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May 29, 2014

Kristina Mladenovic


7‑6, 3‑6, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions in English, please.

Q.  A lot of players have had problems in the past  after they have a big win they sort of have a letdown the next match.  How were you able to keep it going today?
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC:  Yeah, it's true.  Like I said previously, we know how hard it is to, you know, just keep going after such a big win.  A lot of players used to just lose their concentration of being anymore in the tournament.  Even if they are trying hard, it's something really tough to do.
I could feel it today on the court.  Yeah, it's something I'm really happy about, proud, actually, because it's another performance to do that.  Because straight after the first win I was really happy, enjoying it, but I wanted really to stay focused on the next match.  I really wanted to keep going and have the second win.

Q.  What is that feeling like you're describing during today's match?  Were you thinking back to the Li Na match actually or thinking you're already happy with the tournament?
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC:  You mean after my first match or today?

Q.  Today.
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC:  What I was thinking?

Q.  Yeah, what were you thinking about?
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC:  You know, conditions were pretty much the same for me.  Yeah, I had the same court to play on, another opponent.  And, like, two days later, no, absolutely not, I didn't think about this match.
Like I said, I was really happy about this first‑round win, but then like when I was in my bed the next day I had practice very early in the morning, and of course I was enjoying it and happy, but I stayed calm.¬† I really wanted to keep going.
I was really focused on my next one, because Alison is a tough player, and maybe the crowd don't know her really well, but I know that today on the paper she's better than me in the rankings.
I knew it was going to be a really tough match.  I think I handled it pretty well to, you know, just to stay on the tournament and play my match today.

Q.  How do you see the tournament now for you?  Do you see it as an opportunity or do you see it as, Well, I got two big wins and everything going forward is just bonus?  How do you see the tournament for you?
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC:  Of course it's only bonus, you know, to open myself the draw, as we can say, after such a big win.  I mean, you take the spot of like a second seed.
But like I said, every match is very tough.  Alison showed today really good tennis, and I had to dig deep to get this win.  I think we played over two hours and a half.
It shows everything in every single match in Grand Slam.  I'm again enjoying it, but staying in the tournament.  I want to keep going, but every match is really tough.
It's the third round of Grand Slam.  It's something new for me, and I'm really happy about doing it here in Roland Garros for first time.
Yeah, you know, just to do my routine, recover, rest, and practice and getting ready for the next one.  Alison is a very good player.

Q.  Is it difficult?  Because, yes, you had the win against Li Na, you have this win, you're in the third round of a slam, to stop yourself from saying, Oh, you know, like I have done something, I have accomplished something, and to refocus for your next match?
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC:  Yeah, it's something you have to handle, you know, it's your attitude, your behavior inside of you.
You know, these two things you have to handle.  Of course, I'm like, Okay, this is great, this is be proud of yourself inside, but also stay focused.  Tomorrow is another day.
It's this feeling in between, yeah.  But definitely, when the tournament will be over, then I will look back at what I've done and then I will have some, you know, thinking and briefing about it.
But now I just, you know, day by day and just to keep going.

Q.  How pleased are you or surprised are you that you've been able to perform so well at home?  Because not everybody can do that.  Not just in France, but Australia and, you know, the Australians.  Are you surprised?
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC:  I know this is something really tough for every one of us that are playing home, I mean, four Grand Slams, American, Australian, French, English people.
I proved myself with the past that I can handle that pressure.  I won the juniors Roland Garros, had good results for indoor tournaments, WTA, and some matches like that.
So yeah, I would say it's really tough, also tough for me, to play in home crowd, but it's something that I'm so far handled pretty well.  It gives me even more strength to fight.
Yeah, I'm happy how I'm handling it.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions in French.

Q.  How did you experience this match after this huge win against Li Na?  And then you had a physical problem during the second set.  What was on your mind?
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC:  Well, yes, it was a difficult match after such a big win.
Well, I enjoyed it.  I made the most of it.  I celebrated with the people around me at home, but the very same evening I wanted to calm down, to refocus, and the next morning I was practicing to prepare for my next match.
Of course I was very happy with this first match, but I'm also very happy with this second match.  I proved to myself that I could do it.  You know, it's never easy to play and win after such a big win, especially when you know who your opponent is.
My opponent today, on paper she has a better ranking than mine.  It was a beautiful match.  I had to go for it.  We played for quite a while.  I can't remember exactly how long it was, but it was long.  It was tough.  The atmosphere was incredible, as you can imagine here.
It allowed me to fight after I was a bit afraid during the second set with this physical problem.

Q.  You said nothing serious, but was it your back?  Was it your thigh?
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC:  Well, a bit of both.  The back going down in the thigh.  I was okay against Li Na, but the tempo of the match was incredible against her.  So there is a price to pay after such a match, and I had to pay the price today during the second set.
I felt my muscles were a bit sore, and that was difficult to manage even mentally and in terms of focus.
But I did manage to pull through.  I refocused, and I gave everything I have in the third set.  It paid off.
Then between my match in singles and my match in doubles, I saw the doctors.

Q.  Confirming this victory, is this going to help you play Petkovic?  Will you think you have nothing to lose?
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC:  Well, it's not that I have nothing to lose.  I play to win the matches.  I won these two.  I'm not going to think, Okay, I have nothing to lose, so I'm not going to lose anything anymore.
No, I know that I'm playing Andrea Petkovic next round.  She's a beautiful player.  She's a friend, by the way.  She has great experience.  I have a lot of respect for her, because she is so strong mentally.
She went through many things with her injuries, but now she's in great shape and she played very well in Charleston.
So it's going to be very interesting.  It's a third round in a Grand Slam, so I will prepare it very well.  I will try and get a win, but it's difficult.

Q.  The two last French girls are Pauline and yourself from the north of France.  What do you think about it?
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC:  Well, we talked about it.  We had great fun.  She played before me.  I walked in the locker room.  She comes to me with such a face, and I thought, Okay, she's lost.  Then she jumps, and she starts shouting and she says, No, I was kidding, I won.
So of course we'd like to have a large number of French players.  We don't care where they come from.  The most important is to have more French players.
But it's true that we have this additional connection, because we both come from the same region.
But I'm so happy for Po‑Po.¬† She deserves it.¬† She was injured at one stage, but she's back, and I'm so happy.

Q.  This is probably a stupid question, but why would you play much better this week than the last few weeks?  Is it because you found this structure Yannick has around you?
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC:  Well, the facilities, the structure, had it a few weeks back.  So maybe it's going to sound very weird or arrogant, but in the previous weeks on clay I was playing fine.  I won a few matches.  I lost a few ones.
So the question ‑‑I asked myself this question:¬† I lost in Strasbourg, and I felt, okay, I'm doing fine, okay, too bad.¬† I won to Virginie in Madrid, and then it's difficult to keep winning many matches in a row.
But I felt my tennis was back, that my game was at a high level, and I continued on the same track.
There is never any clear explanation in tennis of why it pays off at one stage.  But that's the beauty of tennis.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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