German professional tennis player Angelique Kerber won her first Grand Slam® title, beating Serena Williams at the 2016 Australian Open. The same year, she achieved the ranking of No. 1 in the world. She started playing tennis at the age of three and by 15 was playing professional tennis. Kerber's perseverance payed off in 2011 at the US Open in New York when she rose from a 91st-ranked player to a surprise semifinalist, a moment she calls her breakthrough and also the place she chose to reward herself with a Rolex watch.
I was really happy when I became the oldest No. 1 player in the world. I have had a lot of up and downs which I’ve learned from and I’m enjoying the game much more than five or 10 years ago. That is why I was really pleased to get to the top when I did. When I was 15 years old, I used to dream about being where I am. But it’s not as easy as I thought it would be.
At my first Grand Slam® final I was really nervous because I had no idea what to expect. But I thought to myself: “Okay, you have to take this chance, because you don’t know if you will play maybe one, two, or three Grand Slam® finals in your life.” And I went out there to show the world that I’m one of the best.
From that moment, I believed in myself and in my game. To win in New York was my biggest achievement.
New York is very special to me because of 2011. It was the breakthrough in my career. I started the year losing every single match in the first rounds. That was really tough. And when I got to New York, the last Grand Slam® of the year, I was playing tennis again like a kid: with a lot of patience, with fun and joy. From that moment, I believed in myself and in my game. To win in New York was my biggest achievement.
I got this watch two years ago when I was in New York. I was only 10 minutes in the shop because I knew exactly which watch I wanted. And at this point in my career, I thought, “Okay, now I achieved so much, now is the time to really get something for myself.” I chose New York because it was the turning point in my career.
I think the watch is also a part of me. It gives me confidence to wear it because I know the story of the watch and I feel good when I can wear it, when I can show it to the people that maybe don’t know my story.
Because I knew exactly which watch I wanted. And at this point in my career, I thought, Okay, now I achieved so much, now is the time to really get something for myself.
It also means a lot to be part of the Rolex family because everybody has achieved something really big and they are all fighting for it. Everybody has up and downs – they learn from the toughest moments and they never give up.