She is edging closer to the top of the WTA rankings, but Angelique Kerber refuses to expect too much of herself at the US Open.
Angelique Kerber says she has learned not to put too much pressure on herself as she enters the business end of the US Open and possibly an ascent to the number one world ranking.
The German, ranked second in the WTA standings, eased past Petra Kvitova 6-3 7-5 on Sunday, setting up a quarter-final meeting with last year's runner-up Roberta Vinci.
For Kerber, 2016 has proved a breakthrough year with a maiden grand slam success coming at the Australian Open, before also reaching the finals at both Wimbledon and the Olympics in Rio.
Victory at Flushing Meadows would see Kerber end Serena Williams' long reign as the WTA number one, but the German says lessons learned from the past have taught her to keep her feet on the ground.
"When I was a kid, of course I was dreaming of winning slams and being one day number one and now it can happen," she said.
"For me, what you learned, what I also told already so many times, I'm trying to not putting the pressure on myself, because I know I have to win a few more matches to reach the number one.
"When it happens it will be an amazing feeling, because that was also one of my dreams when I was a kid. But still I'm going step by step. Let's see what happen here in the next few days.
"After the Aussie [Open] I had so many things to deal with. It was a completely new situation. Going to Paris with a lot of pressure it was not so easy.
"After Paris I was telling myself actually, okay, you know how the feeling is to win a grand slam then to lose in the first round, so just trying to get used to everything around and trying to find the middle [ground].
"A lot of times in the past I put too much pressure on myself. It was not the best feeling, because when I'm going out on court with the pressure I can't play my best tennis. I lost a lot of matches when I put the pressure on myself. That's why I'm trying to not be thinking about this.
"I really realised it last year at the end of the year when I played in Singapore [at the WTA World Tour Finals]. I think that was the last time where I really realised that. I told to myself, okay, I will never put too much pressure on myself again."