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tennisIlove09
Jun 2nd, 2003, 08:17 AM
Mauresmo Gears Up for Showdown with Serena
Sun June 1, 2003 11:31 AM ET




By Francois Thomazeau
PARIS (Reuters) - Amelie Mauresmo has already reached a grand slam final and two semi-finals but now faces one of the most important matches of her career against Serena Williams in the last eight of the French Open.

Tuesday's game will be the Frenchwoman's first quarter-final on home clay in nine appearances and it comes at the very moment she is playing some her best tennis ever.

For Mauresmo has broken two jinxes this year.

Not only has she made it to the second week of her home tournament at Roland Garros after several jittery years spent failing to impress, but she has also overcome her Williams complex.

Slimmer, faster and more focused, the world number five beat Venus in Warsaw in May and Serena in Rome a week before the French Open.

Her 6-1, 6-2 victory against Spain's Magui Serna on Sunday marked the end of one phase and the beginning of another.

"In terms of pressure, the worst is behind me," she said. "But in terms of tennis, the hardest part lies ahead."

Mauresmo is clearly realistic about her chances of beating defending champion and number one seed Serena, who has not lost a match in a grand slam tournament for over a year.

NOTHING TO LOSE

"If she plays her best tennis and does not make any unforced errors of course I can't beat her.

"But she does not do that all the time. She does if often, but not always and I must be ready to take my chances," said Mauresmo.

Asked what makes Serena such a special player, she struggled to find any weak points.

"In terms of power and physical commitment, she's above everybody else. She serves very well, especially when it matters. Mentally, she never doubts," said Mauresmo.

But the Frenchwoman also saw a glimmer of hope ahead of the clash.

"She's a little bit more beatable on clay. She's not very comfortable at sliding," she said.

But Mauresmo believes, above all, in her own game.

"My level of play is better than when I reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon or the U.S. Open (last year) in terms of solidity and consistency," said the number five seed, who also reached the 1999 Australian Open final.

"I have nothing to lose. She's won the last four grand slams. She's the favorite here and even if I beat her a few weeks ago it doesn't mean I'm going to do it again every time."

BasicTennis
Jun 2nd, 2003, 11:45 AM
This should be one of the best matches in 2003 RG Open....get ready for your recorders.:D

irma
Jun 2nd, 2003, 11:48 AM
"If she plays her best tennis and does not make any unforced errors of course I can't beat her."

what mentality is that hoping that serena fails? :o

and serena gets attacked for stating the same;)

BasicTennis
Jun 2nd, 2003, 11:52 AM
LOL yeah Amelie starting a word war here.:devil:

Greenout
Jun 2nd, 2003, 11:56 AM
"one of the most important matches in her career"

How nice of the French press to ease the pressure
off Amelie like that. lol. There's no World Cup football
this summer, and the French sports writers are really
getting into this "Allez, Allez Amelie" thing . I pray that
the pressure doesn't finally get to her.

Kart
Jun 2nd, 2003, 11:59 AM
Mauresmo seems fairly sensible about the whole thing.

I hope that the presure doesn't get to her though, in spite of what she's said.

mauresmofan
Jun 2nd, 2003, 01:11 PM
I love Amélies interviews - she's so refreshingly honest!