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January 24, 2018

Angelique Kerber

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


6-1, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How was that a contrast to the match you played the other day?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, it was a different match completely. But I knew this before, actually. Yeah, the game plan was a little bit different than the match before.

Q. You must have been seeing the ball like a football today. Was that your intentions, just be super-aggressive all the time?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I know what to expect. I mean, Madison is a hard hitter, and she served good. So I was trying to playing from the first point aggressive and moving good and also bringing a lot of balls back.

I think this is always my game the last few weeks that I tried to improve, and this was also the plan today, I mean, going out there, trying to, yeah, taking the match in my hands.

I'm feeling the ball really good, and I was enjoying the match. I was going out there and trying to playing my tennis again. Yeah, it was a good feeling again.

Q. Why do you think you have so much success against her? Going on the court, knowing your record is so good, does that kind of ease your mind or...
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, to be honest, I'm not thinking about the records and head-to-heads. Every match starts from zero. It's a new tournament. We played so many matches, so I think just that I know what to expect.

From me, it was not that I was looking on her side. I mean, like I said before this tournament, I'm just focusing on me and on every single day.

Yeah, I think that for me it was also very important to serve good today. I think that was also a key for the match.

Q. We keep hearing about your happiness. What came first, your winning matches again or you being happy again?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, I just try to enjoy myself again on court. I know that I was working hard in the offseason, and I know that I can play good matches. I know that I can win close matches and also, yeah, going out there and playing good in the bigger tournaments.

You know, I just try to finding the feeling back that I had, like, 2016 and just enjoying my time. I mean, on and off court, I think this is, for me, it's really important to just have a good time off court.

Q. Your playing style is fascinating. On the one hand you're very steady and consistent, defense, and then you can strike aggressively, offense. How would you describe it?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I know I'm good from the defense, and this is what makes me strong also that I know that I can run, that I can bring a lot of balls back.

But on the other side I know that I have to try to improve my game, as well. I know that I can play aggressive. I show this so many times during my practices. Now I just try to do it also during the matches, to improving my game. I think this is what was the goal for this season, and I try to improving it in every single match.

Q. You talked about getting a lot of balls back into play. The numbers said you only had seven unforced errors. Is that data you look at? Do you look at data in terms of improving your game?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I think this is, you know, my basic, to moving good, to bringing a lot of balls back.

But on the other side, like I said, to making the mixed, being also aggressive and taking the game in my hand and just going from the first point, from the return, just going for it.

Yeah, just trying to, yeah, like, being aggressive. I think, you know, that this is what I want to improve in my game and especially with my serve. I think this is a combination from both of those.

Q. What are the major differences in playing the Australian Open versus the other Grand Slams?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, actually, first of all, this is a special one because I won here my first Grand Slam. This is always special coming back to Australia. I feel good here.

Actually, doesn't matter which Grand Slam. You're always nervous in the first few rounds. You know, it's a big tournament. You know, you need to play here your best tennis.

This is always the goal to playing in the Grand Slams your best. Yeah, it's just, I think, not thinking too much about this, that this is a Grand Slam. I mean, the court is the same, the opponents are the same, so actually on court everything not change.

Q. How much inspiration and confidence do you bring from your win in 2016 to your matches today?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, I have a lot of confidence and belief in my game already, because I start the year good, played good in Perth, and I won Sydney. That gives me a lot of confidence to coming here.

Also, all the memories, of course, I will never forget the memories I had 2016 here, so that's why I feel so good. And I know all the places in Melbourne where I can go for, let's say, a coffee or just when I have a day off. This gives me a lot of, yeah, confidence to be here and playing my best.

Q. Simona or Karolina next. Can you talk about both of them since we obviously don't know?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I think both are completely different player completely. I think if I play against Simona, I think it will be a long match with a lot of long rallies. I played against her a lot of times, and it was always tough and close.

But also against Karolina, I think it will be like maybe a little bit like today, the game, a big serve, hitting hard. You know, at the end, it's the same, like I said, the whole week. It doesn't matter against who I play. I'm in the semis right now, and I will try to continue how I play, and this is, for me, the most important thing.

Q. Starting at Hopman Cup, was that a more relaxed way of starting your year versus jumping into intense competition right from the start at Brisbane?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I mean, it was more relaxed, but like it was 1-1 and we had the mixed, it was not so relaxed, to be honest, playing then the mixed.

You know, yeah, of course, because you know you have three matches. You go there, and doesn't matter if you win or lose, you have to try to playing again matches after the off-season where you just practice, and now you are again in the match situation.

So it was, of course, a little bit more relaxed playing the first tournament, because Sydney was completely different after Perth. Yeah, that's why I think that it was good that I played Sydney before here and not making a week off.

Q. Will you try playing with the other Zverev brother?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think -- I don't know. I think I will play still with Sascha. I think we played so good, and, yeah, let's see if we will play next year again.

Q. You're the only slam winner left in the draw. Does that experience give you a little bit of an advantage, you think?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I don't know if it's advantage. I think there are still a lot of lefties, and I played against all of them. They will be in the semis.

You know, I don't know if it's an advantage. It's just -- yeah, I mean, I know how to play against a righty, against a lefty, and they know this exactly the same, so I don't know if it's advantage.

Q. How does it feel being Angelique Kerber at the moment?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Nice question (smiling).

I mean, it feels the same. Like, I'm the same person like I was also last year. The years before, I mean, here, nothing change. I think the only thing has changed that I learned a lot, a lot of experience from last year. From the years before, as well. Not only from 2016. Also 2014 and 2015.

I think that also gives me a little bit of confidence that I know what to expect now. And, you know, I had a tough last year, so that's why I think that I'm just looking forward and I'm proud how I get through all the last weeks and being in the semis again in a Grand Slam. So I'm feeling good.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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