Former world No.1 Angelique Kerber is on her way to Australia with a special addition added to her team.
Kerber, a three-time grand slam winner, will be making her return to tennis in next week’s United Cup in Sydney before heading to Melbourne for the Australian Open.
The German superstar had taken time off following the birth of her daughter Liana in February.
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The 35-year-old shared adorable photos of her tennis bag packed with a matching little bag and racquet for Liana.
Both their racquets also have their names printed on them.
“Our tennis bags are ready for Australia,” Kerber captioned the photos.
Angie with her daughter Liana. Credit: InstagramA close-up of their tennis racquets. Credit: Instagram
Kerber will return to the circuit with a special ranking of No.31 after not playing a professional match since last year’s Wimbledon.
She hopes her comeback will put her in a strong position to contest for gold at the Olympics in Paris.
Asked recently whether she could see a double Olympic gold for Germany with champion Alexander Zverev, she told the Bild newspaper: “Very much! When we meet in Australia, we will definitely talk about it.”
“It would make me very happy. The Olympics in Paris are the highlight and playing for Germany is always an honour.”
She would also like to be the flag bearer for Germany at the Olympics opening ceremony.
“It would be indescribable for any athlete to walk in with the German flag. And it’s also a dream of mine,” she said in the interview.
Kerber isn’t the only high-profile mother making her return to tennis in Australia.
Former world No.1 Naomi Osaka is confirmed for next month’s Brisbane International and recently spoke for the first time on her difficult pregnancy and childbirth experience.
The four-time grand slam champion took a break from the sport late in the 2022 season and only revealed she was expecting when she was a late withdrawal from the 2023 Australian Open.
She gave birth to daughter Shai in July this year and promptly announced her intention to get back to her “regularly scheduled program”.
But to do so Osaka, 26, has had to overcome significant challenges.
The US-based Japanese superstar has revealed she “wrote a will” after a worrying diagnosis while pregnant combined with other fears about giving birth.
She tested positive for Group B streptococcus, a bacterial infection opening up the risk of conditions such as sepsis or even stillbirth.
Pregnancy itself also proved more troubling than she expected as morning sickness, weight gain and loneliness struck.
“I don’t think people know how hard pregnancy is; no one really talks about it as much. Going into it, you kind of think ‘oh, it’s this beautiful journey’. But it’s kind of rough,” Osaka told InStyle.
– With AAP