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August 4, 2014

Francoise Abanda


6‑1, 3‑6, 6‑0

THE MODERATOR:  Questions in English, please.

Q.  What is the feeling for you right now, pride to have taken the second set against a top 10 player or disappointment to have lost?
FRANCOISE ABANDA:  Yeah, I think I played like one of my best tennis tonight.  Especially I played it in Montréal in front of home and the crowd.  So I'm really glad I was able to deliver that in the second set.
So I guess I'm just excited to know that I can actually compete against a top 10 player.  So it's just more motivation for me to keep training and do better.

Q.¬† At what point did you feel that home‑court advantage, that the crowd was really rallying to your cause, especially in that second set?
FRANCOISE ABANDA:  Yeah, I guess was the end of the set.  Even though I lost the first set, the whole crowd was still with me and cheering me up, so I think it helped me.
But in the third set, again, the crowd was still with me, but I just was missing a bit of energy towards the end physically and mentally.
It's something I have to work on, yeah.

Q.  At the end of the match, your former coach was here.  What did he mean to you in your career?
FRANCOISE ABANDA:¬† Yeah, well, Jean‑Claude Lemire is someone really close to me and the family.¬† He was my first coach.¬† He started me and my older sister.¬† He always believe in us.¬† He was with us all the time.¬† So it was great for him to be here tonight.
I think without him I wouldn't really be here.  So I think he played a huge part in my career, early career.  So, yeah.

Q.  What coming out of a match like that do you feel is the number one thing that you'd like to improve on?
FRANCOISE ABANDA:  I think the more I will play these big matches the more it will help me physically.  So I think it's something I just have to be used to.
You know, the crowd, it was on TV, I think it's not something I'm used to.  I play a lot of juniors where not much people are watching or involved.
It was really new for me tonight.  So it's something I just have to play more and be more in those situations.  I think it will help me.  But I think my game, I have to improve it no matter what.

Q.  One gets calmer the more they do it.  Did you feel in moments that would be something that comes in the future, that will help?  It's new being on center court with the whole nation watching, things like that.
FRANCOISE ABANDA:  Yeah, I mean, like I said, I'm not really used to that.  It's a great experience for me to have that under my belt.  Next time I'll know what to expect more and I'll just be more experienced so I can deal in those situations better.

Q.  It was fun to watch your emotions, fist pumps.  But there were moments of frustration, too, that we could read in your body language.  Do you believe in just kind of letting your emotions out in the moment or are you trying to work more towards an even keel?
FRANCOISE ABANDA:  Yeah, I'm normally more calm.  But I think because of the context, I was in Montréal, it was the home crowd, I think I was more excited than normally.  So I think it helped me in the second set.
Yeah, I'm normally more calm.  I think, yeah, Rogers Cup, I was really excited.  I was playing some good tennis, so I think it was emotional towards the end of the second set.
I think I got emotional, and the crowd, it was just a good atmosphere.

Q.  What was going through your mind when you had the fourth ball hit the net and drop in?
FRANCOISE ABANDA:  Yeah, I mean, on the fourth and fifth, I was like, C'mon, when is it going to stop (laughter)?
Yeah, I think I needed that for me in the third set.  But it's tennis, and it's part of it.  Unfortunate for me but I guess good for Dominika.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions in French.

Q.  What did you learn tonight?  Did you see what you needed to do to reach that higher level?
FRANCOISE ABANDA:  This match will help me for the future.  I didn't have the opportunity of playing against top 10 players very often.  I am very happy that I was able to play at that level.

Q.  How was the crowd?
FRANCOISE ABANDA:  I was playing home in the club where I practice all year round.  It was very emotional for me.  The crowd was behind me.  It was a very good experience.

Q.  What do you have to improve?
FRANCOISE ABANDA:  Well, in the third set I felt tired and I let go a little.  I need to improve my physical conditioning.  But also I'm not used to playing against players at that level.
Now I know what I have to work on if I want to win those three‑setters.

Q.  Of course, some injuries have set you back.  Did you set some goals for this year?
FRANCOISE ABANDA:  Winning matches, of course.  But most of all I want to be in the top 150 before the end of the year.  The US Open is coming soon and will give me opportunities to do well.

Q.  What did she tell you when you were at the net?
FRANCOISE ABANDA:  She just said, Good match.  But she was the one who played well and who fought well and who was fighting during the whole match.

Q.  What positive lessons can you draw from this for the future?
FRANCOISE ABANDA:  Well, that I can believe in myself.  If I play at that high level, I know I can beat any top 10 player.
But I need to continue working hard.  Now I know what I have to work on.

Q.¬† What did Jean‑Claude tell you?
FRANCOISE ABANDA:  That I had to continue fighting.  He just motivated me.  Nothing special.

Q.  Were you expecting that kind of match and did you think you would be able to win a set?
FRANCOISE ABANDA:  I did.  But many people didn't think so just because of the difference in ranking.  I was not the favorite.  So I'm happy I won that set.
But in the third set I lacked stamina.  I would have liked the match to finish after this second set.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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