Angelique Kerber hasn't exactly been a dominant World No. 1. Since winning the 2016 US Open last month and taking over the top spot from Serena Williams, the German hasn't won a tournament. On Friday, Kerber lost to Australia'sDaria Gavrilova in straight sets 6-3, 6-1. The result will send Gavrilova through to the semifinal final round of WTAHong Kong. At time of writing, she was awaiting the winner between Kristina Mladenovic and Bethanie-Mattek Sands. Former top-ranked players Caroline Wozniacki and Jelena Jankovicalso remained alive entering Friday. However they too needed to win their quarterfinal matches at time of writing.

Kerber's poor play not surprising?

Following round-of-sixteen losses inWuhan and Beijing, Kerber's tournament record is now 0-3. That might surprise some, however a careful look at Kerber suggests that a dip in form after getting to the top spot on tour might not have been all that hard to see coming. After all, Kerber has dipped in form following major accomplishments in the past.

Take the aftermath of the 2016 Australian Open as a case in point. Kerber, who entered that tournament well below the radar, made major international headlines when she beat Serena Williams in the final. That was back in January of this year and the German did little afterward for months and months.

After winning the Australian Open, Kerber turned in all of the following results:

  • She lost to World No. 73 Saisai Zheng in Doha
  • Kerber lost to World No. 64 Denisa Allertova in Indian Wells
  • The German had an excusable loss to Victoria Azarenka in Miami
  • But Kerber followed that up with a loss to Sloane Stephens

Kerber asleep at the wheel?

After winning the Aussie, Kerber fell asleep and only woke up for one week in her home country where she won Stuttgart in April.

For the balance of the clay-court season she went 0-3, losing early in Rome, Madrid, and Paris. Kerber eventually woke up again at Wimbledon ahead of her Flushing Meadows title. But that she almost disappeared for six months after winning the Aussie is a point to note, because something similar may be happening right now.

Last month she won the US Open and since thenshe has lost in three straight tournaments to players ranked outside of the top ten. I guess that's just Angelique Kerber for you: she can beat anyonewhen she's on her game, but after a major achievementit takes her a while to get the fire lit again.

Looking ahead, there's still the WTA World Tour Finals this season. Other than that, it's just the offseason for a bit and then the Aussie in January. We'll have to wait and see when Kerber kicks it into high gear again. At the moment, I think Wozniacki and Petra Kvitova are the talented players who feel most motivated.

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