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August 29, 2017

Angelique Kerber

New York, NY, USA

N. OSAKA/A. Kerber

6-3, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Obviously a disappointment. What would you ascribe the loss to?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think, yeah, it was not my day, completely not my day today. Of course, matches are always different than practice, and I just can say that I was practicing a lot in the last few weeks and months.

Yeah, of course it's not the result, and I'm sad, but, yeah, I don't know. Yeah, match is always different.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about her game? She played very, very well and she's very young. What do you see in her?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I think she's a very aggressive player, but I know this before. She served very well and was going for it. Yeah, she played a very good match from the beginning.

Q. Were you confident you could make a run here? Even though you haven't had the great results this year, did you feel you had something good coming into this tournament?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, I was not looking too much ahead. I was trying to focus on every single match. Like I said, I was doing a lot in the last few weeks, but at the end, it was not my day at all. Yeah.

Q. On court, as the match was progressing and you're trying to fight to get back into it, what's going through your mind when you feel the game isn't exactly there? Are you frustrated, angry, sad? How was the feeling on court?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, I was always believing until the end that I can turn around the match, because I turn around a lot of matches.

Yeah, she played good, especially also at the end of the match. I'm always trying, yeah, to going for it when I have the chance.

Today, I mean, she just go for it. I think she took the chances, and, yeah, she played a very good match. But for me it was for sure not the best day and not the best match.

Q. I'm sure it's somewhat painful and pretty early yet, but the Grand Slam season is over. Clearly not what you expected or hoped for. Can you talk about what you think went wrong?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I don't know. I mean, I just finished my match. I think, of course, this year is a completely different year. I played not so well like last year, and I had much less matches last year.

This is for sure something -- yeah, gives me maybe also not the confidence when you go out there, you know, you didn't have too much matches before you came here. Yeah, you know, I think it's just -- I need just matches. I think this is the thing.

I know how good I can play. I know how good I practice the last few weeks, but, yeah, sometimes we have these days, and at the end, this is sport. You never know what's happen. Yeah, at the end she plays good.

Q. In terms of your mindset on court, before this match you seemed very tense almost, looked like. Did you feel you were hitting the ball pretty well and were in good shape? But the tension, and your coaches looked tense in the box, did you sense that? Has that been a thing at these big tournaments this year?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: No, I mean, of course, you're always nervous when you go out there and it's the first rounds in the Grand Slams, but when I walk on court, I was feeling actually okay.

I mean, of course, when it's close and you know, okay, now you have the chances and you are not taking this, you know, okay, she takes. I was trying to finding my rhythm then, and especially in the important moments, but, yeah, sometimes it's not working like you want.

Q. Naomi is just 19 years old. What do you think about her potential in the future?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: For sure, I mean, she played good today and she played also good in the last few weeks and months. We will see. She's a young player. She played good today, and for sure she has a good future.

Q. Is there a part of your on-court game that you think has been a problem for you this year that hasn't been as good as it was last year?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I mean, for sure that I played much more matches than last year, and this is always different. Yeah, I know that I can still improve, I mean, few more things, especially my serve and my returns.

There are few things, but I think it's coming just with matches and match confidence.

Q. What's the biggest difference between you 12 months ago and you now? Is it just confidence? Is it more than that?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I'm still the same player and the same person, so I think it's just -- yeah, I think it's just the matches and how I played last year from the beginning and how I'm struggling this year.

But at the end, I know that I'm strong and I know that I will come back stronger, for sure. I know that I will not giving up like this.

So for me it's not -- yeah, I will try to forgetting the match as soon as possible and looking forward again.

Q. You had that match at Wimbledon against Muguruza. You seemed very positive coming out of that match with the way you played. Over the course of the hard court summer, where do you think it didn't lock? Were there injury issues or training or anything that maybe impacted it?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, after Wimbledon I was actually confident, because I was practicing good. I knew that everything is going on the right way, but, yeah, like you said, I was a little bit injured and it's still not 100% with my elbow.

But, I mean, I'm always trying my best and also my team is trying the best, and I think this was also during the whole year I always had some small things that, yeah, giving me not the opportunity to playing my best.

But at the end, you know, I'm always trying the best with all the things I have.

Q. You said you know Naomi is kind of aggressive player and she likes to hit big shots. Today's match, did she do something which you didn't expect or did she play better than you are expecting?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: No, I knew how she's playing. Yeah, I think she was just going for it. I think she was trying to playing her best. She had nothing to lose. She was playing her best tennis, I think, at the important moments.

She's a great hitter, a good server. Yeah, I think at the end she plays a good match from the beginning until the end.

Q. Reaching the top is hard. Why is staying there so much harder?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think because it's a new situation. I mean, of course, you have always the goal for years to going there and to reaching the top, but then if you are there, you actually don't know what to expect, and then it's just the process. You have to get used to everything. You have to schedule your day, plan completely different and, yeah, it's for sure tougher to staying on top.

Q. How would you compare your mindset coming into this tournament this year as opposed to last year?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, it was actually similar, the same. I came here with a good feeling. I was practicing good. I mean, I love this tournament. I love the city. And it's still like this. I mean, I have so many great memories from here.

Of course, it's not the result I was expecting. But, I mean, I tried my best, and at the end, it was completely not my day. This is all I can say at the end.

Q. There weren't any additional concerns with results you had coming in?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I mean, of course, it's a little bit different if you're coming like a defending champion and the attention, it's different.

But at the end, you do your job, you're going on court and you're trying to do the same and trying to play your best tennis, and this is always the same. Doesn't matter if you're the defending champion or just, yeah, not the defending champion.

Q. How much has all the media attention, even back in Germany, maybe TV shows and sponsors, over the last 12 months, has it changed your focus or just added more things to your schedule? Maybe it's somewhat affecting...
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, I'm trying not putting too much attention on this. I'm trying to really focusing on my stuff and my team, on the people that knows me. They know me, and they know how I'm feeling and what we are doing and what's our goal.

But, of course, it's much bigger than it was, like, one or two years ago. But this is the part of it, I know, and, you know, I'm trying to not putting too much attention on this part.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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