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January 25, 2018

Angelique Kerber

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

S. HALEP/A. Kerber

6-3, 4-6, 9-7

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. After almost four weeks of continual play, did you really begin to feel it in your legs towards the end?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah. Yeah, I was feeling my legs, of course, already in the first set, but, you know, I think at the end I was just trying to give everything what I have left today.

I was fighting until the last point, and I came back after the first set and also when I was, like, 3-5 down in the third set, and I think for me I was just fighting for every point. You know, you have days where you're not feeling good, but my heart was on court, and I think this is, for me, the most important thing that I put everything on the court.

Q. Which way are you going to console yourself the next days, thinking about this match, opportunities you had? What will you tell to yourself?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, I tell to myself already that I gave everything, you know. This is always the most important thing.

I mean, of course I had the two match points, but even I did two chances, she played good, so I couldn't do nothing. It was just a battle at the end. It's just one or two points which decides the match.

For me, yeah, I mean, I gave everything. This is what I will tell myself in the next few days. And looking back what I achieved in the last three weeks, yeah, it was not so bad, I mean, when I looking back, like, four, five weeks ago, and somebody told me that I will win so many matches in a row, winning a title, being in the semis here, yeah, and still having the opportunity to win this match, as well.

But I think I will just take the positive things from the last three, four weeks and I'm looking forward.

Q. Federer yesterday told us he likes not to look too forward in his thinking. He's not thinking about the finals. He's just thinking on the moment. What was happening in your mind in those two match points?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: The same. I mean, I was looking for every single point, but in these match points which I had, she played good. So she was returning good. She hit the balls, and she take the chances.

Like I said, I couldn't do nothing. Of course you can say always, Okay, you had to go for it. But I tried my best in the moments. She won the points. So, yeah.

Q. Were you feeling it at all this morning, when you were practicing, when you get out of bed, that maybe the tank was not as full as you would want it to be?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, not really. I mean, of course you play so many matches, you get tired, but, yeah, I think when I was warming up this morning I was feeling okay. I'm a little bit tired, but at the end, you know, it was just the next match and I was not thinking too much about being tired and just going there and trying my best.

Of course I was not physically, like, on my 100% because I played so many matches before. Now you can say maybe it would be better to not playing Sydney or whatever, but, I mean, I get so many confidence from Sydney from the last few weeks, so you never know what's happen if I'm not winning Sydney, if I'm in the semis here.

So this is always the questions all you guys asking or other ones are asking. You never know what's happen for me. I think it was everything the best decision.

Yeah, of course I'm a little bit sad, but at the end I will go with a good feeling back home.

Q. You were both very aggressive when you saved the match points. What is the feeling when you're down, one point away from losing, how does that compare to being up match point?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, it's tough to compare. I mean, you know, somebody has match point, but still, I mean, the game is not over. The match is over when you win the last point.

So it doesn't matter. I mean, I'm trying always to be aggressive, but in my match points she was the aggressive player, and other, opposite, I was the aggressive player.

So you never know. I mean, you always try to be the first who can go for it.

Q. One of "the" great matches of the tournament. Is this the best you have seen her play?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Simona? You know, we have so many battles together. We play so many matches. So, you know, I know what to expect, and I know that it will be a tough match.

You know, she plays good. Yeah, I mean, I was close to win the match, as well. I think we both play a good fight at the end.

Q. Love-5 down after 13 minutes. What do you do then? Do you block it out and try and reset and start again?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, she played good. I mean, the first three games I was not playing my best, but then she was playing really aggressive, really good. She hit winners.

But I knew that maybe it was a late start from me, but at the end, you know, it's just the first few games, and I knew that I will come back and I was just not thinking too much about the time or the score, whatever. Just playing the next point, next game, and, yeah, staying in the match.

Q. This was the first match that you have played against her since the finals in 2016. So obviously your games have gone through, you know, changes over the last 12 months. Do you think she was more aggressive than she had been in the past against you today?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I know she is also trying to being more aggressive. I think our games are really similar. I know we are trying to improving our, yeah, our games to being more aggressive.

I think she was more aggressive, but I know also that I played also aggressive. I don't know. I cannot compare the matches to each other.

Q. The final will be played by two players who have saved match points. If you were in the final, you also would be a player which saved match point. What that means, in your opinion? The balance is very big, huge? Everyone plays more or less the same? Everyone has a chance to win? How important is to be lucky? These kind of things.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think is always important to have a little bit of luck, especially during two weeks. During two weeks, so many things can happen. I know how it is. When I won here, I saved also match point in the first round.

You know, it's always you know you have to fight until the last point. This is tennis. And at the end, a Grand Slam, you play so many matches, so different ones. Here, the weather conditions are always different, so you have to get used also to this.

Yeah, we will see who will win at the end here in Melbourne.

Q. You're back in the top 10, back I think where you want to be playing for, you know, in the semifinals. Have you learnt anything about yourself during this period?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I think I learned a lot. I know that I'm back, and I know that I can play again good tennis in front of amazing crowds and playing tough matches, winning also matches where I'm down and fighting until the last point.

For me, the most important thing is that I'm again on court, and I'm fighting. I have my heart there. I really enjoy every single moment.

Playing my best is always to playing your best in this day. So you cannot play every day the same. You have to play your best in every single day. I think that I did it every single day here when I was here in Australia.

Q. The dropshot on Simona's second serve, what was going through your mind when you did that?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I don't know. I just decided to play a dropshot. I don't know what was in my mind. Yeah. (Smiling.)

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