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March 26, 2006

Amelie Mauresmo


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Can you tell me what it is like to play against another French player?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Well, it's not so easy even though I think it was tougher at the beginning of my career to play against French players. I think now I kind of got used to it at some point and really, in these kind of matches, I think I'm now able to play at my best level on the day.
So I find it, for me, okay now to play against French players.
Q. Most people that I've spoken to see they can see a great surge in confidence that you have the last two months maybe. Is that the case?
AMELIE MAURESMO: It is. Well, obviously, you know, having the kind of wins that I've had in the last, yeah, maybe even three months, three or four months, if we include the end of last year, yeah, gave me a lot of confidence. And, really, put me into a position where I'm pretty relaxed now in the way I handle every tournament I go in, and in the way I'm walking on the court.
You know, even though I can still have bad days or whatever, I feel much more comfortable now than I used to.
Q. Are you encouraged at all by the fact the way the draw is shaping up, some of the players withdrew?
AMELIE MAURESMO: No, not really. I'm not really watching. I mean, I'm aware that Kim and Justine are out, but I'm really focusing on myself and what I have to do. You know, obviously, each match is a tough one, and I'm playing a tough opponent in the next round.
So, you know, I'm just wanting to see day after day.
Q. Before you won your first major in Australia, people often asked you: What's more important to you, being No. 1, or winning a major?
AMELIE MAURESMO: At least I'm not gonna have the questions anymore talking about... you'll find new ones, of course (smiling).
Q. You're No. 1 now and the reigning Australian Open champion. Can you say at this point which feels more satisfying to you?
AMELIE MAURESMO: It's really different achievements. I think it's maybe -- well, I don't know, because the first time I was No. 1 was, I think, very emotional for me and little bit like it was in Australia. So I would probably compare these two things.
But becoming again No. 1 was not so important to me, so probably the Grand Slam this year was more important to me, and that was more of a goal for me.
But still, you know, I'm very proud of being No. 1 again and walking on a court as a No. 1 player in the world is kind of a very nice thing to feel. It doesn't happen, you know, in a life. It's really an important step.
I don't know. I'm really, you know, I really cannot decide myself on what is the most important. Of course now I think the Grand Slams are going to be probably more important to me now, but being No. 1 for the first time was such a nice moment.
Q. Is it a goal to keep it a little bit longer?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Well, of course. Of course, yeah, I'll try. I'll try.
We'll see, you know. Hopefully, I'm gonna be capable of keeping it longer than the last time, but, you know, it's not really something that I'm obsessed with or whatever. I just want to keep it because I'm playing well, because I'm going, you know, far in different tournaments, and because I'm enjoying being on the court and playing my best tennis.
Q. Is there any level of disappointment on your part that you're the No. 1 player and not playing on the Stadium Court?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Well, we were laughing about it last night, with Loic, kind of in a really cheeky way or whatever, saying, "What? I'm not playing on center court, what's going on?" (Smiling) .
But we were just having some fun and really joking about that. It's true, I prefer to play on the Stadium Courts. And these courts, I mean, that's why we play tennis, obviously, to play on big stadiums and being able to play in the front of as many people as we can.
But I also know that here in this tournament and in the Grand Slams as well, it's a lot of great players out there and a lot of tough matches, and probably talking about also Hingis-Kuznetsova coming up, so I can also understand that.
Q. For the first time, Australian Open prize money is the same for the women?
AMELIE MAURESMO: For the winner.
Q. Is that true?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Yeah, are they selling it to you like it is for everybody? Not yet, but it's a step closer to it.
Q. Can you tell me what your feelings are about that. It means that Wimbledon is the only one that's not even going to have that. Can you tell me what your feeling would be about that.
AMELIE MAURESMO: As I said, it's another step going to the equal prize money for the whole tournament. I know that the French and Wimbledon probably are not wanting to do it so far, and it's a tough fight, I think for years now from WTA against these two Grand Slams.
So I'm sure at some point one day maybe we'll be able to have it. I think it shows, you know, that women's tennis is getting more entertaining for people. They want to come and watch some women's tennis as well as the men's tennis. Probably we should have a reward on that.
But I'm patient (smiling).
Q. Would it increase the pressure on Wimbledon?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Well, if the French do it at every -- each round of the tournament, of course it would put big pressure on Wimbledon.

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