How were you feeling going into the tie against USA having just won a title?
I was very happy, also very proud to represent my country for the first time. I think I was in the right state of mind, because I went there primarily to enjoy myself, to play my game and, as I told myself, that this was the best way to bring something to the team. In the end, I shall remember my first selection because I won all three of my matches; I couldn’t have dreamed anything better!
How important is team spirit in Fed Cup ties?
Team spirit is essential in Fed Cup. But first of all you must rely on the individual qualities of each player, because on the court, we are alone. Then, we know that we can find a lot of energy within the group. So, it is vital to have a strong, united and supportive group if you hope to go far.
What is it like having Amelie Mauresmo as captain?
Amelie brings us a lot, not least her experience. She boasts an awesome track record in singles (25 titles including two Grand Slams) and has also won the Fed Cup (in 2003). She helps us manage our feelings, she brings us her vision of the game because what she wants is that we should be ready to play our best game when we get on the court.
Who is your best friend in the Fed Cup team?
I get on well with all the girls, but it is true that I am particularly close to Alize. We know each other well and have been friends since the beginning. And there is something quite special, because I share a birthday with her mother and she was born on the same day as my mother.
What is the best thing about playing Fed Cup? How does it differ from the Tour?
The main difference is that whether you lose or you win, there is a whole team behind you. In singles, on the Tour, it’s not the same, even if you can also rely on your support team.
You are unbeaten through four Fed Cup rubbers, how long do you think you can keep this run going?
If it could last forever it would be great! No, seriously, the results can’t be just up to me because they’re also up to my opponents. I expect that in the future I’ll have to face some tough opponents but as usual I shall try to give my best from the first to the last point.
Can France win Fed Cup next year?
As early as next year, I don’t know, because we still have a lot of progress to make in order to win it. Before thinking about victory, we’re first going to concentrate on the first round and we expect it to be hard because Group I includes the best nations in the world. But in the Fed Cup things can evolve very fast and a series can topple in less than no time as we saw ourselves when we won against the USA.