Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Fissette Wants to Mould Clay Play of Kerber

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Fissette Wants to Mould Clay Play of Kerber

Article excerpt

ANGELIQUE Kerber's coach has backed the German to complete a career Grand Slam following her Wimbledon triumph over Serena Williams.

Kerber won her third slam on Saturday with a dominant 6-3 6-3 victory to add to the Australian Open and US Open titles she claimed in 2016.

The German now only needs to win the French Open to join Williams and Maria Sharapova as holders of all four major titles.

Kerber gave a wry smile when asked about the prospect given her previous struggles on the Paris clay, but Belgian coach Wim Fissette believes her run to the Roland Garros quarter-finals last month and a three-set loss to eventual champion Simona Halep should provide plenty of hope for the future.

The pair began working together in pre-season following Kerber's split from Torben Beltz, who had coached her for more than a decade.

Fissette said: "This year was a huge success for her on the clay. Before she had no plan how to play on clay.

"I remember we went to Rome a bit early to play some sets and she was trying to make winners on every second ball, and I was like, 'Angie, it's not going to work'.

"I was showing her some videos, 'If you want to have a chance, this is the way'. She was a bit negative because she didn't have good memories on clay.

"So I said, 'If you're going to try, let's go 100%', and she took it and one day in Rome she made the switch in her mind, she wanted the challenge.

"Unfortunately, in Paris she was physically not strong but she won the first set against the best clay player of the moment. If you can do that, why can't you maybe win it one day?" Kerber lost the 2016 Wimbledon final to Williams but never gave the American any encouragement on Saturday, piling pressure on with her remarkable retrieval skills but also hitting 11 winners and facing just one break point. …

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