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January 8, 2018

Angelique Kerber

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

A. KERBER/L. Safarova

6-7, 7-6, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. That seemed like a really tough match for you.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: It was. I mean, it was not an easy match. I think we had everything. We had the heat, we had the rain, we had everything, yes, everything.

So it was not an easy match, but this was also what I was expecting, a really tough battle against Lucie, and, yeah, every single game was really close. It was a big fight. Especially also, for me, I just came yesterday from Perth, so it was really -- yeah, it was a big change with the hours, with the weather, with everything, actually. So I'm quite happy that I won it at the end.

Q. You hung in there for some tense moments, saved two match points.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I mean, I also did two doubles faults in the really not best moment, I think (smiling).

Yeah, like I said, I think every point was really a fight, and I was trying to fighting and playing every single point like in the moment. So I think it was, yeah, a good match, actually, also from both of us.

Q. What do you think was the key today just in your game, being able to turn that around?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think, first of all, of course, that I was fighting and I was not giving up anymore any ball. And in the third set I think my serve was quite better than in the first two sets.

So I think at the end my serve was the key for me, and also that I was able to going for it in important moments when I had the break chance.

Q. How much confidence are you bringing in now to this tournament? You haven't been beaten in 2018, Hopman Cup and now here. Looks like Angie of 2016?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I say good-by to 2017, for sure. I try to not thinking back on last year, so I really try to forget the year and starting from zero, and just playing like I played years before 2017.

So, yeah, I'm feeling good. I'm trying to changing a few things and I'm starting 2018 with completely new mind and just going for it, and having matches like this that gives me of course a lot of confidence, and also like I played in Perth.

Q. Maybe last year, even though we are not talking about last year anymore...
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Please not (smiling).

Q. One last question. You know, you might have let slip through your hands, double faults, getting down, how much of, you know, kind of a pump is it to get those wins this year?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Big, I think. Especially this match shows me that even if I play not so good or make a double fault in the important moment, I'm still there and I'm still focusing on the next one and I can -- yeah, and I'm not giving up any single ball. Doesn't matter what I was playing before, I did easy mistake or was going for a winner.

I think that shows me that I'm, yeah, coming back and I'm really trying to playing my best tennis every single point, every single match. And also how I played the last week, that gives me of course confidence again.

Q. What do you feel like you fixed to get back on track?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think, first of all, I had a good offseason. A lot of weeks off, as well. And then really focusing on my practice and on my game again.

You know, I just feel that I'm playing every single point again, and I have the patience back and really fighting again. I'm not thinking too much like I was thinking in the last 12 months. I'm just trying to enjoying the tennis and just not making the things complicated like last year.

Q. So it's Venus Williams next. Big match on center court. What are your thoughts on that? You guys have a great rivalry, lots of matches and lots of close matches.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I think it's just another match before Melbourne, and I will just try to go out there, try to play again good tennis, and trying to, yeah, beat her. That's for sure.

I will try, but, you know, she played some amazing tennis last year. She had a lot of confidence. She's always strong, especially here. I think she's feeling good here.

So I will just try to, yeah, to going out, playing good tennis against her, and for sure it will be an intense match from both of us.

Q. Is it better to play after the match you had tonight rather than 6-Love, 6-Love?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, I think every day here is different. You see it also with the weather conditions. You never know what expecting tomorrow.

But of course to going out tomorrow with a match already on my belt, it's, I think for me, a little bit easier, because the first matches for me are always a little bit tougher.

Yeah, I mean, at the end tomorrow it's another match and a new day.

Q. She will be playing her first match of the year, so it's an opportunity to...
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, no, it's always like you're getting ready for the first matches, and she will be ready, for sure. She is here already for a few days.

I'm just expecting a really tough match again. Yeah, we will see at the end, but I will try my best.

Q. What has Wim brought to your program?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, of course, first of all, it's a new voice again, and this is also a big change, because I was with Torben long, long time. Now to hear another voice, I think that gives me also more confidence, because I'm seeing something new, and we are working a little bit different than I was working before.

So far it's good, and I'm feeling good with him. For me, doesn't matter what happen. It was for sure a good decision.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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