Kerber: Konta is a dangerous player on grass

World No. 1 Angelique Kerber, who was defeated by Johanna Konta at Eastbourne last week, stated that the British player is one of the top contenders in the tournament.

Johanna Konta, who was beaten by Angelique Kerber at Australian Open and Rio Olympic Games previously, defeated the World No. 1 at Eastbourne last week.   -  Getty Images

World No. 1 Angelique Kerber has it easy in the first round of the Wimbledon as she defeated American qualifier Irina Falconi 6-4, 6-4 at the Centre Court on Tuesday. Kerber had a lot of unforced errors, but overcame the challenges to register her 50th grass-court victory.

Speaking to the media post her victory, Kerber said that she learnt a lot from the last few months — which saw the top seed struggle for form after an amazing 2016.

“I think I'm on my way. I think the last few months I had, like, a few up and downs. But I think also a lot of things that I've learned from, new experience. So now I'm feeling good. I'm feeling that, yeah, I'm looking like actually not only on here, I'm looking like for the next half a year. I think that I was practicing good in the last few weeks after Paris. This is the first step I did already.”

Kerber, who was defeated by Johanna Konta at Eastbourne last week, stated that the British player is one of the top contenders in the tournament.

“There are a lot right now. I think the pressure is on a lot of players. We will see. It's still a long way to go there. But Johanna is, for sure. She played good on grass in Eastbourne, and also I think the week before she played well, reached the final. She's, as well, a really dangerous player, especially on grass.

“She hits the ball very fast, had a great serve when I was playing against her. I think she had, like, 80 percent first serves in. This is what makes the game dangerous on grass.”

In order to keep her World No. 1 ranking, Kerber needs to reach the final of the prestigious tournament. However, the German said that she isn’t thinking far ahead.

“I was never thinking about this. Also when I became the No. 1 in New York few months ago, it's not in my mind. It's in my mind to playing good tennis again, to winning matches. This is my goal for here and for the next match, of course.”

When asked about how she deals with the expectations of the Wimbledon crowd, Kerber said: “I think this is also a process. I know how it is to be the underdog and playing against the favourite player. You have then the crowd behind you. But I think the crowd here is still good. I mean, I remember the last years I played well here, even I was not the underdog, they are still supporting the players. I mean, they are really looking forward to seeing good tennis. I think this is the important thing for the fans and also for us, the players.

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