Germany's Angelique Kerber during a practice session at Melbourne Park ahead of the Australian Open.
Germany's Angelique Kerber during a practice session at Melbourne Park ahead of the Australian Open. Mark Baker

Under-pressure Kerber still feeling confident

ANGELIQUE Kerber says she must recapture the freedom she felt after her first-round nail-biter at last year's Australian Open in order to emulate her success at Melbourne Park in 2017.

Kerber, 28, came back from a match point down against Japan's Misaki Doi to go on and win her first grand slam.

"That match was really important,” the German said on Thursday.

"I still think back about that match, where I was match point down and after that match I had no expectations at all actually.

"I was feeling free, playing good tennis and enjoying every single match here.

"I think I have to go back to that feeling of no expectation, playing match by match and enjoying the feeling being where I am right now.”

After two losses from three matches in 2017, Kerber's less-than-ideal preparation for this year's Open has increased the pressure on the world No.1.

"Of course I'm feeling (the pressure), but I've got used to it from the last few months,” Kerber said.

"I'm here top-seeded so it's a little different than last year, but I will try my best.

"I have a lot of confidence. I know how to win grand slams and I have a lot of experience in the last couple of months, winning my second grand slam and a few more titles.

"But this year is a little bit different. It will be a new challenge for me.”



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