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October 20, 2018

Angelique Kerber

Kallang, Singapore

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What do you think about round robin or groups? Who are the toughest opponent for you?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think every opponent is tough here. I mean, doesn't matter against who you play. You have to play your best tennis starting already from the first match. That's why we are here, the best top eight players.

Yeah, you have to be ready from the beginning. So I'm really looking forward to playing, yeah, I think three different matches.

Q. Talk a little bit about the mentality, as well, for playing a round robin. Because obviously if you do lose, it's not the end of your campaign. But that can also affect you mentally, as well. Just talk a little bit about how you found it in the past and what you have learned.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I think it is completely different to the normal tournaments, of course. But I think that I'm also, yeah, having a lot of experience about this. I mean, you can win one match and you can be still playing the semis.

So you have to be focusing on every single point and game and set, because it can be important at the end of the groups. But I think it's great to have something different, because you know you are here, you play a minimum of three matches. You have three really tough matches to go for it.

And also, mentally, you know it's the last tournament. So you are trying to pushing yourself until the limits, taking all the energy that's left for every single match. Yeah, for me, it was of course the goal when I start the year to being here.

Q. From our side, it came as a surprise to read that you weren't working with Wim anymore. Can you explain what happened there and why...
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I was waiting for this question, actually. It's not the first; it's the third one (smiling).

Yeah, you know, yeah, we decide, like we decide to not working together anymore. We were like different views for the next steps. So that's, yeah, why I decide to, yeah, to split.

Q. Not that we were supposed to talk about 2017 anymore, but do you remember 12 months ago?

Q. Where your head was at? You certainly weren't here. I think you were preparing for Zhuhai, I guess. Where was your mind at that moment?

Q. 12 months ago, yeah.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, I think last year it was like more to dealing with everything to taking all the experience with me to learning about myself, my game, the motivation. So a lot of things around the tennis court.

I think without, like I said all the time, without 2017 and without 2016, I wouldn't be here the same person and the same player like I am right now.

So it helps me also to growing the last few, 12, 24 months, and yeah, staying now here, like being and playing again in the WTA Finals.

Q. But do you remember 12 months ago this time last year? Were you annoyed you weren't in Singapore or were you focused on something else? Where were you at this time mentally last year?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, of course I was watching Singapore a little bit, and I was preparing actually for Zhuhai last year this time. And I told myself, Okay, I hope that this year will finish as soon as possible so that I can start the new year with a new goal and trying to improving myself, taking all the experience that I had from 2017 to 2018.

Of course when I start, it was, yeah, to being here and not, yeah, in Zhuhai, to be honest.

Q. I had a follow-up from the coaching thing. What do you think then are the next steps for you for the next season that you really want to get going?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, this I will think about it after Singapore. I mean, what will be the next steps, it is -- yeah, I will sit down with my team after this week, because now I will just really focusing on this tournament. I'm here with my team which is helping me, as well, over the last years. So I'm not alone here. This is important for me really to playing as good as I can, especially after this year where I won my third Grand Slam and trying to enjoying also last time Singapore.

Q. How different is the WTA Finals compared to a Grand Slam? When you're preparing for the US Open or Wimbledon, you're probably just alone or with your team or with your coach. But here you're spending a lot of time with the top eight, going to parties, taking selfies, managing the selfie stick. What is all that like for you?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: It is nice. I mean, I like it, because we are doing a lot of things together here, like yesterday, and it is a little bit more relaxed because we know we will play against each other three matches. We know how it works here.

You know, everybody who is here deserved it, and they played really consistent, great 2018. So I think that everybody is really proud and happy to staying here, playing here. Yeah, I think it's just a little bit more relaxed than during the tournaments.

Q. Did you know you were going to have to be the one to take the selfie? How did you manage that?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I did it once like two years ago. It was quite a little bit windy there, so I was trying to managing good. It's a nice picture, so it's good.

Q. Just in terms of with Wim, the agreement to not continue, how much of that had to do with the disagreement of how he viewed your game or what you guys wanted to work on on the court next year? Or was it something completely unrelated to that?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, thanks to Wim over the year we had great success together, and, you know, it's just like, yeah, we were talking a lot. You know, when you decide also like to not working anymore, so it's -- that was also the reason then if you know it why I decide to split before this tournament.

But of course I'm thankful to him. I mean, there were some details, but I don't want to go too deep or too deep into the details, but yeah, I think that was the decision from me and everybody who knows I take the decision like this so I was thinking a little bit like that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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