An­gelique out to find elu­sive love for clay

New Straits Times - - Sport -

WORLD No 1 An­gelique Ker­ber is out to find a love for clay in Paris on the French Open courts, with the out-of-form Ger­man tra­di­tion­ally strug­gling on this sur­face.

With the year’s sec­ond grand slam start­ing to­day, An­gelique said she needed to get match prac­tice to re­turn to the form that earned her the world num­ber one rank­ing last year as well as the Aus­tralian Open and US Open ti­tles.

Clay has never been her pre­ferred sur­face, and the 29-yearold made an open­ing round exit in Paris last year. She has only once made it as far as the quar­ter-fi­nals.

“I will just try to, you know, take it step by step and try to get in love a lit­tle bit with the clay,” An­gelique told re­porters on Fri­day.

“Every­body knows it’s not my favourite sur­face, but we have to play on clay.

“Also last year this was not the best weeks for me. It was my best year, but... when I played tour­na­ments on clay, I was not play­ing so well.”

An­gelique has strug­gled this sea­son, and she with­drew from the Madrid Open with a thigh in­jury and was beaten in straight sets by qual­i­fier Anna Kon­taveit in Rome last week. “This year it’s ac­tu­ally the same. It can be just bet­ter,” said An­gelique, who will face Rus­sian Eka­te­rina Makarova, ranked 40th in the world, in the first round in Paris.

“I need matches. I need matches where I can start play­ing and feel­ing my ten­nis.

“Win­ning matches, I think this is also im­por­tant. And just, you know, go­ing out and try­ing to find my game,” An­gelique added. Reuters

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