US Open 2017: Angelique Kerber says holding on to top spot is hardest thing to achieve
Angelique Kerber has been given a brutal reminder this season that if becoming World No 1 is hard, staying at the top is even more difficult.
New York: Angelique Kerber has been given a brutal reminder this season that if becoming World No 1 is hard, staying at the top is even more difficult.
The defending US Open champion was knocked out in the first round at Flushing Meadows on Tuesday when Japan’s Naomi Osaka steamrollered her 6-3 6-1 on the Arthur Ashe Stadium where she lifted the trophy 12 months ago.
German Kerber has not won a title since and will now drop out of the world’s top 10.
“It’s a new situation. Of course, you have always the goal for years to go there and to reach the top, but then if you are there, you actually don’t know what to expect,” Kerber, who became World No 1 after winning the US Open last year, told a news conference.
“You have to get used to everything. You have to schedule your day, plan completely different and it’s for sure tougher to stay on top.”
She reached the final at the year-ending WTA finals, losing to Dominika Cibulkova, but relinquished the top ranking after being knocked out in the Australian Open fourth round.
She reclaimed it and lost it several times but there were serious concerns over her form going into the US Open and Osaka was merciless in exposing her weaknesses.
“After Wimbledon, I was actually confident, because I was practicing good. I knew that everything was going the right way, but I was a little bit injured and it’s still not 100 percent with my elbow,” the sixth seed said.
”I’m always trying my best and also my team is trying the best, and I think this was also during the whole year I always had some small things that (prevented me from) playing my best.
“I will try to forget the match as soon as possible and look forward again.”
The superstar American gymnast Biles on Tuesday stunned the Tokyo Olympics when she pulled out of the women's team final, saying: "I have to do what's right for me and focus on my mental health and not jeopardise my health and my well-being."
Tokyo Olympics 2020: Under-pressure Simone Biles eyes team gold, Naomi Osaka takes court with tropical storm brewing
All eyes will be on Biles at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre as the 24-year-old four-time Olympic champion seeks to erase the memory of an uncharacteristically error-strewn qualifying competition.
In windier, cooler and more overcast conditions than the sweltering opening two days of the competition, Osaka compiled 29 winners to Golubic's 14 and had only 11 unforced errors to her opponent's 21.