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July 10, 2018

Angelique Kerber

Wimbledon, London, England

A. KERBER/D. Kasatkina

6-3, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Talk about the last game.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think the whole match was really good. I think we both play on a really high level, starting from the first point. Yeah, I think the last game shows how good we played both and how she was fighting until the end.

I think that's the matches why we are here and why we are trying to playing our best. Yeah, I'm happy that I won it at the end in two sets.

Q. You had a similar situation with Wozniacki, just rallying back and forth, in Eastbourne. How did you develop that mental toughness to come through?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think it's just what I was trying today: staying positive, staying in the match. Even she was playing good at the end, I think it was on a high level, the quality of the game, I was trying to, yeah, to playing every point each, especially the last one, where I had maybe the sixth or seventh match point, just going forward, trying to keep her moving a little bit more.

Q. She's been a difficult player for you to get to grips with. Over the last couple of matches, you managed to find that key. What is it about her game that's been so challenging for you?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think she is tricky opponent. That's why she is also so good. She played so many good matches in the last few months. She won Indian Wells, also beat top players.

I was expecting a match like this. I think for me it was important to playing aggressive, trying to taking the challenge how she was playing, as well, trying to moving good, bringing a lot of balls back, trying also to accept how good she is playing.

Q. Has it been reasonably nerve-wracking watching all of these seeds crashing out in front of you? As the top remaining seed now, do you feel pressure of being favorite?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think there are no favorite any more. We are in the semis right now. I'm not looking left or right. I'm not looking about the others. I'm really taking care about my game, about my matches, about how I play on court.

This is all I care actually, to be honest.

Q. How is the psychological, emotional aspect of those match points? You get to three, four, five, how do you deal with that?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, of course it's not so easy because you feel your nerves, you feel you get a little bit tight, especially if you have your third or fourth match point again.

But this is tennis. I think this makes the tennis also excited. Also for the fans and, yeah, for everybody around.

Q. You often use the term 'to take the game in your own hands'. What do you mean by that?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: To playing aggressive, to not pushing, not running. I know I can play really good from the defensive, but to improving my game I know that I have to, yeah, go for it, to making winners as well, playing more aggressive.

Q. The semis of the Australian, quarters of French, now semis of Wimbledon. How satisfied are you with your Grand Slam season, especially after 2017?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I mean, of course it's not bad. I start the year very good. Also Paris, where clay is not my favorite surface. I was playing even better than the years before.

Now we are here, and I'm still in the tournament. I'm looking forward now to playing the semis here. This is all where I put my focus on right now, not about the results I had before, what will be happen. Just about the next match now.

Q. Kasatkina and Ostapenko are a month apart. You've played Dasha six times, but never played Jelena. When you have seen what Ostapenko has done, her game style in particular, how do you see the semifinal? What's the challenge there for you?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think it's a big challenge, especially about Ostapenko where I never played against her. I mean, she won also a Grand Slam. I think it will be really a good match. I think the match starts from zero. I mean, the pressure is not always on my side. She won a Grand Slam, as well.

Yeah, I think that we are both looking forward to playing the semis.

Q. How would you describe your sense of belief in your performance and your mentality on the court now? How does it compare with two years ago?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think I learned a lot from the last two years, especially from the mental side, that I have really focusing on my way, on my practices, but also on the way I'm playing the matches where I have to taking, like I said, the matches in my hand, but also making the day schedule around off-court how it works the best for me.

I think here I learned especially from 2017 a lot.

Q. How has that affected your game?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think a lot because now I know what I have to do on court, but also off court what I have to expect when I finish a match or when I finish my practice, how I'm dealing with everything around.

Q. I was speaking to Kim Clijsters before. She was asked a lot about Serena. She was asked who potentially could beat her. Obviously you have done that at the Australian Open. Have you seen much of her at all? Is she looking at her best?

Q. Serena.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I mean, she played well again. I think it's great what she done so far. She is here. She came back. She is, yeah, fighting. I think she's the best player. She's a champion. I have a lot of respect of her as a person, but also as a tennis player.

Yeah, I think she is coming back, for sure.

Q. What are the keys to beat her? When you played her, what made you win that match in the Australian Open?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: In Australian Open? I think I was not thinking too much about against who I'm playing. I was just trying to playing my own match. That was my first Grand Slam, so I was trying also to enjoying it.

Q. When you look back on your career, you said before you were more defensive, you've become a more offensive player, was there a moment, maybe a match you played, a loss, where you realized you needed to make the change more intentionally to be more aggressive?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I don't know. I think a lot of matches where I lost, I was just pushing the balls, I was not able to being aggressive. I think it's a process.

I learned from a lot of matches, from wins but also from loses [sic]. I think it's just a process from the last years and months that I wanted to, yeah, improve my tennis. I think this is the next level that I can reach with being more aggressive.

Q. What is it about your game on grass that makes you happiest?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I just like to play on grass. I don't know. I mean, yeah, I'm always really low in my legs. I think this is what is good also for my game. I think also all the experience that I had, the memories, big matches that I played here, also on grass, I think this gives me, like, the feeling that I really love to play on the surface.

Q. You talked about things you learned from changes off court. What was that? Dealing with the media?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Dealing about everything. How many practice I need, just once or twice a day, when I have a day off what to do. Also all the things around that I have to do, how many, like what time, to know where the priorities are, when not really. I think there are couple things that you have, yeah, to learn, then putting together.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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