By Ian Chadband
LONDON (Reuters) – Angelique Kerber is looking forward to a potential German sporting double over the next fortnight, aiming to win Wimbledon as one of the favorites while also cheering on her national soccer team at Euro 2016.
Australian Open champion Kerber revealed on Saturday that she had been hooked on watching the Euros, particularly the progress of Die Mannschaft, during her preparations in London.
On the weekend before the tournament, Kerber normally likes to take in a show in London’s West End. Last year, it was Mamma Mia! and The Lion King.
This year, though, she reckoned her big night out would have to be on Saturday because she would be glued to the TV watching Germany’s last-16 match with Slovakia on Sunday evening.
The number four seed is usually a cool customer on court but, apparently, she cuts a rather different figure when supporting the world champions at soccer.
“I’m jumping, screaming. Sometimes I’m quiet as well. So it’s everything. A lot of emotions in these 90 minutes,” Kerber told a news conference on Saturday.
“I’m always on the TV and watching, especially Germany, of course. It means a lot.
“Germany is a big soccer country. Everybody’s watching. When I was home, I was also watching with my friends. This is always nice to be supporting them.
“It’s always great to see that they are winning. I said from the beginning that I believe in this team because they know each other. This team is a really good team.
“They have great players. I think that they can go really far.”
The 28-year-old fancies her chances at Wimbledon too, despite having made a first-round exit at the hands of unseeded Kiki Bertens in the French Open and having had to battle shoulder problems.
Asked if she saw herself as a favorite, she smiled: “I’m always seeing me!
“I’m feeling better (after Paris). A few days going home, having a lot of treatments for my shoulder and everything, that was good for me mentally, physically, everything.
“Right now, I’m feeling good. The shoulder is already much better. Yeah, no pain when I’m serving.”
Unquestionably, on her day, Kerber has the game to be a danger at Wimbledon, having reached the semi-finals at the All England Club in 2012.
Yet since her breakthrough triumph in Melbourne, she has had an erratic season, winning one tournament in Stuttgart but otherwise suffering on the clay. No wonder she smiles: “It’s always good on grass for me.”
(Editing by Ed Osmond)