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July 5, 2009

Anna-Lena Groenefeld

Mark Knowles


7-5, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Do you consider that a bit of an unexpected surprise, winning that competition?
MARK KNOWLES: Go ahead. You first.
ANNA-LENA GROENEFELD: We played already very well together at the French Open. We knew we were capable of doing pretty well. Here we were almost out in the quarters when we lost the first set 6-Love, but we kept fighting.
After that we believed in ourselves and we always said, Okay, we have the chance to win, and we went for it.

Q. What did you say to yourselves at 5-2 down in the first set?
MARK KNOWLES: Well, I actually said to Anna on the changeover, Let's stay positive. We had lost a couple of close games really. We were playing pretty well. They were playing the big points a little bit better than we were.
We had some chances early on Leander's serve which could have maybe changed the situation in the first. They played well to get ahead. I said, Let's hang in there. I think that attitude helped us turn it around.
We obviously won six or seven or eight games on the trot. I think things started going our way. Anna hit an incredible shot on set point, which gave us a lot of momentum going into the second.

Q. You had a lot of time to hang around. Were you wondering when you might ever get on the court, or were you enthralled with the match?
ANNA-LENA GROENEFELD: We were waiting and waiting. But, yeah, you never know when it's gonna happen, when it's finished, the match before. But you're always ready. You're still from watching and you're here. You're ready, I think. If you play a final, you're always ready.

Q. What was the atmosphere out there with the fans? Obviously the match before was quite dramatic.
MARK KNOWLES: It was actually pretty fantastic, I thought. I wasn't expecting that many people to be there. Obviously after such a thrilling encounter in the men's singles, it's pretty tough to follow that.
I made a joke with Roger after the match that, you know, now the crowd are waiting to see what they came for in our match (laughter).
But it was actually a great atmosphere. I thought it filled up pretty well. Felt like a lot of people were there, they were pretty into the match. Like Anna said, any time you play a final you're ready to play whenever you're called. It's not every day you get to play a Wimbledon final on Centre Court. We were extremely excited to be there.

Q. What did Roger say to your comment?
MARK KNOWLES: He just laughed. He obviously had a lot to take in. It was kind of in passing.

Q. Finally you won Wimbledon. How does it feel?
MARK KNOWLES: Yeah, it's been 18 years. I've played a couple doubles finals and a lot of semifinals. You know, I felt even in the men's doubles this year we made the quarters. Lost a really tough match in five sets.
You know, it's the one title that I haven't won in men's doubles. I've always wanted to win Wimbledon. It's the most important tournament in my mind. My mother's British. I have a British passport. I came here when I was nine years old to watch the Borg/McEnroe final.
Like everybody, it's the tournament we all look up to. It's extremely special. I mean, Anna played fantastic, you know, for the entire fortnight. She pretty much carried me to my first title. No one else has been able to do it. But Anna did it. So it feels great.

Q. But you are married, aren't you?
MARK KNOWLES: Yeah, I'm married. Happily married with two great boys. You know, Anna is a great partner to have.

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