Angelique Kerber has announced she is pregnant and will take a break from tennis for the next few months, including the upcoming US Open.
The three-time grand slam champion will miss the tournament at Flushing Meadows, joking on Twitter: “I really wanted to play the US Open but eventually I decided that two against one just isn’t a fair competition.
“For the next months, I will take a break from travelling the globe as a tennis player but then again, I believe it’s for the best possible reason,” the 34-year-old added. “I will miss all of you.”
“New York has often been a turning point in my career and it feels like this year will be no different in some way,” Kerber continued. “From restarting my career in 2011 to winning the title in 2016 and becoming No 1 in the world. The US Open has a special place in my heart, and I wish I could have said goodbye to all of you on court before not being around on tour for a while.”
Kerber, who won Wimbledon in 2018 and both the Australian Open and US Open in 2016, is currently No 52 in the world, having dropped 20 places in the most recent WTA rankings.
“Being a professional athlete means everything to me but I’m grateful for the new path I’m heading to,” she concluded. “To be honest, I’m nervous and excited at the same time. Thanks for your continued support – it means everything to me.”
Kerber’s compatriot Alexander Zverev will also miss the US Open as he continues his recovery from ankle surgery. The world No 2 has said he is “super happy” with his progress, despite being unable to play in New York next week.
“The recovery is going extremely well,” Zverev said in a video posted on Instagram. “I am super happy where I am right now, but unfortunately I will not come to New York this year. It was a very tough decision, but the way the recovery is going … I just don’t want to take the risk and play best-of-five sets as my first match back.”
The 25-year-old required surgery to fix damaged ligaments in his right ankle following a freak injury during this year’s French Open semi-final against Rafa Nadal. The US Open organisers confirmed on Monday that Zverev, runner-up in 2020 to Dominic Thiem, had withdrawn from the event.