August 21, 2004
ATHENS, GREECE, J. HENIN-HARDENNE/A. Mauresmo 6-3, 6-3
THE MODERATOR: Questions in French for Amelie, please.
Q. Were you surprised at the level of Justine's play?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Yes, I thought that she played very well. As soon as she started the match, I thought she started very, very strongly. She didn't give me much chance to develop my own game, to really set up the game that I like to play. But, as I said, when I came out of the match earlier, well done to her. I tip my hat off to her. She did well.
Q. Her service, you had no breakpoints?
AMELIE MAURESMO: No, I couldn't find a solution. Whether it was her service, I didn't serve that well. So it's true that on the service I really did have some difficulties. But I think that I don't really have much else to say except that she was better than me today and that's all.
Q. The fact of waiting for three and a half hours, did that have an impact? Did that have an influence?
AMELIE MAURESMO: No, no, I don't think so.
Q. You had two double-faults. Did that have an impact?
AMELIE MAURESMO: No, there was no relationship with the fact that I had to wait or anything that happened previously. There were comparable situations throughout the week, and that didn't have any impact. No, no, you can't attribute my failure to that.
Q. What prevails? Is it the satisfaction of having a medal or the sadness you didn't get gold?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Well, first of all, when you're on the podium, of course you want to be on the highest step, you want to get a gold. But I'm still very proud of what I've done. I'm proud to bring this medal home to the French delegation. I'm proud of myself. I'm very proud. Once more, we've got into the history of sport in general and I think I'm very lucky.
Q. Where are you going to put this medal among your trophies?
AMELIE MAURESMO: I'm going to put it next to the Fed Cup. I've already thought about this. You're very lucky. I have the answer already prepared for you (smiling).
Q. Were you surprised by her level of play?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Yes, of course. I think that to come back at this level after a few months of having stopped, I think you can see that she's really taken her time to prepare herself properly to be certain to come back straightaway at a very high level, not the way she was previously. So I think she really took her time to be certain to be immediately at a very, very high level.
Q. You said when you came off the court that the games were too fast. You said that it was too fast. Could you elaborate on that?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Yes, because to a certain extent you want to take full advantage of your victory, you want to really savor the moment. For me, it's a new experience, an experience that I wanted to take my time over, that I wanted to savor. That, unfortunately, wasn't the case. But it doesn't matter. I've still got lots of visual images, I've got lots of feelings, emotions when you go on the court, when you go towards the podium, when your name is called out. These are, after all, the Olympic Games.
Q. We had the feeling that you're discovering the magic of the Olympic Games. You already played in Sydney. What's the difference?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Sydney, well, I didn't get into the finals, so of course it's much more magic to arrive on the podium to get a medal than just to see a few matches, to play a few matches. The other difference is that I was actually in the Olympic village. So you really -- I think that also contributes to the magic, to feel that you're part of the French delegation, all the athletes. You look at what other people are doing, see who's doing well. There's a lot of mutual encouragement, and that's a very pleasant aspect. And in Sydney, I didn't really take full advantage of that. So here, even though unfortunately I wasn't able to see other competitions, I feel that in my sport that I really have taken full advantage of it, that I got a lot out of this experience.
Q. With the French...
AMELIE MAURESMO: It's wonderful, but it's difficult to describe the feeling when you see the French flag. It's an emotion, makes you think. It evokes a lot of things, a lot of things that happened to me in the past. Of course it provokes a lot of emotion. I would have liked to hear the Marseilles, the French National Anthem being played. It didn't happen. But nevertheless, the French flag flew high in the stadium and that's already very good.
Q. You said that you were perhaps going to go and see other sports. Perhaps you won't have the time.
AMELIE MAURESMO: No, unfortunately I won't have the time. I'm going back tomorrow to the US Open.
Q. I don't have the exact timetable, but did you know that Christina, who shares the flat with you, did you know she didn't win her race?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Not at all. You're telling me this. This is news to me. I didn't realize. I had no information at all about this. I asked for the final results, but she wasn't actually in the finals?
Q. No. Can you compare this to Australia, to the finals? Was it the same thing?
AMELIE MAURESMO: No (smiling). No, for me, the comparisons can't be drawn. In fact, perhaps it is now that I realize the difference between a Grand Slam and between the Olympic Games. It's a question that I was asked a lot before coming here. I think it is different. We have a lot more hopes on our shoulders, a lot more responsibility, we're bearing our country's colors. When we go up to the podium, we're representing our country, and I think that's a big difference. I enjoyed this experience a lot more. I'm also older. I think for that reason as well (smiling).
End of FastScriptsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.