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March 30, 2016

Angelique Kerber

Miami, Florida


6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please. Please use the microphone for the transcript.

Q. (No microphone.)
ANGELIQUE KERBER: It's nice. It's nice to play a match like this. I was feeling good. Madison is always a tough opponent. I know this because we had a lot of tough battles in the past.

I knew that I must play very good to beat her because she played very well here in the last few matches. So it's good. It's good.

Q. Wasn't a very tough one tonight, though. Talk about what you're thinking when it's going so easily. Do you have to work extra hard on your concentration when someone is spraying balls like that?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I was really trying to stay focus and stay really concentrate point by point and actually trying to really only focusing on points, on point by point.

Because I know the tennis game, and sometimes one ball can change and turn around the match. That was my goal: to be focus and playing my game until the last point.

Q. Talk about Vika Azarenka. I think she's 20-1 this year. She's playing very, very well and climbing back up. What do you think she's doing better and what do you see going forward to the semifinal?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, she had a great start of the year, of course. She is like, yeah, on fire I think right now. I will just trying to play my game go out and try to beat her. I mean, we played two times already this year and that's the third time.

Yeah, I will try to enjoy it. I know that I must play really my best tennis to beat her because she won Indian Wells; she's here now in the semis.

Yeah, I will try to take this challenge against her.

Q. First semifinal since Australia. Did you need this result? Do you feel like you needed to make a big result?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yes. Actually, it was not so easy after, you know, because I had so many things to do, and also after Indian Wells where I was still not feeling 100%. Had like few days before coming here to focusing again on my practice, on my work on court, and to playing here good matches.

I had also tough matches the last one. Today I was feeling much better, and I think that, yeah, the matches here, that gives me like again more confidence for the next tournaments and that I'm still on a good way.

Q. You practiced with Steffi I think in Vegas before all this. I know you did that last year as well. Did that help you reset maybe a little bit; put all the Australian stuff behind you?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yes, I think this helps because I went there for few days. It was quiet. I was working really hard on court with Steffi, Andre, which is always great experience to be with them on court.

Yeah, I think that, yeah, the time there and also the time here - because I came a little bit earlier here to really be focusing - give me back like the confidence. I had the feeling that I was practicing again really hard and that I'm ready again for really tough matches.

Q. You developed into an elite player pretty late in your career. Looking at Madison, 21, blowing up out there and making all these mistakes and stuff, looking back now that you're out of that situation, could you sympathize with someone going through that at that age? Do you think there is a maturity issue there?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I don't know. I don't have like one player I was looking when I was playing. Like my idol was always Steffi and I was watching a lot of the matches on YouTube. When I was starting she retired already, so it was like a little bit time difference.

Yeah, the experience will show you and give you like the confidence how to play and like maybe to know in which situation you must do what, you know. I think, yeah, she's still young. She has for sure a great future. The experience will make the success at the end.

Q. Getting back to you and Vika, you are both the top two players of the year so far and you're going to play in the semifinals, which is kind of funny. Looking back on match in the quarterfinals in Australia, what did you do particularly well? What will you focus on and remember and say, Okay, I got to...
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I went out there and trying to be really aggressive from the first point, trying to really believe in myself, because until this time I never won the match against her. It was 0-6; now it's 1-6. I will try to go out there again like in Australia and try to believe in my game and myself and, yeah, trying to challenge her.

It will be not easy. It will be tough match. But this is for what I am practicing, for the big matches out there, to really show what, yeah, we can do and playing the best tennis.

So I'm really looking forward to play against her again this year.

Q. I know. So many matches. Do you feel like that match -- obviously the win over Serena was massive a few later -- but that match in particular, because you had lost in Brisbane a couple weeks before, that it was maybe the match that kicked it all off, that made you elevate your level end expectations?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I think this match was the breakthrough I think in Australia. After that I had really so much confidence for the semis, and also for Serena in the finals.

Yeah, I remember this match really well, and I will try to continue this tomorrow, to go out there trying to show her, Okay, I'm here. I'm ready for you. Just battle her in the semis now.

Q. You're return game was terrific tonight. Great forehand returns down the lines. Have you been returning that well this week?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, you know, we were practicing this today because I know that Madison has a huge serve, and the return is always important when you play against her. You have to go for it when she has the second serve or like trying to, you know, get back the first serve and be like in the point.

That was what I was focusing from the first point also today in this match.

Q. You had a bit of strapping on your leg. Is that an issue? Did you have that coming into the tournament or is that something that's been developing after matches?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I had this in Indian Wells, and then after it was fine. Yeah, now it came back a little bit, but it's just more for the safety, you know. Just to make sure it's okay and not to getting worser.

Q. So you feel like you can move okay out there?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yes. I think I have a late match tomorrow, so I have still a little bit of time to recover. It should be fine.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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