Newly-crowned Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber has confirmed she will return to the Sydney International in 2019 to defend her title.
Kerber climbed to No.4 in the world rankings on Monday courtesy of an emphatic 6-3 6-3 win over Serena Williams that saw her claim her first title at the All England Club.
Kerber, who scored an entertaining victory over Australia’s Ash Barty in this year’s blockbuster Sydney International final, said she was proud of how she performed in January.
“I had a great week in Sydney. The draw was incredibly strong, and I was unseeded, so I had to play good tennis to get through some very tough matches,” Kerber said. “The final against Ash was not easy, but I was able to play my game in important moments so I was really happy to start 2018 with a title win.”
The Sydney victory kick-started a tennis renaissance for the former world No.1, who dropped out of the world’s top 20 in 2017.
And, with three Grand Slam titles – the 2016 Australian and US Opens, and Wimbledon 2018 – to her credit, Kerber now sits at number four on the honour roll of active Grand Slam champions, behind Serena and Venus Williams, and Maria Sharapova.
She said fans could expect even more firepower when she returns to defend her crown in January.
“We’ve tried to improve my tennis from the beginning of the year, to (become) more aggressive. My serve is a little bit faster than it was even last year,” said the 30-year-old following her Wimbledon victory.
“Playing the Sydney International is always a great opportunity to face some top quality opposition. Every single match is really tough, so it’s a great way to fine-tune my game after the off-season, and also get used to the weather conditions in Australia, which are quite different to Europe at that time of the year.”
Sydney International Tournament Director Lawrence Robertson said he is thrilled to welcome Kerber back to Sydney.
“I am delighted that the newly crowned Wimbledon champion will return to Sydney this year to defend her crown. This will be the seventh year in a row Angie has played in Sydney and she has had some great results here over the years and, of course, the incredible run of form that carried her to the title this year,” Robertson said.
“Angie is a big-hitter with a wonderful personality who lights up the court when she plays. She is a huge hit with the fans here and she has now cemented her place as one of the greats of the modern game. I know she’ll get a fantastic reception when she returns to Sydney in January to begin her title defence.”
The Sydney International is part of the Emirates Australian Open Series and will take place at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre from 6-12 January 2019.
Tickets for Sydney International 2019 will go on sale to the general public on Thursday 4 October at 12.00pm via Ticketek.