Angelique Kerber undaunted by nightmare draw as she targets Wimbledon defence
Angelique Kerber says that returning to Wimbledon as a defending champion has made this year all the more special.
The German won her maiden Wimbledon crown last year, and will have to do it the hard way if she is to repeat that achievement after being given a tough draw.
However, she is more focused on just savouring the experience of returning to SW19 as a top dog for now.
“I think it’s completely different here because you’re coming back as a member the first time, so it’s really special for me,” Kerber said.
“There are a lot of emotions and a lot of memories from last year, of course.
“It’s nice being back at this special place here for me.
“It’s a completely new year. Everything starts from zero. It is great to be back, but for me right now it’s focusing on my first round, on the tournament.”
Kerber has not been given a particularly kind draw, with Serena Williams, who she beat in the championship match last year, likely to stand between her and the final.
Even if she beats Williams in the last 16, world number one Ashleigh Barty is projected to be her quarter-final opponent.
She is not too bothered about that though, adding: “It’s nothing new for me, to be honest.
“It is right now the first round that’s important. What’s in the second, third, fourth, whatever, it doesn’t matter right now.
“For me it’s the most important thing to play the first round, then looking ahead day by day. I mean, everything can happen, especially in the grand slams. We will see.
“Of course, there are always tough opponents. You have to beat everyone if you would like to win a grand slam.
“I just know Serena is there. I heard it all the time already. The first round is the important one.”
More from Tennis365:
Jack Draper reveals why he is a much better player in honest confession
Jack Draper insists that hard times breed better men.
Jannik Sinner reveals thinking behind changes to his team and dual coaches
Jannik Sinner has revealed why he has two coaches.
Carlos Alcaraz insists players have to adapt to big fuzzy balls
Carlos Alcaraz believes that players need to adapt to different types of balls if they want to be a top contender.
What is Tokyo champion Veronika Kudermetova’s connection to Russian army club CSKA?
Veronika Kudermetova has distanced herself from Russian Army sports club CSKA.
Carlos Alcaraz matches another Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal record with latest win
Alcaraz became the first player to earn 60 tour-level wins in 2023 as he beat Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti 6-2 6-2 in Beijing.
Stefanos Tsitsipas and Paula Badosa give their fans the update they wanted
Stefanos Tsitsipas and Paula Badosa have served up the tennis love story of 2023.
Carlos Alcaraz reveals the nickname has given himself and explains why he is known as ‘Carlitos’
The Wimbledon champion is known as ‘Carlitos’ to his friends and the Spanish tennis community always addresses him by that name.
Alexander Zverev becomes the latest player to hit out at tennis chiefs over big issue
Calls for an end to late night matches in tennis grow as Alexander Zverev asks more questions.
Andy Murray appears to fire a jab at Novak Djokovic on Instagram
Novak Djokovic may not be welcome Andy Murray’s comment on Instagram.
Revealed: Some surprise names on tennis prize money list for 2023
Djokovic leading the money stakes for this year with $10,581,665.