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October 27, 2016

Angelique Kerber

Kallang, Singapore


6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. After the year you had last year, how amazing is it that you make it out of your first round robin with a 3-0 record?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, it's a great feeling because it's the first time I'm in the semis in the WTA Finals.

So that was my first goal and I reach it here, so it's great to be for my first time in the semis on Saturday.

Q. It was a slightly different situation. Going in at the start of the day we were back to one set. By the time you got on court you knew you had qualified. How much of a difference does that make to how you swung today?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, it was for sure different situation than last year. I knew that I'm already in the semis, but still I'm always going out there to win the match.

I think I learned so much from the last match what I lost here against Safarova one year ago. I think today it was easier, but I was trying to not thinking about this, that I'm already in the semis.

I was trying to going out there and playing the match, because I know that Madison was in the same situation I was in last year.

Q. Was it important for you to try and finish with three wins in particular? Not because of last year, but just to give you confidence and momentum going into the semis?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, for sure. For me it was important to going out there to win the match and win all three matches. And now to going with three really good matches to the semis, that gives me a lot of more confidence.

Feels like a tournament, you know. I know that I won three matches and I'm in the semis right now, so it's not that you lose one or two and still in the semis. So for me and my rhythm it's actually a good to be in the semis.

Q. If you compare how you feel on the court a year ago when you were trying to get that one extra set, given all you've been through this year, how different do you feel on the tennis court compared to back then?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: It's completely different feeling right now. Now I know how to go out there with all the pressures I have on my shoulders. I know how to play and how to focusing on what I'm doing on court.

It's not matter -- doesn't matter against who I'm playing or like what the score is or how the situation is. I think I learned a lot in the last few months to going out there and doesn't matter if it's the first or last round, I'm just going out there to playing my game and trying to make my game plan done.

This is actually what I have in my mind. So the mental side change a little bit.

Q. I guess you just believe in that game no matter what now.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Of course I believe in my game. I know how to play these matches right now. Yeah, I have a lot of more experience now like 12 months, yeah, after the last Singapore match I played here.

Q. This is really one of the only situations where you don't have to win a match. How do you maintain that intensity from start to finish in a situation where you know you don't necessarily have to be your best?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I was not thinking at all on this one, because when I'm stepping on the court I'm always trying to win the matches. This is always my goal: to go out there and win the match. Doesn't matter how. Just go out there, try to play my tennis, and win the match. That's always my goal and always like step by step every single match.

This was in my mind and not that the match is not counting. For me personally it's counting. Every match is counting for me.

Q. To continue on about some of the changes that you've gone through this year, just curious, what's the one thing you still love the most out of everything even with all your new responsibilities as No. 1, either on or off the court?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: On court or off court?

Q. Either. Like the thing you love the most.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Of course on court I love the competition. You know, you go out there and you practice really hard to go on the match court and try to compete with all the best players. This is what I really love and enjoying.

Off court I always like to meet new people. It's always nice to, yeah, travel a lot. I try to enjoy now the new situation.

Q. Just a quick follow-up. Now that you're No. 1, has your preparation, the thing that you love about preparation, has that changed at all sort of through this year?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: No. I think I my preparation is still the same. It's still the same before the matches and also the preparation what I will do at the end of this year. It will be almost the same like last year, because I knew what I did good and I will try to repeat this as well.

Q. There was quite a cast list sitting beside the court today. Do you look over there and think, Goodness, I'm the same as them now? I'm a world No. 1?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, I just look once over there, and all the great legends and champions, they are sitting there. Of course it's a great feeling that I'm on court and they are watch being me.

Now I can say I am one of those players that won Grand Slams and being the No. 1 player in the world. It was really good feeling, and also I was really proud about my really my way what I did in the last few years. Yeah.

Q. How much of an advantage is it for you to finish top of the group and avoiding a Sveta that's on fire? Obviously going to get either Aga or Karolina. Thoughts about facing either of those two?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I mean, of course Sveta is playing amazing right now. She has a run and it's just great to see.

And, yeah, my next opponent is Aga or Pliskova. They are completely two different opponents. Aga I know very well and we both play very tough matches. I think we will have a lot of long rallies when I play against her.

Against Pliskova it will be maybe similar like today. The serve is very big and she's just going for it with the first or second shot. Let's see who will win, and then I will make a game plan on one of these opponents.

Q. Talking about serves, Keys wins without facing a single break point against Cibulkova; whereas you always seem to know where to go. Is it something you work on with your coach before the match, or is your guessing or like ability to know -- or not guessing.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I don't know. Today my serve was also not so good in the first few games. Then I tried to improve it in the second set, but I was working a lot as well on my return because I know that I can still improve my serve.

When I have days like today I have to be ready for the return, so that was also one big point what I was working on.

Yeah, I mean, I try to guessing always right, and today mostly I was guessing on the right way.

Q. As world No. 1, to me you seem to have taken on an ambassador role. Do you see yourself that way?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, right now after all the weeks it feels more comfortable. I know how it is to being now the No. 1 and how it feels on court and also off court.

I try my best to do a good job on and off court. I try to really enjoy it as well, because of course I'm feeling the respect of everybody. I just try to still being like I am and enjoying it.

Q. Obvious Domi won the set which put you through; you won to put her through. Have you run into her either before or after your match? If so, what was said?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Actually, no. I saw her match and then I didn't saw her after the match. I don't know, maybe I will see her tomorrow and we will speak.

No, I didn't saw her after or before or whatever.

Q. Congratulations for your win today and for your year-ending No. 1 ranking. Recently I watched radio interview, and Serena's coach Patrick said you win the year-end No. 1 just because you play more than 20 tournaments and Serena only play 8 tournaments. Do you think that's unfair to say that? Do you have any response to his words? Thank you.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think every player has her own schedule on the tournaments. One players like to play a lot of tournaments and a lot of matches, and the other ones like just trying to preparing for the big ones.

But I just can say what my way is and my schedule is, and I always like to play a lot of matches because I have much more confidence then to going to the big tournaments.

Yeah, this is what I can say how my schedule is. I like to play tournaments. I really enjoy playing a lot. Yeah, that's my schedule.

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