Clijsters says struggling Kerber can be US Open contender

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Kim Clijsters believes Angelique Kerber is capable of putting a difficult year behind her by retaining her US Open title.

Kerber has endured a fall from grace since her triumph at Flushing Meadows last year, dropping from the top of the rankings to sixth after failing to win a title in 2017.

The German won her first two major last year but has not progressed beyond the fourth round of a grand slam this season, yet Clijsters said the left-hander can be a contender in New York.

Three-time US Open Clijsters told Omnisport: "What kind of player does it take [to win the US Open]? It takes an overall player, it's a very physical surface, you need to be able to take a lot of physical... not abuse, but aches and pains from being on that surface.

"You need to be a good mover first of all, you have to have quick feet, push off, push back, that's a very big important point to be able to do that.

"Who has that? Of course Angie Kerber, she's a great mover out there, Johanna Konta, she's a great mover, there's a lot of girls out there who love playing on hard court and feel more comfortable on a hard court than a clay court or a grass court. 

"Serena's [Williams] still not around so it'll be another one like Wimbledon, where a lot of players will believe in their chances with Serena not playing. 

"Maria [Sharapova] will be back, which will be very interesting to see, she's very motivated to try and do well, and I'll keep my eye on her as well."