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June 9, 2019

Kristina Mladenovic

Timea Babos

Paris, France


6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. Kristina, this is the third Grand Slam title. What does it mean to you?
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: Every single one is very special and memorable and lots of emotions. But I think this one comes on top, I would say, somehow for me, because it's very special.

It's my second in women's doubles in Roland Garros, but I get to share it with Timea. I think we said it enough. I hope the whole globe knows how amazing this girl is to me.

Yeah, I have no words to describe it. If you ask me with who and where I would share something, it would be that trophy with her. I'm overwhelmed today, yeah.

Q. Same question for you, Timea. What does it mean?
TIMEA BABOS: Same answer for you (smiling).

No, obviously I'm pretty thrilled. This is what we are working hard for. As you guys know, we are not necessarily like doubles specialists, but it somehow turns out to be that we are really good at it, and we really complement each other well.

I'm very, very happy that I could feel also this special moment how it is to play in Kiki's home.

KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: My home (smiling)?

TIMEA BABOS: Yeah. And just to share these emotions with her.

I mean, every single final is amazing. Thankfully we experienced a lot of finals, but the last two didn't go in our way, which was pretty sad and it was tough moments, but today we really found our way how to win this title together.

I'm very, very happy about it. And that the French people know that I can speak a little bit of French (smiling).

KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: Highlight of the day.

Q. Kristina, do you learn Hungarian?
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: (Speaking Hungarian.)

TIMEA BABOS: You know a lot.

KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: Yeah, I know (speaking Hungarian). I will stop with this. I know lots of things.

TIMEA BABOS: She speaks enough language. It's me who has to catch up.

KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: I'm already struggling to learn German. So I think Hungarian sounds like Chinese in Europe for the Europeans. Hopefully maybe I can get few words in a row at some point (smiling).

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

TIMEA BABOS: I'll leave.

Q. Congratulations, first of all. You have answered my question partly in English, but why is this title so special?
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: Each title in a Grand Slam is fabulous. I have no words to describe it. Every time it's a huge title, an adventure. The weeks of Grand Slam tournaments are extremely long, and it's my privilege to having gone through quite a few of them already.

Obviously it's something that makes me very proud, and this victory today is the third great triumph for me in Roland Garros.

When I was a kid, I would come here with my parents, and I had a great emotion when I won the singles junior. Then my first big final with the pros was mixed double, but we lost. And then I won with Caroline in 2016.

And today it's very special, because you see how close we are. She's a childhood friend. She's my real friend. And once again, winning in Roland Garros for a French woman is incredible.

As I said, all Grand Slam tournaments are very special. You want as much as possible to get there. But when you're playing at home, it gives you more adrenaline. It's an extra pressure. You want to do well. You have a full box with your friends and family, which is very rare. They hardly ever see you playing except on TV.

So it's a great opportunity to share these emotions. It's something incredible and unforgettable.

Q. Congratulations, Kristina. It's a beautiful sports story but also a story of a friendship. How similar are you and how different are you both in personality and on court?
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: I believe that what we have in common is sports, career, work. We are two hard workers. We are both ambitious. We have the same philosophy as concerns our relationship in a doubles match.

It may sound shocking to you, but we never train in doubles. We want to develop and progress in our game singly. And then when we get together, we feel it's the best way to perform well. And we agree on almost everything, I would say.

Our games are quite complementary on the court with the years and experience. We know the weakness of each other in the game. And also through our great successes and victories and defeats, we have learned how to manage things, how to protect ourselves, how to use our strong points. And this is what makes the difference for great events.

Now, outside the court, we are extremely different. I don't know. Whether it be for eating habits, shopping habits, we are two extremes.

Q. Congratulations, Kristina. You were saying that these two weeks are extremely strong emotionally. They always are. But you would probably have liked to do more in the singles, but then how would you place the emotions in doubles and also watching Dominic?
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: Someone said, You're crazy, you're staying five hours watching Dominic when you're playing tomorrow.

But I feel these moments are exceptional moments that I want to live to the full. It gives me even more adrenaline. It's boosting me to come back the next day after a great match by Domi yesterday. I wanted to emulate him today. But obviously, emotionally, the most difficult thing is coming now for me.

But to come back to the two weeks, it's always very special, especially when you end up with a trophy, whatever it is. But as I said, my priority is my career as a singles player. I felt well before the tournament, but I was stopped by a very difficult opponent who proved that she was very dangerous and who could have gone very far. But this is sports. This is all about the draw, the timing.

But talking about the doubles, it doesn't mean that I'm not going to continue working and come back even stronger. I already went once to the second week in the singles, and I won't stop at that. I want to use my experience both in doubles and singles and use the experience of the people around me to go all the way to the end of great tournaments in singles.

Q. What does this position as No. 1 in the world represent for you?
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: Well, it's something absolutely crazy. I must say I have trouble realizing what it means. It's difficult to describe something that will remain with me for all my life. It will be next to my name and career as my best ranking. It's incredible.

I don't realize it so much, people talk to me a lot about it, but especially because I wasn't looking for this title. As I said, this year, we played five tournaments. We don't play every week. We're not chasing points or ranks. But we're very lucky to have so many successes and so many consistent results in doubles even though it wasn't our objective. But it's just grand to be able to accomplish this.

Obviously I am very proud of it, and I will be very proud of it to the future.

Q. Kristina, congratulations for this new title. Second time here. This is a trophy that is called Simonne Mathieu. Do you know her? What does it mean to you? And what does she mean to you?
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: Well, to be honest with you, I didn't know her in the beginning. But I know she's a former French player, and it's a great honor to have this cup.

When I saw my name in 2016 with Caroline, I was very proud. But now, to see that my name will be there twice, we know all the names on the list, Navratilova at least a hundred times, Williams. Only great champions of our sports or only Errani, Vinci, Makarova. It's not by chance. It's something prestigious. It's very moving.

Q. You didn't play the mixed here. Do you intend to do it? And one word about Ashleigh Barty. Yesterday she got a lot of messages from other players on the social networks. What do you think of her as a player and as a person?
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: Well, this is at least two or three questions in one. To answer about Ashleigh Barty, she's a very complete player. I like her game very much, a lot of variations, great touch, great volley.

And I must say she was playing with Azarenka in quarterfinals, and they lost to Stosur and Zhang, and we almost played against them otherwise.

Yeah, she's remarkable, and we are at a time where all the best players of singles are playing the doubles. We also had Mertens/Sabalenka in the semifinals.

As an anecdote, I would say I played against her in Rome, and I had a great victory. So to me that means even more when I see what shape she's in. And that she wins Roland Garros, it motivates me even more as I see that our levels are quite close.

All I can say about her game is good things. She's very good on court. She thinks well, and I like her game. She deserves winning. She managed her matches one after the other as they came, some more difficult than others, and beautiful tennis.

Second question about the mixed? No, I left it aside because it's quite difficult and I prefer to focus on the singles, and then the doubles comes as a complement, in addition. But three would be too much.

But maybe there will be a surprise this year. We'll see. I can't tell you more for now (smiling).

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