Angelique Kerber aims to heed the lessons learned in winning her first grand slam in Melbourne in January as she cranks up her bid to add a second major title on the Wimbledon grass.
Superior court craft proved decisive for the Australian Open champion on Monday as she pressed the right buttons in motoring past Japanese pocket rocket Misaki Doi 6-3 6-1 in a full-blooded fourth-round match.
“I was trying to play my game and was feeling that my tennis is getting better and better,” said the German fourth seed.
Having ground out a straight-sets win on Saturday against compatriot Carina Witthoeft in blustery conditions on the same court two, Kerber played with greater consistency and control against Doi.
That is part of the recipe she wants to carry over into her Wimbledon quarter-final from Australia, where she dashed world No.1 Serena Williams’ hopes of winning a record-equalling 22nd grand slam in the professional era.
“It is important that I know I can win these things (grand slams). The matches won’t get any easier and I know that I have to take control of them and dictate the play,” Kerber said.
“(The aim is) not to think too much about what might happen or what one can do or the negative aspects, and to only look one day ahead.”
Kerber, who reached the semi-finals at the All England Club in 2012, risked being overpowered early in Monday’s first set as her 1.59-metre opponent bludgeoned forehand winners to both sides of the court.
But the German gradually found her range on her groundstrokes while 49th-ranked Doi’s radar began to malfunction and, in a match dotted with mesmerising rallies, made 25 unforced errors as well as 20 crunching winners.
Kerber will play Simona Halep in the quarter-finals after the Romanian fifth seed ousted American ninth seed Madison Keys 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-3.