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June 29, 2004

Amelie Mauresmo


THE MODERATOR: Questions in English for Amelie.

Q. Are you beginning to fall in love with grass now?


Q. And why?

AMELIE MAURESMO: No, you know, I've been feeling pretty good a couple years ago when I came to the semis, and couldn't come last year. But again this year, you know, I have some pretty good feeling and a good sensation on this surface. So, you know, it took me a few years to understand how to play on this surface, and now I'm starting to feel comfortable. So it's very good feeling actually.

Q. Also is your game gradually progressing? Going through the tournament, your form is getting sharper and sharper.

AMELIE MAURESMO: Yeah. I still have -- there are still a few things I'm not pretty happy about, or at least that I can improve. But, you know, overall, it's pretty difficult to adjust on this surface. So I'm pretty happy about my all game.

Q. How is your form in comparison to when you were last year?

AMELIE MAURESMO: Two years ago?

Q. Yes.

AMELIE MAURESMO: It's comparable. I think I'm serving pretty well, pretty consistent going forward, go to the net. So I'm trying to take advantage of the fact that I'm feeling comfortable to go to the net, to volley. I'm enjoying myself doing that. So pretty much the same.

Q. When Martina Navratilova said that you were her pre-tournament favorite --

AMELIE MAURESMO: I heard that.

Q. What is your reaction to that? Do you take that as a huge compliment or does it feel like a way to put more pressure on you?

AMELIE MAURESMO: No, it's a huge compliment. No question about that. Again, like I said a few days ago, to me she invented the game on this surface. So, you know, it's a compliment. There's no question about it, yeah.

Q. Everyone talks about the pressure that Tim Henman faces here with all of England riding on his shoulders. You kind of face that, too, at the French. Is that fair to say? How do you deal with it at the French? Is it more fun or less pressure to come to a place like Wimbledon where it's not so much your country on you?

AMELIE MAURESMO: So much attention, yeah. Well, actually I'm dealing a little bit better with that here because, of course, the attention is not on me. A lot of it is on Tim. Most of it is on the Williams sister, on the women's side. So it's pretty difficult, and actually I will maybe have to talk with him to see how he handles the pressure here maybe to help me at the French.

Q. It's obviously one match at a time, but do you think this time that Serena is very much more beatable than before?

AMELIE MAURESMO: Well, actually I haven't seen her play so far in the tournament. But I guess my coach has. Yeah, with the score, except maybe today, I don't know if she played a good game, but she seemed to have a little bit more trouble going through her matches. But again, as you say, you know, it's match after match. I have a pretty tough opponent next time, so...

Q. But with Serena, you forget about 2002, put it behind you?

AMELIE MAURESMO: Oh, yeah. I think it's another story now.

Q. For you, where does most of the pressure come from? Is it from the outside or do you put most of the pressure on yourself?

AMELIE MAURESMO: I think it's from me. Yeah, I think it's from me, my expectations. Of course, when there is a lot of talk about me outside, it's also a little bit more pressure. But most of it, obviously, I think comes from me, yeah.

Q. You seem so laid back off the court. How do you explain how you are on the court in terms of maybe feeling tight and a little bit more stressed?

AMELIE MAURESMO: Well, I think we all feel some stress when you look at it, all the women players. Sometimes we have some trouble sometimes coming into a match and give hundred percent because of that. So I'm not -- I'm not the one that doesn't maybe handle it very well. I think we all have some trouble with that sometimes.

Q. Was that a lot tougher than you expected?


Q. Tougher.

AMELIE MAURESMO: No, I was expecting a tough match. I played her couple times on clay, which is obviously different. But she gave me some trouble already on clay. You know, I think seeing her play a little bit of that third set against Ruano Pascual, I had in my mind I had to go forward, take the advantage, take the opportunity of my game, of my aggressive game actually. And I served pretty well today also, which helped me a lot.

Q. It took a while to get on top of her in that first set.

AMELIE MAURESMO: I had some occasions --

Q. Was it getting frustrating, you couldn't get a break?

AMELIE MAURESMO: I had a lot of occasions on her serve, especially in that first and second service game for her. But I didn't get into frustration. I just was patient, and I thought, you know, it's going to come, my time is going to come on her serve. So that's what I felt.

Q. How does the memory of your father inspire your tennis?

AMELIE MAURESMO: You know, it just doesn't, you know, inspire specifically my tennis. I think it's a way of life. You see things differently. Of course, you put things into perspective. Yeah, again, you see things differently, and you don't put maybe -- you put some priorities, I think. Probably enjoying what I do is now the priority when it was maybe sometimes the result and stuff. And also enjoy life, obviously.

Q. Do you think of him when you're out there occasionally?

AMELIE MAURESMO: Not anymore -- well, sometimes. But not on the court. I'm trying to focus on the game. But could happen.

Q. Would you feel like your career is complete if you don't win a major?

AMELIE MAURESMO: Whoa. I'm not done yet (laughter). I'm not done with my career yet, so we'll maybe talk about that in a few years.

Q. I notice you had a bandage on your right leg.


Q. Is there a problem there at all?

AMELIE MAURESMO: I had some trouble in Eastbourne during that semifinal against Daniela Hantuchova. You know, was a little up and down throughout this first week, especially with some cold and rain. You know, you have to go and warm up and then stop again. So it's a little bit better now actually. It's more prevention, I would say.

Q. You're playing Suarez in the next round. Just wonder how you felt about that match?

AMELIE MAURESMO: Well, obviously she's playing well. She's in big confidence. She played the semifinal at the French Open, and coming here already into the quarters. So, you know, she's more a clay-court type player. But obviously with the grass being a little slow here this year, she handles it very well. And I think I'm sure the doubles that she's No. 1 or No. 2, it helps her a lot, especially with the return. So it's going to be a tough one.

End of FastScripts….

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