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Schiavone : "We were close"

Vincent DAVOLI
Thursday, 11 February 2010 at 19:21
Disappointed by her loss, but not by her game, Francesca Schiavone accepted to share thoughts on her farewell speech during Wednesday's tribute to Amélie Mauresmo. The Italian was particularly fond of the former World N° 1.  

Francesca, at 5-all in the first set, you started to struggle a bit, what happened?
Nothing, except that she started playing really well. She was everywhere at once and attacked without allowing me to develop my game. At 5-all, I made two double faults that I could have avoided. As for the rest, we played really well. For two or three points, she was playing better than I. But I lost a few chances at break points in the second. We were close, but it's hard to make up breaks on such a fast surface.

Flavia Pennetta watched your entire match, and didn't hesitate to advise you, does this happen often?
No, I came to see her play, and she comes to see me, too. We're about the same level, and we help each other.  

Your speech at Amélie's tribute was rather moving. Did you prepare it beforehand?
I really would like to prepare this kind of event, but when I do, I either forget my lines, or I just improvise. So I don't prepare speeches anymore, I just say what I am feeling. That's what I did for Amélie. She's such a special girl, who people care about. After all she's done, she deserves all her victories and the love of her country.

And then you said 'Don't come back!' Was this a joke or for real?
No, of course it was a joke! Since a lot of girls leave and then come back for different reasons, I told her that we didn't want her anymore. But it was a joke.

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