Kerber focuses on form, not top spot, in Dubai


Dubai, UAE (AP) — Top-seeded Angelique Kerber has a chance to reclaim the No. 1 ranking from Serena Williams by winning the Dubai Tennis Championships, which started Sunday.

Despite Williams not being in action this week, second-ranked Kerber is determined to focus above all on finding the form that put her top in the first place.

“For me it’s important to play my tennis and find my rhythm again, so this is what counts for me,” Kerber said. “Of course, I will try to give my best to win a lot of matches again and then we will see if I can get back to the No. 1.”

Germany's Angelique Kerber. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)
Germany’s Angelique Kerber. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

The German has had a disappointing start to 2017, including an unsuccessful defense of her Australian Open title when she was knocked out in the fourth round by CoCo Vandeweghe.

Kerber’s best result came in the first week of the year at Brisbane, reaching the quarterfinals before losing to Elina Svitolina.

She followed that with a second-round defeat to Daria Kasatkina at Sydney. Kerber then lost again to Kasatkina in her first match at the Qatar Open last week.

Despite the poor results, Kerber remains optimistic.

“I’m really practicing good so I think the thing is to make the transfer from the practice to the matches,” Kerber said. “This is the thing I have to get and I think it’s just one or two matches that could change it.

“It was not, maybe, the best start I was wishing for, but it’s not a big drama I think,” Kerber said. “I think I know how to get back, it’s going there and playing matches, and winning matches again.”