Kerber full of confidence

22 February 2018 12:59:52 EST

Angelique Kerber says that she is playing with confidence again as she continues her good start to the 2018 season.

The former world number one had a year to forget in 2017, falling outside of the world's top 20 at one point.

Now however she is back to something like her best form, winning 15 of 17 matches so far this year, her latest victory being over Karolina Pliskova to reach the semi-finals of the WTA Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

My goal is improving my game, enjoying my tennis, just trying to continue how I've started the year.

Angelique Kerber

Earlier in the season Kerber won the Sydney International tournament and was a semi-finalist at the Australian Open, and back in the WTA top 10, she is clearly playing her way back to the form that took her to two Grand Slam titles in 2016.

After beating Pliskova 6-4 6-3 to set up a semi-final meeting with Elina Svitolina in Dubai, Kerber said she is thankful that her game is back on track after such a disappointing year.

She said: "I have much more confidence than when I started the year, where I actually had no idea where I am, especially after last year. I have already so many matches on my belt, so that gives me much more match confidence.

"I'm trying to play every single match my best, trying to go out there and just think about the next match, the next point. Nothing else."

She wasn't able to point to what exactly went wrong last year but admitted it was a difficult 12 months coming on the back of such a successful 2016.

"I didn't know what to expect with all the things on and off court," she added. "Also the motivation was a little bit different. I think I had to go through all those things. Now I am much stronger and much better as a person, as a player, and know what to expect right now.

"It's great to being back in the top 10, playing good tennis again. But for me right now, my goal is improving my game, enjoying my tennis, just trying to continue how I've started the year."

The French Open is the only Grand Slam in which Kerber has not at least reached the final. Her best was a quarter-final place in 2012 but she is 18/1 to lift the trophy this year.

Pliskova is 14/1 to win with Simona Halep priced at 11/2.

View all Tennis betting