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Roland Garros: Amelie Maruesmo, May 27, 2008

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Roland Garros Tennis Interviews
at Paris, France

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Amelie Mauresmo

Q. Do you think that in the past, if you had been in that situation today, waiting for three hours for your match, then I mean, to go off for another three hours, that you would not have handled it as well as you did today?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I think I was already in these kind of situations, whether it was here or at Wimbledon. And I usually ‑‑ I'm okay with that. I usually don't get too stressed out during the breaks or whatever.

It's been like this for a few years now, so I would, yeah, I would say it happened last year, also, already. So, yeah, maybe at the beginning when you're very young you kind of don't know really what to do and maybe get a little bit too excited between those, in those breaks.

But now I guess I'm doing okay. Yeah, a few years now.

Q. As a leading French player, perhaps you'd like to make a comment on this. We're getting very excited about our new roof at Wimbledon. Have you ever thought that perhaps there might have been some plans to do something here?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I know they have some plans, whether it's here on this court or somewhere else. I don't know exactly where the plan is and how advanced it is. But, yeah, we definitely would like to have that, even though conditions would be very different, I think.

Definitely would make a big change. And even at Wimbledon I think it would ‑‑ yeah, be a big difference, but we'll see, you know.

Is it this year or next year, right?

Q. Next year.

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Next year it's going to be able to close. Yeah, it's going to be interesting to see the difference it makes, and if it really ‑‑ in the draw, throughout the two weeks, if maybe a few surprises arrive.

Q. Which is more difficult: a rainy day at Wimbledon or a rainy day here?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, Wimbledon I have the house about two minutes away, so... I can go back there and it's pretty ‑‑ I'm just walking distance. Makes it maybe little bit easier there.

Q. Apologies if this has been asked before, but what are your thoughts about Justine? It's such a grind out there, and yet she was No. 1 with Roland Garros and then Wimbledon coming. Were you surprised? What are your reflections?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Yeah, I was definitely very surprised when I saw that evening the press conference that she had, yeah, kind of explaining that she just had enough. That was basically what she was saying, and that it was too much of a pain sometimes to practice or be on the court to play matches or too much stress or whatever.

So I was very surprised. It's very young to retire, definitely. But I guess she's ‑‑ she's almost done it all, and it's just maybe she wants to get to something else, a different life and different ‑‑ not as stressful and, yeah, rigid, maybe, in the program and everything.

You have to be careful to ‑‑ everything that you do, that you eat, when you sleep. It's really 24‑hour job, kind of. So, yeah, I guess she just had enough. But very surprising, definitely.

Q. With all the intensity there is out there, have you ever thought, enough, I will quit tomorrow?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: No. To me, it was never a question of I'm going to stop now. It's more of a process. But last year I asked myself some questions concerning the retirement, and whether ‑‑ it was more of do I have the energy to keep going and keep making these sacrifices that I was talking about.

So, yeah, these kind of questions were there and were in my mind, and I guess the answer was that I'm not done yet and that I want to still try to do a few good things.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French?

Q. How did you feel today with regards to the pain you suffered recently?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, that was rather positive throughout the match, especially during the second part when I tried to speed up my serve. Because there was a shot I had the most problems with during my preparations, so that's quite reassuring. I think it's getting better.

Now, in the match I had ups and downs, good things and some big mistakes, and that's also linked to very short preparation time. But that's the kind of match that's nice to get through, and especially with such a third set.

So now all I have to do is hope it gets better for my next match.

Q. Your face was sort of very closed. In your thoughts. Were you thinking you might lose the match at one stage?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: No. This kind of idea never crossed my mind. I was very focused, I wanted to be in the match, and I wanted to live the match intensely. I'm not moaning, but that's my way of focusing on the match.

Q. We have a feeling that this was a match in three different modes for you.

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Yes. The third set was totally different from the others, that's for sure. Now, in the middle of the second set, after we came back after the break because of the rain, I felt a bit down. I probably ill‑managed my food intake.

Q. What did you think at the beginning of the third set?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, I didn't want to give her any points, because I had been giving her lots of points since 2‑2. So I just wanted to be faster on my legs and I ate a bit. I just decided I would not give her any more points, because this is what I told you when we met on Friday.

I said, Well, to start with, I'll try to make as few mistakes as possible, and then I'll see.

Q. For the Serbian press, do you think you're going to play Ivanovic or Jankovic?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I have not looked at the draw, so I don't know.

Q. Yes, but are you preparing yourself to play them? Because it's not impossible you might play one or the other.

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: No, I'm not preparing myself, especially for that.

Q. So you're not preparing anything special?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, I know them both quite well because I've played them quite a few times, but I really want to play one match after the other.

I'm not going to play Jankovic or Ivanovic for the second round. At least nobody told me that, so you have to adjust as it goes.

So I want to focus on my tennis, first on my game, and then you have to adjust a bit depending on your opponent. But that also requires confidence in what you can do.

Q. Would this be a reassuring match for you because you had very short preparation period?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, it is reassuring from a physical standpoint, because I started feeling much better over the weekend. But I had many questions in my mind and many doubts before the tournament started.

Now, I also realized that I need to improve my serve. I have kind of a small fear somewhat, so I have to get rid of that. I hope that with this match I can overcome all these mental fears I have.

Q. How would you compare this tournament to the others you played? You are in an outsider position.

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Yes, I am an outsider. So I have less personal expectations, that's for sure. And then, as I said, I'll see that one match at a time.

Anyway, this is always what I've done, but it's going to be even more true.

Q. And what do you feel when you walk on the court?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Less tension. Less pressure. On this match this is what I felt anyway.

Q. What about your next opponent? Do you know her? Do you know who she is? It's Suarez, Suarez Navarro. She is 132 in the ranking.

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: No. I don't know her, but I'll ask Pauline. Am I playing her tomorrow? I don't know. I don't have the schedule. Is it raining again? Oh, yeah, okay.

Q. How many more victories do you need?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: How many? Well, that's difficult. I'm doing everything I can to be at my best level. As I said in English, I still want to achieve some beautiful things. As you get older, you need to have a good preparation. There is no secret. This is what I try and do, even though now it's a bit difficult at the moment from a physical standpoint.

This is a question that crossed my mind last year, but I managed to find positive answers in terms of motivation.

Q. Instead of talking of envy or desire, let's talk about pleasure. After all the health problems you had, do you still have pleasure playing tennis?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Yes. But you're right, it's important. And when we were talking about Justine earlier, I think this is what she no longer felt. I think she used the words "suffering and pain," and these are powerful words.

This is something I never felt so far in my career, because I tried to work differently from a psychological standpoint. I still have pleasure playing and being on the court.

Q. Do you reckon that having a life, a different life? You enjoy life, you enjoy good wine, and good food? Does it add to your pleasure?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Oh, you mean does it show? No, but seriously, it's a bit difficult to say. I don't know what her life is like when she's not playing tennis. Does she have something else? I don't know.

As far as I am concerned, I have the feeling that I do enjoy other things yet. You know, when you're a professional tennis player you need to be careful about your life, hygiene, but I can't be 100% in tennis all the time every day of my life.

That's the way I am, so I do other things. I don't have much time to do other things, but I do when I have time.

Q. Being an outsider on this tournament, does it mean that if you make many mistakes in a row you won't start panicking?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, probably you're right. But I'm always very demanding, so even if I know that I'm not playing my best tennis right now, and it's probably normal, I make mistakes and I miss more balls than in the past, I'm still very demanding and I still want to play well and be happy with my tennis.

So I have to adjust, because this preparation period was very short this year. Even on those phases when I was making many mistakes today, I try and hold on and try to win.


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