Melbourne - Angelique Kerber said on
Thursday she feels a responsibility to protect her fellow German Steffi Graf's Grand
Slam record from Serena Williams, but admits the job in front of her is
The 28-year-old powered into her first
Grand Slam final by beating Briton Johanna Konta 7-5, 6-2 at the Australian
Open, and revealed she received a text from her veteran compatriot after the
Seventh seed Kerber this week credited
22-time major winner Graf with giving her the self-belief to put together her
career-best season after hitting with the former great early last year.
Asked by a courtside interviewer if she
would be seeking Graf's advice ahead of her showdown with the American world
number one, she laughed: "Steffi, write me please!"
Graf must have been watching as Kerber
revealed a text landed for her soon after, without revealing what it said.
"I think she wrote me, but I was not
able to check it right now. I just saw that," Kerber said in her
post-match press conference.
"I think she sent me a text message,
but I don't know what she wrote me yet. I think she heard what I said on the
Kerber is going to need all the help and
advice she can get against the imposing Williams who is in her 26th Grand Slam
final after sweeping aside fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska with ease.
The win set her up for a tilt at Graf's
Open-era record of 22 Grand Slam titles, with the American on 21 after winning
the Australian and French Opens and Wimbledon last year.
Asked if she felt any duty to protect
Graf's record as a fellow German, Kerber said, while smiling: "I think so.
I think so. The Germans must be together."
Despite the huge task facing her, Kerber is
taking a crumb of comfort from having beaten Williams once before, at
Cincinnati in 2012. The American has won all five other encounters between the
"I think she is going out there to try
to win again another Grand Slam, making history. This is her goal," she
"My goal is to maybe win my first
Grand Slam. You know, I think she will have respect. I think she will go out
there and she knows that she must play also good tennis to beat me.
"I'm feeling good. I'm healthy. I'm
fit. I will try to win against her. That's for sure. I know it will be not