“It’s about enjoying the moment, competing as hard as we can and leaving it all out on the court” – Wozniacki to take on fellow mum Kerber in Indian Wells

The pair, who are also good friends off the court, have met 15 times in the past with Kerber winning eight of those

Angelique Kerber and Caroline Wozniacki at the 2019 US Open Angelique Kerber and Caroline Wozniacki at the 2019 US Open Image Credit: Zuma / Panoramic

Caroline Wozniacki and Angelique Kerber are both former Grand Slam winners and former world No 1s. The two find themselves in similar points in their careers – on the comeback trail – and are good friends off the court but they will put that camaraderie aside when they clash in the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells on Tuesday.

Kerber was the first of the two to reach the last 16 with a 6-4, 7-5 win over 17th seed Veronika Kudermetova – her second consecutive top 20 win this week. The German, who only returned to the tour in January after the birth of her first child, was followed by Wozniacki, who needed three sets to defeat American Katie Volynets 6-2, 4-6, 6-0 to set up the clash between the two WTA moms.

“I think we are both looking forward to this match and we are both in the same situation,” Kerber said after her win on Sunday. “You know, we will try to play a good match, having a good battle out there. But, we are friends now, and we will be still friends after a match. So, we will both try of course to win. But at the end, I think there are more important things than a tennis match, but I think for the crowd and for everyone it will be interesting match, yes.”

We are friends now, and we will be still friends after a match.

Angelique Kerber on facing Caroline Wozniacki

Friendly rivalry

The two enjoyed a close rivalry in their first careers with Kerber holding a slim 8-7 lead in their career head-to-head. The last of those matches came in Eastbourne in 2018 which Wozniacki, who retired in 2020 and had two children before returning last summer, won.

“We’ve played each other so much. We know each other extremely well. There’s going to be no secrets out there. We both know each other’s game inside out. We know what to do, we know what to expect. It’s really going to be about who is going to be better on the day. It can go either way,” the Dane said.

“But we’ll see who comes out playing better on the day. That’s really it. You know, I don’t know how many wins I have or she has against one another, but I think I heard that this is the 16th time that we’re going to play each other. So I’m pretty sure that we’re pretty close in the matchup head-to-head. We’ll see. It’s going to be a great match regardless, and I’m excited for it.”

“Mentally, I think if you asked Angie too, it’s just great that we can be out here and still competing at this high of a level. I think for both of us it’s about enjoying the moment and competing as hard as we can and leave it all out on the court.”

There will be two more mothers hoping to join Kerber and Wozniacki in the last 16 with Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina and Japan’s Naomi Oasaka playing their third-round matches on Monday.

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