Tennis: Kerber loses opening match in Berlin – Niemeier also out

Tennis: Kerber loses opening match in Berlin – Niemeier also out
Tennis: Kerber loses opening match in Berlin – Niemeier also out

Even her favorite surface, grass, initially brought no luck to the former world number one. In Grunewald, Kerber fought in vain to reach the round of 16. Jule Niemeier also failed early on.

Tennis player Angelique Kerber suffered an opening defeat in her long-awaited return to grass after her maternity leave.

The 36-year-old lost her first round match against Czech Linda Noskova 6:7 (4:7), 6:2, 4:6 at the top-ranked WTA 500 tournament in Berlin and thus missed the round of 16. Noskova (19) converted her first match point after two hours in the Steffi Graf Stadium.

“Of course I’m disappointed because I felt good,” said Kerber. “Especially here in Berlin it would be nice if we could play a few more matches.” Overall, however, she was satisfied. “I tried to play aggressively and immediately felt comfortable on the grass.” She took “many positive things” from the defeat, said the Kiel native, “for example, that I can continue to compete at a high level. I’ve seen in the last few weeks and today that I’m close.”

Jule Niemeier from Dortmund had already failed at the opening hurdle at the grass event in Grunewald. The 24-year-old had to admit defeat to last year’s finalist Donna Vekic from Croatia with 6:1, 1:6, 3:6 despite an initially strong performance.

The preparation tournament for Wimbledon, with prize money of 922,573 US dollars, will continue in singles without German participation. The traditional tournament has a high-class field with eight players from the top ten. “We have a Grand Slam field,” said tournament director Barbara Rittner.

Kerber will next compete in the tournament in Bad Homburg, where she will also act as a tournament ambassador. After that, the former world number one will play in the grass court classic in Wimbledon from July 1st. There she celebrated her third and so far last Grand Slam triumph in 2018.

After being knocked out in the third round in London in 2022, the Kiel native took an 18-month maternity leave. After the birth of her daughter Liana, Kerber returned to the tour at the turn of the year and has been fighting to join the extended world elite ever since.

Source: Stern

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