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September 6, 2006

Amelie Mauresmo

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Amélie.

Q. It was certainly good to get on and off knowing that you have to play two days in a row, get a quick one.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I don't think I play tomorrow.

Q. No?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I think semis are Friday. But is good anyway (laughing).

Q. It's good to win.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: No, it's good the way it went, really, and the way I've played, and you said it, not spend too much time on the court. I did three sets yesterday and three sets the match before.
It's good to be able to be in control, feel good on the court, and really get a good rhythm. Today I think I felt pretty good on the court.

Q. Were you shocked, as so many people were yesterday, of Jankovic's win?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: So many people were what?

Q. Quite shocked she won so easily yesterday.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Yeah, you expect obviously Elena maybe to play a tougher match against Jankovic, but she seemed to have been I mean, I didn't watch the match, but I heard she was playing great tennis, moving very well, hitting the ball very well on both sides, and that Elena couldn't really do much.
I guess she must be playing some great tennis.

Q. This is probably a redundant question and I apologize because I wasn't here the other night. But you lose that 6 Love set to
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I forgot about that. I don't remember. I don't know what you are talking about actually (smiling).

Q. Excellent. Well, people who I was sitting with was saying, Oh, gosh, it's the same old Mauresmo. I know that's insulting.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I don't know what you are talking about. I still don't know what you are talking about (laughing).

Q. That was just a blip, is that what you're saying?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Yeah (smiling).

Q. You don't know your semifinal opponent yet, but let's pretend it's Maria. You've beaten her every time you've played.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, yeah. Let's pretend, as you say, because the match is not done.

Q. Right.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: It's going to be interesting to see how it goes tonight. I'm really, you know, curious just to see how it goes and to see how they both do tonight.
But, yeah...

Q. Can you talk about the two opponents then.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, I think, yeah, Maria played her in the semi at Wimbledon and then also last year the championship. I think we always had some tough ones and some pretty tight matches. So, you know, semifinal of a Grand Slam, it's not gonna be easy whoever I'm gonna have to play against.
You know, Tatiana is another great player. As I've said before, we've been waiting for her for one year to maybe have a big breakthrough and it's coming here.
So I'm expecting any way a tough one for these two players.

Q. What about your game do you think gives Maria problems?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, the change of pace probably is something that she doesn't like, and that's my game, that's the way I play. I'm not gonna change, you know. I usually don't change many things. Of course few things here and there, depending on your opponent.
But, yeah, I usually have my weapons.

Q. Over the past eight or nine days or so, have you changed any of your impressions on New York? I know you said in New Haven this is still your least favorite of the four majors.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: It's getting better. It's getting better (laughing). It's getting better.
It's, you know, going better and better.

Q. Justine said early last week that she found that she said that this was probably her least favorite Grand Slams.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: But what makes it difficult for us, I think, is one of the is to be far, like very far from the site. It's sometimes not so easy to, you know, think, Okay, I might play at this time or whatever. That makes it a little strange scheduling the day, I would say.

Q. She also cited the fact that it is loud, it's rambunctious, there's a lot of distractions.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I got used to that.

Q. Andy Murray was saying today this is his favorite just for that same reason.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, it's really depending on the person, the player. I think it's also something you have to adjust a little bit to because we're not used to that. So I think it's personally, I get used to it. Like the other night, it's night session. I really start to love that and to enjoy that because it's true that you don't have the same atmosphere probably in any other Grand Slam. But it's electricity going on, as I said. It's really something special that you have to get used to, in fact. That's really what makes a big difference here.
Before, maybe I felt not so comfortable with that. I feel today it's really much, much better.

Q. You coming in as the top seed, and considering how well you're playing this year, do you find it different?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I find it easier to, I think. Just maybe because, as I said, a lot of people say, Yeah, but it adds some pressure to be the No. 1 seed. I don't feel that way at all, especially, you know, the confidence is here. It's really the opposite thing that is happening for me, so that's maybe why I feel much more comfortable now here, you know, than maybe in the past.

Q. It's normal for players not to want to talk about the possibility of winning a tournament until they get to the last round.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, I guess being in the last four, you have great chances.

Q. In your private moments, have you considered maybe in your dreams the possibility of winning three Grand Slams in one year and how rare that has been in the last many years on the women's tour.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, I've considered it because people are talking to me about that. But to be honest, and before coming to the tournament, it was not something that could happen considering the way preparation was and everything. Of course now it's starting to become a little bit more of a realistic challenge for me, so it would be, you know, great.
But, as I always say, it's still a long way to go, and a couple more tough matches to go.

Q. Of course you know how rare that has been.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I know, and I have trouble thinking that I could be doing that, you know. But we'll talk about that after (smiling)... if it happens.

Q. Are you getting used to winning? When people talk about you as winning two Grand Slams this year, do you ever sit back and think about your success?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: No. I barely don't.
No, I don't really you know, it still amazes me to think that people are talking about me in terms of, yeah, having won two Grand Slam in the year, and especially since I been waiting so long.
But it feels good, you know. It feels great. I'm not taking things like too, oh, yeah, I've done this and this and this. I just really live through things. It's, to me, the better way to do it. I'm just enjoying it. I don't think too much about, you know, what could happen or what's gonna happen or what have I done or whatever. Just, you know, take it a relaxed way.

Q. Safina seemed awed with your speed. As a little girl, were you faster than everybody else?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I was I had some pretty good physical abilities, yeah, from the young age. I still think I really kept working on it, so it's still improved. I think that I really reached a great level of physical abilities, and I practiced I think in the right direction. I'm working with a great guy that is really, you know, very good in what he's doing.
It's not about really huge quantity, but it's really working on different aspects and very precisely on the way that you have to be on a tennis court, being specific. I don't need to run for four hours in a row to get ready for a marathon, just be ready for what's going on on the tennis court.

Q. Were there foot races? Did you beat the other kids at school or anything?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I was good. I liked sport already. I liked to run. I liked to do many sports. Yeah, I probably got used to do very many things. My coordination was good at the time also, so...

Q. What other sports?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I was skiing, I was playing soccer, I was horse riding, which has nothing to do with tennis. But, still, you know, it's liking to get involved into things.

Q. You rose to No. 1 a year ago.

Q. It's taken a long time for people to give you the respect that you deserved as No. 1. Has that bothered you over the year? Do you care about the respect you get from other people?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: No, because I probably it was annoying when, two years ago I got the No. 1 ranking and I kept being asked that question, Yes, but you haven't won a Grand Slam, blah, blah, blah. Is it normal? Is it whatever?
I was answering at the time, and it's still the same now not the same because I won a Grand Slam but it's still the consistency that makes you being No. 1. It was at the time. The consistency I have now for the past year or whatever, it's you know, it makes me proud and it makes me happy about what I have done.
Really, I know that I don't really care about I know what I've achieved is great and it's something very uncommon in my country and in the world. So, you know, what else?

Q. Considering the injuries you had after Wimbledon, how is your body holding up?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, it's good. Actually, I felt very good, you know, during the third set of the match against Serena. The day before also I played three sets; I felt great. Today I seem to have recovered pretty well. I was moving well. I was really, I thought, you know, great speed and still hanging onto the point.

Q. No problems with the shoulder?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: No, no, so far it's okay.

Q. How do you prepare mentally before going to the court?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I don't have any specific preparation or whatever. I'm just trying to think a little bit about what my opponent's going to do and what my response are going to be or what her response are going to be to my game. Really, nothing specific.

Q. How would you describe Maria as an opponent?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, she's hitting the ball very hard. She's, you know, great competitor. She really stays in the match, she hang in there whatever happens.
And, you know, physically, also being able to get better and better as, you know, the year are passing for her.
So tough, tough competitor.

Q. How long did it take you to get here from the city, and what do you do in these long rides? Listen to music?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I talk with my coach. I phone. I say nothing sometimes (smiling).

Q. How long a ride was it today?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I don't know. I don't know. Usually takes, I don't know, half an hour, 45 minutes. Depends. I don't know.

Q. Stefan Edberg, for example, didn't like this event for an extremely long time. Then he won it, embraced it.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: It's also I think it's also you are when you do well somewhere, you start to kind of like it. You start to really enjoy the moments and enjoy the site and the people and everything. I have to say, you know, it's really happened to me in many tournaments. I think it's a little bit normal also. When you have good memories of a place you are, you know, it's much easier to love it.

Q. Very unusual No. 1. Davenport and the Williams sisters were essentially power players. Hingis was a finesse player. Your game is one part finesse, one part power. Is it purely intuitive when you go to each part of your game?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: It is. It has to be automatic. In the middle of a point where the ball goes, I don't know, more than 100 miles on the serve and maybe a little less on the other shots, it's really now starting to be instinctive for me. It's probably also what makes the difference, you know, because it took me some time to really not think about what I have to do on this one and what about this shot and what about in this position or whatever.
So I'm feeling much better in this area right now.

Q. I encounter a lot of people, Americans, who want you to win.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Good (laughing).

Q. I say, Why? They say, Well, we feel like she was cheated out of what she deserved in Australia, so it would be wonderful if she won the three?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: So they gonna support me then?

Q. I think they are.

Q. Have you encountered that feeling in this country?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I'm starting to feel it a little bit, I have to say the welcome from the crowd a couple days ago and still today. It's really made me proud about that. I feel that people are starting to get behind me and to support me. So I felt that a little bit, yeah.

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