July 1, 2004
WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND, S. WILLIAMS/A. Mauresmo 6-7, 7-5, 6-4
THE MODERATOR: Who is first?
Q. Where did things get away from you today?
AMELIE MAURESMO: I don't know. You know, in these matches, it's just couple points here and there. Can't really tell when. But, yeah, it's just -- you know, I'm break up in that second set and couldn't hold my serve. Yeah, probably I was -- I was -- it's a shame that, yeah, I couldn't hold that serve till the end. But that's just the way it is. Again, I think it was very close, not only that second set but also in that third set. I still had a couple occasions here and there, and she finally made the difference. Again, it's just a few points, that's it.
Q. The set point in the second set, it was difficult to see whether or not you could have reached the lob or whether you held back thinking it might be going long. Which was it?
AMELIE MAURESMO: I can't remember actually.
Q. A lot of wind.
AMELIE MAURESMO: Yeah, well, I guess if I didn't hit it, I wasn't feeling I was in good position to reach it. On the line, just on the line, so what can you... It's good shot. But even before that, I think I could have made the difference before that.
Q. How does the disappointment compare with the disappointment of losing in the quarters at the French?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Oh, it's not -- there's no comparison between the two to me. Because in Paris, I felt that I didn't play my game, I didn't give hundred percent, I was too tense, I wasn't able, yeah, to give it all. And I felt I'm coming out of the court here, you know, having played some great tennis. Of course, the frustration of not going through this one, the deception, it's a big disappointment. It's a really completely different way of thinking. It's tough, but it was a great match. Of course, it's never easy to lose, but I guess it shows that my game is really up there compared to a couple years ago when I lost to Serena - I think it was 2-1 or something. I think I improved a lot, and I'm going to get there.
Q. She actually says she enjoys playing against you. Did you enjoy the match? Is this the best you have performed against her that you remember?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Yes, I think it's one of the best match we've played together. Obviously, in such a big circumstances, semis of a Grand Slam. Well, I think I enjoyed playing out there today, yeah. I felt comfortable. I felt good on the court. I was reading the game pretty well. Yeah, it was a great match. The only bad thing for me is that I lost it again.
Q. Was it more a mental thing at the end than ability or something?
AMELIE MAURESMO: I don't feel like it, really. I think that probably the fact that I couldn't serve the way that I served in the first set and the beginning of that second set made it a little easier for her on the return games. But that's just the way it is, and it's not an excuse or whatever. But I don't feel like it's mental. I played the game I planned to play. It worked well, but not enough - just not enough.
Q. Americans have an expression, maybe the French do, too, "leave it all on the court." It means whatever you take to the court, take nothing back into the locker room with you.
AMELIE MAURESMO: Yeah.
Q. Was this one of those matches where both players left it all on the court?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Well, to me, yeah. You have to ask Serena if she left it all on the court. But, yeah, again, I'm coming out of this court having no knowing what I should have done better. Yeah, I think that's good expression for this one.
Q. What are the positives you take away from the tournament? How hard is it to sort of keep knocking on the door of the Slams but not getting to the finals?
AMELIE MAURESMO: I mean, now it's disappointment, of course. But, again, as I was saying a few moments ago, it's coming, it's coming. Of course, it's not there yet. I would love to reach a final again like five years ago. But, again, I think I'm getting closer and closer. It takes more time for me than for other players. That's just the way it is and I have to accept it. And, again, go forward and keep working.
Q. What would you say was the turning point in the match, a game or point that really turned it around?
AMELIE MAURESMO: It's hard to say because there were many occasions, some breaks, break backs. There were a lot of occasions where we both kind of took the advantage - you know, when she broke me back in that second set was a big point, then she broke me again to lead 5-3, then I came back, broke her back, 5-All. You know, it's a lot of up and downs, back and forths, so tough to say.
Q. There have been a lot of injuries on the women's tour this year which have kept very important players from performing for the public. Women's tennis needed a big shot in the arm at this tournament. Are you too emotionally involved in this loss to be able to look at the broader picture that in the last few days here, with the emergence of Maria Sharapova, this match, how good it was, to say women's tennis is back and it's vibrant again?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Yeah, I mean, when you look at today's matches, not only talking about our match but also the first semifinal, I think it's very emotional and very exciting to watch, I would say. It's tough for me now to talk about it because, again, I don't feel like it's the momennt for me to talk about that. But I think it would be also great to see all the players fit all in the same time to really perform at their best level.
Q. You have your 25th birthday next week. Sort of a symbolic midpoint of a sports person's career. Do you feel you're happy with where you are and what you've still got to achieve?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Oh, yeah, I'm happy about the way I am, about my life, about how things are going on the court and off the court. Again, I'm improving on different areas of my game, of my life. I'm following my - I don't know how you say - my road. I don't know how you say. But, no, I'm feeling pretty good, yeah. I'm getting old, but it's okay (smiling).
Q. How much of a factor was the back today? Can you say really what it was doing to you out there?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Again, I don't know. Maybe it would have been the same result if the back was good. You never know. As I said, maybe made it a little easier for her sometimes to be able to return and break me.
Q. Were you in constant pain? Was it coming and going?
AMELIE MAURESMO: On the serve.
Q. Always on the serve?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Yeah, each serve. But not on like the forehands, backhands.
Q. Same back problem you've had in the past?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Yeah, yeah, always the same.
Q. Is it sometimes the case that when you have a handicap like that, you tend to focus more on the other aspects?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Yeah.
Q. And sometimes it's an advantage, not too much of a disadvantage because you key in on the others?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Yeah, you try to focus in on something else and make sure you loosen up with this. But I didn't feel like I had to focus on something else. I felt that I didn't need that to be performing today. So was probably more of a disadvantage today. Whereas sometimes, you're right, it could be an advantage.
Q. Do you feel like your game is uniquely qualified to beat these power players?
AMELIE MAURESMO: I think they've been beaten by other players than me. Talking about Justine, talking about Kim, Jennifer also beat Serena at the French Open. We all have different games. But, you know, probably on this surface, going to the net, going forward, trying to take it -- trying to make her play as many balls as I can, make her pass me sometimes, was very important for me today. But didn't work enough. I feel like, yeah, I have some weapons to beat her. But, obviously, the record is not good enough for me. I only won once, and I don't know how many times she beat me.
Q. How do you size up the final between Serena and Maria?
AMELIE MAURESMO: It's going to be interesting. I don't know really. Also Serena has a lot more experience of these moments, so we'll have to see how Sharapova is going to handle that. But she seemed to be able to -- she was probably a little bit tense today at the beginning, but then was able to really raise her game. So we'll see.
Q. Sometimes young kids who get deep into a draw, even a final of a Grand Slam, they're not even thinking that this is a tense thing. You may remember Sergi Bruguera getting to his first final. It was nothing to him, just having fun. Do you think Sharapova is that sort of player?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Could be.
Q. "This is so much fun, let's just let it go tomorrow"?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Could be. That's the moment where you are more, you know, not conscious of what's going on. So maybe it's the best time, yeah, to achieve her dream. But it's tough to say really. You never know how she's going to react.
Q. What's your perception of her in that regard?
AMELIE MAURESMO: I think, yeah, she's maybe not too much conscious of what's going on, but still she knows what she's doing and she knows where she is - she knows what she wants obviously. So she's working hard to achieve that, and I think she knows where she is.
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