Angelique Kerber talks to the media before the start of the Championships
Q. Obviously this is a good tournament for you, great tournament, in your career. How do you feel coming back? Also getting the sort of champion's spot of opening the court?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, first of all, it's great to being back. I mean, when I walk yesterday here, I mean, a lot of great memories came through my mind. So it's nice, of course, to being back, especially on grass, and here in Wimbledon.
I'm feeling good. I mean, I had good matches last week. Yeah, I'm healthy so far. So this is very important for me.
Q. You talked about the good matches last week. Did you feel Eastbourne was something that helped you turn a corner, get some momentum? How do you feel compared to two weeks ago when you withdrew from Birmingham?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think this is very important for me, especially to see how I'm feeling during the match, after Birmingham. Also get few matches before coming here.
I think this can help me a lot to playing well here. So I think it was a good decision to playing Eastbourne last week.
Q. How would you compare kind of how you felt stepping back on the grounds at Wimbledon the other day, compared to how you felt when you stepped on the grounds in Paris?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I cannot compare this (laughter).
No, I mean, of course I'm feeling much better playing on grass court. I mean, I cannot compare this. I worked very hard the last few weeks after Paris. So I'm really happy to being here, playing again on grass court.
You know, actually I'm not thinking about Paris, about the clay court season any more.
Q. I was wondering if you ever watched the final from Wimbledon last year again or highlights? If so, what stands out to you the most in that match?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I watched few highlights from that match against Serena last year. I think it's just amazing match from both of us. I mean, Serena was playing unbelievable. She was serving, this is what I'm remembering, very well. Yeah, I mean, for me it was really great to walk on court playing finals here. It's traditional. I can say forever I played this final here.
I had so many great memories from the final last year. Yeah, I will never forget that.
Q. Obviously clay was a rough stretch for you. Do you think now setting foot on grass, you can end that chapter? Does it feel like a clean sort of break?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I hope so. I mean, after Paris, for sure I was trying to take few days for me, just trying to not thinking too much about the clay court season. I'm not doing this any more. I mean, for me it's now the next tournament, the next Grand Slam here. You know that everything is possible, especially in this big tournament.
For me it's just next tournament. I'm starting from zero here. My mind is just day by day here, like last year. I will try to play good tennis again.
Q. What is it like when Serena is not in a tournament as far as the effect on who will win that tournament?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think there are so many good players right now, so I will not putting the pressure on my side, not on my belt. There are so many good ones, they can play, they can win tournaments, as well.
Of course, it's different if Serena is not here. But, yeah, we will see. I mean, everything is possible in two weeks especially. It's a long time. So we will see.
Q. What are your thoughts on the British girls this year?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think there are a lot of good ones. I played Johanna two days ago. She played very well. So I think she's a good player, especially also on grass. I think, yeah, also Heather. I mean, there are a lot of, lot of good players. They love to play here, I mean, in front of the home crowd.
Q. Must be difficult to play a British player here, as well.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I played already few British players here, so I know how it is. Also, like, two days ago I played against Johanna. Yeah, I know the feeling.
Q. What do you remember about Falconi? What do you expect?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I remember her actually, like, from years ago, two, three years ago. I was practicing with her few times.
I mean, she has to play good. She came through the qualifying. I mean, every single match is tough here, especially the first rounds. It doesn't matter against who you play.
So for me it was good to have, like, matches last week. Now I'm just looking day by day. I will speak with my team about my first round in the next days.
Q. With the recent tragic attacks here in London, what is your overall sense of security and safety here?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, it's actually good. When I came here yesterday, and also today, I think it's good to have a lot. I think this year they are much more than the years before.
I'm feeling actually good. I'm feeling safe. They are really doing this job very serious. I think, yeah, it's fine. I mean, I'm feeling okay.
Q. The rankings are tight at the top. There are five players that can leave Wimbledon at No. 1. You're one of them. Is that at all on your mind, keeping the ranking? You've had it for a long time. How high of a priority is it, or if somebody else gets it, they get it?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: First, I will not put the pressure too far, too high. I mean, I'm already so long the No. 1. I will try, of course, to keep it. But at the end, I am here to playing round by round and focusing only on my matches, not about the numbers or the rankings, the points I have to defend, or whatever.
I'm here to really trying to focusing day by day, not thinking too far, not thinking about other things, making the things maybe, again, a little bit not too complicated.
Q. I'd like to ask you about two players that are coming back, Vika, and Petra. First of all, what are your thoughts with Vika on the idea of having a baby, coming back so quickly?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I think it's amazing how quick she is back. I mean, I was spoking [sic] with her few hours in the locker rooms. She's really happy. She's happy to being back on tour again. I saw her already in Mallorca two weeks ago where she played her first tournament.
Yeah, it's amazing how fast she is back. I think she was practicing hard. We will see. I mean, she's a good player. Now she's a good mom, as well. So, yeah, let's see how she can play the next week, especially here.
Q. What do you make of Petra not just coming back but already winning a tournament after the scare and the physical damage of what happened?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I mean, Petra is one of the closest friends for me on tour. I was with her in contact last few weeks and months, when it happened actually the end of the last year. I'm really happy for her that she's back.
She is really happy to have the racquet in the hand again. I'm really proud also that she won Birmingham. I mean, I think she deserved it. She put a lot of work, a lot of, yeah, patience to the last few weeks coming back strong.
I'm sure she will play here very good.
Q. What does it say about her that she's been able to do this?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I know she's a fighter. She's been fighting for everything. I think this was her biggest fight right now.
Q. Curious about your mindset. Is the next two weeks here at Wimbledon about Wimbledon or is it about a longer-term, kind of finding your game, what you need to do for the hard court season this year? How do you think about this?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think it's more a longer time. I was really practicing hard the last few weeks. I know that if you work hard, some points you will get the results. But I will not put the pressure in Wimbledon. I have still the next months where I have big tournaments.
But of course, I mean, I am here to playing good tennis, trying to win every single match. But I will think more about the next half year. I'm really happy that I'm playing good tennis again on the practice courts. But now I have to make the transit. I think this is more in my mind to not putting too much pressure now for this tournament on my belt.