A jubilant Angelique Kerber wins United Cup mixed doubles match with Alexander Zverev

Hours after losing her first match, Angelique Kerber and Alexander Zverev's straight set victory clinches Germany's win over Italy in United Cup action
2024 United Cup - Sydney: Day 1
2024 United Cup - Sydney: Day 1 / Jason McCawley/GettyImages

After nearly 18 months away from tennis on maternity leave, Angelique Kerber played two matches in a couple of hours. Kerber, the former World No. 1, put the loss to Jasmine Paolini behind her and was eager to hit the court again in mixed doubles with fellow German Alexander Zverev.

Kerber and Zverev have not played mixed doubles together in five years, but in an Olympic year, fans have to wonder if they will see more of the two together on the court especially since the first time back was a winning effort in straight sets clinching Germany's win over Italy in United Cup action.

Kerber is a three-time Grand Slam champion who has achieved almost everything possible in the sport. The French Open has eluded her, despite being a two-time quarterfinalist, and Olympic gold has too. She is the silver medalist at the 2016 Rio Olympics losing a heartbreaker to Puerto Rico's Monica Pulg.

Angelique Kerber still has game

Kerber who will celebrate her 36th birthday next month still has plenty of desire to win. A lack of match play could delay success so it is not any wonder why she jumped back on the court to play with Zverev.

Fans have missed her professionalism, forehand, and lefty serve. Judging by her excitement after winning with Zverev, she has missed the game too.

It used to be that motherhood ended women's tennis careers with few exceptions. However, Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Elina Svitolina, Caroline Wozniacki, Naomi Osaka, and Kerber are changing that norm. Coming back with a protected ranking helps make the decision to return a little easier, but it is still a lot of hard work juggling motherhood and the training and travel required to be a professional tennis player. We hope to see many more wins from Kerber, with and without Zverev, in 2024.

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