Wimbledon final joy for Kerber after nightmare 2017

Angelique Kerber is pleased to have put a poor 2017 firmly in the past as she made a brilliant breakthrough in her return to form by reaching the Wimbledon final on Thursday.

Former world number one Kerber beat Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 6-3 on Centre Court to get a potential chance to avenge her 2016 final defeat at the All England Club.

The German lost to Serena Williams on that occasion, but it came in a year that brought her first two major successes at the Australian Open and the US Open.

However, Kerber failed to progress further than the fourth round at any grand slam or win a title on the WTA tour in the following year, sending her tumbling down to 21st in the rankings.

Having rediscovered her strongest game to reach the showpiece in SW19, the 30-year-old expressed her delight with putting that period behind her.

Kerber said: "2017 is over and I'm really happy about that!

"I'm really happy and proud to be back in a grand slam final, these are the matches I was working for as a young kid.

"I think it was a really tough match, Jelena is always playing great tennis. I was just trying to move good and take my chances. It's a great feeling to be back in the final. I'm really excited.

"She's always fighting until the last point, so you have to win the last one and then the game is over. I was just staying focused on every single point. It's quite tough but I'm happy I'm through a really tough match.

"It doesn't matter [who her final opponent is]. I will try to play the way I played the last matches, focusing on myself, going out and winning the match."

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