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August 21, 2016

Angelique Kerber

Cincinnati, Ohio

A. KERBER/S. Halep

6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Was that just a match too far? Did your body hit the wall? How much of that was how well she played as well?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: She played really well with and she really hits the ball from the first point. She was trying to making me moving.

But of course, I mean, I don't know how the week was because I'm really tired actually to be honest. I think today was really that I was trying to pushing myself and trying to still giving everything what's left actually. I give everything on court today.

I mean, this is -- for me, actually this is what I'm always trying to doing. She played a good match and she played a good week, so she deserved it at the end. It was for sure not the best tennis I played, but for the day today, everything was fine.

Q. You're only player to make it to at least the quarterfinals in Canada, Rio, and here. How was that three weeks of tennis with the tour travel, the No. 1 talk?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Of course it was a lot of pressure and a lot of matches I had in the last three weeks, a lot of travel around the world actually.

But I prefer to playing matches than practice. It was still -- I had great three weeks with a lot of emotions. And also with the No. 1, I mean, if it's happen, it's happen someday. But I will not making the pressure.

Also on court I was not thinking about this. I'm here to playing good tennis, trying to win matches, and this is my goal. Of course to be one day No. 1 it's another goal.

But, yeah, I mean, I was trying to give everything, and I did it actually. But, yeah, I'm also actually also just a person and not a machine.

Q. Were you thinking about No. 1 last night or this morning?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, I was not thinking of this at all. One week ago it happens here because I play well and Serena withdraw also. You know, everybody is talking about this.

Of course, I mean, if someday it happens, it happens, but I will not be making too much pressure on this. I had such a great year so far and it's not over yet.

I won my first Grand Slam and everything what's happened last months is just incredible. I try and enjoy it. Some days you're losing matches; some days you win.

I will try to take the positive things from the match and from the last few weeks actually to going to New York then.

Q. When you approach a final like this where you know your physical energy is maybe not where you want it to be, how or is your preparation that morning any different?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, I know this, and it's not that I am doing something different. I'm actually trying to do my stuff like I'm always doing.

When I'm going on court I'm trying to go for it more than actually when I know I can run for three hours.

Then I'm of course doing like more mistakes which is actually normal. But, yeah, you know, I just tried everything today. She played a great match, so well done to her. Yeah.

Q. Was that really the main reason for the slow start and the match got away from you?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: She starts very strong, and I think at the first game there were just like one, two points which decides why it was 4-Love so fast.

It's always that you have to win like one, two points in the important moments, and then it could be also like 2-2.

So, yeah, I think also that she had a little bit more luck on her side today, to be honest. Yeah, she take her chance and she played a good match.

Q. What was this whole week like for you? I've never been a week away from being No. 1 in anything. What is it like having this chance and people coming up to you and talking about it?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: No, of course that sounds good and it's like you know you have this match because you played a really consistent year. It's not because you just have this chance to play this one match and then you'll be No. 1. You have to play really good tournaments before.

It's also a great feeling because I'm working hard to have the chance, going out there to be one day the No. 1, but also I'm trying to not putting too much pressure on myself.

I mean, it feels good and I will try to maybe get another chance to have the chance to be the No. 1, but, yeah, you have to play good matches to get there.

Yeah, like I said, you have to play a consistent year to maybe be the No. 1 one day.

Q. On that point, do you think it's tougher to get to No. 1 than to win a major?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think it's different, because to win the major you have to play two weeks your best tennis and to deal with a lot of things around, to put like the things together to be really focusing.

And to be No. 1, it's not two weeks. You have to play really a whole year or like few months really well, to reach finals, reach semis, to win against the top players to have the chance to become one day the No. 1.

So it's a little bit different, these two things.

Q. Is it different knowing you can make a final of a big tournament maybe with 80%, 60% - I don't know how much your tank is full -- but not playing your best all week and still made the final?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: That's true and that gives me also a lot of confidence.

I know that when I really have my full energy I can play really good tennis.

I show it in Australia when I'm really fit and going for it when I have the chance. I mean, it's always tough. Doesn't matter against who you play, you have to play your best.

Sometimes you have days where you just 70, 80% and you still win the matches. So that gives me a lot of confidence to going also now to New York with a lot of tough matches, close ones.

Yeah, I mean, that was my goal for this year, going far in the big tournaments. That's what I told myself after Christmas when the season starts. Yeah, I'm doing good I think, and let's see what's happen in the next few weeks.

Q. You get a rest and obviously New York. Only third round points to defend. Does that take a little bit of the pressure off that you don't have much points to defend? Frees you up?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: To be honest, I'm never thinking about points. I'm going to the tournaments and I'm not -- I know how I played last year, but I'm not counting points. I'm not going there to defend points. It's never this thing, because that was never my thinking to going there and counting points or whatever.

I'm going there to play good tennis again. I remember my match last year against Azarenka where I played really good. It was a great match from both of us.

So New York is one of my favorite tournaments. Everything starts there for me. That's why it's really special to go there again and being there and trying to go as far as I can.

Q. Have you decided what you're going to do over the next couple days?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think I will go earlier to New York and doing few days' rest over there and then starting practicing like middle of the next week.

Q. You said your goal at Christmas was to go deep in big tournaments. It's one thing to think it and another to actually do it. Have you exceeded your expectations this year looking back?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Of course it's easier to say something than to do it. I know myself, that when I really want something, I really try to give everything.

I'm fighting at the last point, you know, to get there where I really would like to go.

I had a great preparation. Yeah, it starts very well in Australia, so that gives me a lot of confidence, a lot of more belief in myself that I can do it.

When I'm looking back like now the eight months where I won Stuttgart, reached few finals, playing good matches against the best ones, I'm No. 2 in the world right now, so that gives me much more believe in myself and also that I can do it.

So it's a little bit different now what I'm thinking and feeling than like eight, nine months ago.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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