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August 24, 2018

Angelique Kerber

New York, NY, USA

THE MODERATOR: From Germany, please welcome to the podium, 2016 US Open Champion, Angie Kerber.

Q. You are coming from quite the victory against Serena Williams. How do you see her preparing for this? How do you see the possibility of meeting her again?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, right now I just happy to being here. I mean, I am here already few days and practicing a lot to getting ready on Monday or Tuesday.

So for me it's just, of course, coming back after winning Wimbledon, yeah, a great feeling. But we have now the last Grand Slam of the year. I'm really trying to focusing now on the US Open.

Q. I want to ask, you won two majors two years ago, have a major this year at Wimbledon. How do you compare the way you're playing this year to a couple years ago when you won two majors?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, I think it's a little bit different. I mean, I tried to improve my tennis in the last two years, and of course now I have much more experience than two years ago.

For me now it's more to going out there, focusing on this what I try to practice and, yeah, going out there, winning matches, but also on one way enjoying my tennis, enjoying the way I'm playing, enjoying the fans they are watching me, and enjoying my time off court.

So there are, like, few things that I change in the last years, and this is what helps me also playing better and I think winning Wimbledon.

Q. How do you see the career for the No. 1 spot right now?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, to be honest, I'm really not looking on the rankings. I mean, for me it's important to improving my tennis, looking for the big tournaments. That's my goal right now, and then we will see.

I mean, the rankings are changing every week. And if you play good, you are, yeah, higher in the rankings; if you're not playing so good, you drop a little bit. But it's more like to playing good and focusing on the big tournaments.

Q. How's practice been since Cincinnati and shoring up the hard court game? I know you felt like you had some ways to go. Feeling closer?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, feeling better than in Cincinnati (smiling). I mean, to being here, of course, with the energy, with the great memories that I had the last years, it feels again like, yeah, that I'm -- yeah, that I'm ready to go.

I mean, I have still few more days to prepare, but, yeah, it's getting better. It's great that, yeah, the last two weeks are over, because I had a lot of work to do on court, but, yeah, we are close to the start of the US Open now.

Q. Have you been playing any practice sets or anything with other players in the week leading up? And if so, with whom? How have they gone?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, try to play a lot of practice sets with other players, and that was also the goal after Cincinnati where I have now a little bit more time to play with the others, playing some points, and, yeah, it was -- it's getting better.

So it's always, like -- practice sets are always different than the match, but, yeah, you're playing the points and that's important.

Q. A month and a half after you won Wimbledon. How would you describe what you accomplished and its effect on you since?

Q. How would you describe what you accomplished at Wimbledon and its effect on you since?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, I mean, after Wimbledon, I knew a little bit what to expect. I think that the last majors that I won, that helps me also to getting ready for the tournaments after Wimbledon, because we are still, during the year, we have still big tournaments to come. And after Wimbledon, I make, like, few weeks actually of break to really come down and realize what I achieved in Wimbledon. And now it's just, yeah, the next big tournament.

Q. How are you feeling now?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I'm feeling good (smiling). I'm feeling good so far.

I practice a lot, and, yeah, I think that right now I'm just trying to focusing on my matches, my first round, and this is all I think right now.

Q. You mentioned that you focus on winning the big tournament. Can we say that your hunger, your itchiness is the highest when you arrive in Paris, on your mind knowing that you can make a career Grand Slam? And secondly, Olympic Games. Have you ever talked about playing the mixed doubles with Sascha?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Not yet, but maybe. I mean, the Olympic Games are still, like, a little bit too far away, so maybe. Why not?

And to the Paris, I mean, of course like it's still, like -- I don't know. It's one year ago like to go for Paris, but this year I was feeling not bad on clay already. So for next year, we will see how I will feel, but of course that will be the biggest challenge for me.

Q. Serena is the betting favorite in Las Vegas. Do you sometimes think you get overlooked a little bit? You know, like Serena hasn't performed very well the last few weeks and she's the favorite in Las Vegas. Are you a little surprised by that?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, Serena is always, like, yeah, a favorite. Because, I mean, she won the tournament so many times. She know how to play. She have so many experience to playing the big matches on big stages, and I think that this is what she's looking for, to playing big matches in front of the crowd here at home.

So, you know, yeah, we will see, but the big tournaments are always a little bit different than the other ones.

Q. Germany had so many great champions: Becker, Steffi. Now you are winning more and there is more responsibilities. So how do you see yourself? Do you see yourself as a role model? How does it feel?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: It feels good. And I think it is a process to get through to also to winning the big titles. But also I can remember when I was starting and that I had my idols. Now it's change a little bit. So it feels good, because I'm trying to giving also a little bit back to all the other young players and to talk to them, to give them all the experience I'm through. So, yeah, it feels good. And I'm looking forward to do it even more.

Q. A lot of players talk about the importance of enjoying themselves and having fun on the court. What is it that you in particular find that you enjoy when you're on the court? Is it easy to have fun when you're playing these high-pressure matches? If so, what do you find fun about it?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, this is for what we are practicing. And of course we have to have the fun on court and the joy to play the matches, to play the big points.

I think this is the challenge. I'm always looking for it. I think without the passion and without the fun on court, you cannot play your best, because this is -- that what we are doing, this is what we love. And to being there, playing in front of a full house, this is something really special.

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