Ashleigh Barty will face a completely new set of challenges in 2020, says Angelique Kerber, but she believes the world number one has everything required to excel again.
Barty had a landmark 2019, winning her first Grand Slam at the French Open, the WTA Finals, and topping the rankings for the first time.
All that means that the Australian will head into the new season with an entirely different type of pressure to deal with, but Kerber is expecting her to adapt.
“She’s always a tough opponent,” Kerber told the press in Australia.
“She’s such a great player, a great person as well and I’m really happy for her that she reached the number one spot.
“She put a lot of effort in and she worked hard. It’s always a tougher year to start as the number one player but I think she will deal with that situation.”
Kerber herself knows how hard it can be to back-up a breakout season, but she believes Barty can handle to increased expectation.
“I was really trying to enjoy, but you really have to schedule your day a bit different than if you were number 20 or number 30 in the world,” she said.
“You have to improve every single tournament, every year, because even if you win a Grand Slam, everyone is looking to beat you.
“It’s for sure completely different — she (Barty) has all the pressure, all the expectation, especially here in Australia.
“I know her and also her team, she played so well and I’m really sure she’ll continue to play how she played particularly the end of last year.”
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