Kerber confident of dealing with expectations


Angelique Kerber believes she can cope with the pressure of being world number one after winning the US Open.

The German claimed her second grand-slam title of the year with a hard-fought 6-3 4-6 6-4 win over Karolina Pliskova in New York.

Kerber will take over from Serena Williams, who held the mantle for 186 weeks, as number one when the rankings are released on Monday.

The two-time grand-slam champion said she was confident of dealing with expectations.

"I think I'm ready to have this pressure on my shoulders, because I think I get used to all of this, especially after my first grand slam in Australia," Kerber said on Saturday. "I had so much pressure after the title.

"And to be number one, of course now everybody will try to beat me and have nothing to lose. I will try to take this challenge, because it will be a little bit of a new situation for me. But at the end, I was always practicing and working hard to be number one. Now I can also take the next step and try to stay as long as I can there."

Kerber has enjoyed an incredible year, winning two grand slams to go with being runner-up at Wimbledon.

The 28-year-old, who was unable to get beyond the third round at any major last year, said fitness and aggression were behind her improvement.

"I was really trying to improve a lot of things," Kerber said. "First of all, of course, my fitness and then to be more aggressive and go for it when I have the chance, not just hit the balls over the net. Just playing my game. Because I know that when I'm practicing I can be aggressive.

"Making the transfer to the match court, that was the challenge. And also, mentally to be more positive, a little bit stronger, and just focusing on the moment I am on court."