Tennis: Former No. 1 and three-time Slam champ Kerber announces pregnancy, to miss US Open

Angelique Kerber last played at Wimbledon where she lost in the third round to Belgium's Elise Mertens. PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS, AFP) - Former tennis world No. 1 Angelique Kerber is pregnant and will skip the US Open, which starts in New York on Monday (Aug 29), the three-time Grand Slam winner from Germany said.

The left-handed Kerber, 34, last played at Wimbledon where she lost in the third round to Belgium's Elise Mertens.

She won her maiden Grand Slam at the Australian Open in 2016 before lifting the US Open the same year to climb to the top of the women's world rankings.

Two years later, she won the grass-court major at the All England Club for her third Slam title.

"I really wanted to play the @usopen but eventually I decided that two against one just isn't a fair competition," Kerber said in a cheeky post on Twitter on Wednesday (Aug 24).

"For the next months, I will take a break from travelling the globe as a tennis player but then again, I believe it's for the best possible reason! I will miss all of you."

She added: "New York has often been a turning point in my career and it feels like this year will be no different in some way!

"From restarting my career in 2011 (ranked 92 she reached the semi-finals) to winning the title in 2016 and becoming #1 in the world."

Kerber said she was excited about her new chapter.

"Being a professional athlete means everything to me but I'm grateful for the new path I'm heading to," she said. "To be honest, I'm nervous and excited at the same time."

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