January 28, 2006
THE MODERATOR: Questions in English for your champion, please.
Q. Obviously, not what you expected?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Good job on the bet (laughter). Did you make a lot of money?
Q. Yes, thank you.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Me, too (laughter).
Q. Clearly it was a very bizarre way to end that match.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Of course, yeah. Of course. Well, I guess, the comments I made on the court were just very strange for everybody, for Justine, obviously for me, for the tournament, for everybody. But, you know, as I said, things turn around at some point, and I had some tough moments myself. I just really take it as it comes. That's the way it is.
Q. You were playing so well. You were really in the zone. Did you sense there was anything wrong with Justine at the other end of the court?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Not at all. You know, also I was focusing on really what I had to do and taking control of the points the way I did for the whole match and really not paying really much of an attention to how she felt or whatever.
Q. There was no suspicion that you were playing somebody who was carrying an illness?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Not for me. Not for me.
Q. In a big match, have you played as good a set as you played the first set?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I don't think so. I mean, I really went out there on the court, I was ready for anything, you know, for everything. I mean, I didn't know how it was going to go. I just knew, you know, I had to just focus on my game and really try to have the emotion part of the moment really on the side, which I did very well. I was really controlling the game pretty well. I knew exactly what I had to do walking out on the court against Justine. And overall, I was pretty relaxed. So I think everything really came together for that first set.
Q. You advanced, three of your opponents had to leave your matches early. Do you feel luck or providence was on your side for this tournament?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Probably, probably (smiling). That's the way it is. Yeah, I mean, I think it's very strange. But in the same time, you know, I think for all of them there was a reason, and that reason was maybe the physical preparation. Against Krajicek, she was not probably ready to go under very high temperature. And Kim probably got a little tired. She had already the hip was not right. And then today, you know, I think I'm just wondering maybe the nerves got in also. I'm just still wondering, you know, what happened.
Q. Can you talk about your own personal emotions when she actually walked up to the net. It wasn't as if there was the tenseness of match point.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, I just wanted to understand first what was going on. So I asked her when we were both at the net. Okay, so she said, "I'm not feeling great," whatever. So, you know, walking back to my chair, yeah, I knew, I knew that was it. I knew that the tournament was mine. Yeah, right from that moment I knew, I realized.
Q. Not the same elation, happiness, joy?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, I guess it would have been probably different or the way I reacted would have been probably different if the match went till the end. But the joy is here. And, really, again, it's tough for Justine, but I just also think I was playing some great tennis today.
Q. It's hard to ask you to comment on this in a way, but I think we probably must. A lot of people are going to say, "She should have found a way to finish that match, no matter what happened." Any comment about that?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, I don't want to really comment on that. I was ready to die on the court today. That's just the way I was coming out on the court this afternoon. So that's it.
Q. Were you playing the best tennis of any Grand Slam you've ever played, or do you think you've played better in other slams and this is just a different outcome?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I think everything was better. Maybe I played some better tennis at other points, but mentally I was not feeling so strong. So now I think the three main things in the game - tennis, physical and mental - all these three really came together here. And I started feeling that a little bit against Vaidisova. I mean, it was strange because that day I couldn't move. I woke up and I couldn't move my neck. So I had to use different things to work things around. You know, it happened to be a good idea. So I thought, "Yeah, mentally, you know, you're capable of doing that. You're capable of using other strengths that you are used to." I think it helped me also to get past the other rounds. So, yeah, everything really came together here.
Q. Have you ever retired midway through a match because you felt ill?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I don't know. Probably look on the records for that. I can't remember. I don't know really. Just look.
Q. How nice is it to be sitting there with a trophy?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Yeah, it's good, huh (smiling).
Q. Now you can go for the whole Grand Slam, win all four this year.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Yeah, yeah. That's my next goal (smiling). No, again, I mean, as I said on the court, I've been waiting so long for this and really worked hard for this, as well. It's really great achievement. I now have achieved everything I announced in my career: Fed Cup, being No. 1 and winning a Grand Slam. So I'm very proud of that, I have to say. I'm probably, yeah, the proudest woman for now.
Q. The moment before she retires, what are you thinking? You're playing great tennis.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, when she called the trainer, I just tried, you know, just stay focused and really try to not get out of the match, which I did, because then the two points then that we played I really hang in there. I didn't really know what to think.
Q. Were you thinking about your own level?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I knew I was playing great.
Q. Were you thinking, it's great to be playing this level in this match?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Yeah, I knew. I knew I was playing great. I knew I was really dominating the game. And I knew tactically I was playing exactly the way I should. That was the main thing, I think.
Q. She said she had no pace on her ball at all today. What was your impression of what you were receiving?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, on my side I tried to mix it up, which I know she probably doesn't like too much. You know, it's hard to say. Really that's her feeling. I wasn't really paying attention, honestly. I just was concentrating on what I had to do.
Q. You talked about that bottle of wine that you celebrate with. When did you buy that, and what is it specifically?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I bought a bottle about three or four years ago. Very good one (smiling). Very old one also. I keep it. I thought, "You know, this one is going to be for my Grand Slam - my first Grand Slam title." Yeah, now I have to open it. I don't know, I might keep it still, a little longer.
Q. When you were No. 1 in the world as a junior, everybody had a lot of expectations around your future. Do you think now with these two majors, Los Angeles and here, do you think the real professional career of Amélie will start?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: No, no, no, it has started a long time ago. And I'm here with the trophy only because I had some experience, I matured, I grew up, and I had lessons from this professional career, which, you know, I also at some point tried to evolve in many ways - not only in my tennis, but also off the court. I made a few changes here and there that really helped me to be here today.
Q. Leaving personalities out of it, is it unprofessional to walk out on a full-house crowd, being paid $600,000? Is that unprofessional?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: What can I say? Am I going to make controversy about that? No. That's not the day for this for me.
Q. When you return eventually to France, where and how, other than opening this bottle of wine, and would you tell us what sort of wine that is, how will you celebrate this when you return home?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, I haven't thought about that yet. I'm sure my friends will find many ways for me to celebrate that. But, yeah, I think I will want to share with people that are here, my staff that are here working with me today, that are a huge part of this title, but also with people that stayed home and couldn't come or didn't have, you know, the opportunity to come. Yeah, probably sharing with people that helped me getting there. That's probably the main thing I will do. And concerning the bottle, it's not going to be enough for everybody, so I will probably choose the closest people. We will have, I'm sure, more than one.
Q. There was a very pretty moment after the match when you walked over to Justine, to her chair, sat next to her. You were obviously giving her gentle words or whatever. I think a lot of us in this room feel maybe she should have walked over to you and said something to you because you were playing so well. Did she say anything to you about how she couldn't finish? Did she say anything? Did she understand the moment?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, she explained, because obviously she's playing -- what happened, I guess that's what she did, walking here moments ago. I'm sure she explained to you guys, as well.
Q. But did she understand that maybe it was your moment? You know what I mean? Never mind.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: (Laughter).
Q. It's fair to say you've had an interesting relationship with the French public. How do you think they will be greeting this success at home?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I don't know. I don't know.
Q. How would you like them to greet it at home?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, a huge thing (laughter). No, I think it's hard being very far. I really have no idea how it's going to be received there and how people are going to react to this title. I can't wait to go back there and really see how people enjoy that.
Q. Do you think you will go in a different way now to play Roland Garros?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I don't know. I think really The Championships made me a different player. Is this title going to make me also a different one? I don't know. It's probably too early to say. I think I've achieved a lot of things now in my career. I can really be I guess pretty relaxed now about the way I walk on court and the way I play. Really not too much to prove, I think, any more.
Q. Was it Los Angeles that made you a different player mentally? I remember a couple weeks prior to Los Angeles, you played rather badly in some tournaments.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I think, to be honest, I'm also here because I won in LA. It was only two months ago, a little bit more than this. Because at that time I proved to myself I was capable of -- it was not a Grand Slam, but I was capable of winning a big one against the greatest players, which maybe in some part of my mind was not for sure a hundred percent at the time. And I came here knowing that, you know, anything can happen. I mean, I could have also maybe be out of the tournament earlier, but knowing I can do it. "Okay, I'm capable of doing this."
Q. Can you cast your mind back a couple weeks when you were a set down in your opening match.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Yes, I didn't really panic at that time. I was not playing really well. That's what I said. I really struggled in my first two matches here, and then things came better and better, and I really felt my rhythm was coming pretty strong in the fourth round and then quarterfinals. Yeah, during that match I didn't really panic. I just -- you know, that was the way it was, losing the first set. But then I really knew she had to make a big effort to win the match.
Q. What was your first thought when you heard the roof was going to be closed?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I was not expecting -- I mean, I didn't know really what was going to happen. I just -- I was ready for anything. As I said, I was ready to play outside, 40 degrees. I was ready to play indoors. I think it was maybe better for me. But would it have been different if the roof was open? Not sure.
Q. Anybody on your team give you any particular words or ideas of inspiration before the match?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, I think Loic, my coach, was great. And he knows me pretty well now, so he knows really how to talk to me. And, you know, really put things right in my head. I guess my physio did a great job also during this week because I was pretty bad at some point, and he made some good work.
Q. What were your problems?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I couldn't move my neck for three days. But it didn't show, so that's good (smiling).
Q. What do you think of Baghdatis?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: It's amazing. It's funny because he makes me think a little bit of me seven years ago, you know. He's enjoying every moment of it. Is his game already really strong enough for him so that he can, after this tournament, really keep going like this? It's a question. I hope it's yes for him 'cause he's a great guy. But it's great to see. You know, he has a lot of personality. He enjoys it out there on the court. Yeah, it's good for the tennis, I think.
Q. Did you feel like a record number of birds were watching this match?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Oh, yeah, especially at the beginning. There was not a lot of noise, then these birds were out there. During warm-up already they were there, so I got used to them.
Q. Is the Gaz de France your next tournament?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Yes.
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