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May 28, 2017

Angelique Kerber

Paris, France


6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

Q. What makes clay such a difficult surface for you? What is different for you than, for example, playing on grass?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I mean, on clay I'm really not feeling so good, especially on my movement, because, I don't know, I cannot slide so good. I don't know. Normally I can move very well, but on clay it's always a little bit different and difficult for me. So I think this is the most, yeah, thing that it's a little bit different than to the other surface.

Q. Can you just talk about the match? What do you think didn't work for you today? What kind of mentality did you approach this match with?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think, first of all, I think she played a good match. It was a tough first round.

I had a few chance in the first set and also in the second set, and I didn't make it. I think that was the key for the match. I mean, I believed in the second set, as well, that I can turn around the match and I was still believing until the last point.

But, yeah, she played well. Yeah. Yeah.

Q. What's the process for you now? How do you reset for the grass?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I don't know yet. I mean, now I have a little bit more time to think about it, what I will do in the next few weeks and how I will prepare for the grass season.

Of course I'm disappointed that the clay court season was not so good. At the end maybe it's good that it's over for me. But, yeah, I don't know. I think I will go back home. I will do maybe few days' rest or few more days. I don't know (smiling). I really don't know what I will do now, but for sure I will think about what is the best preparation for grass now.

Q. Is there any relief that clay season is over for you? This has been a tough stretch for you, obviously now it's all behind you.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: It's tough to say it now, because I just, after my match, and, I mean, I'm still disappointed. I think I need few more days to really, yeah, forgot the clay court season because it was at all not the best weeks in my career, no.

Q. What part of your game brings you the most frustration at the moment? Is it the offensive part when you're trying to step in and hit the forehand and hit the backhand, or is it more the defensive counter-punching, it's not coming off the way you want it to?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think it's a little bit of both, but especially I think the movement. I mean, I can still not moving so good on clay.

I was trying it as good as I can also in my practice sessions. But at all, I'm not feeling so good on this clay when I have to move on the sides and then coming back.

So then of course, I'm not feeling good from the defense and also when I have to step in I'm always like one step, yeah, too slow.

Q. I think you said in German just now that expectations this year are very different from the outside but also from yourself. Can you talk a little bit about that.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I said that last year it was a completely different year. I mean, the pressure is always there. This year, I mean, the expectations are much bigger, especially in the big tournaments and the Grand Slams. And the expectations are also from me really big, of course, because I know what I can do, what I did last year.

But right now I think that I have to find to myself again and just trying to forgot the clay court season as soon as possible and then reset and starting from the grass courts again.

Q. Has it been difficult to enjoy yourself for some time in tennis? Is that something that needs to change for you to play your best?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I mean, of course, if you are losing it's always tough to enjoying the game. I mean, I know in the last years I had always up-and-downs and right now, of course, I'm in actually the down feeling.

I'm still enjoying to playing tennis. Of course, this is what I am loving and I will try to finding the solution to coming back maybe stronger.

Yeah, and trying to learning from this moment. I mean, you can always learn if you are not playing good or if it's a tough situation also for the future, and this is what I will try to do it. I mean, of course, it's also a little bit painful the way now. But, yeah, now I cannot changing anymore and trying to looking forward.

Q. In terms of finding your feel again and your aggression again on the court, do you think that your problem is a bit more mental or more technical?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think it's both. I think it's always a combination of everything. Also, like, fitness-wise is when you are not moving so good. Then it's, of course, technical. You're always too slow to the balls, and mentally, as well. I mean, if you are losing a lot of first rounds now, especially on clay, which is not my best surface, the confidence is not there like when I'm playing on hard or if you win a little bit more matches.

Yeah, I think it's a combination of everything.

Q. Kiki Bertens said it's very difficult for her to play like the No. 19 week in, week out. Is it more difficult to play like the No. 1 week in, week out? Is it sometimes even a burden that you have to show you're the No. 1 week in, week out?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, of course it's tough. Especially my game is -- yeah, my game is that I have to moving good, that I have fighting for every single ball. I mean, my game not just going for winners and for shots and having a good serve. My game, everybody knows last year I played a lot of tough matches, a lot of three-set matches. So even if I'm No. 1, No. 10 or No. whatever, I have to fight for my wins for my matches from the first point.

And this is I think always tough for me, because, yeah, I know that I have to be ready 100% from the first match. This is my game, and I think everybody has her own game, and this is mine.

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