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February 14, 2019

Angelique Kerber

Doha, Qatar

A. KERBER/B. Strycova

1-6, 6-2, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What do you feel Barbora was doing differently in the first set compared to previous matches? And what adjustments did you make in the second and the third?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I mean, in the first set I did a lot mistakes. I mean, I was trying, you know, to going for it, but nothing really was, like, I was expecting from my side. But she was playing good. She was pushing the ball. She hit the balls really fast.

In the second set, I was just trying to coming back to playing point by point and trying to making a little bit less mistakes and going for it, staying positive.

And the third set it was few up-and-downs, especially then at the end, a lot of emotions, as well. But I'm happy that I won it at the end. I mean, it was a really close match, and I think just one, two points decide the match.

Q. What was the main emotion for you? Relief? Happy? Did it feel like an important match in the moment?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think if you play a first set like this, it's just, you know, that you are coming back, you are able to turn around the match like that, especially after the first set. Also, when I was up 3-0 in the third set she came back, she was pushing her serve. She was playing really well then.

So I think at the end we played a lot of long rallies and running everywhere. So, you know, when you win then at the end, a match like that, it's of course always important.

Q. It's really rare for a player to serve and volley and charge the net. She was coming in like crazy. How do you adapt to someone who plays so unique?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, I know what to expect. We played so many times against each other. Of course it's not so easy because it's always tricky to play against her. You never know what to expect, if she is playing serve and volley or just moving, playing fast.

But you have to be ready for every single moment and playing every single point, because every single point is different, especially against her.

Q. You're used to being one of the top seeds. How challenging is it when players have nothing to lose and just go for it because they're playing someone who is top 4 or 5 or 6?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I mean, sometimes it's of course easier because you have nothing to lose and you're going out there, you know you have to play your best tennis, and you're enjoying the match and you just try to beat the top player. So I know the feeling, as well.

But, you know, I think we both played, at the end, good tennis in the third set. I mean, the first two sets, I don't know, but at the end I think it was a really good match and also for the people, for the fans.

Q. What did you think in the third set in the tenth game? It was 10 minutes. You played 10 minutes and you have one match point.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yes. I was thinking -- actually, I was trying to thinking not too much, because I had my match point. I lost a game. It was 5-5, I think. And, yeah, I was trying to staying positive and focusing then very fast for my serve.

That was in my mind. I was trying to not thinking that I had the match point, that it was a long game, and just trying to focusing on the moment right now.

Q. You play Kiki or Elise next. Thoughts on the match?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think it doesn't matter against who I'm playing. I will try to enjoy the same again. They are both really good players. Both played 2018 really well. They have a lot of confidence.

Against Kiki, we played really long matches in the past, and the last one was in Singapore. Yeah, against Mertens, I think the one we played at the Hopman Cup, that was the only one. That was two years ago or one year ago right now. Yeah, I think it will be another good match especially also against her.

Q. Last year people asked you a lot about your 2017 season, following up winning slams. You won a slam last year, so it's another odd year for you. I'm just curious how it might feel different from two years ago, maybe what you learned from that year that you're trying to apply to the season?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think I learned a lot from 2017. And, you know, we have now 2019, so it's a completely new year where I won my third Grand Slam last year. So, you know, I'm trying to learning also from my mistakes, taking the things that I'm doing good for this year, and, yeah, I think it's not too bad. I mean, it's just the beginning of the year. I know what is good for me, what not, and I'm trying, you know, to putting everything together.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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