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April 18, 2000

Julien Boutter

Q. What feeling does it give to be a winner against a former French Open winner?

JULIEN BOUTTER: It is extremely pleasing, believe me. It is true that I started this match without any particular pressure. During the two first qualifying rounds I played well. I did good things. But there was also bad things. I knew that for winning I had to do the best all the time and as long as possible and that is what happened. I didn't feel any stress or rushing. I took the points one after the other. It went well for me.

Q. The fact of playing on an outside court is it a help compared to playing on center court when you play a player who has such a prestige?

JULIEN BOUTTER: On center court it could have been different. I played my two qualifying rounds on center court and this didn't bother me. Court No. 2 is smaller, closer to the public. I am sure it was an advantage for me.

Q. Did you watch Chang when he played his final in the French Open? It must be a pleasant feeling.

JULIEN BOUTTER: Of course I didn't have the opportunity of playing many of them and I admit that I enjoy these moments, win or lose. That is why I decided to play tennis, to live those kind of moments.

Q. Where were you when you watched Chang's victory in 1989?

JULIEN BOUTTER: I was in a classroom with a small TV, a mini TV. For the French Open the final was on a Sunday so there was no problem. But I followed the whole tournament with my mini TV.

Q. What class were you in?

JULIEN BOUTTER: The last year before university.

Q. In which school?

JULIEN BOUTTER: The school Louie Vincent in Metz. It came a habit. Every year until four years ago we were systematically watching the French Open on television.

Q. Do you have the impression of playing against a French Open winner or a player with a different level?

JULIEN BOUTTER: I think if I had had this impression I wouldn't have been able to play my normal tennis. We worked on that with my coach to demystify all this. Before when I was meeting some players in the lockerrooms a year ago I was shocked and we worked on that with my coach. I know now they are people like any other people. They play tennis well, but there is no reason that they cannot be beaten.

Q. Do you still have myths in your mind?

JULIEN BOUTTER: There are two of them and you know them.

Q. Yes, but they are not here.

JULIEN BOUTTER: Yes, Andre Agassi and Sampras, both are players above the others.

Q. The first time we saw you reaching the international level, it was in 1998 in the French Open; is that right?


Q. What did you do since then?

JULIEN BOUTTER: In fact, my ranking improved by steps. But my level of game was progressive. But what is disturbing is that sometimes you have a good level of game and you don't get the results. There is often a gap between the two and it is not easy to manage. This often slowed me down in my progression. It took time for me to accept that. Improving represents a lot of work with my coach David Martin and we worked a lot on my muscles. Since recently, since two or three months periodically we go to the French stadium of Roland Garros and there is Tulasne, Deblicker and Potier and they practice with my one after the other. It is really pleasant. It is good to work over there. There is a whole structure waiting for you.

Q. I was told you made a mental work on your behavior, on your attitude?

JULIEN BOUTTER: Well, it comes back to what I was saying. I have to be cool when I play with opponents being very famous and I have to put back things into their right place, especially my attitude. Often I demand too much from myself. I get nervous on the court and I don't accept any mistake. We watch tapes and we saw Agassi and Sampras missing shots and not reacting at all. For me it is a work that took time. Now, it is not finished, but it is bitter, it is encouraging.

Q. The stupid dream of saying that working in the French stadium of Roland Garros helps you to demystify the greater players, is it true?

JULIEN BOUTTER: Well, the Roland Garros stadium is a great adventure and here it is the same. Now I am starting to play without having to go to the qualifications and I would like to thank Patrice Dominguez. I have a draw opening up in front of me and it is going forward slowly. I am not looking to against whom I am going to play now. I don't remember your question.

Q. Training or practicing in Roland Garros, does it help to demystify professional tennis and the major players?

JULIEN BOUTTER: The main thing is to play against them. I saw them in the lockerrooms and things like that.

Q. In 1998 you didn't seem very impressed by Cedric?

JULIEN BOUTTER: Yes, I was all the same a bit impressed because in my two matches every time I was up 5-Love with Cedric; now we see each other in the lockerrooms and there is no problems anymore.

Q. For the rest of the tournament do you know who you are going to play?


Q. Sargsian?

JULIEN BOUTTER: It is not bad. I already practiced against him. We will see what will happen. I will trying to gather some information here and there. We will see.

Q. Just a reminder, before becoming a professional tennis man you studied. What did you do?

JULIEN BOUTTER: I had a Baccalaureate E. Now, with the -- they changed the name, it means -- it was math, physics and mechanics. It is like the former Baccalaureate C with mechanics and technology on top of it.

Q. Is it useful in tennis?

JULIEN BOUTTER: Yes. In fact, what it bring to me, well it is being rigorous, having a tight schedule, respecting the schedule, working, I took tennis like a real job from there on. It was a choice and I don't think it was a bad solution. Sometimes I am asked if I didn't regret that I didn't start tennis earlier. Well, no, I don't believe so. I think for my balance, mental balance, the studies were important for me. I had a normal life. It gives me a lot of strength. Of course I lack matches, it is true, but I am filling the gap little by little.

Q. You have a sort of applied "mechanics" in your attitude. When you win a point you touch your cap and when you lose a point you don't do that. Is it on purpose? Is it superstition? Do you realize?

JULIEN BOUTTER: No, I don't realize at all. I will have to watch the tapes.

End of FastScripts…

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