. So for her to end it with the US Open, I don't think people saw that coming."

One clutch forehand down the line in that New York final against Czech Karolina Pliskova symbolised the evolution from very good to great, says Nguyen. "I'm like, 'No way old Angie does that.' She's seizing her destiny: 'Win or lose, I'm going for it.' "

Commercially, Kerber has not always been an easy sell. There have been long-term contracts with sportswear and racquet companies, and a deal with Porsche was signed in 2015. The newest sponsors are the world's third-largest insurance company and a cosmetics house bearing the motto: Be original. Be natural. Be good.

When Kerber's manager, Aljoscha Thron, a former player and now qualified doctor who returned as her agent in mid-2016, describes her as the most popular sportswoman in Germany, it is with the caveat that this is a country where soccer rules. Still, for the first time since Graf competed almost two decades ago, Germany's two biggest free-to-air networks televised the WTA Finals, the organisation's flagship year-end event. Where once it was a big deal for Kerber to do two TV interviews a year, Thron describes the past four months as a "media hurricane".

Kerber, though, is determined to stay just as she is, despite being the second woman after Williams to earn $US10 million in a single season. After her big Melbourne Park moment, Kerber made a point of asking the German media to let her know if she ever changed.

"I think she's not so different," says Beltz. "Her game changes, yes, because she plays more aggressive and much better tennis now, but she was a very nice girl when we started, when she was 15 or 16 years old, and she's still a nice girl."

Next month, Kerber returns to Melbourne to defend her title. By her side will be Beltz, whose superstitious streak means he shaves only after Kerber is eliminated from a tournament (and who was happy to sport a dodgy moustache through Asia – as he promised to do if she won the US Open). The coach would have no problem taking a second swim. "The Yarra River was not the worst thing I have done," he says with a laugh. Kerber, though, will not take another plunge should a second Australian Open title arrive. "I will do everything to win it again, that's for sure the goal, but I will not jump again in the Yarra River," she says, in a decision as sound as her choice of biscuit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,530 Posts
Angelique Kerber im stern: "Ich habe meine Angst überwunden" | STERN.de



"Ich habe meine Angst überwunden"


Lange Zeit hatte Angelique Kerber Angst, vor dem Urteil anderer. Heute ist davon nichts mehr zu spüren, denn mit den späten Grand-Slam-Erfolgen wuchs bei der Tennis-Weltranglisten-Ersten auch das Selbstbewusstsein.


Der Aufstieg an die Spitze der Tenniswelt hat nicht nur das Leben von Angelique Kerber,28, verändert, sondern auch die Weltranglisten-Erste selbst. "Wie andere mich beurteilen, davor hatte ich immer Angst. Ich bin stolz, dass ich es hinbekommen habe, die Angst zu überwinden, von den anderen als arrogant angesehen zu werden", sagte die frisch gekürte Sportlerin des Jahres dem stern.

Die 28-jährige Kerber galt lange als zu zögerlich für die ganz großen Titel, bevor sie zu Beginn des Jahres die damalige Weltranglisten-Erste Serena Williams überraschend im Finale der Australian Open bezwang und damit ihren ersten Grand-Slam-Titel errang. Kerber erreichte danach noch das Finale von Wimbledon und siegte erneut beim letzten Grand-Slam des Jahres, den US-Open. Bei den Olympischen Spielen von Rio de Janeiro holte sie sich außerdem die Silbermedaille.

"Ich fühle mich viel selbstbewusster", sagte Kerber dem stern, "ich weiß jetzt, was ich will und was mir guttut, lange war das ja nicht so."

Das ausführliche Porträt über Angelique Kerber lesen im neuen stern - diese Woche schon ab Mittwoch
 
641 - 660 of 867 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top