Kerber 'Would've Been Greatest Female Tennis Player' If It Wasn't For Serve Says Petkovic

Kerber 'Would've Been Greatest Female Tennis Player' If It Wasn't For Serve Says Petkovic

by Nurein Ahmed

Andrea Petkovic recently shared genuine appreciation and respect for compatriot Angelique Kerber, who remains active on the WTA Tour at the age of 36.

Kerber made her long-awaited return to tennis from maternity leave at the start of the 2024 season, where she was part of the German team that won the second edition of the United Cup in Australia.

Her singles campaign has not quite gone to plan, with four first-round exits in five tournaments. That includes a dismal defeat to Emma Raducanu in Stuttgart this week, where she only won three games.

The former World No. 1 is still learning to trade her time on tour while raising her one-year-old daughter, Liana. She has been very candid about her on-court results these days, saying that she is no longer interested in what people expect of her.

However, she still maintains that her "heart is in the game" and is emotionally invested when she steps on the court. Recently, her good friend Petkovic, whom she met 11 times on tour, dedicated a moving piece to her on Substack.

Petkovic explained that what Kerber lacked was a serve to dominate opponents but made up for that flaw with solid counterpunching skills and robust offensive play.

Kerber's peak saw her clinch three Grand Slams, a silver medal at the Rio Olympics, and the world number one ranking. Petkovic, who took a front seat as her biggest cheerleader, is convinced that the lefty "would've been" the female GOAT of tennis players if the sport was purely a rally exchange.

"I always say, if tennis was played from the baseline only, Angie Kerber would have been the greatest female tennis player of all times. I know that because I have played the greatest female tennis player of all times. Sadly for Angie, a serve is required in tennis."

Petkovic, who is also 36, formally retired from professional tennis last year. She played her last match in doubles with Kerber in Bad Homburg. In the same article, the former World No. 9, who now works as a tennis pundit, stated that she was "jealous" of her countrywoman's skillset.

"I never felt envious of Angie, I always felt jealous. I differentiate between the two because if you had asked me whether I would have liked to be in her shoes when she was at her best, I would have always said yes – that’s jealousy."

"You want something, somebody else already has. Yet at the same time, I was always her biggest champion (the GOAT debate that never happened) and ecstatic every time she won a big title. Envy to me is not wanting somebody else to have what you also don’t. Envious, no. Jealous, always."


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