The countdown is on: After Christmas, Angelique Kerber will board a plane to Australia to celebrate her comeback after a year and a half out of competition. The three-time Grand Slam champion is already looking forward to her return. Especially in the summer it will be back-to-back, “with the Bad Homburg Open, Wimbledon and the Olympics. Those are my highlights in 2024,” said Angelique Kerber.

In an interview with the Bad Homburg Open homepage, the tournament ambassador talks about her goals, emotions on the court and a summer fairy tale.

It’s mid-November: For the past two decades, you’ve always taken a well-deserved vacation after a long season. This time is different!

Angelique Kerber: “Yes, absolutely! I can already feel the anticipation of being back on the court in Australia. I know that coming back will probably be the biggest challenge of my career, but that spurs me on. Even though it will be a long road and I will need patience, which is not one of my strengths (laughs). I’ve already started preparing for the new season, and this time it’s completely different. Also, because it’s taking three times as long as usual.

Love for tennis as motivation – “unique” Kurpark atmosphere

What motivates you to return to the professional tour just one year after the birth of your daughter?

Angelique Kerber: “The love for tennis is something that has always motivated me and still does. That’s also the reason why I want to come back – to have that feeling on the court again, with all the emotions and the fans in the stadium. Of course, I have to be realistic and give myself time to get back into the swing of things after the long break. A lot of things will be different when I come back, not least my role as a mother, but I want to try everything and accept the challenge.

From today’s perspective, what will be the highlights of your comeback year?

Angelique Kerber: The season opener in January at the Australian Open will certainly be my first personal highlight. Even though it will be a cold start. Then it’s back-to-back in the summer with Bad Homburg, Wimbledon and the Olympics. Of course, I’m looking forward to playing for Germany again next year, playing in front of my home crowd and seeing a lot of familiar faces and fans on the tour. This is especially true for the Bad Homburg Open, with the whole team that has been building the tournament from the beginning. The atmosphere in the Kurpark is unique and enjoys a special reputation among the players on the tour.

What are you most looking forward to and what are your goals, including at your home tournament, the Bad Homburg Open?

Angelique Kerber: “I have always said that I want to give myself the best chance when I come back. And at the moment I’m giving it my all. However, it would be too early to set concrete goals. But it’s also clear that I always have high expectations of myself when I go out on the court. Winning the tournament in Bad Homburg in 2021 was like a little summer fairy tale for me and the prelude to a really good run at Wimbledon and in the following weeks. Of course, it would be a dream to build on that next summer, especially in front of my home crowd. But for now, I’m concentrating on the start of the season in Australia.

A new level of flexibility and spontaneity

Can you already assess your current performance?

Angelique Kerber: “You can’t compare a practice session with a match. Everything has gone according to plan so far, but I’m also realistic: I’m still at the beginning with my team. We still have a bit of time. I think I’ll be ready for the first matches when we fly to Australia after Christmas.

If you had to name one area where you feel you are now in a better position as a player and person compared to before your maternity leave, what would that area be?

Angelique Kerber: “I think I’ve reached a new level in terms of flexibility and spontaneity in planning my day!” (laughs)