Tennis: Angelique Kerber puts horror year behind her with upturn in form

Angelique Kerber (above) sailed into the second round of the Australian Open after beating Anna-Lena Friedsam on Jan 16.
Angelique Kerber (above) sailed into the second round of the Australian Open after beating Anna-Lena Friedsam on Jan 16.PHOTO: REUTERS

(REUTERS) - Angelique Kerber has turned the page on a horror 2017 season and is focused firmly on making a fresh start to her career, the German said after sailing into the second round at Melbourne Park on Tuesday (Jan 16).

The 29-year-old enjoyed a bumper 2016, winning the Australian and US Open, picking up an Olympic silver medal and becoming the first German No. 1 since Steffi Graf.

Her form, however, deserted her last year when she failed to win back-to-back matches at 13 events and made just one final, at Monterrey, to finish the year at No. 22.

"You know, I think last year, I will actually not speak about this anymore," she told reporters after defeating fellow German Anna-Lena Friedsam 6-0, 6-4 at the Hisense Arena.

"I mean, last year was really not the best year, everybody knows, and it was a lot of new experience. But I'm also thankful about all the things, because I think I'm growing."

Kerber signalled her resurgence with her triumph at the Sydney International on Saturday and was optimistic about 2018 following her flawless start to the new season.

"I think so far it was a good season, the start of the good season, and I'm just trying to playing every single match each.

"I'm not trying to focusing too much on ahead, on past, or what's happened in the last year. I'm just trying to really restart again and try to enjoy my tennis again."

Kerber will take on Donna Vekic of Croatia in her next match.