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ROLAND GARROS


May 26, 2015


Kristina Mladenovic


PARIS, FRANCE

K. MLADENOVIC/E. Bouchard
6-4, 6-4


THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. Now, you know what you did in Strasbourg. That was good. Good performance. What about this match? The second set was more difficult, I suppose you are even more satisfied today?
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: Yeah, that's true. I'm on the right tracks. Given the results I attained in Strasbourg, that's true. As I said before, I was well prepared, but it doesn't mean that it's as simple as what you might think, you know. It means you have to focus well. I'm happy because I'm on the right side of the draw. You know, I had two days. I'm playing on Tuesday. I had time enough to rest, to know where I was, to get used to the atmosphere of a Grand Slam, you know. Today was a very difficult round. I'm very happy and satisfied with the way I played my tactics. Very specific tactics I had. A clear plan to beat her, to beat Eugenie today. It was not easy. As you said, I was up during the first set, and then she came back 6-4. And then during the second one, it was a bit difficult, you know, 5-0, but it's never easy against these types of players. Maybe she had a number of shots that were really good. One game that she won, and then another one I gained intensity. Not enough, but, you know, she's in the top 10. She could seize all opportunities. For instance, when I was slowing down on my serves or when I was hitting the balls, she would take her chance. It's never easy to finish such a match with a crowd, as well. You know, they are frustrated, they are waiting for you. It's not easy on your nerves, to be frank. I'm very satisfied, you know, in my head, first, to be able to finish the match, you know, 5-4, and I served well. Otherwise, you know, 5-5 could have been much more complicated.

Q. Eugenie is going through a complicated moment. You know that when you go to the locker rooms. When you're on the court, maybe you had fewer fears than Eugenie Bouchard last year in Roland Garros or at Wimbledon.
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: No, this is a bit unfair to say this. On paper, that's true, she's had fewer wins, but, you know, last year her season was exceptional. So it is tough for her to have the same results. People are expecting a lot. And it's true, people say that she's lost some of her confidence. But, you know, for me I had to put out good tennis, because I felt, you know, if I was playing well at the right pace, the things she loves she would have beaten me, you know. And therefore, I focused on my game, I focused on my game. I tried to be smart, vary my game, and the things she doesn't like to do I did them. I think I perfectly executed my plan today. Of course, I think she's going through a more tricky moment for her. If you look at her results. But, you know, if you give her freedom on the court, she has a very high level. So as usual, I would say, you know, women's tennis is so dense today. All players play well. For me and for her, I'd say, well, there's nothing to be afraid of, given her level of game. She's in the top 10, after all.

Q. Now, four wins against five top 10 if we think about Coubertin. Well, a rotation between the top 10. None abroad. Is there something special here in France that's good for you, that's positive for you?
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: Well, thank you for asking. I don't really know. I was not even aware of these statistical data. I remember I played good matches against good players elsewhere. But it's even more special to be playing at Roland Garros. You get more satisfaction from it. Mentally, it's very difficult. It's a difficult mental exercise. You know, to manage pressure and also, you know, people expect so much from us. So what else can I say apart from what I've said? I think I know how to manage this.

Q. (Off microphone.) Is there something that transcends you like Gaƫl Monfils? That is, you feel more at ease in Paris than anywhere else?
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: No, I feel at ease everywhere, to be frank with you. I think it's very difficult to play in France, frankly, honestly. The public expects so much. You know, 5-0, 5-4, that's not easy. The good thing is that in my head I'm strong. I don't want my emotions to take control, and I won the match, but it's good for me. I'm very happy about this. It's not that easy, not easy to play in France. By the way, maybe I can unwind more elsewhere, but it works better here, which is a good thing.

Q. It seems that you have no coach at present, but still your results are good. Now, what about this Roland Garros? Did you ask for tips or advice from someone, or did you manage on your own?
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: Well, no. It's been two periods in my career so far when I've realized that without any coaches it's okay. It's really good. There was one year when I was 36, I was ranked 36, I really didn't know what to do. I had no coach. Well, I wouldn't boast about it, I wouldn't claim, I wouldn't say and claim that I know it all, I can manage by myself, no. That's why I try to take time and to choose some people, coaches that I thought would be good for me, but it didn't function well. It didn't work out well. I was even disappointed in terms of human relations and the investment from these people. Therefore, now, since the beginning of February, I have decided to take a break again and focus on myself. I think I know myself quite well, quite well, even though I'm young. And, well, you've said it. It looks like the results are quite good, and I think I know what I have to work on. Daily, I try and work on these things alone, and we will see what's going to happen next. But for the time being, yes, I can manage on my own.

Q. Two minutes ago you said it's not easy, 5-0, 5-4, it's a good thing emotions don't take control. I had the impression it's the fear to win. That's why she got so many games against you during the match.
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: No, not at all. Had I been afraid of winning, I wouldn't have won this one, neither the first set nor the second one nor the whole match. If you're afraid of winning, you will never make it, you will never win such a match. Against her on a Grand Slam on such a court, it's a tennis match, it's a sport. She relaxed a little. She was, her back on the wall, as we say. It's never obvious, you know. We are all human beings. It's never easy to finish such a match. As I said earlier on, she's an excellent player. If you give her an opportunity, she will take it. She would seize it, and she had a number of winners. I didn't make that many mistakes myself, and she played better. I was no longer in my game plan, and it was going her way for a while, and then I played well at 5-4. I had a good game.

Q. As you said, you're working without any coaches, which means that this game plan is something that you have planned yourself before playing against Eugenie Bouchard. You executed it well, as you said?
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: Well, yes. Yes. Since February. If you've no coach, then you have to practice. You have to do your practice, and I play my matches, my debriefs, and everything in my head that works.

Q. (Off microphone.)
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: Yes, I love watching videos of other players that I have to play against. And also, during the tournament I like watching other matches that have nothing to do with my draw, but, you know, you might play against one of them the following week. So I really believe in videos. I think that tennis is based on tactics mainly. It's a tactical game. All women play well. To win a match, you have to play your own tennis, of course, what you're good at, but also sometimes you can play not as well but differently to bother the opponent. That's the objective.
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