Before the German returned a few weeks ago, she spent over a year away from tennis. It was because of her pregnancy. Becoming a mother was an important moment for Kerber, but she wasn't going to give up on her tennis career because of it.
She worked hard and made a comeback Down Under, playing six matches overall, but losing five of them, but also recording one hard-fought win. It was a bit rough because Kerber obviously struggled against some of the players, who had more matches played in recent history, but it got her up and running.
You can prepare about as well as you want, but it's actually playing matches that gets you in competitive shape. That's why she opted to play in Linz: she needs those matches, but much like in Australia, she doesn't have any expectations about this week in Linz.
"I don’t have too many expectations as I don’t know what I’m going to have to cope with. I have to say the little one is actually very relaxed. I’m very lucky. Travelling doesn’t seem to worry her. Naturally the daily schedule is different."
During the press conference, Kerber touched upon balancing being a mother and a tennis player. The focus is now on her daughter, and that's different because it used to be tennis. It's not something she minds, though.
"On the one hand, I have to concentrate on my job and on the other, the focus is totally different. It’s not like I am alone on the Tour anymore as there’s somebody else at my side. The focus is no longer completely on me. It’s on my daughter. And it's a nice situation to be in."