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July 14, 2018

Angelique Kerber

Wimbledon, London, England

A. KERBER/S. Williams

6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Your game plan obviously worked. Was it the intention to go aggressive all the way?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: To be honest, I was quite nervous before the match. But I was trying to told myself, Go out there and play your best match, because I know that against Serena I have to play my best tennis, especially in the important moments.

You know, I was trying just being aggressive, when I have the chance going for it, because I know she served well and I have to move good, moving her as well.

At the end I was quite starting to being quite nervous. I knew that I have to take my first chance because you never know with her. She is fighting until the last one.

Yeah, I think it's just amazing. I cannot describe this feeling because when I was a kid I was always dreaming for this moment. To win Wimbledon, it's something really special in my career.

Q. What does it feel to be back at the top of the sport again? Must feel different to 2016 after two titles.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I think it's a completely new feeling because 2016 everything starts where I won my first Grand Slam. Here, especially after 2017 when I think nobody was expecting me so strong back, to coming back how I came, to winning my third Grand Slam, winning Wimbledon, which was always my dream. I think two weeks ago nobody expected I can go so far.

I was trying to staying focused the whole two weeks, every single day, trying to improving my tennis, trying to staying in my moment, not thinking too much, not thinking what can happen, what not.

Especially after my first two matches where I knew that I have to, yeah, improving my level, going for it when I have the chance. I think, yeah, I played two good weeks for myself.

Q. How difficult was it for you to come back after 2017 where there were a lot of expectations?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think without 2017 I couldn't win this tournament. I think I learned a lot from last year, with all the expectation, all the things I go through. I learned so many things about myself, about the things around, how to deal with this, how to make my day schedule.

I think that, yeah, I tried to enjoy every single moment now. Also to finding the motivation after 2016, which was amazing. I think to making again such a year is impossible. But now, you know, I just try to improving my game, thinking not too much about the results, trying to being a better tennis player, a better person, yeah, trying to enjoying my tennis again.

Q. You've won three now. When you think about the fact that Serena has won 23 of them, what do you say about that? Beating a player like that must be a great thing.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: That's amazing. I mean, like I said already, Serena for me is a champion. She is one of the best players in the world. That she came back after all this up and downs, after having a baby now, playing tennis like she's playing now, that's great.

To share with her a court, it's always an honor for me because I know she's pushing me to the limits I have to play my best tennis. To win the final against her, it's always even specialer [sic] for me.

Like I won in Australia, then I lost here two years ago, which was also a good match, but she deserved it 2016. Today I knew that I have to take the match in my hands. Yeah, I'm happy that I won the match. I think that she not lost the match, I won the match.

Q. When you're playing somebody like Serena, obviously you played Ostapenko in the semifinals, was there a moment today that you realized maybe she wasn't as on as maybe the expectation was, some misses early in the first set or something?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, I think she served good from the first point. I was trying to focusing on my returns. I start good, but she came back.

Everybody knows Serena: she is fighting until the last point. Even she lost the first set, she will come back stronger. I was just trying to staying focused, to moving good, bringing a lot of balls back. When I have the chance, also the breakpoint that I had, going for it down the line, taking the chances because that's the only chances I can get. I have to take it. If not, she will take her chances.

That was the plan, to being aggressive and playing my game.

Q. Is there anything or elements your coach brought to your team?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: We tried to improve my tennis from the beginning of the year. Like I said, to being more aggressive. We changed my serve a little bit. I think this is also a key point, why I play like I played now. This is also, which was the key I think, one of the keys today in this match, that I served good in the important moments, that my serve is a little bit faster than it was even last year.

There are few things we tried to change.

Q. Not a lot of players who have beat Serena twice in a Grand Slam final. What would you say in your game is helping you to match her? Mentally, are you entering those matches differently than others maybe?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, playing finals against Serena, you know that she is playing her best tennis. That's the matches that she love. Especially on the center courts. I was trying to not thinking too much that I playing against Serena. I was trying to staying on my side of the court. Staying little bit cool, being not too much emotion.

I think that's the matches for what I was practicing the last months, to going there, to playing against the best ones, and going for it. I mean, it's not so easy. It's easier to say. You just can do your best, then at the end of the match you can say you won or you lost.

Q. You played four slam finals. Each time you've brought some of your best tennis. I'm sure you've seen in the past where players have reached this stage, they freeze, get really nervous. Why do you think you've done differently to so many other players?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Because I'm 30 already (smiling). I think I had so many experience over the years. I know the feeling to going out there in the semifinals, playing the finals. I played here once the final already, so I knew what to expect. I think that helps me also to being a little bit relaxed today. To going out there, to focusing on my match, not thinking that's the final, that's Wimbledon.

I think it's the experience. You have to go through all the things, the good things, the bad things, and then you need to learn. If you do it one, two, three times, you are getting better in these things.

Q. You realize you're not going to be able to get on a bus without being recognized.

Q. A bus.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I saw the picture, but that was wrong. I was staying in front of the bus, but I was not taking the bus. I was waiting for my taxi, actually, to be honest. I saw the picture, but that was wrong.

Q. Did the start time worry you, the fact there wasn't a start time? How did that affect your nerves?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, I saw the whole match yesterday, the long match in the semis. I was actually expecting a long match before our match. I think that was the right decision, to put the match before us because they have tomorrow the biggest final.

I was quite relaxed. I was trying to staying there, waiting in the locker room, getting ready for my final.

Q. It's amazing you already won three Grand Slams differently. You're one step away from getting the career Grand Slam.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: The clay one (smiling).

Q. How are you feeling about winning all three Grand Slams now, and the one left? That will be your priority in the future?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, yeah, to win my third Grand Slam, it's amazing, especially here. Like I said, I think Wimbledon was always the Grand Slam I was dreaming for it. To starting with Australia, with New York, I learned a lot from the experience and everything. Also to playing the final the second time here. Yeah, to winning three different Grand Slams, I think it's just the best thing.

About clay, I think we have to see in the future. I think that's a longer way to go for it.

Q. Go back to your childhood and tell us a bit of your first memories of Wimbledon.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: My first memories was watching Steffi here, to winning all the matches, winning the matches in two sets actually. I think she won here seven times. Yeah, I remember when I was watching her, that everybody was playing in white on the grass court.

Then I came here for the first time for playing juniors. I was, yeah, feeling just from the first point so good on grass, playing on grass. I never played good juniors, but on grass I was feeling good.

Yeah, I played so many great matches here in the last years. I think Wimbledon is something special. I think it's traditional. To winning here, it's forever. I think, yeah, nobody can take the title away from me now.

Q. Have you heard from Steffi at all?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I don't know. I don't know where my phone is. I think my phone is exploding right now, so I don't know.

Q. When you were younger, you were friends with Caroline Wozniacki, Radwanska. They had a lot of success from very young. For you, what was that like? It took you a while to get to that level. Did you always believe you'd get to this point?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I was always believing that I can play the big matches. But, yeah, I think it was a process. I think it was a long way with a lot of up and downs. I was, yeah, believing I can do it one day.

I think also without my team, my family, that believed in me as well, that support me from a young age, I wouldn't be here. I mean, there were, like, few of course tough moments also in my career. To being now on top, yeah, I think it's not only about me, it's also about my team around that's won the title.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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