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As Angelique Kerber returns to world No. 1 this week in Rome she has admitted that sitting at the top of the rankings is not her main priority at the moment.
“It’s nice to being again No. 1, but this is not, you know, the goal,” said the German. “I mean, it’s really important to having the wins on court. That’s why I’m practicing again really hard on my practice sessions. And, yeah, you are looking forward to really winning big tournaments, winning matches, and having the feeling on court.”
Kerber first became world No. 1 following her US Open victory last September and has since spent over 20 weeks at the pinnacle. While the rolling 52-week cumulative system may have her at the summit of the sport, her results since that triumphant moment at Flushing Meadows have been up and down and she has yet to win another title.
“I think I’m getting closer [to winning more]. I’m getting closer step by step. Like I said, it’s a new year, new challenges, but I think that I getting closer,” she said.
The 29-year-old’s 2017 highlights include reaching the final in Monterrey, the semifinals in Dubai and the quarterfinals in Miami. She has a 3-3 win-loss record on clay so far this year and was forced to retire with a thigh injury when trailing Eugenie Bouchard 63 5-0 in her most recent match in Madrid.
“I’m feeling much better. I did, like, a check after my match in Madrid, and I was actually lucky that it’s not too bad and it was just like a muscle strain,” said Kerber.
“I had a lot of treatments the last days, a lot of hours with doing things…I’m feeling good now after few days of really rest and treatments and checking with my doctors and everything.”
Kerber will be hoping for a return to winning ways this week at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia and will start her title bid with an opening round clash against qualifier Anett Kontaveit on Centre Court on Wednesday.