home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


January 15, 2017

Angelique Kerber

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Welcome back to a place you must have incredibly special memories. A year ago, if you were in this position, would you have imagined you would be sitting here now as the champion?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I don't think so. I mean, a lot of things change, and especially here from last year. That was my breakthrough. Everything starts here. So it's nice to be back here actually. I have so many great memories.

But, yeah, it's great to start the first Grand Slam again here in Melbourne. Yeah, I'm looking forward actually to start this special tournament for me again.

Q. When you walked through the gates for the first time in the last week or so, is there a particular moment that came back to you at all?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, it was everything. The first day was really special when we was driving through the gates. Yeah, I was walking from the transportation to the locker room where I remember I was sitting like 12 months ago after the final. Nobody was there.

Now it's a new tournament again and we are starting from zero and everybody is here again to play their best tennis. So a lot of good memories. Also when I hit the first time on Rod Laver, that was really special, as well.

Q. What are your memories of that first-round match last year? How clear is that to you?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I still remember the match very well. I mean, I was thinking and talking about that match a lot of times already. I think this point where I was match point down, that was I think, yeah, the important point for my career. You never know when I lost the match what's happen then.

When I'm looking back, I was feeling that I getted the second chance to staying in the tournament. I was playing since then, like, without expectation, without nothing, just enjoying everything.

I will start, yeah, to coming with this feeling again here from the first round and playing, yeah, my best tennis. It's a new year. We will see what this year will bring. But, yeah, I will try to play my best and let's see how far I can get this year.

Q. Will it be harder to do that now that you're the No. 1 seed, world No. 1, to play with that expectation?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Of course, it's a little bit different than last year. But I think also that I get used to it in the last few months. It's a new challenge for me, that's for sure.

But, you know, it's a new tournament. We are starting from zero here. I have to be ready from the first round again. I will try to not putting too much expectation and pressure on myself. I mean, I will try to do it like last year. That was the way I had my success. I will try to continue that this year again.

Q. You talked about your best tennis. Are you searching for your best tennis at the moment? You lost a little earlier in the tournament last week. Are you not quite there at the moment?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: We will see. I think every tournament starts from zero. I played, like, in Brisbane last year little bit better. I reached the final. This year I lost a little bit earlier.

But, I mean, I'm not thinking about this tournament right now. Grand Slams are always different. Of course, the first rounds, as well. I'm feeling good. I was practicing good in the last few days here. Also my pre-season was very tough. So I hope that I can make the transition on the match courts here.

Q. What does it actually feel like to be No. 1 in the world?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, it feels good. A lot of pressure, as well. I have much more things to do. I mean, the day's schedule is a little bit tighter than 12 months ago.

But at the end I'm still trying to do my things like I was doing this before. It's just a number before my name. I will try, of course, to stay as long as possible there. But, yeah, it's a new challenge. I think that I'm ready for that challenge. Let's see how I can deal with that.

Q. Do even more people recognize you in the street and things like that now?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yes, I think so. Everywhere I am going, I go to the restaurant and airport or whatever. It's a little bit bigger than it was before.

Q. How does your schedule change with all these extra obligations? Make it harder to training or...
ANGELIQUE KERBER: My priority is always to playing tennis and practicing and doing my schedule with my tennis, of course. I mean, the schedule is tighter. I have not many hours for myself. But this is important for me what I learn, as well, in the last few months, that I have to take the hours for me where I can relax.

But, yeah, I have much more things to do around. That's changed. But I'm still trying to enjoying it. This is the part of being one of the best players. Yeah, that was always the goal. So I'm trying to living it now.

Q. Having lost early in the last few tournaments, is lack of match practice a concern for you going into the tournament?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I don't think so. I was practicing and playing a lot of matches, points, during my practice here. I think it was good to being a little bit earlier here, to get used to everything, to do my stuff, all the things I have to do off and on the court.

You know, I'm not thinking now that I was not playing so well in the last two tournaments. I'm here to being ready again from the first round. This is all I'm looking for now.

Q. Last year you said simplicity was kind of the big key to your two weeks here. You kept everything really simple, didn't complicate the tournament. It's a lot harder to do that this year. How are you handling that? How are you trying to keep this as simple a process as you can possibly make it?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Of course, it's a little bit harder. But I know that this is the only way to playing one of my best tennis. For me it's important that I have still the same team around me. They know me, so they know how to handle everything. They putting the pressure off me. They helping me a lot with other things, as well.

So I'm still trying to doing, like, just everything simple, not complicated, and just doing my rituals. So just going on court, practicing, all the stuffs I doing last years.

Q. Do you feel like maybe it might normalize, everything might ironically calm down once the tournament begins?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think so. I think once the tournament begins, I will get into the tournament rhythm again, of playing one match, having one day off, all these things. I think the tournament can start already because I'm already here few days. I'm ready to go.

Q. Yesterday we asked Roger Federer what it is like to become No. 1 going to a Grand Slam tournament for the first time. He was giving an idea of what Andy Murray might be going through right now. Do you feel different here this year as world No. 1? Do you think people look at you differently, other players?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think, of course, it's a little bit different to being here now No. 1 seeded. But at the end, I'm still the same. I'm still doing the same things. I'm not thinking too much that I'm, like, top seeded now. When I'm thinking like this, the pressure is much higher than I'm just doing my things like I do this before.

It's a little bit different because the days, what I'm here, much more tight, I have much more things to do. At the end when I'm on court, I'm still trying to play my game. My game is always what it was like few months, few years ago. I have still going on court and playing best tennis to have a chance to win. So that's not a big deal to change because I know that I have to go for it.

Q. From what you have seen of other players, is the more difficult thing to get to No. 1 or to stay there?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think both. I mean, for sure, first of all, you have to go there, get to the No. 1 place. What's not so easy, because you have to play really a consistent year, winning a lot of matches. To staying there, of course, it's harder than maybe to reach it because you have to deal with a lot of more things than you expect.

Yeah, it's completely new challenge. It's really different and difficult, as well. But I think this is also privilege a little bit. I'm really happy to be there and to taking now the new challenges.

Q. Could you give us an example of those new challenges you're facing.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Of course. First of all, I mean, you have to deal with everything, with the pressure, with all your commitments and everything around. As well, to going on court, playing your own tennis. Thinking on court just how you would like to play, you know, not thinking too much about other things.

So the focus to going on court and just thinking about what you have to do there. You have to learn that a little bit. I think that right now, yeah, I get used to it. We will see how far and how I can deal with it here.

But, yeah, I'm positive and I'm looking forward.

Q. At No. 1, two Grand Slams, obviously the expectation around you can change. People might expect more of you. That creates pressure. Do you expect more of yourself?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: To be honest, I think it's the same feeling than when I won the Australian Open last year and I came to Paris and everything was new. Now that it's just I'm the No. 1. It's new as well, but I think the same situation.

For me, I'm expecting the same what I was expecting the years before from me: going out there, trying my best, fighting till the last point. This is always how I'm playing, how I am. This will be not changing because this is why I'm here. This is what I'm expecting from me: just going out there and trying playing good because I know that I'm ready, I had a great pre-season, and this is for me everything what counts right now.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297