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May 26, 2017

Angelique Kerber

Paris, France

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

Q. How are you feeling since Rome about your practices so far and everything coming into this tournament?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I'm feeling actually not bad. After Rome I went back home, and I had a good practice there. So I arrived here like few days ago to playing here. It's always a little bit different.

So, yeah, but since Rome, it's just few days and I was trying to practicing good in these days.

Q. (Off mic.)

Q. Petra Kvitova just announced she's back and playing the tournament. What do you think of her return so early after the injury?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Actually, I'm really happy for her that she is back. It's I think earlier than everybody was supposing and, yeah, thinking. That's why, yeah, I'm happy for her. Yeah, we will see. I mean, she's one of my good friends here, so this is good to see her back on tour.

Q. When did you know that Petra was going to play here?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: When? I don't know when. I mean, I don't know when she decided for herself and for 100%. I don't know.

But, yeah, when I heard it, I was really happy for her. But I don't know when exactly it was.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about how a Grand Slam draw is kind of different without Serena in it? Were you surprised to find out, when you found out Serena was pregnant?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: This is the same. I'm also happy for her that she will get the mother and she have like now, yeah, something different and it's the next level for her. But, yeah, it's great to heard about this, like, few weeks now ago.

Yeah, of course, we are here in the Grand Slam. And it's always different to play Grand Slams always, like the first rounds are always tough and to getting into the tournament, because everything is possible always in these big tournaments.

Q. Makarova, first opponent. Thoughts on that? Obviously not an easy first-round draw. Talk about starting off with a tough opponent. How do you feel about that?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I think it's for sure not easy first round. But, I mean, which round is easy here? I mean, you have to be ready from the first round, from the first point here.

And this is my goal. I mean, I'm really looking from round to round. Like I did it last year. And trying to being ready again to playing my best tennis from the first round. This is my goal, and of course, I mean, it will not be easy as the last year, as well.

But, yeah, I'm ready for the challenge just from the beginning.

Q. Can you describe your relationship with clay versus other surfaces?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think this is difficult (smiling). I mean, of course everybody knows it's not my favorite surface, but, yeah, we have to play on clay. I tried my best. I mean, also last year this was not the best weeks for me. I mean, it was my best year, but also last year when I played tournaments on clay, I was not playing so well.

This year it's actually the same. It can be just better. I mean, I try my best to getting ready. I try my best to really being ready for the first round and making the preparation the best I can, and then we will see how far I can come here.

But first of all, I will just try to, you know, being step by step and trying to, yeah, get in love a little bit with the clay (smiling).

Q. What do you think you need right now in order to get your game to be where you want it to be? Is it about the performance? A string of matches? What do you need?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I mean, first of all, for sure, I need matches. I need matches where I can starting to playing and feeling my tennis. Winning matches, I think this is also important. And just, you know, going out and trying to finding my game, you know, just fighting, moving good. I mean, it's really difficult for me to moving on clay, because this is, yeah, not the best surface where I'm moving, but this is what I try to, what I will try to find.

Yeah, this is what I'm trying to practicing, as well, during my practicing to moving good and, yeah, being ready maybe for one more rally.

Q. When you sit down with Torben and your team and kind of talk about, you know, where your game is right now, what you feel what you're doing well, what you feel is missing, how much is the tense sometimes that you're doing what you did last year, let's say, but the ball is just not landing where you want it to be, or is there some sort of shift or change in the tactics or something that you're feeling is maybe not getting the result that you want?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I think it's just the transition. Actually, I'm practicing not bad, but I have to show this in my matches, and I think this is what I need now to trying to doing, like from the practice to the match courts, what I'm trying the last few weeks, as well.

Yeah, of course, I mean, when we sit down we are talking and I am trying to improving my game, as well, and trying to -- yeah, I think it's just a process. I mean, like I said, it's a really completely different year, and there are so many things also besides the court where I have to really, yeah, schedule my day and everything.

So this is, I think, just a process. And then we will see. I mean, I always trying my best, what I can, and this is also what I would like to do here.

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