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June 25, 2018

Angelique Kerber

Eastbourne, England

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How have your preparations here been? What are your feelings of the grass season?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, actually it's a new room here. (Smiling.)

Yeah, I'm feeling good. I mean, first of all it's nice to be back here in Eastbourne. It's the last week before Wimbledon, so the preparation goes well. I mean, we have great weather. We can have good preparation, a lot of practice and also I hope a lot of matches before going to London next week.

Yeah, I'm feeling good so far. I mean, I was last week in Mallorca. I was playing on grass already one week. But of course the grass is always different from there to here because, you know, of the weather the whole weeks and everything. But I'm feeling good so far.

Q. Do you notice much of a difference between the grass in Mallorca and the way it plays to when you come here and practice in these kind of conditions?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I mean, actually it's not a big difference, because the weather is here now good, as well. I remember last year it was a little bit -- yeah, the difference were a little bit bigger because of the weather and the rain and everything.

But actually this year it's quite the same.

Q. You look like you always like to play the week before slams. Why is that?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I don't know. I like to have a lot of matches before going then to the Grand Slam, because to have a lot of match practice. And taking the rhythm from the matches to the Grand Slam, I don't know, I like it.

I was doing this the last years, and it works. So I'm trying to do this the same. Actually, it's the same way. I mean, London is not so far from here, and if you practice here or there, at the end, for me it was a decision to play matches before going there.

Q. Does it take any of the pressure off? I mean, people can go a little bit stir crazy the week before a slam, go to practice, you're around everything, you start to feel the Grand Slam hype. Is it just easier to leave it towards the end?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Maybe, yes. I mean, of course it's easier because you are not there. You have still the tournament before. You focus on the matches. You try to not thinking about the Grand Slam.

I mean, this is what I'm trying also this week. I mean, for me, Wimbledon starts next week. Now we have Eastbourne, and I will try to perform here as good as I can and to have a lot of good matches, as well, and then to go in with a good feeling to Wimbledon. And maybe it's better if you came a little bit later there, but, yeah, I think it's always depends.

I mean, I wasn't in Paris also one week before the tournament start, so I think it's every year it's how you feel and how you decide to prepare.

Q. This year, it's 50 years since Open tennis began. A lot of things have changed in tennis since 1968. Wondering if you could think 50 years ahead. You know, what will tennis look like in 50 years' time?

Q. Yeah. Will there be an 8-foot person serving and volleying? Somebody with a jet pack on?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I don't know (smiling). I think for sure something will change in 50 years. That's for sure. But also the last 50 years I think tennis change so much, especially like physically it's much stronger, everything much faster.

I think this will be also in the next years, I mean, the tennis it will be more like physically. Maybe also like more mental game. But what will happen in 50 years, I have no idea, but for sure something -- maybe something strange, as well. I don't know.

Q. Do you think there will be rule changes?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think maybe, yes, because it's already, like, they are talking and some thinkings, but we will see. Maybe it's less than 50 years that something change or the rules will change, but for sure I think, yeah, something will change, yeah.

Q. When you look at your form between, say, September 2016 and this time last year, you seem to be more comfortable when your ranking is, say, between 6 and 15 than when it's 1, 2. Is that a fair observation?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, I'm not looking right now about the rankings. I mean, I was through all of these up-and-downs and rankings from the top to, I don't know, 20 or 15.

But right now I don't care, to be honest, about the rankings. For me now it's more important to be improving my game and also, you know, having fun what I'm doing. Going on court, preparing as good as I can, going on court, playing the match as good as I can, going on court on this day, because every day is different, and then to do my best.

I think this is more what is now in my mind to really practicing hard but also taking time for myself and finding, you know, the middle way about like the pressure but also the time for myself.

I think this is what change the most in the last few months, and, yeah, and this is what I will try to continue, especially to the end of the year.

Q. There is obviously a lot of talk about Serena at the moment and the seedings for next week. Wondering what your opinion is on that.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, yeah, I mean, right now that's the rules. I think it's a lot of talking, as well, about this. We will see what's finally, like, what will change in the next years.

But now, I mean, for me, Serena, as well, she's a champion. She's one of the greatest players in the world. I mean, about the changing, seedings, we will -- I mean, this is the rules. What can I say? I think, yeah, we will see what's happening in the next years or months or -- yeah.

Q. What do you think should be done in the next few years to that rule? How should it be?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, I think it's a tough conversation, because there are a lot of positives and also negative things about this situation.

You know, actually I have no idea. I think it's a really tough decision, and also tough conversation. And to be really honest, I was not thinking too much about this right now, but maybe I will think and I will answer the next time about that (smiling).

Q. If she had to come back as a seed, what would be a fair -- is that what you mean? What would be a fair seeding to give her?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, it's always tough, because at the one point, if you are like injured or pregnant or, like, whatever, it's also different things why you are not competing.

So I think it's a really long discussion what can you change, how you can make the seedings. And for sure, I mean, she is the best player. She won everything. And, yeah, I think -- it's tough to say, you know. It's tough to say something, because if you say something, it's wrong maybe. If you say something wrong, it's right. It's tough to say something about that.

Q. If she was unseeded for Wimbledon, you could play her...
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I know (smiling).

Q. Is that good?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I don't think so.

Q. So now maybe you can...
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, see, but there are so many things and ways where you can think and discuss, because of the one side if she's seeded, you take the place for the seeding one, like, which is 32, she is then 33. At the other side, if you are seeded and she's not seeded you can play against her in the first round. So there are so many things where you have to remind.

So it's tough to say something for me, if this is good or this is good. I think at the end there are some people they are thinking about this, and then we will see what's happen.

Q. Nutritionally and regarding mental stress, during the competition what can you advise the kids, the juniors, related to nutrition? What do you do?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I mean, during the tournament, I'm trying, like, before the match, to have, like, two, three hours between, like, and just eating, like, you know, some rice but not too much at the end or, like, taking a banana or some bar before you go on court but trying to have a good breakfast and then see what time you play, because it's always different, the times.

And, yeah, nutrition is for sure really important, especially if it's hot and you have to drink a lot. So, yeah, I think everybody has to see what works, what's not, because sometimes, like, pasta is good for one person and for the other it's not too good because it's too heavy, so we have to see.

Yeah, you have to try, trying it also before the practicing, you know, like to making it, if you play a match, to try it before.

Q. Your advice for the juniors? Trying to remember your experience, what can you give the advice, in general?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, the advice is for sure to having fun what you are doing. And when you start, you have to go out there to enjoy every single moment on court and just trying, you know, to play with a lot of joy.

And then if you are on the next step, of course you have to practice a lot, but, you know, with just with fun and having good people around you and enjoying your time, like, on court, off court, and trying to do everything what you love.

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