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Angelique Kerber wins and shines

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Angelique Kerber wins and shines

Before the rain came in the Californian desert on Wednesday and disrupted the tournament schedule, Angelique Kerber was radiant in the sunshine. The most successful German player in recent years had previously won her second match in Indian Wells since returning to the professional tour after the birth of her daughter, and had a message ready for the almost one-year-old: “Follow your heart. Enjoy what you do. Dream big.” Even if little Liana couldn’t understand the English words during the winner’s interview, the audience really appreciated the encouragement.

In the 6:3, 6:4 win against Croatia’s Petra Martic, the 36-year-old Kerber proved that she is not yet a thing of the past. Here and there she hits winning shots, especially with her backhand, which were hardly to be expected after six defeats from seven games since the comeback around two and a half months ago.

The serve, which has never been Kerber’s strength, also worked surprisingly well. Having slipped to number 607 in the world rankings, the Kiel native did not receive a bye for the first time in 13 years, but had to compete in the first round of the high-class WTA tournament.

Kerber’s next opponent is of a special caliber. The Latvian Jelena Ostapenko, number ten in the world, can shoot any opponent off the court on a good day; On bad ones, their balls end up in nowhere. Kerber must remain patient, just as she planned to do as a tennis mother, in order to reach her best level again.

Published/Updated: Published/Updated: Michael Eder Published/Updated: Recommendations: 3

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Rafael Nadal showed less patience with his planned comeback. Three days after his exhibition fight against Carlos Alcaraz in Las Vegas, the Spaniard canceled his participation in Indian Wells at short notice on Wednesday. Nadal said he felt “not ready to play at the highest level in such an important tournament.”

After hip surgery last year, which cost him almost the entire season, the 37-year-old suffered a torn hip muscle in January. Nadal left it open when he would start his next comeback attempt.

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