That hasn’t happened since 1977 – Kerber’s historic defeat
As of 1:43 p.m
Tennis player Angelique Kerber fails in the first round at the Australian Open. On her birthday she loses to a 36-year-old and makes a historically poor German performance perfect.
Angelique Kerber experienced a great disappointment on her 34th birthday with the first round at the Australian Open. The Kiel native, who has been 34 since Tuesday, lost in Melbourne 4: 6, 3: 6 against the Estonian Kaia Kanepi and was the last of only three German tennis players to be eliminated. “There are days like this sometimes. She plays well, but I didn’t play my best tennis,” said Kerber.
The 2016 tournament winner could not prevent the women’s sadness in Australia: For the first time since 1977, no German is in the second round of the Australian Open because Andrea Petkovic and Tatjana Maria were eliminated on Monday. With a view to all four Grand Slam tournaments, this was the sobering result at the French Open in Paris last year.
Kerber, Germany’s best tennis player, celebrated her first of three Grand Slam titles at the Australian Open in 2016. Now for the second time in a row in Melbourne it was over in the first round. In preparation for the new season, the former world number one was slowed down by the corona virus, and she played the first match of the season on Tuesday. “I tried to find my rhythm. This time there wasn’t enough time to get into the matches. Nevertheless, I gave everything,” said Kerber.
Struff and Marterer were also eliminated
Like them, Jan-Lennard Struff (against the Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp) and Maximilian Marterer (against Taylor Fritz from the USA) failed on the second day of the tournament. After all, the veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber secured another challenge with the 6: 4, 7: 5, 7: 6 (7: 0) against the Italian Marco Cecchinato. Five German participants are still represented in the men’s singles competition. Alexander Zverev wants to make it into the third round against Australian John Millman on Wednesday.
During the warm-up, spectators put a smile on Kerber’s face when they sang “Happy Birthday”. But her mood quickly changed. On a cool, windy Melbourne evening, Kanepi’s first serve lasted nine minutes. It went to the Estonian – and it should be a small sign that the match was going her way. A player who has reached the quarterfinals twice in each of the three other Grand Slam tournaments except the Australian Open. Who was once number 15 in the world, but her best times are longer behind her. Kanepi is 36 years old and ranked 115th.
At 1: 3, Kerber gave up her service game for the first time. She looked negative and was 4-1 behind. A small Kerber fan community cheered her on with “Angie” calls – and she fought. The world number 20 was able to equalize again. but don’t use it for yourself. She didn’t get a backhand on the opponent’s first set ball – the set was gone.
In December, Kerber had Corona
“Expectations are relatively low,” said the three-time Grand Slam tournament winner, who traveled to Australia without a coach after Torben Beltz separated. The preparation had been affected too much. In December, Kerber contracted the corona virus. She had a fever, no taste and everything that goes with it – and even worried about her participation in the Australian Open, she had reported.
With the 3:2 in the second set, the left-hander took the lead for the first time in the match. In addition to slight mistakes, she also sporadically showed good points – but far too rarely. Again and again she felt like hesitating and shaking her head – and after an hour and 20 minutes she left the place with the towel over her shoulders and a short wave.