Season snapshot: Angelique Kerber in 2018

Published by Matt Trollope

Angelique Kerber celebrates her progression to the Wimbledon final, which she won to capture her third Grand Slam title (Getty Images)
Beginning the year ranked No.21, Angelique Kerber stormed back into the top five after a brilliant first half of the season capped by her stunning triumph at Wimbledon.

On court

No player started the 2018 season more strongly than Angelique Kerber. Although not included in her official win-loss record, she won all four of her singles matches at the Hopman Cup, then flew to Sydney and won the title there, before heading to Melbourne and advancing to the Australian Open semifinals. That was 14 straight wins to open the season, and the German never looked back.

Within six months she outplayed Serena Williams in the Wimbledon final to win her third major title – a victory that catapulted her to world No.4 after she had finished a forgettable 2017 outside the world’s top 20. She ended the year at No.2 but her second half of the season didn’t quite match the heights of the first; she failed to reach a quarterfinal after Wimbledon.

In between her fruitful Australian summer and All England Club triumph, she was one of the game’s most consistent performers; she made semifinals in Dubai and Eastbourne, back-to-back quarterfinals at Indian Wells and Miami, and trips to the last eight at both Rome and Roland Garros, on her least-preferred surface of red clay. Kerber was the only player, along with Madison Keys, to reach the quarterfinal stage or better at three Grand Slams in 2018.

Stats

After 65 matches played in 2018, Kerber was:

  • No.2 in grass court match wins (record was 10-2, behind Barty’s 12-3)
  • No.3 in return points won (47.6%)
  • =No.3 for total match wins (46)
  • No.4 in return games won (43.9%)

Quotes

“To win my third Grand Slam, it’s amazing, especially here. I think Wimbledon was always the Grand Slam I was dreaming for it. To starting with Australia, with New York, I learned a lot from the experience and everything. Also to playing the final the second time here. Yeah, to winning three different Grand Slams, I think it’s just the best thing. About clay, I think we have to see in the future. I think that’s a longer way to go for it.”
– after winning Wimbledon, discussing the possibility of a rare career Grand Slam

“I’m really proud that I came strong back after last year, that I improved my tennis. I won of course my third Grand Slam in Wimbledon, one of the special ones this year. So, yeah, I’m proud about a lot of things. About my team, as well, about everything what was going on this year which I had the chance also to learn from a lot of experience. I’m happy that I’m back there where actually I was like few years ago.”
– reflecting on season 2018 at the China Open

Off court

In April, Kerber, along with her fitness trainer Rob Brandsma, designed a four-week fitness challenge to make people “ready for spring”. Kerber, renowned for her fitness, shared plenty of training, yoga, stretching, massage and wellness on her Instagram page.

At the German Sports Press Ball, Kerber was awarded the “Athlete With Heart” award in recognition of her Wimbledon victory.

On the eve of the WTA Finals, Kerber announced she had split with coach Wim Fissette, who had joined her team in late 2017 and who guided her during her 2018 renaissance. She has since linked up with fellow German Rainer Schuettler in preparation for the 2019 season.

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