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January 16, 2017

Angelique Kerber

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

A. KERBER/L. Tsurenko

6-2, 5-7, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Different being on the court at a slam as the defending champion the first time? Did that affect the match for you at all?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I mean, it's the first round of a Grand Slam. Of course it was a little bit different. Also, yeah, to close up the match.

But I was actually feeling not bad. From the beginning, I was trying to, yeah, play my game. I played actually a good match. I was a little bit not playing too good. I make a little bit easy mistakes in the second set, at the end of the second set.

But she was playing actually not so bad. She played a really consistent match. I was trying, yeah, just to going for it in the third set and just trying to play my game. I think that was the key for the match today.

Q. Do you pride yourself on being a good problem solver? Seemed like whenever something was going wrong in the second set, you just came out and took care of it in the third.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think it's always good to have a match like this in the first few rounds. I mean, it's always tough for everybody to get the rhythm and to start the tournament, especially the Grand Slam, the first Grand Slam of the year.

So I think it was not so bad to have a match like that in the first round.

Q. Were there any moments in the third set where you panicked and thought you could be the No. 1 and defending champion to lose in the first round or were you actually in the moment?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: No, actually I'm not thinking about this when I'm on court. I'm on court to playing my tennis. My tennis is like it is, to moving good, playing a lot of balls back and fighting.

It's not changing because I'm the No. 1 now or the top seeded. I mean, on court I'm really focusing on playing my game and, yeah, running for every ball. I was actually not panicking at all, so...

Q. You were asked on court if you thought back to the Misaki Doi match. Was that true?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: That was one moment when I was sitting on the bench. I remember the match from last year. It was, yeah, the opposite actually. I mean, I was down the match point. Here I was up the match point. I came to the third set.

But it was just really a short moment that I was thinking about the match.

Q. You play another German next, Witthoeft. Thoughts on that match?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I mean, it's the second round. I'm not looking too much about my opponents. I mean, I think she played a good match. I know her very well. I played her twice in Wimbledon last year, and few years ago. I think it will be a good match.

But for me it's important to go out there playing my match again, not thinking too much about my opponent.

Q. Do you feel like now, especially that you're No. 1, you can think about yourself, and it's always enough, more than when you were coming up?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, I was doing this the last year as well. It's not because I'm now the No. 1. I'm doing this the last few months. This was, I think, my way for the last months, and I will try to continue this, to going out there.

I know how my opponents are playing. This is always what I'm speaking about with my coach. But for me it's important to know where my weapons are and what I have to do on court.

Q. What were some of the emotions returning to Rod Laver tonight when your last moment was such a big moment in your career?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: It was a good feeling. Also when I was walking on court, I was feeling also the moments last year when I walk on for the final. Of course, now it's a new situation. I mean, it's the first round. I was playing on the Rod Laver.

But, yeah, the crowd is amazing. To playing on this court, it's really nice court, and I was enjoying it, for sure.

Q. How would you describe Torben's personality?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Personality (smiling)?

Yeah, I think, like everybody knows, he's really a positive, yeah, guy. I can trust him. I know him for such a long, long time. He knows me. He knows what and when he has to tell me something, or maybe like leaving me alone.

I think, yeah, working with him is good because, yeah, we know each other. The trust is there. He was supporting me also. Doesn't matter if it's ups or downs, he's there.

Yeah, he's one of the positives [sic] guys I know actually.

Q. Do you think you're an easy person to coach or does it take somebody special to handle you?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I don't know. Maybe you have to ask him or the other people around me.

Yeah, I don't know. I think I'm easy, but of course sometimes everybody has, like, up and downs or maybe needs some time for herself.

Q. You obviously enjoy the game, but if there were anything you could change about tennis, a rule or tradition, what would that be?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Tough questions this time.

I mean, I don't know. I don't know. Nothing. There's nothing what came now in my mind, so I don't know.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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