Angelique Kerber will make her first appearance at the BGL Luxembourg Open since 2011 as she has officially received a wildcard into the International tournament as her last tournament of the year unless she decides to participate in the WTA Elite Trophy. The German will be the top seed in the tournament, and she will start her campaign against Monica Puig.
Previous appearances in Luxembourg
Kerber made her first appearance in Luxembourg all the way back in 2007 when she lost in the first round of qualifying to Klara Koukalova as the 75th-ranked player in the world. The next time she returned was in 2010 when she stormed to the semifinals defeating Daniela Hantuchova along the way.
After her shocking run to the US Open semifinals in 2011, Kerber rose into the world’s top 30 and received a wildcard into this tournament to end off her season. However, she unexpectedly crashed out in the opening round to qualifier Bibiane Schoofs. That was Kerber’s last appearance in Luxembourg. This year, she will return as the top seed, former world number one and two-time Grand Slam champion.
Rest of the field
Other notable players participating are Kiki Bertens, Anett Kontaveit, Sorana Cirstea, defending champion Monica Niculescu and compatriot Andrea Petkovic. Kerber will open her Luxembourg campaign against Monica Puig in a repeat of the 2016 Rio Olympics Gold Medal blockbuster match, with Ajla Tomljanovic potentially waiting in the second round.
The German’s appearance was due to Madison Keys’ withdrawal from the tournament due to a wrist injury, and the American’s wildcard was thus given to Kerber.
Kerber’s season thus far
It has been a very disappointing season for Kerber thus far, as she failed to defend her two Grand Slam titles from 2016 and also fell out of the top-10 despite being ranked number one back in July.
Her only final this year came in Monterrey and she is yet to win a title this season. Luxembourg would potentially be her final chance to claim a title for a third consecutive year. A title for Kerber here could also confirm her qualification for the WTA Elite Trophy.