Former world number one and three-time grand slam champion Angelique Kerber revealed on Wednesday that she is expecting a child and has withdrawn from the US Open, which begins on August 29.
The German wrote on Twitter on Wednesday, “I really wanted to play the US Open but eventually I decided that two against one just isn’t a fair competition.”
Kerber, 34, last played at Wimbledon in July and the recent absence of the world number 52 has now been explained.
“For the next months, I will take a break from traveling the globe as a tennis player but then again, I believe it’s for the best possible reason. I will miss all of you,” she added.
“Being a professional athlete means everything to me but I’m grateful for the new path I’m heading to. To be honest, I’m nervous and excited at the same time. Thanks for your continued support – it means everything to me.”
The child will arrive in Germany in the following spring. Her management reaffirmed to dpa that her pregnancy does not spell the end of her career.
In 2017, Serena Williams made a comeback to the women’s tour following the birth of her daughter. After the US Open, the 40-year-old is expected to retire. Tatjana Maria, a fellow German player and mother of two, joined Kerber in returning to the WTA. World ranking 92 Maria, who advanced to the Wimbledon semifinals this year, will represent Germany as the top female in New York, according to DPA.
Alexander Zverev, a star male athlete for Germany, is also sidelined at Flushing Meadows due to injury.
Kim Clijsters, a four-time grand slam champion who returned to professional tennis after giving birth, noted on Twitter: “Oh my goodness, congrats to Angie! good news”
Before winning Wimbledon in 2018, the left-handed Kerber won the Australian Open and the US Open in 2016.
(Inputs from IANS)