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May 29, 2015

Mirjana Lucic


A. CORNET/M. Lucic-Baroni
4-6, 6-3, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. Break point in the third, I think at 4-3, forehand sitter. Was that turnaround a crucial point? Obviously it was crucial, but was it difficult to let go of it afterwards?
MIRJANA LUCIC-BARONI: No, not at all. I mean, now, looking at it, of course, I remember it very well. But the whole match was pretty close, and that was just one point. It would have been nice to be up 5-3 and serving for the match, but it didn't go that way.

Q. What has helped you in your coming back to this point in your career?
MIRJANA LUCIC-BARONI: How do you mean?

Q. Well, what do you attribute you being able to play this well again?
MIRJANA LUCIC-BARONI: Well, I mean, it took a long time. You know, I always worked hard and had a great support of my family, my husband, and people that believe in me, and that was very important.

Q. Why do you think there are so many great players coming out of or that are from the Balkan nations now?
MIRJANA LUCIC-BARONI: I don't think they are coming out now. I think it's always been.

Q. Always been -- but the last 10, 15, since you started.
MIRJANA LUCIC-BARONI: I think we have always been -- we are tough people and we are hardworking. We are hungry for success. Yeah, we are really tough, mentally tough, we are fighters. And I think that's one of the reasons probably.

Q. Does coming from tough times help aid in that, make you tougher as a competitor?
MIRJANA LUCIC-BARONI: No, I don't think -- I haven't come from tough, let's say, upbringing, other than the obvious stuff. People sometimes think that necessarily -- it's not necessarily that because you come from countries that are not USA, France, or England, that there is no money or you're like this poor, terrible country. It's not like that. But I think the difference between some of the biggest or bigger federations and the difference between ours, smaller countries, is that we have to earn our way. We don't get a lot of help, and we have to do it ourself and we have to really earn our way. I think I have said it before, I think in these big countries like France, England, U.S.A., for example, Australia, when they have younger players, they make them into a superstar before they even win a match or two, and I think that's the difference. For us, we really have to earn it, and I think that's the difference. We have to work hard and work our way up. I think that's what's makes the difference, I think.

Q. Roger Federer was saying that nowadays the rankings reflect what you have been saying, that it's no longer just Australia and America. Do you think that's good for world tennis that there are countries which you wouldn't have thought in the past that would have been up there?
MIRJANA LUCIC-BARONI: Absolutely it's good for tennis. I think it just tells you that it's not necessarily that you have to come from a big, famous tennis country in order to be good. I think it's always been like that. I think Croatia, Serbia, and the rest of the Balkans always had good players for a long time. Like I said, we're tough, we're strong, we work our way up, and also we work harder to kind of stay there. Not that it's a bad thing, I have to say, to be from these great countries, you know, like here, today. It's fun for French players. It's a bit easier, of course, than it is for, let's say, Croatians, because I'm from there. They get more opportunities and wildcards, they get that. But we, the rest of us, when we get there, I think we hold on to it a little tighter.

Q. You have had your ups and downs in your career. This is I guess a bit of an up. What would you say to youngsters coming through when they are feted and lauded for being brilliant, would you say make the most of it because you never know what's around the corner?
MIRJANA LUCIC-BARONI: No, not even necessarily that. I would say just keep believing. Don't take the losses too hard. Ups and downs are going to happen no matter what unless you're Roger Federer or Serena where, you know, there is very few, or Nadal here at the French. Ups and downs are gonna happen. Just I think it's very important to remain positive.

Q. What would you keep of this, Roland Garros?
MIRJANA LUCIC-BARONI: Great memories. I'm very excited to go on grass now, very excited. I'm playing great. I'm feeling great. Today was a really tough match. I gave it my all. I fought hard. I played well. I really enjoyed the battle out there. I feel completely ready for grass, and hopefully it's going to go great.

Q. How would you describe the clay here? How has it played this year? Do you take any souvenirs from it or any soiled clothes from it that's a souvenir?
MIRJANA LUCIC-BARONI: Not the clay itself, no. But of course towels and things like that. The courts are playing fine. Today was a little bit difficult day. It was very windy, a bit heavy and slow. I think for sure it benefited my opponent more. The wind was quite strong on the court. That was a little bit distracting. It was a little bit cold. It was a tough day. But no, no excuse. It was a good match and a good battle.
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