A fiercely emerging player on the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) tour, Angelique Kerber (Germany) enjoyed a certain amount of anonymity as a player. However, in the last two years, she has been getting very good results in slams. She has made it into the top 10 with her semifinal appearance in this year’s Wimbledon. It will not be too long before commentators and reporters will start putting her name with people equipped to win a grand slam. Angelique is stoic out on the court. However, every now and then, she calls her coach down during a changeover. She is then very expressive in her frustration.
Kerber is an aggressive counterpuncher. She likes a fast paced match but she does not really go for winning shots. She is left handed but does not play like a left hander (lefties traditionally play a more net rushing, all court game built around the rarity of being left handed). A very fit player, Angelique is built like a tank with overly developed upper legs. This hints at her very quick acceleration skill. She is not a particularly graceful mover and does not anticipate very well.
Why She Wins
Kerber is an astonishing work horse. It is understood that a match with her is a fast paced, grinding match with about 10 hits a point. The idea is that she will break both her and her opponent down to nothing and then she should have enough heart and work ethic to fight better. It is obvious that she is ready for war. The opponents are usually ready to play but not always war.
Why She Loses
Kerber does not have an impressive arsenal of finishing strokes. Without good anticipation or volley skills, she misses many opportunities to finish points. Against the players that take their opportunities right away, Kerber seems to get pinned to the baseline. Also, Kerber’s serve is not really a factor. For a left-handed player, it should be paramount to find a way to use your serve to cause problems for the opponent. Lefties have the ability to pull the opponent off the court with a slice serve (a serve that curves in the air) on the ad side. All game ending points are played in the ad court unless the score is 15-40 or 40-15. Given that women’s professional tennis has very few left-handers, it is a shame not to use that serve to win some easy points.
If a player wants to understand what pure hustle is, Angelique Kerber is who they should watch before their matches. From watching her, people can get a good sense of how determination can sway a match in their favor. Angelique Kerber has room for improvement and has already made two semifinal appearances in grand slams. Look out for her to break through soon to a final.
Photo Credit: Susan Mullane-US PRESSWIRE
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