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Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships: Angelique Kerber lays down a marker for 2014

Dubai: World number eight Angelique Kerber is eyeing a top-ten finish at the end of the year, despite losing to Ana Ivanovic in the first round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Tuesday.

The German had a frenetic start to the season, reaching the quarter-finals at the Brisbane Open, being the losing finalist at the following week’s Sydney Open, before reaching the fourth round at the Australian Open.

Despite her Dubai defeat on Tuesday night, Kerber says she remains hopeful of pursuing her goals for the season.

“I would like to play a consistent year so that I can be in the top 10 and improve my tennis. I think I’m working hard to improve my tennis, to play more aggressively, and also I think my serve is much better than it was last year. So I think everything is going in the right way,” Kerber said.

“I think right now I’m one of the top players for two years, and it’s a good feeling for me. I feel good to be a top 10 player.”

Though at times Kerber may have not asserted herself as one of the top women’s players, she is unconcerned about the past. “I think that’s me and I love playing tennis like I do,” she said.

Kerber added that she is not striving to be emulate past German stars such as Steffi Graf and Boris Becker. “Steffi and Boris are the biggest tennis players in Germany and it’s tough to compete with them. But I’m not thinking like this and I’m not competing with Steffi or with Boris, because I think everybody is going her own way. They won everything you can win, so it’s for sure difficult to make the same like they did,” she pointed out.

“I think I would like to do everything I could in my career, so that when I stop I can say I gave it everything and I work hard. And one day after I stop then I can say for myself, ‘that was a good career for me’.”