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July 8, 2006
THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon. Questions for the Wimbledon champion.
Q. Where is the trophy?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Where is (smiling)?
THE MODERATOR: Lost it.
Q. Does this feel any more special than Australia?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I don't know. It's really -- I still can't believe it, like, you know, it's still really not there.
I did not really expect coming here, you know, I wasn't feeling great. But then, you know, all of a sudden, everything came together playing again on grass, and especially here at Wimbledon. Then, you know, I find myself winning finally that semifinal that I struggled in the last few years, and then the opportunity to go for the trophy.
It feels great. I mean, it's just as I was saying yesterday and couple days ago, it's the most prestigious tournament in the world, and it really is a special moment for me. Also having to wait so long in between my first and second Grand Slam final, and then having two Grand Slam in the same year is kind of great and really the work has been paying.
There were some tough moments, but I always thought I could make it, you know - and the people around me, also. That's important, and today helped me a lot because she was playing great in the first set, and I was not feeling so good. My serve and volley was not working - missing quite a few volleys. Then I was really able to pump myself up right from the beginning of the second set, and then was totally different match that started.
Q. Amélie, your devastating serving down the stretch of this match, the last couple of games, particularly in the deuce court, is that of the special things that you're going to remember about this tournament?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Probably I think especially in that last game. Two aces on key moments, that's always very nice and very comfortable to feel and to think that you can rely on this big weapon, which, you know, couple days ago did not work so well in the middle of the match. But then today, you know, was able really to come up with probably my best service games in the last set. So that made, of course, life a little bit easier on the last game.
Q. Were you nervous in that last game?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I was a little bit nervous on the matchpoint I would say, which is probably understandable. But then, you know, I was really focusing on the game, on what I had to do, on my serve, on my volley, if I was serving and volley. That was about it.
Q. What's the most gratifying aspect of your performance today?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Probably the way I turned things around. You know, you're 6-2 down against Justine in the final of a Grand Slam. You not in such great position at the time (smiling). You feel like, Okay, what do I need to do? What am I going to do? How am I going to change things around? How am I gonna just make it go my way?
Again, I really felt I pumped myself up. I let it out a little bit. I yelled a little bit. I was much more aggressive right from the beginning of that second set.
Q. You won serving and volleying. The men are not even doing that.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Not anymore, yeah.
Q. Does that make it special? Do you want to see more men serving and volleying and playing a grass court game?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I don't care (laughing).
Q. Does that make it special for you that you played a true grass court game?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: No, I mean, we've seen Justine also coming in a lot, especially in that third set, after her serve. No, I mean, I'm just very proud about the way I kept coming in even though in the first set it was not working very well on my serve-and-volley game. Yeah, just I'm very happy to maybe have mixed it up a little bit more then. And the rest, I don't care (smiling).
Q. During the change of ends, you have a head thing where you bury your head in your towel before you go out. Can you tell us what that's about.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: It's inspiration.
Q. How do you get inspiration from burying your face in a towel?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I don't know.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: You know, I just try to maybe get a little bit extra focus and extra concentration. I don't know why I did that. I mean, it just came that way. It worked out very well because I did it at the end of the first set, I think. So, you know, after that, I just thought it was working well, so I kept doing it.
Q. Do you feel your victory will be an inspiration for the French World Cup victory tomorrow?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I hope. I hope (smiling).
Q. What does it say on your T-shirt there?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: It says 'Big Confidence' from Reebok. They already made the champion's T-shirt.
Q. Very, very tough conditions out there today. The wind, balls bouncing.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: At the beginning especially, yeah.
Q. Was it a good day to be 5'9" rather than 5'5"?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I don't know. The wind was pretty hard, especially I felt at the beginning. We're not used to that during the tournament, because every day was almost a perfect day to play tennis, you know. Was hot and just a little bit of wind. So I guess I was a little bit surprised when I came out on court 'cause this morning for warm-up it was not the case. Yeah, so that was a little bit different. But I guess, yeah, I mean, I don't know.
Q. Were there times when you were deeply hurt by the critics and criticism, and how did you deal with it?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: What?
Q. When you were criticized for your nerves and everything, were there times that it hurt? How did you deal with that?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: No, it didn't hurt because I was, I think, realistic and I could see that sometimes the nerves got involved. So that's how I am, that's how it is. That's, you know, why I've been maybe -- why it took me longer than others and why I've been working maybe in different areas of this aspect.
Q. It's taken you quite a while to achieve many of your wonderful accomplishments. Is it sweeter?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: It is very sweet, I think. Well, yeah, maybe if it came the first time I was in a Grand Slam final seven years ago, maybe it would have not had the same taste. Things come when they have to come. Well, since few months now, it seems to be working pretty well for me. It seems that I finally found how maybe to handle the nerves a bit better, how my game is. I really know much more now how to play tennis than few years ago. I think everything is really coming together. The physical part of my game, as well.
Q. Was the LA win really key?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, that's for sure. That's what I've always said and that's what I keep saying. That was the first one for me.
Q. Gave you great confidence?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Yeah.
Q. What have you done about your nerves? You say you've done something to work on your nerves.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: No, I learned about the experiences. I learned, you know, that's how it is, that's how it works. You know, try different things, but like thinking, you know. Try to think, try to take things a little bit differently, try to see tennis also differently, you know, not putting on myself that much pressure. That's, yeah, what I'm trying to do.
Q. Once Boris Becker said about Stefan Edberg, who was always playing serve and volley, that was an advantage for Edberg because he had not to think too much. The strategy was there. He had to go for a volley all the time. Was it for you, too? I think did it help in any way?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, it helped, I think, throughout the tournament. Today, because it was not working so well at the beginning, I had to adjust. I had to make it a little bit differently after.
So, yeah, in a way, it makes it easy 'cause you don't have to think. But if it doesn't work, then you have to change and make sure that you try something new, which might not work, but at least try.
Q. You were down 4-2 in the first set and the umpire virtually predicted a final set. Did you notice? Did it encourage you?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I noticed it, yeah. We were very far from that at the time.
Q. We saw the emotion after the final point. Can you recall what your thoughts were at that point?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: No thoughts, just living the emotion, just going through the adrenaline, just enjoy, enjoy the moment, and starting to, yeah, think, Okay, that's it, this is over, this is it, I'm the one coming out of this court as a winner. So that's, yeah, very special.
Q. How different was it holding up that plate today than in Australia?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: It's a different trophy. It's round. It's smaller (smiling).
No, to be a little bit more specific, it feels great. It felt great in Australia. It feels still great here. Of course, the way it ended is different, so I had this final moment, especially this final point I was talking about. But then the rest is great.
Q. You've got a collection of wine at home. Have you been saving special bottles?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I haven't thought about it. I was not too optimistic. I haven't thought about it. We'll see when I get back.
Q. Will you make an effort to watch football? For French sport, it's a major weekend with you and the national football team.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I will definitely watch it, that's for sure, yeah.
End of FastScripts...