That’s how the connection between Rolex and tennis began in 1978, when the company first became the official timekeeper of Wimbledon. Since then, Rolex has played an important role in the Wimbledon Championships, the Australian Open, US Open, as well as the Rolex Shanghai Masters and Monte-Carlo Masters. The NITTO ATP Finals and the BNP Paribas Open are also supported by Rolex. 40 years since then, history was made and legends were born. One of them: tennis star Angelique Kerber.
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Portrait of Rolex Ambassador Angelique Kerber
The professional athlete was born on 18 January 1988 in Bremen Germany, in the same year the family moved to Kiel, a relatively small city in northern Germany. Angelique learned to play tennis as an infant and at the age of three, she began training on the court regularly. During her youth, she took part in numerous swimming competitions, but tennis always came first. After high school she decided to pursue a professional career as a tennis athlete. She was supported, trained and managed by her parents.
Angelique Kerber then started her professional career with the French Open in 2007, her first appearance in a Grand Slam tournament. This year, she is currently ranked 6th (WTA). Over the years, former number one has been defeated by talented opponents such as Serena Williams, Marion Bartoli and Wiktoryja Asaranka.
How Kerber and Rolex teamed up
2011 was tough and successful year for the young german athlete. She started at 92nd in world rankings, loosing many of her matches. In an interview, she said that she almost wanted to give up playing tennis. But at the US Open, the hitherto greatest success of her career followed. Kerber found herself in the semi-final against Samantha Stosur, however, she was defeated in three sets. After 15 years, she was the first German to reach the semi-finals of Grand slam. This success gave her new courage. The euphoria about the win contributed to Kerber’s confidenc,
and with this she bought her first Rolex. Not just any random Rolex however! Angelique had chosen the Rolex Datejust 36 (Ref. 116234). After her glittering win she thought it was appropriate to reward herself. In retrospect, this success was the breakthrough for Angelique Kerber. Since her youth she dreamed of that specific watch.
Rolex soon became aware of the talented athlete. The newcomer followed the footsteps of Steffi Graf and this didn’t fly under the radar.
So Angelique Kerber became brand ambassador of Rolex. With world-class athletes Garbiñe Muguruza and Caroline Wozniacki she supported the swiss brand.
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Further highlights in Kerber's career
After some more ups and downs in her career, Kerber reached another milestone in 2016. She also won her first Grand Slam title against Serena Williams at the Australian Open. As a result, she rose to the second in the world rankings, a new career highlight for the ambitious athlete from Kiel.
At the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro she was defeated in the final against Mónica Puig. It was a loss, but on the other hand she brought home a silver medal. Her first Olympic medal in a singles match since 2000. This success initiated her surf on a wave of success. Kerber was proudly presented by Rolex at this time.
At the 2016 US Open, the top four athletes Serena Williams, Garbiñe Muguruza, Agnieszka Radwańska and Angelique Kerber competed for first place in the world rankings. After many exciting matches Kerber finally defeated Karolína Plíšková in the final and won with that her second Grand Slam title.
The year 2018 was another successful one for Kerber, making it to the Australian Open semifinals, and French Open quarters before retiring.
At Wimbledon she was able to bring home the tournament trophy, again. This brings her statistics to a stunning total of three Grand Slam titles and an olympic silver medal – she is at the peak of her tennis career.
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The Datejust 36: Angelique Kerber’s wristwatch
Since 2011, the North German tennis ace wears a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 36 (Ref 116234). This models means a great deal to Kerber as she had been dreaming about the watch for a long time. As a reward for her success at the 2011 US Open, she bought the watch.
The model is characterised, as the name suggests, by its 36 mm wide case. It can be described as a modern embodiment of the classic wristwatch. On an aesthetic level, the Datejust 36 has gone through epochs while retaining its unchanged features that make it one of the most recognisable and traditional watches in the world today.
The case of the watch is made of stainless steel and white gold, two materials that combine their best features under the name Rolesor. The dial of the Datejust was taken from a clam shell, consisting of natural product, thus, giving it the name Mother of Pearl. This material can, depending on the its origin, be pink, white, black or even yellow. Each dial is unique.
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If your curiosity is aroused now, do not hesitate to visit the Watchmaster online shop. Amongst all the luxury watches there are always a few Rolex Datejust 36 models.
For Angelique, her watch is a piece reminding her of the turning point in her career, after which it went steeply uphill. In an interview, she emphasises that the watch gives her confidence. She loves wearing her Datejust 36 and telling her own story to the world through it.
Angelique also appreciates being part of the Rolex family: ”Every member has done something great and everyone is fighting hard for it. Of course, everyone has their ups and downs – but we learn from the most difficult moments and never give up.“