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May 10, 2004

Amelie Mauresmo


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Amelie, please.

Q. Here's the problem: You don't ask anybody how their game is anymore; you ask, "How's your health? Are you going to be able to walk through three matches?"

AMELIE MAURESMO: Well, can I answer this question after three matches (laughing)? Yeah, I mean, these days, that's how it works. I feel pretty good. I had some worries at the beginning of last week which were cleared after the week in Berlin.

Q. What sort of worry?


Q. The back.

AMELIE MAURESMO: Yeah, always (smiling). And so I felt better and better as the tournament was going, and hopefully it's going to be even better this week, so.. We'll see.

Q. You've already spoken about the fact that maybe players should take a longer break at the end of the year. Do you think that there is something else you could do, you, a player, to avoid such injuries?

AMELIE MAURESMO: But maybe also the other solution is what I do as well, is have a physio traveling with you all year long to make sure that you do all the exercises, all the prevention that you need to do to be healthy. You know, we're trying to do our best to have a good schedule, to make sure that we have some working time, some tournament time, and also some time off, but it's not always easy.

Q. How do you feel about this tournament? You've had such a good run in Berlin. You come here the No. 2 seed, Serena Williams is the top seed. Do you feel you're the favorite, or is Serena still the player to beat?

AMELIE MAURESMO: It doesn't really matter, I think. It's, you know, I always like -- I always enjoy coming to Rome. I've had some good moments here over the last few years. To me, it doesn't matter who is No. 1 or 2; it doesn't make much of a difference, I think, in the draw. I just want to make sure that I play my game and that I'm, you know, consistent on the court. And if you want to have a discussion about the seedings, then maybe ask the question differently (smiling).

Q. Mentally, how do you explain the fact that you had three finals here and you could never win? Does it bother you psychologically, or you just forget it?

AMELIE MAURESMO: No, no, it doesn't bother me. I think all these three times have been different experiences. And I think for the last few, the last two or three -- because Rome is always coming at the end of a series of three tournaments for me, and usually I'm getting a little tired at the end of this tournament. And so I guess for the last two, at least, probably was the explanation. It doesn't worry me or whatever.

Q. You've played so well on fast courts, but you grew up on clay, I gather?

AMELIE MAURESMO: (Shaking her head no.) Surprisingly (laughing). No, that's... Yeah, surprisingly, no, we don't necessarily practice on clay. That's one of the trick.

Q. So you started off on hard court, did you?

AMELIE MAURESMO: Yes. Well, I guess one of the goals of the president of the federation is for French to win Roland Garros, but we don't practice on clay.

Q. Interesting.


Q. Which do you prefer?

AMELIE MAURESMO: For the young, I mean. I'm talking about the young, when you are younger.

Q. Yes.

AMELIE MAURESMO: Well, you play on hard court, indoors, and sometimes outdoor.

Q. Which do you prefer: Fast, slow?

AMELIE MAURESMO: I feel comfortable on both. Few years ago, I would have said clay court and slower courts. Now, I think I feel -- I've been doing well at Wimbledon, and I feel that my game can really suit all the surfaces.

Q. Do you feel that you are more comfortable on clay and you have more time; and as you grow older, play many more tournaments, you get more experience, that you get a little more daring, which fits in on the faster courts?


Q. Daring, forging ahead.

AMELIE MAURESMO: Yeah, yeah, probably. That's what I'm trying to do with my game, to really go forward and try to win the points at the net. And maybe faster, yeah, that help me a lot. Yeah, again, I'm working on it for few years now, and it's starting to pay off.

Q. That is the way you played against Capriati.

AMELIE MAURESMO: Yeah, it was good.

Q. What is your relationship with this tournament and Rome, the city? Is it special for you?

AMELIE MAURESMO: Well, I love being here, again; that's what I said. But I love the club. Foro Italico, I think, is a great place to play a tournament. I like the city, I like the food, I like going in the streets. The history of the city is unbelievable also. Even if I don't have too much time to visit, I still saw a few things. I really enjoy being here, yes.

Q. What do you think about Serena's game now? Is she the same intimidating player that she was when she won four straight Grand Slams?

AMELIE MAURESMO: You know, I haven't seen her play since she came...

Q. Since before the injuries?

AMELIE MAURESMO: Yeah, since she came back. So I really can't tell. You know, she won Miami, so, I mean, she must have been playing some great tennis. But, honestly, I haven't seen her play, so it's quite difficult.

Q. Is there something special you plan for winning this year as Serena is not maybe at her best?

AMELIE MAURESMO: No. Just, you know, I just want to keep playing the way I did last week in Berlin. I had some great feelings on the court, some good moments. I handled everything pretty well physically and mentally. So I want to make sure I play again some more matches before the French Open, and hopefully I can do that this week.

End of FastScripts….

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