Angelique Kerber says there's a lot of pressure these days with younger players making inroads, but the German is aiming to turn around her season during the Asian swing.
The three-time Grand Slam champion is just 2-5 since finishing runner-up at Eastbourne this season. Kerber also reached the Indian Wells final, but is still searching for her first title of 2019. She hasn't tasted victory since raising the Wimbledon trophy last July.
The 31-year-old is playing in Osaka this week, where she defeated Nicole Gibbs to pick up her first win since splitting with her coach Rainer Schuettler. She is currently using a German Federation coach on a trial basis. Kerber admits it's tough to consistently deliver on the WTA tour, but it motivates her to get better.
"It is really competitive, especially right now. You know that you have to play your best tennis starting from the first round. A lot of young players are coming and you have to improve yourself, your tennis, your fitness. So it's just the whole thing," Kerber told CTGN.
“It's a process and you have to deal with everything right now, but it is also a big challenge, and a big chance for a lot of players.”
In order to move into the conversation of qualifying for the WTA Finals in Shenzhen, Kerber will have to post deep runs at Osaka, Wuhan and Beijing. Whether she does or not, the current world No. 15 just wants to reset her play on court.
“The goal now is to finish the year well, to put all the energy which I have into this run in Asia in the next few weeks,” she said.
Kerber will face Madison Keys for a place in the Osaka semifinals on Friday.