March 30, 2005
THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.
Q. So, Amelie, now you sit back and wait for your opponent.
AMELIE MAURESMO: Yeah. Pretty comfortable situation, huh?
Q. Will you watch the match?
AMELIE MAURESMO: No. I don't know if it's on TV actually. If it's on TV, I'm gonna watch it.
Q. We could get you a seat.
AMELIE MAURESMO: I'm not sure I'm going to come back here tonight to have a look at it, but I might. I might. I'll see.
Q. Is there any profit to watching a player you've seen so many times?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Yeah, you can still learn a couple things here and there. You can still see a few things that you haven't really focused on in the past. But of course I know how these two guys are playing. I mean, Kim, I haven't seen her play, obviously, for more than a year now. I haven't seen her play since she's back. So it might be interesting.
Q. You played extraordinarily in the first set.
AMELIE MAURESMO: Yeah.
Q. Could you have been more aggressive in closing out this match?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Yeah, probably, but she surprised me a little bit at, you know, 3-Love. She started really to hit pretty hard and everything was in. I was a little bit surprised about that. You know, I probably should have been more -- react more quickly to this situation than having to close it off at 5-4 in the second, which is always a tough situation. So, you know, just pretty happy to make it in straight sets. Obviously, a little bit of experience at the end paid off probably.
Q. Especially in that first set, it seemed like you were catching every line, every corner.
AMELIE MAURESMO: Yeah.
Q. How big of a part of your game is that?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Yeah, I was playing some good tennis. Actually, I felt since, you know, the tournament started I'm playing better and better. Probably the first set and a half that I played today were the best ones. But also, you know, I thought she was giving me a lot of free points as well. Wasn't moving pretty well. So, yeah, I was pretty happy about that. I thought it was gonna keep going like this. That's why I got a little surprised when she came back a little stronger.
Q. What's changed from the disappointment of Indian Wells to the way you started here, then suddenly things have picked up?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Well, I guess I needed this tough first round to really put me into that tournament, to really erase what happened at Indian Wells, which is now the case, you know. When you start off a new tournament, you want to do well. And when you had the disappointment which was my case in Indian Wells, you know, you want to take it right away in the past. So that's what I did. And, again, my game is really improving I think every match here. So pretty satisfied about that.
Q. We have an expression in the United States, it's called "playing not to lose," rather than playing to win.
AMELIE MAURESMO: Yeah, we have that in French as well (laughing). In every language, I'm sure you have that.
Q. Do you think you sometimes fall into that little trap of playing not to lose?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Well, especially in that second part of the match today, because I really, you know, I was aggressive and everything and then, again, I got surprised, which I shouldn't have when she came back a little stronger in that second set. So in this case, I should, of course, be more aggressive, trying to find another way to leave her back into the -- her head into the water. Do you have that expression as well (laughing)?
Q. How do you slap yourself back into reality to keep you from doing that?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Well, I don't know. If you have a tip for me or something, you know (smiling)... No, I'm just trying to focus on what I do. I guess physically also I needed to move a little bit more because, you know, she was giving me a lot of points. I didn't have to work too hard for the points for like nine or ten games. So only I have to play it. And I think physically I was not ready for this. So maybe that's the key, try to work physically and get more intense physically to really get back into the match.
Q. Killer instinct?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Yeah, maybe.
Q. On the other side of the bracket you have Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams, who both have a very distinctive style, very similar. How would you compare their styles to yours?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Well, I think they hit the ball pretty hard from the baseline on both sides. They're really capable to make a difference on one shot. They both serve pretty well. They don't come in so often. Maybe that's the difference with my game, I'm putting little bit more of spin. I'm really able to slice on the backhand side, which is not so natural for them. You know, all these kind of details are making a huge difference, I think.
Q. How can you make that work for you if it gets to the point where you're facing one of them in the final?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Well, I think that's my game. That's the way I play the game - lot of variation, lot of different speed of balls, different spin, and coming in as well. So it's all these things that can help me.
Q. If you look on the women's tour now, almost every time you turn around there's a new player coming in, Linetskaya or this girl you've played three times now. Probably next week somebody else that no one has heard of will make an impact. Does it surprise you, or have you seen this coming for some time?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Well, I think we've seen the Russian coming, obviously, in the last couple years. But you always have young, young players coming in, I think. It's also tough. Sometimes you have them coming in and then struggling little bit to hang in there, to really confirm what they did on the first year on the tour. I think you always have, you know, new players. Every year you see new faces, juniors coming into the seniors. I was one of them at the time - long time ago now (smiling). But it's pretty -- I mean, it's funny, I think, and it's nice to actually see new faces, I think.
Q. Now you've seen this young teenager three times this year.
AMELIE MAURESMO: Yes, already three times.
Q. How is she?
AMELIE MAURESMO: She's hitting the ball very well. She's powerful. She's able to serve very well as well. She's proved, I mean, in these last few months, that she's really capable of playing some great tennis. She already won a tournament at the beginning of the year, you know. It's not coincidence if I play her three times in like three months, you know; it means that she is there, she's playing some good tennis, consistent already at 17. So, yeah, she's playing good.
Q. To what extent is the No. 1 ranking on your mind here? How much are you aware of it?
AMELIE MAURESMO: I'm not aware what I have to do exactly to get it back. I know I can get it back after this tournament. To me, of course it's a focus. I mean, I'm focused on that, but it's not my main focus. I think the game and also doing well in these big events, as well as in the Grand Slams, is today more important to me. Of course I would love to get it back, but having had it once is pretty different. My goals are somewhere else.
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