T Tennis

Angelique Kerber will be wearing white again at Wimbledon. © APA/afp / GLYN KIRK

Angelique Kerber back in Wimbledon after maternity leave

Angelique Kerber is returning to the Wimbledon stage after a maternity leave. The three-time Grand Slam winner has received a wildcard for this year's tournament, the organizers of the grass court classic announced.

Kerber paused her career for almost two years in July 2022 before making her comeback at the beginning of the year. So far, however, she has not been able to live up to expectations, being eliminated early in the Grand Slam tournaments in Melbourne and Paris. Kerber is currently ranked 224th in the WTA world rankings. Now the Bremen native can compete directly in the main draw without qualifying.

Kerber, often referred to as Steffi Graf's successor, has a long and successful history at Wimbledon: she triumphed there in 2018 and secured the coveted title. She was also in the final in 2016 and reached the semifinals in 2012 and 2021. No wonder the organizers would like to see her back on the hallowed turf.

Other prominent players receive wildcard

In addition to Kerber, other prominent players also received a wildcard. Britons Francesca Jones, Yuriko Lily Miyazaki, Heather Watson and Emma Raducanu as well as former world number one Naomi Osaka from Japan and Caroline Wozniacki from Denmark are among those chosen. Interestingly, Osaka and Wozniacki are also returning to the tour after pregnancy breaks.

Wimbledon starts on July 1 at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. In preparation for the prestigious tournament, Kerber will compete in the tournament in Bad Homburg next week. Her last appearance in Berlin ended in a first-round defeat to the Czech Linda Noskova, but her performance nevertheless gave rise to hope for a successful return. In total, there are nine Grand Slam titles among the wildcard recipients.

No big names among the men

While internationally well-known names received wildcards in the women's competition, the men's competition was more of a home affair. All wildcards went to British players, including Liam Broady, Jan Choinski, Jacob Fearnley, Arthur Ferry, Billy Harris, Paul Jubb and Henry Searle. Choinski, who played for the German Tennis Association until 2018, can also look forward to his place in the main draw.

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