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January 27, 2006

Amelie Mauresmo


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How are you feeling sometime before your match tomorrow? Are you nice and relaxed?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Yeah, I'm feeling great. I had a little bit of practice. I'm going to take it easy for the rest of the day and recover, make sure I'm a hundred percent for tomorrow.

Q. When do you start actually focusing on the match?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, I've already started to think about it a little bit. You know, probably a little bit more tonight and tomorrow. Obviously, tomorrow morning. But we're going to probably talk a little bit about it tonight already.

Q. How do you analyze her game? You've seen it many times?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Yeah, I mean, we've played against each other many times. We both know probably what the other is going to do and how we're going to play. Yeah, just also remind a few things here and there that can really be effective or could make a difference.

Q. Is Justine one of the mentally toughest girls on the women's tour?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Yeah, I think she's proved on many occasions that she's really a tough one. She's staying on I don't know how many wins in a Grand Slam final. You know, she showed really some strengths on the mental side. As I said yesterday, you know, I'm expecting a tough one. She's not going to give me anything. But I know that.

Q. Obviously, people over the years have talked about raw mental toughness. Do you feel mentally tougher this year?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I'm getting tougher and tougher as my career is going, as the experience is running. Yeah, I guess I'm tougher and tougher. But, you know, we'll see.

Q. Strong enough to break through obviously tomorrow mentally?


Q. How do you get that mental toughness? Is it just match after match, close matches in major tournaments?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, it's also learning from the tough moments, learning from the experiences you had and maybe the things you didn't do right at the right times. Yeah, probably getting some experience in these big matches. I guess that's how you grow up and how you get tougher. You know, some people get it quicker than others. It's also really depending on your own evolution. Yeah, I guess that's the way it is.

Q. Kim had I think five Grand Slam finals before she got her Grand Slam. Do you get sick of the questions of, "When will it happen?"

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I used -- well, not too much now, not any more I would say. I think after LA I really convinced myself I was really capable of doing it. It made me really take things very differently now.

Q. Do you think it's unfair that you've been labeled a bit of a choker in the past?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: You know, I haven't won a big one. But I don't really take things like this. I don't see things like this because it's very different what I'm living and what I'm going through from what has been written and said on me. I don't really feel this way.

Q. Have you reflected on how few chances might be left? You're 26. You might play five years, whatever. Not many players win slams even at the age that you're at.

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I've already won slams, is that what you mean?

Q. At your age, not many players win their first Slam.

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Oh, their first Slam.

Q. Novotna at 29. It doesn't happen very often.

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I hope it's going to happen tomorrow (smiling). What can I say? Yeah, it's not very often. Some never do. You know, I'm still in position where I can still believe in doing it. That's what I'm going to try to do tomorrow.

Q. You're not going to treat it as though it's your last chance?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Not at all. That's really not the way I am right now. It's not the way I'm feeling. It's almost the contrary. Now I know I'm capable of really getting to these occasions. Really considering having some more in the future.

Q. Where do you feel you are physically? You look at yourself two, three years ago. A couple years down the road, a lot more miles on the clock. To you still feel like you're arcing and coming up to your physical peak?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Yeah, I'm actually thinking I'm in great shape - maybe in better shape than I used to be maybe three years ago. You know, I pay attention a little bit more to everything, not only on the court but also off the court, what I'm doing, what I'm eating, whatever. I think I'm in a better shape right now actually, which is maybe a little bit strange, but that's the way.

Q. Where is your game different now from '99? Technically you're a better player, but in what way, do you think?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, the technical part of the game is one side. As we were talking about the mental a little earlier, it's probably another thing that I've really worked on, learning from different experiences. And, again, physically I think I'm much stronger. I can last a bit longer. You know, touching wood, for one year now I've been free of injuries. It's a pretty good thing.

Q. Can you remember it being a nervous experience? How was the experience in '99?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Not really. I can't really recall. No, I think it was -- yeah, I don't think I was ready really to go through these kind of experiences at the time.

Q. Where do you think you have an edge over Justine? Where do you think you're better? What departments of your game?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: We'll see tomorrow (laughter).

Q. If you win tomorrow, I suppose the other question is, will you be prepared for the retirement questions?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: You want to push me through the door (smiling)? No, no, I haven't considered that yet.

Q. Kim says a two-year life on her.

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Yeah, I heard she said that in New York, I think it was at the US Open. I was a little bit surprised she was considering to retire at such a young age. You know, if she feels that's the way she wants it to be, then she has that choice, she can make that choice. I'm not there yet.

Q. You haven't got any timeline on you?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: We'll see. If my body holds, we'll see.

Q. Which aspect of the match tomorrow is a bigger challenge, the physical/technical aspect or the mental aspect?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Everything is going to be tough, I know. You know, I'm ready for that. The emotion can play a big part. The technical also will play some part. I don't know if there is one that is going to be more important than the other. I'm ready for every situation, I think.

Q. How much sort of self-belief did the WTA Championship win give you?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: It's difficult to rate, but quite a lot. I think I just proved to myself, you know, I was capable of beating the best players. I was staying on many losses against Kim at the time. I lost against Mary in a pretty tough way in New York a couple months before. I was probably wondering, okay, am I going to be able to do it, all these kind of questions. It came at the right time I think for me.

Q. Will you be playing cards as a prematch entertainment tomorrow?

AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Not before the match, but tonight, yes.

End of FastScripts….

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