Learn from Anqelique Kerber –
The 2016 Australian Open Champion
Each Grand Slam tournament is a must-see for anyone who is interested in tennis. The best players in the world get to one place to fight for the most important trophy. Of course season starts with Australian Open so players have to be ready to play seven matches in a demanding hot environment. 2016 gave us a big surprise since Angelique Kerber finished as the winner. She played great tennis, but it is always surprising when Serena Williams is beaten.
Last years were definitely dominated by Serena Williams. She was playing her best tennis for most of the times, but even when she wasn’t, she was able to find ways to still leave the court as the winner. Because of these spectacular results, every time she loses the match the world gets crazy about it. The same happened this year in Australian Open. Kerber finished the tournament with the trophy, and now there are questions whether it is the end of Serena dominance or just a weak moment for her.
I don’t like statements that Serena didn’t have her day. The words of truth are: You can play as well as your opponent will let you. So we can’t underestimate Kerber’s skills and strategy that let her to the first Australian Open title. Did she play her best tennis ever? It is not important. What is crucial is that she played well enough to beat her opponent.
Angelique Kerber won 7 matches because she used her strengths. As any player in the world, she has strong skills as also some weaknesses. In this tournament she was able to use her strengths to put the pressure on the opponents, as also she smartly hid her weakness so the rivals couldn’t get too many easy points. Watching Australian Open was a great experience because we could learn so many different things to improve our own games. Below you can find valuable skills that led Angelique Kerber to her first Gran Slam trophy. Apply these tips and you will also make your biggest successes really soon.
One match at the time
Angelique Kerber is a great example of how you can move from hell to heaven in less than 14 days. Kerber had a really tough match in the first round of Australian Open against Misaki Doi. She saved the match point and coped to finish this battle on her terms. After the first round nobody thought that Kerber could win the tournament, but right now we know that she did. This example only confirms that one match is just one match. If you play badly 2 sets it doesn’t mean that you can’t play your best tennis during the next game. It all depends on your confidence and fighting spirit. Learn from Angelique, never doubt your game, and just focus on the next match.
Consistency is the key
Many players hear from their coaches that they have to hit consistent deep balls to achieve great results. Of course it is true that we should strive to make all the balls close to the baseline, but it is not always required to win the match. Angelique Kerber was really consistent during the battle against Serena Williams, but depth of her strokes wasn’t too impressive. Many of her shots landed close to the service line, but she was still able to manage to win the final. The lesson is that you have to play the balls that won’t be easy to attack for the opponent. Angelique was playing many short shots, but there was pace behind these balls so Williams couldn’t hit straight winners. Adding the fact that there weren’t too many unforced errors from Kerber she made her opponent to take more risk and make more mistakes. Remember if you can combine consistency and depth that is great, but if you can’t focus just on making many balls inside the court in a row.
Don’t think about your limitations
Service is not the strongest skill in Kerber’s abilities. Her second serve was easily attacked by Serena so she was in big defense every time the first serve didn’t land inside the service box. As we know now it didn’t stop her to win the final so it only confirms that you can win major tournament while not being perfect. Even she was serving really slow balls from the second serve she managed to stay in the point because of her great movement and consistency. Angelique focused on her strengths instead of thinking too much over her weaknesses and that is why she left the court with the trophy. This is an important message for all of us. We all have weaknesses but it doesn’t mean that we can’t beat all our opponents. We have to just use our strengths in all points and then we have a big chance for the win.
It is not easy to beat Serena Williams. We all know how well she has played for the last years so you have to be ready physically and mentally to finish the match on your terms. Many players managed to win one set against Serena, but the last set was always played superbly well by the American champion. This year Australian Open’s match was different. Angelique Kerber used her opportunity and played really well in the crucial moments of the final. That is the lesson that we all should learn. You have to be ready physically and mentally to beat really strong opponents so that is why you have to work on your complete development because one little details can decide about your future failure.
About the Author
Marcin Bieniek is a tennis coach from Poland and a former professional player (Polish National Juniors Team). He is a certificated tennis coach by the Polish Tennis Coaching Association and the Professional Tennis Registry. Marcin has worked with many of the top 20 Polish Juniors and the top 150 players in the world.