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July 12, 2018

Angelique Kerber

Wimbledon, London, England

A. KERBER/J. Ostapenko

6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You looked so cool and calm even when she was playing you so aggressive. How do you assess your own performance?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I was expecting that she is playing like she played from the beginning: really hard, pushing me back. I was trying to, yeah, staying in my focus and playing every single point because she start really well. Then I was just trying to finding my rhythm and taking my chances when I had it.

In the second set, it was at the end a little bit tricky because you never know what's going on. She can be down, then she is coming stronger back. So I was trying to, yeah, staying in the moment.

Q. What were you thinking when you lost the two games, having to serve at 5-3?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I was trying to not thinking too much because I know how she played a lot of good matches where she came back from a score like that, then she has nothing to lose and she is even playing better.

I was just trying to focusing on my serve in the last game, trying to hold it because I think that was then the key at the end because you never know what happen when I would lost the game for 4-5.

Q. 2016 was such an amazing year for you. How difficult is to match those sort of things every year? You must admire the players who do do it.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I think I cannot compare, like, this year with 2016 or '17. I'm really proud to being back in the Wimbledon final after especially last year where things weren't like I was supposed, like, expecting actually.

To being here again, that was, yeah, a goal when I start this year, you know, to playing good in majors, in the Grand Slams, and to reaching the finals again. It's a great feeling.

It's still one more match to go. But, yeah, I think for me it's great.

Q. You must admire the players who do this all the time.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: It is. I mean, you start every year from zero. Every tournament you have to play your best, every single round. Yeah, I think this is for what we are practicing also, for these big matches on the big stage. To win the matches like that, it's always gives you the motivation to wake up every day and going out there and practice.

Q. You've been trying to add more aggression to your game. Is it accurate to say that patience was quite key today?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, for sure. I think she is a player who is trying to being aggressive from the first point. She played like this. For me it was important to moving good, having the patience, and also taking my chances when I have the chance to step in and be aggressive by myself.

I think that I know that I have the game to being from the defensive, but to mix it up, especially against an opponent like her, I think that was the key.

Q. You've played Serena Williams in some very important matches before. When she's on the other side of the net, what do you see?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I see a champion, that's for sure. I mean, Serena is one of the best players in the world. I mean, we had so many great matches in the last years. To seeing her back, it's great.

Yeah, I know that she is always pushing you to the limits to play your best tennis. This is the only chance to beat her.

Q. On Serena, she's taken the first set. If it is her, what would be different between now and 2016? You say it's a completely different year. What's different?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: If it's Serena, I think it is a completely new match. I think, yeah, we both learned a lot. She's coming back. For me also, I'm coming back from 2017.

I think, yeah, it will be a new match. I know that I have to play my best, best tennis to beat her, especially on the grass, on the Centre Court, where she won so many titles here.

But if it's her, I mean, I'm looking forward to playing against her. I mean, it's always an honor to playing against her.

Q. If it's Julia, if she comes back, how difficult will it be to put that friendship to one side to play her in a final?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I think first it would be a great match, also for us Germans, to have two Germans in the finals. I think we are both really professional to go out there and play also our best tennis. At the end I think that, yeah, at least one German will win.

Q. In what way has Wim helped in particular this year? What has he done specifically to help you get back on track?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think I changed a few in my team around. I was doing a good pre-season. Also with Wim, with fitness coaches, some physios, my whole team, I think they helped me good to coming back, to really believe in me again.

Yeah, we tried to improving my game every single practice. We going out there, we trying to improving like step by step. I think it's still a process.

We are working now for six months together. Yeah, I think we are on a good way. But I know that there are still some work to do. But for the moment, I mean, we are happy how it works so far.

Q. Had you lost some of your belief? Is that what happened last year?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think last year a lot of things happened, not only this. I think all the things that I said already, like to put the day schedule, to see what is good for me, what is not so good for me, to make the priority to playing tennis, to focusing on just what I love, finding my motivation back. There are a lot of things.

Q. You played in Mallorca. You said you felt it would be a good start to the grass court season. Do you think playing on these particular courts in the heat helped you?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, actually I'm happy that I played Mallorca. It was really hot there. Here the last two weeks we had such a great weather. I had the great preparation there. I played one match, but it was a good start because I was feeling the grass. I was not taking care about the results. I was just trying to finding the rhythm for the grass.

Yeah, I think the whole grass court season, when I'm looking back, it was a good decision to also playing Eastbourne like two weeks ago. I think, yeah, they were quite good decisions I make the last few weeks.

Q. If it is Serena, have you been surprised by just how well she's done this fortnight? For the first time in two decades there's not been an expectation around her so much. Do you see any kind of vulnerability in her game?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: She's always going out there to win the matches. I think it doesn't matter against who she is playing. She's trying to, yeah, playing like she played the years before where she won the big matches. Now for sure she had a lot of big confidence, especially after the matches she won here already. She know the feeling to going out on this stage where you are in the finals, especially here. She won here I don't know how many times.

Yeah, she's a fighter. She's a champion. That's why she is there where she is now.

Q. How different is your mentality when you play a big hitter? When you play other counter-punchers or defensive players, the matches can get a little bit tricky. It seems against the big hitters, it's a different Angie out there?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I think you have to see against who you play, then to change your game a little bit. I mean, especially Ostapenko today, I was not expecting like too long rallies. I know that I have to do it in the first few shots, to be aggressive, to bring a lot of balls back.

I think there are few kinds of tennis players. Yeah, you have to be ready for these shots or for the game.

Q. I thought it would be quite interesting to get your view on comments made by Heather Watson after her doubles match. She was docked a point for swearing on court, foul language. She then criticized one of the line judges for reporting her to the umpire, naming them a snitch. She also pointed out it's potentially discriminatory because players swearing in other languages... What do you make of that? Do you think that's fair?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: That's quite an interesting question.

You know, for me, I mean, you know the rules. You have to be calm on court. I think, of course, you have emotions. At the end you have to see how your body language is, how you respect your opponent or whatever. Yeah, this is all I can say. I had no idea that this happened in this match. For me it's always important to have the respect, yeah, to be respectful on the court.

Q. I follow you on social media, you're quite active on Twitter, using the #TeamAngie. For people who don't know tennis or you intimately, can you give us a little flavor of who TeamAngie are, how important they are to where you are right now.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think, like, my team is really important. I have my coach. I have two physios there, changing some weeks. I have two. Then I have my fitness coach. I have my agent. I have my family. I have my friends. I think there are a lot of in my TeamAngie hashtag.

Q. You've obviously won Grand Slams so you don't have that pressure. How special would it be to win this one for the first time?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Of course, I mean, Wimbledon is really special place. It's a great tournament. I think everybody knows this tournament. It would be really special.

But it's still a long way. I know that I have to play my best tennis in the final. It doesn't matter against who I'm playing. This is for me all I will focusing now. I will not focusing one step more. If I win or if I lose, I have to really first focusing and putting all my energy for the next match.

Q. You will play on Centre Court on Saturday, a special occasion. There will probably be some special guests in the Royal Box. Does it matter who comes there? Do you have the time to notice? When it's the final, it's all about the game?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, of course it is always an honor, first of all, to playing on the Centre Court with the Royal Box, all the guests there sitting there. I'm trying when I'm on court to not looking there. I'm trying to focusing on my team and my box, trying to focusing on the tennis.

For sure it's really special, especially if it's the final here. I know it will be full house there. The atmosphere will be amazing. So, yeah, I'm looking forward to have the feeling again.

Q. From the time you were at the top two years ago through last year until now, how would you describe your journey?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: A lot of experience that I had. I think, yeah, with 2016, all the success, 2017 with a few up and downs, to coming back this year, I think learned so many things also about me, about how I am.

I think, yeah, the last years, not only 2016 and '17, also the years before, give me a lot of experience to being there where I am right now, and to know, yeah, what is really important in the life, what not, and what you have to focusing on.

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