London - World number one Angelique Kerber admits Serena
Williams' absence from Wimbledon gives her a chance to make amends for last
year's final misery.
Kerber was denied a first Wimbledon title by Williams 12
months ago as the American star beat the German in straight sets.
But Williams won't be able to defend the trophy after taking
the rest of the year off as she prepares to give birth to her first child.
Not having to deal with the seven-time Wimbledon winner or
the injured Maria Sharapova is a major boost to the collection of players,
headed by Kerber, hoping to lift the Venus Rosewater Dish for the first time.
"Of course it's different if Serena is not here. We
will see. Everything is possible in two weeks," Kerber told reporters at
Wimbledon on Saturday.
"There are so many good players right now, so I will
not put the pressure on my side.
"There are so many good ones, they can play, they can
win tournaments, as well."
To win the title, Kerber needs to improve dramatically after
making unwanted history when her defeat against Ekaterina Makarova made her the
first top-ranked woman in the Open era to fall in the opening round at Roland
Kerber, who won the Australian and US Opens last year, has
yet to claim a single WTA title in 2017.
Having pulled out of last month's Birmingham tournament with
a hamstring injury, Kerber suffered another blow in her grass-court
preparations when she lost to Johanna Konta in the Eastbourne quarter-finals
earlier this week.
But the 29-year-old, who faces American qualifier Irina
Falconi in the Wimbledon first round, believes she is rounding into form now
the clay-court campaign is behind her.
"I'm feeling much better playing on grass. I worked
very hard the last few weeks after Paris," she said.
"Actually I'm not thinking about Paris, about the clay
court season any more.
"For me it's now the next tournament, the next Grand
Slam here. You know that everything is possible.
"I'm starting from zero. My mind is just day by day,
like last year. I will try to play good tennis again."
Kerber could lose her position on top of the rankings over
the next fortnight, with Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova among the
contenders to dethrone her.
"I will not put the pressure too high. I'm already so
long the No 1. I will try, of course, to keep it," she said.
"But at the end, I am here to playing round by round
and focusing only on my matches, not about the numbers or the rankings."
After such a dispiriting run this year, Kerber says she
feels revitalised by her return to Wimbledon.
"It's great being back. When I walked here, a lot of
great memories came through my mind," she said.
"I watched few highlights from that match against Serena
last year. It's just an amazing match from both of us. Serena was playing
"For me it was really great to walk on court playing
finals here. It's tradition. I can say forever I played the final here."