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July 3, 2006

Amelie Mauresmo


THE MODERATOR: Good evening, everyone. Questions for Amélie Mauresmo.

Q. Even though you beat this player at Key Biscayne earlier, were there still some psychological implications for this match for you?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, not really. It was more of a tennis thing, you know. She's hitting the ball very well, incredibly hard. I really wanted to make sure that I was good on my service games, of course, but also giving her some trouble on her service games, which I was able to do, especially a little bit more in that second set.
No, I just knew I had to be strong, of course, mentally. But that's not only against her, that's from now on. I mean, every match you're going to play is going to be a tough one mentally. You have to be there, you have to hang in there even though sometimes you don't feel so good.
Yeah, I just wanted to make sure it happened like this.

Q. You saw the quarterfinal game between France and Brazil.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Yes, obviously. Yes, of course. I was 10 minutes late, but it was okay.

Q. And now France will play with Portugal. What do you think about the Portuguese team?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, I think -- you know, I'm not a football specialist, but just overall about the situation I think semifinals is always tough match anyways. Looking at the other side, as well.
No, I mean, I feel confident for France. I hope they're going to make it, but it's going to be a tough one.

Q. Do you know any Portuguese player?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Some of the soccer player?

Q. Yes.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: No. I mean, I know the names, but I don't know any of them. I have never met some of them.

Q. This year for you has been a bit of an up and down. You started the season great, take some time off to recover yourself a little bit. When you came back, you weren't quite at the level you were early in the season. Are you there now?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, I needed that break. Of course, it maybe broke a little bit the momentum, but I really felt I needed this time off to make sure also physically I was able to keep going for the whole year. A year is not only three months. It's 10, almost 11 months.
But I feel it's coming back really. I feel great here, you know, better and better as the tournament is going, as I'm hitting on grass. Hopefully, I will be even better next time.
But it's true that this moment (indiscernible) I feel coming back right now.

Q. Sometimes when you're playing very well as you were at the Australian Open, there are certain shots that you make, shots you don't have to make every time.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: When you have confidence, yeah.

Q. Are you getting that feeling in this tournament? Have there been shots you've made in this tournament that maybe would have been 50/50 a month ago?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: It's coming. No, I think so. I agree when you said I had a little down after all that happened, after Australia. But then I feel it's coming back. I feel these shots that you're talking about are really starting to come back.

Q. A long, long way to go, but can you imagine in your mind holding the winner's plate up on Saturday as the champion?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I mean, no. You said it, it's a long, long way still. It's probably there somewhere in my mind, you know. It's of course a goal coming here, coming into any tournament for me, but especially in a Grand Slam. It's there sometimes in the back of my mind.
But I also know it has to be match after match, game after game, and that's how it's going to work until maybe I win it or I'm out of the tournament. That's how it's going to be.
I just have to stay in the present and stay focused on each match I have to play.

Q. You face Myskina in the next round. What are your thoughts on that match?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, she seemed to be playing pretty well on grass, being in the final last week -- I mean the week before in Eastbourne, and playing some pretty good tennis here.
Maybe it's going to be a little bit of a different match than I played against her last year. Last year I think she was a bit down in her career after winning the French Open the year before. She had some trouble staying at the highest level. She seemed to be coming back pretty strong.
I really have to be focusing hard, like I did today. Even though it's going to be very different, I mean, Ivanovic likes to play one, two, three shots maximum. It seems like we're going to have longer rallies with Anastasia.
I'm ready for it. I know her very well. She knows me, obviously, very well also. So I'm expecting a tough one.

Q. One of the great legends of all time played his last match yesterday. By any chance, would you have a favorite Andre story or thought?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, I was asked at the beginning of the tournament what was my memory of him. I think winning the French Open in '99 was quite amazing because, first of all, the way he came back in that final, losing two sets -- being two sets down. Nobody really would probably see him come back that strong and winning that fourth Grand Slam because that's the one he was waiting for for a long time.
Also the way he behaves off the court. He's such a great guy. What he brings to tennis off the court, the charisma he has. It's a big loss. I think it's a big loss for tennis. But I guess he has so many other things to do now and really enjoys different things, family and the rest. Maybe he's going to get involved even more in his charity. Maybe he stays in the tennis somehow.
But, yeah, I watched it actually. I watched that moment on TV. It was quite emotional I felt at the time. It's a bit sad. But that's the way it is.

Q. On the men's side, there is a focus. There is Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Right now on the women's side with the Williams sisters chronically injured, Lindsay, we don't know how close she is to retiring, doesn't seem to be a focus right now at the top. Is it important there be a player that everybody shoots for in women's tennis the way there is in the men's?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I don't think so. You know, I don't -- I think it makes it pretty excited also to have maybe four or five names that are capable of winning here, of winning the French Open, all the Grand Slams.
To me it makes it all very excited for you guys, for the crowd, for people coming, for us also. Sometimes it happens, you know, for six months, for one year, maybe two years, that you have one player like Roger Federer does on the men's side probably. But, you know, it doesn't happen all the time. It happens to be a time where you have, you know, four, five, six names that can win a big one like this.
I think it makes it pretty excited for the crowd.

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