January 12, 2001
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Amelie, please.
Q. How long has this back problem been bothering you?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Well, of course I felt it yesterday during the match in the second set, in that second set. I had this problem last year, but I thought it was over. I was not bothered with this anymore, and it just came back yesterday.
Q. Do we know what the problem is? With the fifth and sixth lumbar, down the lower part of the spine, or was it higher up?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Yeah, it's low down on the right side. I guess it's always the same thing, just, you know, two bones touching each other. That's the only thing I can tell you.
Q. Where does this leave you in terms of the Australian Open?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Well, I'm just -- I don't know really. I really hope that with two or three days' rest, treatment, massage, everything, it's going to be okay. That's my hope, but I'm not sure about it.
Q. Have you seen a doctor?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Yeah. Dr. Ackerman. That's what he proposed me.
Q. Is he reasonably optimistic?
AMELIE MAURESMO: It's very hard to say. You just don't know.
Q. How much of an obvious blow is this to you at this stage? How much of a disappointment?
AMELIE MAURESMO: It's very frustrating actually, because what is tough is that it's only on the serve, you know. So I can play my game, I can -- I feel good. So, yeah, it's frustrating. But in the same -- I mean, I cannot go on the court not knowing how I'm going to serve, if I'm going to be able to serve 100 percent or not. So I just choose not to go on court.
Q. Presumably, there was always the risk if you went on court today you could do more damage.
AMELIE MAURESMO: That's it. Yeah, that's the concern.
Q. We know you've had this problem for some time. How bad is it this time around compared to when you were forced off the Tour for four months?
AMELIE MAURESMO: I think it's not as bad as it was the last two times. I'm optimistic for the Australian Open. I really hope just these two or three days are going to be enough for me to relax and let the pain go. But it's not easy. I just don't really know, so that's tough.
Q. Do you think the injury was caused by your serve, or do you think it's caused by the way you hit that big topspin backhand?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Oh, it's the serve for sure. I mean, it doesn't hurt me on the backhand or the forehand. It just -- I feel the pain only on the serve. So that's the motion. I mean, that's where the bones on this motion are touching each other.
Q. Which part of the serving action?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Which part?
Q. Which part of the serving action causes the trouble?
AMELIE MAURESMO: It's when I'm ready to hit, and I start to accelerate.
AMELIE MAURESMO: To release, yeah.
Q. Is it just that the back muscle is spasming, and is it also the pain going down through the back?
AMELIE MAURESMO: No, no. No, it's just the back and it's inflammation between the two bones.
Q. Had you ever considered changing your service action? If not, might you have to do so now?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Well, now that the inflammation is here, I don't -- you know, I've tried a little bit to make it a little bit better, you know, try to avoid the situation when it hurts me. But first, it's very tough to change. And, second, the inflammation is here now, so I just have to put some muscle on that site to keep the bones away from each other. That's the only thing.
Q. Without being too pessimistic, is there a danger that if you don't change the motion, it will come back?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Apparently, yeah. Because I thought it was over, you know. But it comes back sometimes. I think it's also with the tension maybe of the match and everything. So...
Q. Are you taking antiinflammatory pills and also having ultrasonic treatment? Is that the remedy?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Yeah.
Q. Both those?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Yes.
Q. There was a big debate last year about the number of injuries in tennis. A lot of players are getting injured, and it was suggested that the court surfaces are too hard on the players. Is that --?
AMELIE MAURESMO: It's not hard. It's just really - how can you say - translate.
AMELIE MAURESMO: Rough, yeah. I mean, most of the time you get - in Australia, you have some players that get ankles twisted and, you know, when you stop, it's very hard, yeah. So I guess that's what people mean by hard.
Q. So you can't slide, you just --?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Yeah. You just -- very tough to stop, you know.
Q. It's a jarring effect?
AMELIE MAURESMO: Yeah. It's hard for the body I think. Yeah.
Q. I think the shoes have got something to do with that. The ripple effect on the bottom of the shoes sort of drag on to the surface rather than allowing you to slide.
AMELIE MAURESMO: Yeah, new shoes probably, yeah.
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