“Were you surprised at the way Boulter played and did you think it was going to be tougher?
Yes, I was surprised, but I think I adopted the right tactic. I sliced, didn’t play with much rhythm because she likes to hit hard, and flipped as best I could. Everything went well. I think she don’t like my game (smiles).
Did you seem very relaxed on the court?
Yes, because I was very tired this (Saturday) morning. And suddenly I was more relaxed, of course. And I was playing an English girl at her house. I thought it must be hard for her too. The more matches progress, the better I feel. And I really enjoy playing on grass, actually.
How do you emotionally deal with what is happening?
In fact, it was just the first game which was very emotional for me. Afterwards, I quickly “down”, focus on each match.
Why do you think your game is embarrassing for your opponents?
It’s just the variations that bother them. Height variations. It’s very hard to have a low ball, a high ball. When you go back and forth, you don’t really know where to place yourself exactly.
“To young people, I can say that everyone is different, everyone has their destiny. If you really believe in it, you can do it. »
When you were younger, you already had a different style of play. Have coaches or the Federation doubted this game and tried to get you to change it?
Yes, when I was young, I was told that I could not become a good player with this game and it was hard for me, especially without financial aid. But there was one person who believed in me and that was Nathalie Tauziat when I turned 18. I didn’t have a coach at that time, I was a bit in the dark. I asked my mother what we were going to do. She told me she would find a solution.
She tried to get coach numbers. She came across Nathalie, she managed to get her number. He had been called. She had answered us. Already that was huge! She told us:Why not ? Come to the South West, I’ll see what I can do.” The same evening, we took the car. Seven hours on the road, I was really dead when I arrived… And we did ten days of training. It was just amazing.
Is there a little feeling of revenge?
It’s not really revenge. It’s okay if they didn’t believe in me at first. You are selected in relation to your game, your physique… Today I am happy that it works.
Did the initial reservations make you doubt?
Yes, that made me very doubtful. At 16, after the baccalaureate, I wanted to continue studying, I was accepted for the Sciences Po Paris competition. Then I thought a bit, I gave myself two years to see what it could give, as I was starting to play a little better at that time. To young people, I can say that everyone is different, everyone has their own destiny. If you really believe in it, you can do it.
And what does Sam Sumyk, your other coach, bring you?
Since February, we haven’t left each other. He is currently in Los Angeles because his wife is going to give birth. He is someone who brings me a lot on the way I have to evolve. He is working on my forward game so that I am more aggressive. He made me understand certain things, and that if I continued to defend like that all the time, I wouldn’t be able to reach the very top level. And his experience helps me a lot on the big tournaments. We have been doing a good job since last November. He told me that there would be no problem for me on grass. I don’t know if he’s surprised, but I am. »