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Anyone who watched Garbiñe Muguruza and Angelique Kerber tear the cover off the ball for two hours and 20 minutes on Wimbledon's Manic Monday can feel comfortable saying that Kerber is—finally—back in top form.

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Even in defeat, she played the physical, fiery brand of tennis that we became accustomed to last season. There was explosive footwork, aggressive counterpunching, incredible defense and passion. The only thing that went wrong was that Muguruza was simply too good.

The German has struggled all season long with her game and with her process. Perhaps a lot of it has to do with the fact that the weight of carrying the WTA’s No.1 ranking was difficult for her to become accustomed to; perhaps Kerber’s struggles were physical. Whatever the case, she believes that her performance on grass is the beginning of a revival.

“It was for sure the best match for a long time for me, so that's why I actually said that I lost the match. But I think I'm still on a good way,” Kerber said after falling to Muguruza, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. “When I came here, I was telling myself, I was practicing good after Paris. For me, I'm still looking for the next months, next weeks. I think I'm again on a good way to playing again tennis, yeah, on a high level.”

The German won’t have to worry about being No.1 for a while. She’ll be supplanted in next week’s rankings, either by Simona Halep or Karolina Pliskova depending on how Halep’s Wimbledon results pan out. That could be a blessing in disguise for Kerber, who carried a 26-14 record during her 34 weeks at No.1, according to the tennis statistical website, Tennis Abstract.


“[It] was completely new for me,” Kerber said of her 34 weeks at the top of the rankings. “But it was a good experience. I will try, of course, to come back and be one day again the No. 1.”

She added: “But right now I'm really happy that I find my game back. I'm on court playing good tennis again. I think I can still improve it.”

Kerber says she will head home for a few day’s rest before trekking across the pond to begin the hardcourt swing in the U.S. The pressure might be less but there will still be U.S. Open champion’s points to defend. That’s a bridge that Kerber will cross when she gets there. For now she’s just happy to be finding her game again.


“For me, it was really important that I played good the grass season,” she said. “I know that I'm back, I can play good matches. This is what counts for me at the end.”

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