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March 22, 2018

Angelique Kerber

Miami, Florida

A. KERBER/J. Larsson

6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How important was this win coming off Indian Wells? You have had an amazing season so far but then that little dip over there. How important was it to get back to the winning way?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I mean, after Indian Wells, it was really important to come here and to win the first match. I mean, the first matches are always tough, especially because the conditions are completely different than in Indian Wells.

Yeah, I mean, I learned a lot from the last few months. To be honest, I just forget about the last match in Indian Wells. I mean, it was not my day. Here the tournament starts from zero. It's a new tournament.

Yeah, I'm quite happy about how I played today.

Q. Was the wind a factor today? It seemed like in the beginning, the way you play, it kind of affected that first game.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, it was quite windy, especially at the beginning of the match, and it was a little bit tricky to get and to find my rhythm. But I think that this is normal here in Miami. You never know when the wind is coming.

So I was just trying to really staying focused on my game. Yeah, it was not so easy, but at the end for my opponent it's always the same.

Q. This year in general, obviously moving up in the rankings and everything, how much do you think this tournament is just a part of your whole campaign this year in general to get back to where you were in 2016?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I mean, it's a big tournament, and to playing good in the big tournaments, it's always a goal. Especially here in Miami, I played the last years always good here.

Yeah, for me, it's always important to play in every single tournament this year good and playing a consistent year. I start the year quite good, so now it's just the focus on the next match and the next step and this is, yeah, what counts for me right now.

Q. How do you feel about the tournament being moved to Hard Rock Stadium? Do you prefer here or do you feel...
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, you know, I don't know, to be honest, because, I mean, Key Biscayne it was always like a really traditional tournament. I remember when I was young and I came here also to the Orange Bowl and I came here to visit the venue.

So it is of course, yeah, a little bit sad, but we will see. I mean, I'm sure that the other venue will be great, will be amazing, as well. I'm really looking forward to playing next year there, but, yeah, I mean, the traditional Key Biscayne is of course here, but we will see. I'm really excited actually how it is to playing there.

Q. A follow-up to that question: What will you miss about Key Biscayne? What is it about this tournament that's different, unique from other places?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, I think the really special thing is when you are driving the car over the bridge, you see the great view, the sea, the ocean, and I think this is which makes the tournament so special where you know you are here, you have a really good place to be to playing tennis.

I'm sure -- I mean, the next venue, I mean, the fans will come there, as well, but I think this is what I will miss, like, the view, the feeling to being close to the ocean.

Q. As the match went on, you seemed to hit that second gear. How did you wear down Larsson as you went on?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, I am really trying more to think and to focus on the side where I am on the court and just trying to playing my plan, which I was speaking with my coach before the game and trying to doing from the first until the last point.

You know, I know it's always tough every round you play here, so for me I'm not thinking too much about the opponents. I mean, it's more how I play and it's more the focus to play good match and good tennis for me.

Q. What do you attribute the turnaround to? Was there a moment? Was it Fed Cup? I don't know. Was it in Australia? What was the moment where you felt everything started to turn around for you after last year?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think the moment was when 2017 was end. So it was, yeah, New Year's, that was I think the moment where I knew, okay, completely the 2017 is over and we start a new year. I think that was the moment.

It was not on court. It was just outside. But that was the moment that 2017 is over and a completely new year starts.

Q. You felt right away the start of the year?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I was feeling right away very good (smiling).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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