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July 26, 2016

Francoise Abanda

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

F. ABANDA/S. Zheng

6-1, 7-5

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. How were you able to crush the feeling that perhaps it was getting away from you to come back and rise up in the end to win it?
FRANCOISE ABANDA: Yeah, I mean, I was nervous a little bit. I'm happy I didn't panic and I kept my calm, just keep my focus and closed it out in two sets.

I think that was very, very good, because who knows what would have happened in a decisive set.

Q. The first set was so dominant. It was wild to see how one-sided it was. What do you attribute that to?
FRANCOISE ABANDA: Well, I think mentally I was really ready. Two years ago I played a big match that I lost on center court in the same conditions. So it's a good change to win this time. I'm happy.

Q. When you play these matches on center court, you play against players who are ranked higher than you. Do you get more confidence from these kind of wins than maybe, say, playing on a different court or against a lesser opponents?
FRANCOISE ABANDA: Yeah, definitely. I think it's going to help the rest of my season. The tournament is not over. I'm still in the tournament. Who knows how long I'll stay alive.

But, yeah, I just want to take it one match at a time and just focus on tomorrow and not to get too excited about today.

Q. What did you think about the crowd tonight?
FRANCOISE ABANDA: Yeah, they were really pumped and they were really behind me. Really glad that they're coming out. It was like a full stage. I don't really get to play in these conditions often, so it's really, really fun as a tennis player to experience that.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. We felt how emotional you were at the end of the match. Was it a big moment for you on center court? How did you feel?
FRANCOISE ABANDA: I'm very happy. I really wanted to win that match. I think this is going in the right direction.

The match became tighter in the second set. I was just happy that I was able to close it out in two sets.

Q. When were you informed that you were going to play on center court? Did it change your way of approaching this match?
FRANCOISE ABANDA: In tennis, everything can change at any time. I was informed just a few minutes before. But I always prepare before my matches to be ready, whatever the circumstances.

There was a change today, but I was ready. It didn't change my game.

Q. You're going to play against Elina next round. You played her in juniors, but you've both improved since then.
FRANCOISE ABANDA: Yes, we played in Wimbledon in 2014. I lost in three sets. It was a tight match. But it was a long time ago. She improved a lot. But I improved, too. It is going to be interesting to see how we'll perform tomorrow. I will try to prepare physically very well, to do some stretching so I can have all my chances.

Q. There's a difference in age between you two. Will it have an impact?
FRANCOISE ABANDA: Yeah, she's older than I am and she has a better ranking. But my opponent today was better ranked, as well, and I was able to win the match. Whatever the ranking, I always go onto the court thinking I can win. Even if I'm not a seeded player, it doesn't matter.

Q. How can you explain this good result tonight against a player who played qualifying matches before and was well-adapted to the conditions?
FRANCOISE ABANDA: Well, I just tried to be aggressive and put pressure on her. I believe I was able to put pressure on her all during the match. It helped me a lot.

She was mixing it up a lot. It gave me trouble. In the second set I lost some focus, but I was very happy that I was able to finish the match in straight sets.

Q. Your level of game tonight was far above your ranking. How can you explain you were able to perform so well on center court, whereas sometimes you don't play so well?
FRANCOISE ABANDA: Well, in those big matches, I always want to improve and to win. I believe everyone improves at their own pace. I played very well in juniors. Maybe people expected me to play better on the Pro Tour. But I'm happy the way things are going for me. I hope I'm going to continue improving and I will be able to become the best tennis player I can become.

Q. You had good results in Fed Cup recently. How significant is this victory for you?
FRANCOISE ABANDA: I'm very happy that I won this match at home. I play here all year round. I practice here. I felt at home. I was happy to use all these advantages, playing at home, and that I was able to win it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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