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January 8, 2016

Angelique Kerber

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

A. KERBER/C. Suarez Navarro

6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Pretty pleased? Seemed to play very well today.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I think it was a good match from me. I was feeling very well from the first point, but I know before that I must play aggressive against her. We had tough battles in the last -- in the past actually.

Yeah, I was trying to going for it, trying to let her move, and just if I have the chance just going for it. It works good today, so I'm happy about my performance.

Q. Is that all mental, being aggressive and making the right decision on when to go big on that ball? Seemed like you were trying to break open the rally earlier than maybe we've seen in the past.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, maybe it's a little bit mental, and also to choose the right decision in important moments. I was working a lot in the last few weeks on this, so I'm trying to transform it to the matches. It works good right now.

So yeah, of course I must taking the decision and just going for it, you know, and not hoping that the other one will miss. I will try to make the points by myself.

Q. You won four titles last year; grand start here. How good are you feeling about your game coming into the sort of Australian summer and Australian Open?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I mean, I came here to have a lot of matches. Right now I'm in the final, so that's not bad. You know, when you start the season you don't know exactly where you're standing. You don't know how the other is playing and how the others worked in the last few weeks.

I can just say that I'm feeling good. I'm feeling from every match I'm feeling better. Yeah, like today I was feeling also my serve. It's improving in the last few days here. Also with the jet lag, with the heat.

So I think I'm right now getting here, and I'm feeling good.

Q. Are you getting much benefit doing the doubles with Petko?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, I'm looking forward to play with her now. Like in few minutes actually. So, yeah, to play with her it's always funny, you know.

We are really taking the doubles serious. We are trying to playing good and also to have a lot of matches. I mean, we will try to play a lot of doubles this year. Yeah, let's see how we can play today.

Q. So you're not going to play on the Melbourne together?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: No, Melbourne we are not playing. We are playing here and then I think Doha/Dubai, something like this. Melbourne, no.

Q. There's quite a contrast of your opponents. Two-time Grand Slam champion and a qualifier. Thoughts on both players?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Vika, I know her very well. We played a great match in New York. Against her for sure it will be a tough match. Yeah, and I don't know, I mean, I will try to take the revenge of course against her, but it will be not easy when I play against her.

The other one, I mean, I never played against her yet. She seems very tough, young, talented player. She played very hard; big serve; she's playing very tough. She beat Andrea yesterday, so I spoke a little bit with her.

Yeah, let's see who will win the semis.

Q. There is obviously an injury cloud, how serious we don't know, but over several of the top women at the moment. Is that exciting a little bit for you being on the edge of the 10 and you're sort of playing and in form, whereas they're struggling a little bit to get that match practice?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, I'm actually focusing only on myself. I'm looking to have a lot of matches before going to the first Grand Slam. That's my goal, you know.

I can say just that I'm feeling good and that's for me the important thing.

Q. How important is this tournament for you to set up your year, particularly I guess after last year having a bit of a slower start with the Australian Open? How have you sort of focused on these tournaments moving into the rest of the year?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I mean, of course it's a great feeling to start the year with the final, yeah, to getting into the season. I was practicing not bad in the last few weeks so that's special also, to be here in the final. I mean, Brisbane is a nice city and I love to come here, start the year in Brisbane.

Yeah, I'm looking forward.

Q. You're 27. When you look at Serena and the US Open finalists from last year, do you feel like you're just getting started a bit?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I'm so old, huh? Yeah, I mean, I'm just enjoy my tennis right now. I'm in the top 10 for the fourth year in the row. Yeah, I mean, I try to improve my game, try to improve myself, just playing better, and let's see what's happen in the future.

But of course I have my goals. I'm not thinking about my age right now. (Laughter.)

Q. In the past sometimes at tournaments you would get stuck in long three-set matches and things like that very early in the tournament, and maybe that affected the rest of it. Wondering if going into this year, is there kind of an intentional focus on getting clean through the early rounds?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I mean, of course I will try to, when I have the chance, to win the matches in two sets.

But, I mean, the opponent are like playing also good, so I have respect for every single opponent. But I will try to choose my tournaments and playing a little bit less this year than last year. That's actually what's we are looking for.

Q. Is that a specific goal for targeting the slams this year?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, I'm trying to be ready for the big tournaments. Also for the slams, the bigger ones, to playing a little bit better there. Because last year I was not playing good in the big tournaments.

So that's the goal for this year: to focusing on the bigger tournaments.

Q. Looked like you maybe changed strings in the off-season.

Q. Talk us through that a little bit.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I'm playing Yonex right now, so half Yonex, half gut. That was what I changed. You're right. You saw it.

Q. Normally it's a red string, so... Can you get a little bit more technical? Mains? Crosses?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Mains I play guts and cross the Yonex. Feels like I have a little bit more power. I spoke to a lot of people that talked to stringers actually. They told me that you have like more touch and also more power.

I spoke to Yonex and they give me new strings. They make it for me. Yeah, I'm happy. I think it works, the strings.

Q. More spin? More powerful?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: More power, more spin, and also more touch. All three what I need. (Laughter.)

Q. So everything?

Q. Vika is 5-0 against you. You have had some really great matches in your career. How nice would it be to get that one win against her, and does that drive you at all?

Q. Yeah.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I never won against her actually. We had so many tough battles, but I never one against her.

When I play against her I will try to beat her maybe for the first time here. But she's always tough. She is a champion. She played so well in the last few years.

Yeah, I'm looking forward. I think I'm feeling good here, so it will be a tough and nice match I think.

Q. I guess your forehand is great; your backhand is great; you like to come to net; you're fast. But I guess the serve is up and down. Do you feel it's been a little bit better over the last couple months?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, I feel that's getting better. I worked a lot in my off-season on my serve, and I'm feeling that the serve is also a little bit faster. Also I'm trying to go for it with my second serve, not only pushing the ball.

Of course that needs time. I think I'm on the good way. I'm feeling better on my serve, yeah.

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