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March 13, 2009

Amelie Mauresmo


A. MAURESMO/A. Groenefeld
5-7, 6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Want to give your overall assessment of your play and how you felt the match went?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, it's a little bit of what I said on the court. It was not a great level of play, but the main thing was done today. It was to win and to go through this first match, which wasn't so easy.
It's first match after almost four weeks now, so it's always -- you know, you want to try to get into it and get into a rhythm, which was not so great today.
But a good fight, and, yeah, just happy to go through and have the opportunity to do better for the next one.

Q. What did winning Paris indoors do for you confidence-wise?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: It felt unbelievable, and throughout these last few weeks, it was still -- unfortunately, didn't show today in the match, but in practice was still feeling the ball great and great intensity and great way of playing.
So it feels pretty good.

Q. You've been waiting for that for a while, huh?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, it was two years since I didn't win a tournament, so obviously it was, for me, big relief to be able to hold a trophy again.

Q. Are you playing pain-free these days?

Q. That also must be a really good feeling.
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: That's good. It's been a few months already, and it really is. Compared to the last two years that I had, it feels good, also.

Q. Did you always know that another title was going to come, or that level would come back?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: No. I was doubting on my play, because -- and physically, mostly physically, because I was really feeling either injured or not being able to really move the way I wanted.
That was probably the most frustrating.

Q. Do you have any advice for young tennis players?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Passion is what gets you through the sacrifices and the work, basically, the work that you have to put through. So just make sure you have this to start with, and then that should do. But a lot of work. But try to still enjoy it.

Q. Other than playing pain-free, what else do you credit your improvement to so far this season?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Well, it's -- we've been working on a few things here and there tactically and technically also. So I'm not going to go into details here, but things are building up a little bit, and so it's working okay.

Q. Is it difficult to keep the passion, as you were just telling the young journalist?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: You have some moments -- it's not that hard, actually. But yes, in a 15-year career you have moments when it's a little bit more difficult to go to practice and to make the effort and to physically go through the pain.
But overall, I didn't find it difficult, except those moments which are -- we're not rabbits. We're not machines. We're human. But other than that, it was okay.

Q. Does your trainer travel with you, your physical trainer?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: Yeah, I have someone here.

Q. Do you consider that these days a necessity or a luxury?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: For me, it's a necessity, definitely, after -- well, then it's really depending on the player, I guess, and the age. If you play singles and doubles, for some it's also a big point. But for me, it's -- it's definitely really helping.

Q. Is it mostly to help you with workouts, or is it more for recovery and physio?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: It's more for recovery, as basically physio work, and it's prevention, also. Trying to work on the weak points in my body to try to make it whole.

Q. I'm sure you've asked this to yourself a number of times, but why keep pushing so hard, given you've already accomplished so much in your career?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I probably didn't find the answer to this question. I found the answer to the other questions, which is do I want to stop? Which was no. (laughter.) So don't ask me more than this.
It's already -- it was already quite a challenge when it happened to me at, I think it was in the summer of 2007, where I really asked myself the question whether I want to keep going or not.
In the end, I didn't find the answer quickly. It took me a few months to really, yeah, feel that, for some reason, I don't have enough.

Q. What do you feel inside of yourself how many good seasons, maybe great seasons, do you have left in you?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I have no idea. That's hard.
At the end of 2008, I really was thinking, Okay, I go for 2009, and that's still how I feel in my mind. I go for 2009, and we'll see how it goes. If I play well, if I'm injury-free, how do I feel, am I happy on the court, is this passion still here.
I cannot really answer this. I'm sorry. But it's hard -- I guess from now on I will, every end of the season, I will probably try to see inside of myself if I want to keep going for another one.

Q. What is your goal at this point: Getting back to top 10 or getting another...
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: It's not a ranking goal, because for this year you have to play a lot. So it's really not the goal.
It's good, because then you have draws that are a little bit easier to handle probably, but it's not -- the thing what I wanted when I started this season is to be able to win another trophy, and then to enjoy being out on the court and to work on the things that I thought I had to improve to get back to a decent level.
That's what we are doing every day, so we'll see.

Q. Have you given yourself a certain number of tournaments this season, or is it just kind of how you feel?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: I really see how it goes throughout the season. After Paris, for instance, I was supposed to go to Dubai, which I canceled because I would have had to play the next day.
So it's really -- I see how it goes week after week and month after month. I don't feel a huge pressure to go and play here or there, and obviously Grand Slams are big, and here and Miami are big ones. Paris was important for me, also, being home tournament. So you kind of choose a little bit.

Q. How do you see the level of competition at the top compared to some other years?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: It's quite open. It's really open.
You have some players that are capable of playing some great level of tennis, but they don't play it consistently. That's the -- that's what I've seen from seeing some matches live or seeing some matches on TV. Yeah, that's basically opened some spots for some space at least for some players that are feeling good or coming back strongly or whatever.

Q. Is that one of the reasons that you are still playing?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO: It's not definitely one -- not one of the main reasons, but definitely when you see that there is some opening, I guess it makes the decision easier.

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