Kerber credits fan support for comeback win against Frech - "They pushed me through"
Former World No.1 Angelique Kerber was forced to save two match-points in her comeback win over Poland's Magdalena Frech, and the three-time Grand Slam champion believes the crowd played a vital role in her escaping with the victory.
The 21st seed rallied from a set down to pull off the 2-6 6-3 7-5 win, but not before her 89th-rankd opponent served for the match at 5-4 in the third set. Facing two match points, Kerber drew backhand errors from Frech to stay alive before breaking back and closing out the match in front of a raucous crowd.
"I think there is no secret," Kerber said, after her win. "I just put everything I had today on court. I left my heart on court.
"To have the crowd like this here, it's unbelievable. Especially in the third set, they pushed me through. To have all the support as all the fans with you, celebrating every single ball. ... I was just trying as well to enjoy this, because it was such a great moment on court with the fans."
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The 2018 Wimbledon champion had a win-loss record of just 2-8 for the season less than two weeks ago, but has since been on a six-match winning streak following her run to the title in Strasbourg last week.
"I was just trying to believe in myself, taking the confidence that I got from Strasbourg," Kerber said. "I know that I can turn around matches with match point down, and I was just trying to play point by point and run for every ball."
In the second round, Kerber will face rising French wildcard Elsa Jacquemot, who prevailed 6-3 6-3 over Great Britain's Heather Watson. Jacquemot, 19, won the Junior Roland Garros singles title in 2020 and is currently at a career-high ranking of No.215.