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October 5, 2016

Angelique Kerber

Beijing, China

A. KERBER/B. Strycova

6-3, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Strycova tried to attack the net with a lot of dropshots throughout the match. Did that affect your playing style?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Actually, I know how she's playing because we played a lot of matches, so I was prepared for the match.

I was just trying to be more aggressive, so that was my plan, to just to go for it, yeah, and making her run, being ready for all the dropshots from her.

Q. You lost three service games in the second set. What was your mindset going into the tiebreaker?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, it was back and forth. In the final tiebreak, I was just trying forgotting about everything, just being in the tiebreak, starting from zero.

I was just 4-0. She came back again. It was actually an up-and-down tiebreak as well. But finally I won it, so it was a good match at the end for me.

Q. As that second set started to unfold, there was quite a bit of shot-making between both of you, quite a few that you were able to hit. Did you feel like you were elevating your level a little bit? Why do you think you had problems closing on your serve?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: First of all, yeah, the match was on a really high level at the end of the second set. We run a lot, both of us. I think we both have a great return, so I think that was also the key from both of us to breaking back. Yeah, she breaks me back, and then I break her back. I think it was because we both have great returns.

The games were still close. It was not like I lost my serve zero or 15. There were still good points during my service games.

Q. Maria Sharapova's ban was reduced yesterday. Do you think it's good for tennis that she's going to come back early? What are your thoughts on the decision?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, actually at the end the final decision is out. That's all I can say because I don't know exactly the whole story. I was not into it.

Yeah, now she's coming back in April, I think. Yeah, this is all I can say actually to this thing.

Q. Do you think tennis misses her at some point?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I don't know. I mean, you know, everybody is going her own way. Actually, you know, this is what I can say from my position. I'm not thinking about this because that's her way. She have to go through it. Yeah, I think she's looking back to being back on court.

Q. You play Svitolina next. The balls here are a bit heavier than the ones used in Wuhan. How are you feeling with the adjustment to them? Do you think they suit your style or is this a situation where for players like you and for Svitolina, who are a little bit more counter-punchers, that it can be a little bit difficult?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: It is a little bit difficult and different to Wuhan and also to the tournaments before. But I think I got used to it right now. I played now two matches and a lot of practice, so I think I get used to it.

Of course, the balls are a little bit different than the balls before, and also the balls I think we will play in the next tournament.

Q. Do you prefer a heavier ball or lighter ball?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think I prefer lighter ball. But I know, like, heavy balls as well. When we play in Germany, the weather is not so good, so the balls are directly very heavy. It's nothing new for me (smiling).

Q. Players like Rafa have said in the past and even this season that they think it's not okay to have so many ball changes through the season, week after week, that the tour should make sure you always play with the same kind of balls because injuries are coming to the shoulder, wrist. Do you agree with that?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I agree with that because I think the same. I mean, we change a lot the balls. I think if we change maybe two kind of balls, that should be fine. It's not so easy to get used to it every week. Also your shoulder's sometimes really heavy after the ball change.

I can just say that I agree with that. Maybe in the future we can have just one or two balls.

Q. Where are your energy levels right now at this tournament?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You're asking me always this question here.

Q. I mean, how are you feeling at this point in the season?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, of course, I feel maybe not like in Australia, January, you know. But I think, yeah, it's the end of the season and of course you try to get everything out of your energy which is left. It's not so easy because you know that there are, like, still few tournaments left.

Of course, you are a little bit tired, mentally and physically and everything. But at the end you have a little bit in your mind that it's the last few matches and it's going to the end. You know, for me after Singapore I have vacation. This is actually my goal like a little bit far away.

Q. What are your thoughts going into the third round of the tournament?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Svitolina is a tough opponent, as well. She is moving very well. She brings a lot of balls back. I think it will be a tough match against her, for sure. But I'm looking forward. It will be maybe a little bit the same like today. I will try to be more aggressive like I did today and just try to playing my own game.

But I think it will be a tough match. Yeah, it's nice to playing on these courts, so I'm looking forward.

Q. Compared with last year, do you think now you are a different player, at a higher level? Do you think you are stronger, quicker, more aggressive? What is your opinion about your game?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think everything a little bit. I mean, I know that my fitness is a little bit better, but as well, I improved a little bit on my tennis, being more aggressive. So I think the combination of everything makes me a little bit stronger than one year ago when I was here.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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