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January 9, 2014

Angelique Kerber


6‑4, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  A nice way to start the year, a final already?
ANGELIQUE KERBER:  Yeah, I'm very happy about the way I played, and second tournament and I'm in the final first time this year.
So I'm really liked forward for tomorrow.

Q.  You enjoy the conditions out there?  A little bit ad nauseam, but seems to be quite fast courts out there, and a few of the players have mentioned that.  The players going through have said they enjoyed the fast courts.  That's obviously something that suits your game.
ANGELIQUE KERBER:  Yeah, I really enjoyed the courts here.  I think I had great matches, and also before Melbourne I'm feeling good.  I'm feeling good here in Sydney.  I just enjoy my, yeah, my tennis.

Q.  You were a semifinalist last year and now in the final.  What is the difference in your game in the last 12 months?
ANGELIQUE KERBER:  I think right now I try to be more aggressive than some months ago and try to play my game plan from the first point, and it's working.  So I think that's better than last year.
But I still try to improve my tennis and try to work very hard.  Right now I think I'm on the good way.

Q.  Did you have a chance to see any of the earlier match?  I suppose you might have expected to meet Petra in the final, but it's not.
ANGELIQUE KERBER:  I just saw some games, but I was focusing actually on my game and my match.  I think my coach saw something, so I will speak with him tonight and then we will, yeah, see what my game plan will be for tomorrow.

Q.  Do you know much about Pironkova?  She is outside the top 100 now.  You might not have even played her last season.  I'm not sure what you know about her coming into the final.
ANGELIQUE KERBER:  I think I played once or twice against her, but I know it will be a tough match tomorrow.  She played here the whole week very good, and, yeah, for sure I need to be ready from the very first point and play good tennis to beat her.
I will try to enjoy the final tomorrow and try to play a good match.

Q.  It was a little bit of a slow start today.  What did you do to turn in around in the first set?
ANGELIQUE KERBER:  I was just trying to focusing on my game plan, try to play point by point in the important moments, and it works at the end.
But she's a great, talented player, and I knew this before the match because I had a great, tough match last year at Melbourne against her.
So she served very well today, and I think I had a great return.  I think that was also the key in this match.

Q.  She's a very powerful player, but it seemed like you dictated most of the match, which is not easy to do against her.
ANGELIQUE KERBER:  Yeah, she played very powerful shots.  I was trying to really to focus on the ball and try to play my game and go for my shots.
It works at the end, but, yeah, it's tough to play against her for sure.

Q.  You were talking about going for your shots a lot last year.  Maybe you didn't do it as much.  In the off‑season did you change something to get the mentality so you could really be more offense this year?
ANGELIQUE KERBER:  I was working very hard in my off‑season and trying to play more aggressive in my practice sessions.  I think right now I try to make it in my matches, so it's good I have like very good matches also before Melbourne.
I'm feeling good, and I try to going for my shots.  That's also what I improve in my game.  I think that it's good right now.

Q.  So no nerves when you're going for your shots?  If you miss a couple you just say, Okay, I'm going to play defense again?
ANGELIQUE KERBER:  You know, I have it sometimes in my mind, but I try to not thinking about this.  I really try to focus then from point to point and not thinking about the past, you know, and just trying to go then for my shots.
Also when I make some mistakes not thinking about this too much.  Going for my shots for the 'nother point.

Q.  So I guess you think if you do that you'll reach all of your goals, because you need more offense to play with the top 5 players consistently?
ANGELIQUE KERBER:  Yes, for sure I think you need to play for sure aggressive to be in the top 5, because it's not easy to play against them when you're just a defensive player.
So I try to mix it a little bit and improve my game like to be more aggressive.

Q.  Are you someone that likes a lot of matches before a Grand Slam?  I think we see with some of the players you kind of get the feeling that sometimes a couple of rounds into some of these leadup events they're not so interested.  A minor injury, they pull out, or you think they've got their eyes on the Grand Slam coming up.  Are you someone that enjoys playing a lot of matches and are happy to get through to a final and then back it up straightaway at a Grand Slam?
ANGELIQUE KERBER:  Yes, I think for me it's important to have some matches before a Grand Slam and to feel good, and, yeah, to know that everything is working.  So that's why I also decide to play here.
I think, yeah, I had right now good matches.  Tomorrow I had another one, and then I think I am ready for Melbourne.

Q.  I just wanted to ask you, did you enjoy the support from the Sydney crowd today?
ANGELIQUE KERBER:  Of course.  I really enjoy it, and I also was enjoy it last night.  I think the fans are amazing here.  I had just great memories also from last year.
It's great to be here.

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