Ahead of the year's second major at Roland Garros, Angelique Kerber spoke of the possibility of completing the career Grand Slam in Paris. The German has never been past the quarter-finals in 11 career appearances.
Kerber would become the seventh woman to win all four major championships in the Open era and will be seeded fifth when the tournament begins on Sunday. The 31-year old spoke to wtatennis.com to give her thoughts.
Kerber "not trying to put too much pressure" on herself ahead of Paris quest
The former world number one began by saying "in the end, every tournament is a different experience, and you have the two weeks to get through and it's a big challenge in Paris, so i'm trying not to put too much pressure on myself.
"If I had the chance to complete the career Grand Slam, that would be amazing, but i'm not thinking about this right now, as it's still a long way off. You have to win the first round, and then keep going through the draw, before you think about it too much".
German talks about how coach helps her
The 2016 Australian Open and U.S. Open champion, as well as the defending Wimbledon champion, spoke of how coach Rainer Schuettler can assist her having been in this position himself, reaching the 2003 Australian open final.
"Rainer understands me a lot more because he played and so he understands what it's like to be alone on court, and how to feel the pressure, and how to make decisions on court. There are sometimes only two or three points that decide the matches.
"Also, how we prepare for opponents and how we speak after matches, it's a little bit different, and that helps me right now to improve my game. They are small details rather than big changes, because at this level you can change two or three percent, and that's it.
Kerber added "That's what i'm trying to do with Rainer, to add that two or three percent" while also saying "of course, it helps that we're speaking in German because that's my language. Sometimes I don't find it so easy to explain something in English. German is always easier".
Kerber on Graf, possibility of completing career Slam
As one of the only six women to hold the full set of major titles, Kerber's fellow German Steffi Graf is the ideal person to talk to. The three-time major winner said she would welcome the chance to speak with the 22-time Slam champion, who accomplished the feat at the 1988 U.S. Open.
"I haven't spoken to Steffi yet about doing the career Grand Slam", she said. But if I had the opportunity, I would like to speak to Steffi about this, because why not? She knows the feelings and she knows the pressure you're under, and how to achieve something like that."
Following her victory over Serena Williams in London last year, the talk of a possible career Slam began and Kerber admits "I first started thinking about it within a few minutes of coming off Centre Court, but that's because the media was asking me.
"I'm still not thinking about this too much, to be honest, though i'm answering the questions. I'm not going to put big pressure on myself in Paris to complete the career Grand Slam."