Angelique Kerber blames hard lockdown for early Australian Open loss

Wilson Blade 9

Angelique Kerber is the first big casualty at the 2021 Australian Open. The former champion here in Melbourne is convinced that the hard quarantine she had to endure is largely to blame for her loss.

The 23rd-seeded Kerber lost the first nine games of her encounter with American Bernarda Pera on Day 1. Midway through the second set Kerber finally found her rhythm and even had break points for 5-all, but the unseeded Pera fought off that late challenge and triumphed 6-0 6-4.

After the match, the former world No.1 Kerber said that her 14-day confinement to a hotel room definitely hampered her preparation for the Australian Open. Pera, on the other hand, wasn’t among the 72 unlucky players who served a hard lockdown.

Even though Kerber tried to stay positive during the quarantine, the fact that she wasn’t allowed to train outside and hit balls negatively affected her rhythm and downgraded her form. From this perspective, Kerber wonders whether it was even worth it coming to Melbourne, even though she loves the Australian Open.

At the post-match press conference, the 2016 champion Kerber said she would “maybe think twice” about traveling to Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her decision could have been different had she known about all the restrictions awaiting her. Still, Kerber praised Australia for their excellent management of this difficult situation and also said that she had never seen Pera play so well.

Kerber’s on-court outfit of choice today was from Adidas’ PRIMEBLUE x HEAT.RDY collection: the yellow Y-Tank and green Match Skirt. The German used her new Yonex V-CORE racquet.

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  1. I heard she is one of the nicest players off court, especially towards her German players. But I always see her bitter face every time she loses (esp in early round of slams), she is a sore loser imo!

  2. Ric, we can’t neglect the fact that the quarantine must have affected her form. In the interview she wasn’t criticizing or complaining, she just said that the lockdown definitely ruined her physical preparation and that maybe she wouldn’t have traveled to Australia had she been aware of the possibility of hard quarantine.

  3. However before this she played in the special tournament for women who had been in hard lockdown so she was only playing against other people who had been in hard lockdown and as I recall she lost in the first round there as well. And she does have a history of erratic form. It will be interesting to see how the other players who were in hard lockdown go in the main tournament.

  4. She woke up just that little bit too late. I thought at 4-5 she was going to break back and roll over the match.

  5. CLT, Kerber didn’t lose in the first round of the Grampians Trophy. She defeated Katerina Siniakova and Ons Jabeur before falling to Maria Sakkari. Look at Bianca Andreescu, though, she was away from the tour for 15 months and won her R1 match at the AO.

    Andy, she had that big chance, but it wasn’t her day, as she said at the press conference.


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