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February 21, 2016

Angelique Kerber

Doha, Qatar

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Angelique Kerber, please.

Q. Welcome to Doha. What has changed in your life since this amazing win in the Australian Open? And you're going to play for the first time after this great victory. Do you still have the same confidence?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: First of all, few things change. I mean I went back to Germany and I had lot much more things, and media was asking me to do much more stuff. I'm also like more recognized on the street.

It's actually a great feeling because, yeah, I had great two weeks in Melbourne. I won my first Grand Slams. A lot things change.

The next question, I'm here, yeah, at the tournament after Melbourne. I'm feeling good to be on the court, to playing tennis, yeah.

I have a lot of confidence from the last weeks, from the last days. So I'm just looking forward to play the next matches on court.

Q. Can you tell us a little bit about the few days that followed the win in Melbourne, when you went back home, how you were welcomed. Can you tell us like a story?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, after Melbourne, I had first a long flight to go back to Germany. And then when I arrive at Frankfurt and go out, I had a lot of camera on my faces and asking me a lot of questions.

And, you know, for me the most nicest thing was that I really saw the people that they are happy for me and that all Germany was like watching the final on TV because it was Saturday morning there. And to see that a lot of more people recognize me on the streets. They are coming to me, yeah, congratulations I got from a lot of people in Germany and actually around the world.

It was busy days after.

Q. Does it get tiring?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Tiring? A little bit, but I had so many positive emotions on me and in me so that's which was unbelievable feeling. I mean I will never forget the last point on court in Melbourne and I will never forget the time that I can live now.

Q. In the Melbourne, you said you used to not be able to believe in yourself even though your coaches and family kept encouraging you. Can you talk a little bit about your story about why you started to believe in yourself. Second question, after you won Australia, how many text messages did you get?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: First of all, yeah, I mean it was always in my career there were up and downs and sometimes not believing too much in myself. I think it was also mentally thing that I was on court, I was like always one step to make something big and I was always felling down.

You know, my family and my team around me told me, Just believe in yourself. You're working so hard on court, just do it on the matches.

In Australia, after I won against Azarenka, I never beat her, you know, for six times in a row. I start to believe in myself, that I worked hard, I can beat also players that I never beat, just I had so many confidence because I was relaxing. I knew right now I'm feeling good on court and I'm feeling good off court. That's change I think in the last few weeks in my mind.

Yeah, I mean I get a lot of text messages. My phone was exploding actually after the semis already. After the final, I don't know how many text messages I get, but a lot. It took me a few days to answer the messages. But of course always nice messages that I get.

Q. Angelique, a lot is spoken of your attitude, and of course we all know what Serena said. But even on the circuit, what people talk about you. Even before you became a Grand Slam champion, a lot was spoken about your attitude. You stay really quiet on the court. You don't throw tantrums. Tell us something about that and what makes you different.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, my attitude was always to try my best and to fight until the last point, to stay quiet, because in tennis, everything can change and can happen, you know.

And this is actually me, like I am. I am on court also like I am off court. I'm still the same person how I was before the Australian Open.

Of course it changed that I can always say that I'm a Grand Slam champion and it's forever.

Yea, I think all the people and all the players saw my attitude. This is also what makes me really proud.

Q. People say you're the knew Steffi Graf. What are your thoughts on that?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I don't know if I'm the new Steffi Graf, but I'm the next German woman who won the Grand Slam after Steffi. This is something really special because Steffi is a legend. I mean she won everything. She was always my idle.

To be the next generation after her to have such a success, yeah, it's special for me and I think also for the German tennis.

Q. You mentioned about confidence and attitude. Some players might say confidence is overrated and somebody says confidence is really important. In your mind, your mindset, how much do you think that confidence contribute the win in Australia?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think a lots. I think the confidence is really important in the game and in the sport, you know. I mean you must believe in yourself and have a lot of confidence in your game and the way you are. You can just win matches or tournaments like you really believe in yourself.

So for me, the confident, it's one of the most important thing.

Q. Players that win their first Grand Slams in let's say their second part of their career --
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Thank you (smiling).

Q. Well, possibly.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: That's true, yeah (smiling).

Q. They react very differently one from the other. Stan Wawrinka stayed on top years after he won his first Australian, won a second one. Marion Bartoli retired two months after hers. Is that likely? What do you expect the changes could be for you?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, I think for me personally, it's the right time that I win my first Grand Slam now because I'm four years in a row in the top ten. I have a lot of experience what happened after, you know, how the medias are or what you are doing after a big win or after tournaments.

When you win your first Grand Slam when you're 18 or 19, you don't know what is coming or how many things are coming to you.

Right now, I think it's the best time for me personally to have the success or the biggest moment in my career. I hope that a lot of more good and big wins are still coming.

Q. You're only 4,000 point away from becoming the best tennis player in the world. What are your main objectives after winning your first Grand Slam?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, for me, it's important now to still stay focusing on my tennis, on my improvement, on how I would like to play, to working still hard and having fun. I think enjoying the moment on court and off court sometimes it's not that easy because you have losses and you have wins.

I think I have many experience now from the many years I've played already. This is my goal from the next challenges, to still playing great tennis, to having fun on court and off court.

I'm not thinking now to do rankings or something like that. I think it's if coming, it's coming. Still there are a lot of people to challenge and everybody a tough opponent. So I will just try to go my way like I did it.

Q. You mentioned reaction when you went back home, all the media interest and people in the street. Was there any event to celebrate your victory and particularly in your hometown, was there an event there?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, when I went back, I went straight home, yeah, we had a great evening with all my families, all my friends there. They came so, we had a big, big table. That was something really special for me because all the people knows my career. They know me from really young. They know how many up and downs I have and how many times I was frustrating.

Yeah, they all believed in me. It was something always that I will never forget. A big celebration with all my closest people around me.

Q. So how many people roughly?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think we were like 50 -- 40, 50. So everybody coming from everywhere.

Q. At a restaurant or a house?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: It was in a restaurant. My mom or my sister, they organized everything when I was on the plane. Actually it was more also surprise for me, yeah.

Q. With the absence of the two biggies, how do you look at the tournament?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I am really looking forward. I have always great memories. I made my pre-season like three years ago for like two weeks. It's always nice to be back in Doha. I'm looking forward to play the next tournament after Melbourne here, and I will enjoy it.

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