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October 25, 2016

Angelique Kerber

Kallang, Singapore

A. KERBER/S. Halep

6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. So how did it feel to have a straightforward match against someone who you've played a lot of tough matches with in the past?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: It feels good. It was not an easy match. I mean, it's always tough to play against Simona. We have a lot of tough matches in the last few months that we played.

I was feeling very well today. I think that I was moving good and I was going for it when I have the chance. I think that was the key, especially in this match today against Simona.

Q. How much did the first match help you work out the kinks after a few weeks off?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, for me I think it's always good when I am starting in the tournament with tight and close matches where I get my confidence and I know how it feels again to playing on this court, on new courts.

Yeah, so I think it was a very important match, the first one, to being today as well ready for my next one.

Q. Did you expect it to be quite as straightforward? I know you said it was still tough, but the second set you seemed to run away with it and Simona seemed to go off the boil. How does that affect you?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Against Simona you never know. She's fighting until the last point. It doesn't matter what the score is, she's playing point by point. It was not so easy also mentally, because that's what I know about her, that she's going for it.

The last game was also very close. Yeah, you never know what's happened when she win one, two games and then she's back. I was really trying to stay in the moment and playing point by point. I think that's why it was a really close match for me as well.

Q. I can tell you're really motivated to play well. You won two straight already. Is it because you're motivated to erase the bad memories from Singapore last year?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yes, I mean, I came here and I was trying to playing every single match and every single day my best. Of course with the memories from last year it was a little bit tricky also two days ago when I played here my first match against Domi.

That's why I'm very happy to win my second match, and not like last year where I lost my second one. Because I won my first one as well last year. So this is for my confidence actually a little bit better than last year.

Q. You keep using the word "confidence." Clearly that's abundant after winning two Grand Slams this year. Could you just explain how much more you believe in yourself now than you did 12 months ago?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Of course I have much more confidence right now because I know how to win very big matches, tight matches. I know what to do to go for it and just take the game in my hands.

Of course I believe much more in my game and in myself than like 12 months ago, especially after Singapore one year ago.

Yeah, I won so many good matches this year. I won two Grand Slams, so, I mean, yeah. That's why I believe much more in myself right now.

Q. Do you enjoy playing a match like today's more than you do a big-hitting game or big-serving game against a big server where like in today's match you can probably think through a point, plan a point? Do you enjoy that more?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: It's completely different match to playing against players like Simona and Domi where you know you have to be patient and the balls are coming a little bit more back.

You have to be focus on every single shot because you have to play until the end of the shots. So it's a little bit different than you play against someone who's just serving very fast and just going with the first or second shot like a winner.

So it's different. I enjoy both. It's completely different matches.

Q. After the match on courtside you were talking to the fans and you mentioned how you're loving it here this year. Obviously you haven't had the best of times in previous years. What do you feel has changed for you this year?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think a lot. I mean, first of all, of course I'm here as No. 1 and that's change. I have much more things to do.

Yeah, I'm really enjoying this year to playing on this court with the fans. It's a new situation, so new challenge for me also. I'm always trying to improving my game.

Yeah, that's why I really try to enjoying this a little bit more like last year. So that's change.

Q. Such an amazing year. Just wondering what you and Torben sat down and spoke about at the beginning of 2016. What was your kind of realistic goal setting?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, my goals for this year after last year where I was not playing so well in the big tournaments, starting this year to being focusing more on the big tournaments, majors and the Grand Slams, having a good preparation for that tournaments. That was our goal.

It works very good this year. For sure for next year it will be same: to really focusing on the really big events.

Q. A lot is being made of the fact that you're the oldest person to occupy the No. 1 spot. Does that mean that you actually kind of appreciate it more maybe than if you'd had it in your earlier 20s?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I think I had a really good career with really up and downs in my career with the breakthrough 2011. I think now I can more enjoy it. I have much more experience what I have to do off court.

Of course it's new challenge now, but I think I can more enjoy it than when I was like 20 years old, because, yeah, I think for me and for my person, it's better to reach the top with this age and not with maybe 21 or 22.

Q. This may be a little bit of an odd question, but is there anything you're not enjoying or you don't like about this new role of being No. 1? If so, what is that and why?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I had to get used to it because the first few weeks it was really a little bit strange because my day and my schedule is now really tight and I have to take also few hours for myself.

What I learn is saying also sometimes no. So this is what I learn in the last few months. But there is nothing really that I'm not enjoying right now. (Smiling.)

Q. You were down break point in the first set and you went for that forehand down the line. I'm curious what you were thinking at that point in the match and if that was a shot that you feel like you would've went for a year ago.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I don't know. I think in this match there were a lot of the shots like that. It's always tough how I play like one year ago. Of course I improved so much in my mentality as well and my positive body language. I think that's also a change what I was trying and improving.

I think this gives me a lot of confidence as well when I have points like that and to staying positive and just going for it.

Q. You talk about having more obligations now. How important is scheduling for you and being able to have that day off?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: It's really important to have a day off, because I know me, and I need always like few hours for myself before big matches and just relaxing a little bit. Yeah, going for coffee or something like this, just trying to not thinking about, yeah, appointment or practice or going to the gym.

So this is really important, to really plan your schedule on the right way. I think now I know how to do it.

Q. Do you know what the perfect day off looks like?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Without nothing? I think just sleeping a little bit longer; breakfast also a little bit longer with relaxing, not looking to the watch all the time and being on time.

So just enjoying the day. Just not thinking too much about the tennis and all this stuff.

Q. So we've talked a lot about all you achieved this year. If you could tell yourself at the start of the 2016 something that you learned this year, what would it be?

Q. At the start of this year, looking back, if you could tell yourself something, what would it be?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I don't know. Just staying positive and with a lot of patient. I think I had a lot of patient during my year, and I think this is, yeah, what I would tell myself. Yeah.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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