Germany’s Angelique Kerber (4/1 – 2017 Australian Open outright) insists she is enjoying the pressure that comes with being ranked number one in the world as she prepares to defend her position in 2017.
The 28-year-old enjoyed her strongest season on the tour in 2016 as she claimed two Grand Slam titles at the Australian and US Opens.
The German also made it to the final at Wimbledon for the first time in her career before losing to Serena Williams (9/4 – 2017 Australian Open outright) in straight sets.
However, despite that loss to Williams the German was able to dethrone the American following her home Grand Slam at Flushing Meadows.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion dropped out of the US Open at the semi-final stage, and Kerber already had enough points to claim top spot before beating Karolina Pliskova to lift the title.
The world number one is set to kick off the new season at the Brisbane Open before heading to the 2017 Australian Open.
Kerber believes the new campaign will bring extra challenges as she looks to continue improving while also defending her lofty spot in the world rankings.
“I think it will be a completely different year than 2016,” Kerber said.
“There are a lot of challenges that I have now and I think I’m ready. Of course the pressure is there, but it’s a different pressure now.”
The two-time Grand Slam winner believes her run to claiming the number one spot started in Brisbane last year as she hopes to make another positive start.
She added: “Starting here with my first round where I played on court one, I think, and I lost the first set,” she said.
“Then we had a rain delay and I came back after losing the first set and I won that match.
“So this was the start of my journey in 2016, here in Australia, because then I played every single round better and better.”
Odds subject to change.