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July 7, 2006

Amelie Mauresmo


THE MODERATOR: First question for Amélie.

Q. How do you feel the day before the final?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, I feel good. You know, just starting to think a little bit about tomorrow's match. Also pretty impatient to go out there.
But, you know, so far I'm having a good day. Try to hit a little bit this afternoon if the rain doesn't show up. Yeah, good day.

Q. Do you get nervous before these big, big games?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: No, I'm getting excited really. Yeah, it's starting to go up a little bit, which is good. That's the way it should be. That's how I'm feeling right now. Still very relaxed at the moment.
I'm sure the tension is going to come probably before the match tomorrow, which is normal. So far I'm feeling okay.

Q. Which do you prefer, being the underdog going into it or the favorite?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I don't really care. I don't even know what I am right now. Am I underdog? Am I the favorite? I don't know. To be honest, it doesn't really matter.
It's just about the game. It's just about how you're going to go out there and perform and try to play at your best level, try to show the best side of your game. You know, one of us will go out of this having shown better than the other one. Hopefully it will be me.
I'm not sure it really matters whether you're the favorite or not.

Q. When you were growing up, obviously your dream was to play the final of Roland Garros. Would this have been the second pick?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I always thought I had more chances here. That's what I've been saying in the last few years because I've been asking, Where do you think you have the more chances to win a Grand Slam? It came in Australia, but I always said it was probably here that I had the more chances.
It finally comes that I have the opportunity to play for the title here. Yeah, I mean, it's the most prestigious tournament in the world. It's definitely one of these ones you want to win. It's right there, of course, with the French, that's for sure.

Q. At the top level of women's tennis, where the players are all so talented, how much of a deciding factor do you think it is which player is better able to handle her nerves?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: It's a big factor. I think it plays a lot on the women's game maybe more than the men's game. I think all the experience that you can get, all the little details that you try to work on are very important. Emotions are a big part in women, so in women's sports also.
Yeah, it makes it pretty exciting. Sometimes you suffer a lot also. You know, then the reward is even better.

Q. Do you think that's something you get better at with experience?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I'm trying. I'm trying, you know. It's always a learning experience every time you go out on the court. Again, yeah, I'm trying to learn from the bad moments I had, learn also from the moments where I was able to overcome these moments of tension. I'm following my way talking about that.
We're all very different. We've seen Justine had very different experiences. She was able much younger than me to control her emotions better. We're all very different.

Q. Do you think you have the edge over her after what happened in Australia?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: No, I mean, I don't know. Maybe it's better to ask her this, how she feels about that. I'm sure she really wants to have the revenge, she really wants to show that, you know, she can win here also. I think it's the only one she hasn't won.
No, I don't I don't see things this way. Doesn't matter for me what happened there, what will happen in the next times we're going to play. It's just, you know, this one match and this final I have to be consistent.

Q. You came here as the world No. 1, top seed. Maybe the media spotlight wasn't on you so much here. You ended up playing your first-round game on Court 2. Do you think with not so much focus, so much pressure on you, that's allowed you to get through the tournament in such impressive style this year?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, I always felt this way here because also for me, coming out of the French Open, the attention, the pressure, the expectation from the crowd is so big. So whether I'm No. 1 or not, coming here it always feels like it's more relaxing and probably less attention, plus the fact that my game is expressing itself very well for a few years now on the grass.
Yeah, it's very different. But I don't really pay attention to that.

Q. What do you feel will give you the edge tomorrow?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, it's probably, without talking about the game specifically, probably the one that's going to take the opportunities, take the chances. She likes to play aggressive as well, coming in as well. It will probably be a battle of the one that's going to get to the net earlier.
You know the nerves might take a big part in the match, maybe at the beginning, maybe after, I don't know. A little bit of everything. And physically I feel good. That's a good recover from yesterday's match. I think we both are in great shape. We'll see.

Q. What will your routine be tomorrow? How bad would you expect the butterflies to be in the morning?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: My routine is going to be about the same. I'm going to probably have the same kind of schedule I usually have, like warm-up a couple hours probably before the final, then have a little something to eat, then really get ready, talk about the match more specifically with Loïc probably.
Well, yeah, I'm probably going to get up a little bit excited and also impatient I think.

Q. If you finally reach a match point and win it, will it complete you as a person?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: As a player, yeah, it will complete, again, it will give me even more satisfaction and feeling of the well-done work. As a person, I'm not sure about that. You know, it would give me a lot of joy.
Yeah, I don't think so. I don't think it's really that much related.

Q. She's the French Open champion, you're the world No. 1. The way you play, the style you play, Wimbledon Centre Court, this is about as perfect as it could get for women's tennis?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I hope. I hope it will be a great match. I hope we both can really compete at our best level.
I think it's a great - 'affiche' - on the paper, it's really a great final. Also talking about the style of play we both play on this surface, it's going to make it pretty exciting.

Q. Do you watch videos analyzing your opponent? Justine said she didn't watch your game yesterday.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I watched a little bit of her game because I was playing after. I watched a little bit of that semifinal. Not very closely, but I could still see a few things here and there that both actually were doing - doing great, doing not so good. So, yeah, I'm trying to think a little bit about that.

Q. Does it surprise you she doesn't analyze opponents?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, I think that's what she says (smiling).

Q. Suzanne Lenglen was the last French woman to win here in 1925. What does it mean to you to have your name mentioned in the same sentence?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, it's great. It just feels strange that no French has ever done it again, no French woman as done it again since then. You know, hopefully I'll be able to join her on the board.

Q. It could be an incredible weekend for French sports with the football. Have you had any messages from the footballers wishing you luck or have you sent them any?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: No, I didn't. I think they're really focusing on what they have to do on Sunday, I guess spending some time together. They're probably a little bit isolated where they stay, which is good for them.

Q. What do you recall most about how you were after winning the Australian Open this year?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Probably the confidence, the joy of course, but the confidence it gave me afterwards and the feeling. That's what I said right after, the feeling that, Okay, I have proved to me that I was capable of doing all the goals I've said I wanted to achieve: No. 1, the Fed Cup, and then winning a Grand Slam.
I felt relieved a little bit. Also after Los Angeles, but also after Melbourne I felt a little bit big relief actually.

Q. Do you have any friendships with any of the French footballers?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: No, I don't know them. I don't know any of these guys. Never met them.

End of FastScripts...

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