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July 5, 2016

Angelique Kerber

London, England

A. KERBER/S. Halep
7‑5, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Have you ever won a match where you dropped serve six times before?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: No. I think actually it was a good match, on a really high level from both of us. Yeah, there were a lot of breaks. But I think because we are both great return players, it was not so easy, yeah, to serve actually.
Yeah, but it was a really high‑level match.

Q. What got you through in the end, do you think?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think the tiebreak, yeah, actually I was trying to being more aggressive and just going for it, just playing point by point. Yeah, then I won it. So it was actually not so easy, but it was good at the end.

Q. Do you feel like this is one of your best performances since Australia?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I'm feeling really good. I'm playing really good tennis right now. Yeah, I think I'm playing like in Australia, like really high‑class tennis.
Also today, I mean, Simona was playing really well, as well. She's moving so good. I was trying to being aggressive and playing really my game, focusing just on my style of tennis.

Q. At this stage you can't help but look at the draw. You have Venus next, potentially Serena in the final. What are your thoughts on playing both Williams sisters?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: First it's Venus. I played against her a lot of tough matches, as well. I mean, she's always dangerous on grass, especially here in Wimbledon. She has a lot of confidence right now. She played great matches.
So, you know, I'm looking forward to play against her. It's the next challenge here. It's the semis. I will just try to playing like the last matches, being aggressive, my game. Yeah, I'm looking forward to playing against her again.

Q. Just a curiosity, I'd like to know why you are left‑hander? I see that you do almost everything else with the right hand. When did that start? Was it like Nadal who was asked by Toni to play with left hand because you're more dangerous or has nothing to do with that?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: It's actually natural. I just pick up when I was really young the racquet in the left hand. That's it. I mean, I'm doing everything, you're right, with my right hand.

Q. Also foot?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Also football, everything right. But, I don't know, tennis, it's left.

Q. How different did you feel arriving to Wimbledon before the start of the tournament than you felt when you arrived to Paris before the French Open mentally, physically? How different was it, if it was different at all?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: It was different. When I arrived in Paris, I was feeling much more pressure. I did it actually by myself, to put a lot of pressure on me. Also, I was not handling it so well to do everything also off court. It was everything too much, I think.
When I arrived here, I was telling myself, just like in Australia, Just be relaxed, playing round by round, not making things actually too much complicated, not putting pressure on myself.
So that was actually what I changed, what I learn also from Paris. Just being also focusing on the tennis thing, on my practice, being more relaxed.

Q. How would you compare your game now to what it was in 2012 when you were in the semifinals here before? What have you learned since then about competing at this level?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: First of all, I have much more experience, yeah, than 2012. Right now it's just the next match. I will try to enjoy it as the next challenge. I know it will be a tough one.
But I think it's not my first semis. This is what gives me also much more confidence. I know how to play here on the Centre Court. I mean, the crowd, it's always amazing, also today. So I'm just looking forward.
I think I have much more experience than, like, few years ago.

Q. Do you think you might need to serve differently against Venus, because she also will go for big returns a lot?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yes. I mean, I know that my serve should be a little bit better against Venus, I think. But I have tomorrow one more day of practice. I will serve a lot tomorrow, I think.
You know, I think my serve is not too bad. I know that Simona was returning today really well. So I will not making too much drama on my serve. I mean, let's see.
It's another day. It's a new match against her. I know that I have to serve bigger.

Q. What was your belief that you could win a major title before the Australian Open, and how would you describe your confidence, forgetting about the pressure aspect, since the Australian Open?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I know that I have the game to win the big tournament. I know that I know how to do it right now. But the pressure is there, of course.
I mean, I'm just looking for it. I know that I have a lot of confidence right now. I'm feeling good on grass court. This is what counts. I mean, I'm trying to focusing on my game, enjoying every day here, because I like this tournament, yeah.

Q. Big day on Thursday for German sport. How much are you looking forward to the occasion of the semifinal and also the other semifinal in the evening?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I am looking forward to both actually. I think I will start, then I hope that the German football team will make the final then, as well.

Q. Normally left‑handers play very well the serve. Against Venus, you have to be careful because her backhand return is probably better than the forehand. Will you have to adjust? Will you think about it? Or it doesn't change your strategy?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I will think more about my game and what I'm doing really good. Of course, having in my mind maybe a PlanB, how she is playing. Then I will see it during the match how she is returning, how she is playing.
Yeah, it's just during the matches I will see what I should change.

Q. Last year you didn't make a second week at any of the slams. This year, obviously a little bit different now with this semifinal. What does that mean to you, to be able to make that adjustment so quickly? Can you think back to the off‑season again, what you were trying to tell yourself?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I remember last year I won four titles, but I was not playing so good in the big tournaments.
At the end of last year when I start my pre‑season, I was talking with my coach. We discussed the next year. I told him that my goal is playing better in the big tournaments.
It starts good in Australia. But also I played good in Miami. Now here it's the second week of the third Grand Slam. Yeah, I'm trying to enjoying it more. I'm trying to going out and not making this much pressure on myself.
I did it in Singapore last year against Safarova. After this, I told myself, Okay, I will not the same thing do like in the next years.
It was different in Paris, as well, but this was completely different. New situation. I think that's change after this match especially in Singapore.

Q. Simona said you were both running like crazy today. She also gave you a compliment about your strong legs. When matches become physical, is that a good thing for you, your endurance?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I mean, of course it's important to moving good and have strong legs. Simona has the same strong legs. I think now it's really important to be physically really fit and moving good, but also playing really aggressive tennis, as well, to have those both things, yeah, to turn around.

Q. The WTA experts tell us if you win your next two matches, you'll become the world No.1. How exciting is that?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: It's still far. It's a long way. Right now I'm not thinking about this. I mean, I'm really thinking about my next opponent, my next match, then we will see what happen in the next few days.

Q. What has impressed you most about the German football team? What has it been like to watch it as you're pursuing the Wimbledon title?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I really enjoy to watching the German football team. I'm sure they have also a lot of confidence right now to being in the semis.
Yeah, I will watch it here in Wimbledon, and hopefully I can watch the final as well here.

Q. What have you liked the most about the team?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: That they are playing together. They know each other really well. They are fighting for each other. They are playing really good football. This is what I really enjoying to watch.

Q. And they win on penalties?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yes (smiling).

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