MELBOURNE: New coach Rainer Schuettler’s experience as a former player at the top level has been invaluable for Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber and the world number two believes her poor end to last season is truly behind her. Kerber, a triple Grand Slam winner, parted ways with coach Wim Fissette ahead of the WTA Finals in Singapore due to differences of opinion regarding the future. A month later Kerber announced former Australian Open finalist Schuettler as her new coach. “I think he is (my) first coach that also played,” Kerber said on Saturday during her pre-Australian Open news conference. “He knows how it is to being under pressure, to having the emotions on court. “He understands my thinking. On court he is also a hard worker, he loves the sport like me. We are both really trying to do our best. We have the passion.” After denying Serena Williams a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in July, Kerber suffered a third round loss at the U.S. Open, suffered early exits at four other tournaments and failed to progress from her group at the WTA Finals, prompting the change in coaching personnel. She looked sharp again at the Hopman Cup in Perth last week, winning all four of her singles matches, even though Germany lost to Roger Federer’s Switzerland in the final. The German, who turns 31 next week, won her maiden Grand Slam title at Melbourne Park in 2016, but she was not putting too much pressure on herself or looking too far ahead. Published in Daily Times, January 13th 2019.