Angelique Kerber, a three-time major champion, announced she will miss the upcoming US Open as well as the next several months on tour.
Kerber announced her plans Wednesday in a social media post that included emojis of a baby, a bottle, heart hands and a heart.
« I really wanted to play the US Open but eventually I decided that two against one just isn’t a fair competition, » Kerber wrote, implying that she is expecting her first child. « For the next months, I will take a break from traveling the globe as a tennis player but then again, I believe it’s for the best possible reason. »
Kerber’s post received several supportive comments from many of her past and present peers, including Ashleigh Barty, Agnieszka Radwanska and Ana Ivanovic.
« So happy for you, » Ivanovic wrote. « You’re going to be a great mom. »
Kerber, 34, who won the US Open in 2016, hasn’t played on tour since reaching the third round at Wimbledon in July. A former world No. 1, Kerber is currently ranked No. 52 in the world.
Kerber said she planned to return to the WTA tour in the future, but did express some sadness about not being at the US Open this year.
« New York has often been a turning point in my career and it feels like this year will be no different in some way, » Kerber wrote. « From restarting my career in 2011 to winning the title in 2016 and becoming #1 in the world … the US Open [has] a special place in my heart and I wish I could have said goodbye to all of you on court before not being around on tour for a while. »
A handful of mothers currently play professional tennis, including two-time Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka, 2022 Wimbledon semifinalist Tatjana Maria, three-time major doubles champion Vera Zvonareva and former junior No. 1 Taylor Townsend.
Serena Williams, the 23-time Grand Slam champion who gave birth in 2017, is expected to retire following the US Open. The main draw begins Monday in New York.