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August 17, 2016

Angelique Kerber

Cincinnati, Ohio

A. KERBER/K. Mladenovic

6-0, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You won the first ten points of the match and obviously the first six games. Did it feel like it sort of came a little easier than what you just experienced at the Olympics?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: No, I mean, it was of course a little bit different than in the Olympics. The conditions are a little bit faster and it's not like in Rio, so that's why I was happy to win the first set.

In the second set she starts playing a little bit better, and, yeah, I was trying to feel the rhythm again and feel the court, the balls, because it's, yeah, a little bit different. I just had like two days before the match here.

Q. So with this type of opponent, was this the ideal match for sure to you get used to everything here?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I think it's good to have a match like this to start the tournament. I know that I have to play better and better in every single round.

Yeah, next one will be not easier, but, I mean, the first few rounds are always tough in tournaments to get the rhythm to get through the tournament.

Q. A lot of people are talking about the fact that Penn balls are being used here as opposed to a different ball for the US Open. How much difficulty will that be to get used to switching again?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, of course it's a little bit different because we played in Rio with other balls and here we have to change and change next week again.

But it is like it is. Trying to get used to it as soon as possible because I'm here just for like two days. Yeah, but of course it's not so easy to get used to it so fast.

Q. Angie, how tired are you?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, of course I'm not the freshest I am, you know, but I am trying to take the energy from the Olympics here.

I know that I have after here one week off before going to New York, so I'm trying to have good recovery. My physio is here. Trying to do a lot of stuff like off court to be really ready when I'm going on court.

Of course, I mean, long flight and just one and a half days here before the tournament starts for me so it's a little bit tight, the schedule. But, yeah, I'm trying to being fresh in every match and trying to not thinking about tiring.

Q. Jo Konta was up there and she was saying her head is still in Rio a little bit. She's got her Team GB water bottle and is still watching the Olympics and stuff. How have you dealt with that transition? Are you still in Rio or is Rio behind and you you're here?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: No, I think Rio is behind me. Of course I wish I had like a little bit more days after the final in Rio, but I'm really focusing on this tournament now.

Of course, I mean, I'm watching Rio as well and still supporting the German athletes and German teams.

For me it's Rio over, but of course still I'm like still feeling, yeah, the feeling how I was playing there and that I have really the medal and I'm going back after this trip home with the silver one.

So this is still in my head, but just in the positive way.

Q. Can you talk specifically about some of the things you do with your physio when you're feeling kind of rundown as you are right now? Massage? Supplements?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: She's doing. I'm just lying there and she's doing her job. This is actually -- I have no idea what she's doing, but she's doing a good job.

Yeah, of course I'm trying to get to ice baths and trying drink a lot after matches. Also like eating healthy. So I think these things together makes that I can recover like faster. (Smiling.)

Q. You won Australian Open; make the final in Wimbledon; win the silver medal in Rio. At some point, do you kind of pinch yourself? You're backing up the results. No one can point to Australia and say, Well, it's just one tournament. It's continued. Talk about your mindset and how you think about all that.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, this is what was really important for me after Australia when, I won that, that nobody can say, Okay, she won now one big tournament and let's see what she will do after.

But I had this feeling also like five years, four years ago when I reached the semis in New York where it was like actually a surprise. I was 90 in the ranking and I played the semis there.

So this was also actually the same feeling after Australia, showing also that I'm -- yeah, that I'm one of the best players in the world and I can play like consistent like I played in Australia.

So that's really important for myself, and I think that right now I just can play for me and not, yeah, for the other ones. Just showing that I'm, you know -- yeah, that I am there where I am just because I had luck or whatever. This is really important for myself.

Also when I'm looking back, for the moment it's just one the best years in my career. It's not over yet, but, yeah, I mean, a lot of the things change and happen in the last few months for me.

Q. You medaled for your country at the Olympics. Along those lines, how big of a goal is the Fed Cup to win in your career?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: The Fed Cup, I mean, we reached once the finals, but right now I'm not thinking about Fed Cup actually.

Next year we have another chance. Of course that's also something what I love to play. It's really always important for me.

Q. I'm sorry if you were asked this, are you traveling with the medal? Do you have it with you or have you sent it back home?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: No, right now I have it with me, but let's see what I will do with it.

Q. And the fact that Serena is not here - again, I don't know if you've been asked this - there is the chance you could become No. 1 if you win here. Is that on your mind at all?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: No, it's not on my mind, and I answer this question already yesterday like ten times.

Q. I just got here.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: No, that not on my mind. Of course everybody is talking about this and asking me, but at the end it's still a long way to go, this.

There are really tough opponents here in the draw and I'm not thinking about this. I'm just trying to going step by step, and at the end of the week we will see how far I can get and what's happen.

If the time is ready and I can reach the No. 1, of course it will be amazing. Still, it's for me still a long, long way to get there.

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