Angelique Kerber looks forward to Serena Williams challenge after 'special year'

Kerber won two grand slam titles and ended up as the runner-up in Wimbledon and WTA Finals in Singapore.

Angelique Kerber
Kerber lost the 2016 WTA Finals final to Dominika Cibulkova on Sunday Reuters

Angelique Kerber might have lost one of the most important matches of the season on Sunday in Singapore but the world number one believes she has had a special year in 2016.

In the absence of Serena Williams, who pulled out of WTA Finals with injury, Kerber looked primed to win her maiden title in Singapore this year. The German entered the tournament as the top-ranked tennis star for the first time in her career.

It looked like the 28-year-old was motivated to finish the year on a high when she eased past her opponents in the group stages with a perfect 3-0 record. She made light work of second seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the semi-final and looked unstoppable until she met Dominika Cibulkova, whom she had defeated days before the final on Sunday.

Kerber conceded she was tired in the last match of the 2016 season, in which she had made a giant leap to the top of the Women's singles rankings. She began the year beating Serena Williams to clinch the Australian Open title.

She fell short of the Wimbledon crown in the last step but made amends for the disappointment with a silver medal at the Rio Olympics. She continued her dominance at the Flushing Meadows, where she clinched her second grand slam title of the season.

Kerber, who also ended Serena's long stay (From February 2013 to September 2016) at the top, said she will not be bogged down by the pressure of starting the year as the number one-ranked player. She added she will use the off-season to rest and train hard as well for the upcoming challenges.

"For sure I gave everything, all the energy I had left, but it was also a tough year with a lot of matches. It [Sunday's final] is the last match of the year, so for sure I'm not fresh like in the first match," Kerber was quoted as saying by The New Paper.

"I will go with a lot of confidence for the next year, even though starting as No. 1 is a new situation for me. I still have an off-season to work hard again, and then I'm looking forward to playing against Serena and all the other tough opponents.

"This [2016] has been a special year and I think next year can also be a really special one with more new experiences."