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August 15, 2018

Angelique Kerber

Cincinnati, Ohio

A. KERBER/A. Pavlyuchenkova

4-6, 7-5, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You love to fight back from a set down. Do you not just wish that once you could do it nice and easily?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, yeah. I think this was really a match where I was fighting after the first set to coming back, and I think that that was really an important match for me, as well, to really, yeah, get my rhythm, feel the ball; also to playing tough and close matches again, especially now after few weeks off.

This is the matches why I'm here, and, you know, for me, the first matches are always not so easy to, yeah, coming to the tournament. I think at the end I'm quite happy to be through.

Q. Wim was saying the adjustment from grass to hard is surprisingly difficult for players. What makes it difficult for you? Where is the adjustment the biggest?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think especially the movement is a little bit different, because, yeah, I mean, it's not sliding like clay, but you have completely -- yeah, you are moving different than on grass. You are not so low like when you play on the grass courts.

But also, the balls are flying a little bit different. You have to move your feet also, yeah, much more, I would say. The balls are standing. They are not coming like you play on grass. So there are few things that you have to adjust, especially, yeah, when you make the transition grass to hard court.

I still need a little bit more time, I think, to really have my feeling to, yeah, playing like I played the matches before the clay court season on hard court.

Q. So is that where you feel kind of a little bit uncomfortable? Like when you're hitting the ball, you don't feel as balanced? Or is it like a tactical thing?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I think it's all together. I think the whole thing, like, the tactic, the movement, all the things to putting together, this is always, yeah, the goal to, you know, to going on court and feel your legs, feel your tennis. But at the end also like feeling, yeah, your head, how to play and play tactically.

So it's everything together which has to come together, and this is the challenge that you have in every tournament.

Q. You are one of the few WTA players that has talked about suffering on the court. We hear it from players like David Ferrer and playing with that pain. Why do you think you're good at that? You get through it, you have these grinder matches, you run down everything, you're the backboard. It's a consistent way for you.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I don't know. I don't know why. I mean, I think this is my game. I think, yeah, during the years I find my game, which is good for me, which I like to play, and I'm not a big server or like big hitter, so I have something different which I can do better than maybe somebody else which serving better than me.

So I think this is how I'm playing and going all the time through and until my limits. I think this is which I like and which I need to do.

Q. Obviously you've got, I think, Madison Keys next, talking about big hitters. How do you see that matchup and just your thoughts on that?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I mean, I know that -- yeah, I have to adjust to her game, as well, a little bit. It will be, like, really big hitter match, I think. She's serving good. She's playing the first few balls really hard, and she's going for it.

But I would just try to, yeah, finding my rhythm, playing maybe a little bit better than also today and just taking the chance to having a next match here, taking the challenge against another good player, and trying, of course, to going out with everything I can give tomorrow and trying of course also to win the next match here.

Q. Seems like pace is going to become more key, because you also have Sabalenka, Makarova, potentially Halep all on your side of the draw.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: That's too far away for me.

Q. Right, but in terms of, you know, managing yourself and your energy, your level and all of that, what are your thoughts?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: For me, now, it's just important the match tomorrow, to recover fast tonight and just thinking until tomorrow, like, then we will see what's going on the next days. But my plan is just focusing on the next day, the next match, which is tomorrow.

Q. Going back to today's match, now you've faced Anastasia 13 times, and prior to this you split your first 12 meetings. What is it about her game that really, really bothers you? Because apart from that one match in Fed Cup a few years ago, all of your matches have been really close, really fiercely contested. What is it about her game?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I mean, she's playing good. I mean, she played for so many years on a really high level. She has always great results, beating top players. She's always a tough opponent for me, because she's going for all the balls, for the shots. I know always that I have to moving good, fight with her. It's always a tough match.

And, yeah, I think it's always like one, two, three balls which decide our matches. This makes, for me, like, a big challenge always when I play against her. And, yeah, I mean, she's also a good and top player. That's why she's playing so well.

Q. You spoke with Wim in the third, I think it was. When he came out, what was that conversation?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: It was not too long. We just spoke about the next game, where I was serving, and I was not serving so well the game before, so it was just, like, few advices for the next, for my serve, and that's it. I mean, it was not too long.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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