Kerber hype rubs off on Germany's Fed Cup bid

 04 Feb 2016 - 0:00

Kerber hype rubs off on Germany's Fed Cup bid
 

Berlin: Germany's Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber brought the hype of her victory all the way from Melbourne to Leipzig on Wednesday ahead of her country's Fed Cup tie against Switzerland.

The 28-year-old has been bombarded by reporters' questions since beating Serena Williams in Saturday's final to win her first Grand Slam title.

Her Germany team-mates got a taste of the buzz surrounding Kerber in their press conference for this weekend's World Group first-round matches against the Swiss.

'How German are you?', 'what do you think of the Zika virus?', 'what are you doing with your prize money?' were just a few of the questions Kerber, now ranked number two in the world, faced from around 80 reporters in Leipzig.

Kerber was even left momentarily speechlesss when asked when she thinks tennis star Ana Ivanovic will marry her boyfriend Bastian Schweinsteiger, the captain of the German football team.

Kerber's team-mate Andrea Petkovic joked how Germany's Fed Cup team should enjoy the hype of a full press conference room: "or we'd just have been standing here in front of two people and we might as well have held it (the press conference) in the loo."

Since jetting home from Melbourne on Sunday night, Kerber has been in hot demand by the German media and endured a relentless whirlwind of interviews since touching down in Frankfurt in the early hours of Monday morning.

Germany's Fed Cup captain Barbara Rittner is aware of the burden on her newly-elevated star player.

"This is a balancing act for all of us, but especially for Angie," said Rittner, a good friend of German tennis icon Steffi Graf.

"We have to check off this great experience and find some focus.

"It will be crucial to leave everything behind on Saturday."

Rittner hopes to draw a line under the hype from Thursday onwards.

"Then I will focus only on the first game on Saturday," said Kerber.

The Swiss will not be an easy opponent with veteran Martina Hingis ranked number one in the world for doubles, while both Belinda Bencic and Timea Bacsinzky are in the top 15.

In contrast, Kerber is the only German player ranked in the top 20.

"Every match will be open. Form on the day and team spirit will decide it," said Rittner.

AFP