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September 4, 2016

Angelique Kerber

New York, NY, USA

A. KERBER/P. Kvitova

6-3, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What do you think made the difference out there today?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think it was a tough match. I mean, it is always tough to find the rhythm against Petra. I mean, she's just going for it. For me it was important to bring a lot of balls back, trying to moving good, and when I have the chance going for it.

I think it works good, and I'm happy that I won the match finally in two sets.

Q. How well do you feel you're playing your game right now?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I'm feeling good. This is for me the important thing, that I'm going out there, that I'm trying to playing my game, focusing on my things, and not thinking too much about who I'm playing. Just going there and trying to win every match.

Q. You go from playing Petra to Roberta Vinci. Different sorts of players. What is the challenge for you with Roberta?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, it's completely different. I don't know when I played against Roberta. I think few years ago the last time. So it will be completely different match. I know that I have to be ready for that.

I mean, she played here amazing tournament last year, so she has great memories and she will go for it. But for me it's important to go out there, playing my game again, and, yeah, trying to take this challenge against Roberta and to try to win the quarters here.

Q. What went through your mind when you watched what she did against Serena in the semis here last year?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Actually I just saw a little bit the final against Pennetta last year. Yeah, I think it was a good match from them. Nothing special actually in my mind.

Q. Do you feel like you've had to get used to a different level of pressure? We saw you go out early at the French Open, and then be able to have better successes at Wimbledon, the Olympics, and here. Have you had to learn how to deal with it or is it more internal?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: No, I think that was the process. After Aussie had so many things to deal with. It was completely new situation. Going to Paris with a lot of pressure it was not so easy.

I learned from this match and also from this tournament, the pressure which I had. After Paris I was telling myself actually, Okay, you know how the feeling is to win a Grand Slam than to lose in the first round, so just trying to get used to everything around and trying to find the middle.

So I think, yeah, it was the process after Australia, especially to playing now on this level which I'm playing.

Q. You keep wanting to keep things simple. You talk about that especially at the slams. I think it's easy to keep things simple at Melbourne or Wimbledon. It's hard to keep things simple in New York. How have you been trying to do that? Has it felt different here?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I mean, for me this slam is really special because for me everything starts here. I'm also trying to keep the things simple. It's not so easy here because it's really loud everywhere, and the traffic, it's like amazing. Like it's not so easy. Also to plan something, you have to plan like one or two hours more.

But still I think I'm trying to keep it easy like inside, just to being relaxed. Just if some things happen not like I would like to happen, just being like relaxed and just looking forward and try to really going out there when I'm stepping on the court to giving everything.

This is actually what I'm trying here, yeah, to take it easy with.

Q. You, like most players, before the match during warmups you spend some time at the net, 15, 20 shots. During the match you had 8 net points. That's pretty typical. Do you ever think during warmups you should hit more groundstrokes?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: No. I think I have my rhythm how I'm warming up. Sometimes you going to the net. When you know you have a little bit warmup in the net it's actually better for your confident.

I'm not going too often to the net, but still it's good to know that you hit during your practice few balls there.

Q. You were talking a lot about you adjusting to certain things. This is your second straight night session match. Is there parts of you that are starting to enjoy the spotlight?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I really enjoyed tonight the match. I mean, it's my second one this tournament. Like two days ago when I played like the second night session match it was really late, it was really loud, and it was not so easy to get used to it.

Tonight it was a little bit easier for me to going out there and also to enjoy it a little bit. Because, I mean, it's amazing to going out there when it's full. The crowd, when they supporting you, it's like really a great feeling.

Q. Do you ever imagine what it would be like to play five sets? Seems like you would be one of the best ones at it.

Q. If women played five sets at slams it seems like you would be one of the best players. Have you ever imagined what it would be like to do that?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I don't know. I'm never thinking about this. But I don't know. I mean, for sure, if you play five sets like also the match before, it's tough when you lose it because you are giving everything there for like four hours or five hours, and then you lose in five sets. So this is actually not the best feeling, I think.

But I was never thinking about this, playing five sets.

Q. I think you are 6-0 against other left-handed players this year. What are you doing so well, do you think?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I don't know. I'm trying also to practicing with lefties, as well. I practiced yesterday with a lefty. It's actually for me the same, you know. The serve is a little bit different when a lefty is serving, but that's it.

I mean, I'm trying to focusing on the ball, not thinking about that lefties. Because I have my game plan, and this is the first priority when I'm stepping on court, playing my game.

Q. Apologies for asking a No. 1 question. I find it funny that players talk about early in their career when they're ranked 200 or 270 that they want to get to No. 1 in the world. When they get close, they don't want to talk about it or say they don't care. Why do you think that is? When was the last time you let yourself dream of being No. 1?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: When I was a kid.

No, you know, when I was a kid, of course I was dreaming to winning slams and being one day No. 1, and now it can happen. For me, what you learned, what I also told already so many times, I'm trying to not putting the pressure on myself, because I know I have to win few more matches to reach the No. 1.

When it's happen it will be amazing feeling, because that was also one of my dreams when I was a kid. But, yeah, still I'm going step by step. Let's see what happen here in the next few days. Yeah, we'll see.

Q. I think you haven't played Roberta since 2015. She's probably a different player. When is the last time you checked on her? Do you check on video generally to come up with some ideas?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think we are both different players since we played years ago against each other. I'm speaking with my coach about the next opponents. I think he watched the match today, this morning.

Yeah, tomorrow on practice court we will talk about the match preparation. This is actually what I'm doing before a new opponent. I'm talking with my coach and then, yeah, thinking about my plan.

Q. You haven't talked to him?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Not yet, no. Tomorrow.

Q. When you played the US Open before you had not yet won a Grand Slam championship. How does having won that change your approach and mentality when you play in another major?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: It's changed because now I know that I can win such a big tournament. Last year I was not playing my best in the big tournaments. This was my goal this year, to going out there in the Grand Slams and reaching the second week.

So Australia gives me a lot of confidence that I can go for it also in the big tournaments, win close matches, and also playing, yeah, on the big stages against great players as well.

For me mentally Australia was really important, yeah, for everything which cames after.

Q. You said you learned not to put pressure on yourself. Have there been times in the past when you have put pressure on yourself and it's ended badly?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, a lot of times in the past where I put too much pressure on myself. It was not the best feeling, because when I'm going out on court with the pressure I can't play my best tennis. I lost a lot of matches when I put the pressure on myself. That's why I'm trying to not thinking about this.

The pressure is there, for sure, but I'm trying to going out there and trying to focusing on other things and not about this stuff.

Q. When did you realize this?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I really realized it last year at the end of the year when I played in Singapore. I think that was the last time where I really realized that. I told to myself, Okay, I will never put too much pressure on myself again.

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