Roland Garros

Thursday, 26 May 2022

Paris, France

Leolia Jeanjean

Press Conference

L. JEANJEAN/K. Pliskova

6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Congrats on your win. We can say you definitely had the upper hand today. Even though maybe during the second set you could have wrapped it up earlier, it seemed that you really, really dictated the rallies today.

LEOLIA JEANJEAN: This match was full of emotions through and through. I managed to unroll my tactics to make her move back and forth, to put spin on my ball.

I didn't know it would happen this way, once again. It's incredible thinking that I actually won in two sets against a top-10 player, a previous No. 1 worldwide. It's incredible. I'm very happy with my match today.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. Do you surprise yourself from an emotional point of view?

LEOLIA JEANJEAN: I'm quite surprised to keep my cool, to be as focused. Normally I easily get upset. I don't always have the best attitude on court, but since I arrived here I had a good behavior. I'm quite surprised that I managed to handle my emotions, especially on a court like Simonne Mathieu. It's the first time that I play in such a big stadium with so much crowd supporting me. I was very happy.

Q. You're saying that you have handled your emotions well, but sometimes we feel like we would like you to show more your emotions.

LEOLIA JEANJEAN: I don't want to lose my cool. I don't want to lose energy. I'm very tense when I play. My heart is loud. I try to keep my breath, not to shout, because this would actually undermine my performance. That's the way I want to celebrate when I notch a win. That's it.

Q. Does your background, everything you have done so far, help you to have some distance with what's happening to you?

LEOLIA JEANJEAN: I'm very happy with what's happening. But it's true that with the life experience I have had, this actually helps me to keep my cool, to keep some distance, and to give the best in such moments.

Q. From a tennis point of view, you have never played a top 100. You have played a top 50, and you won in two sets. You played a top 10, and you won in two sets. It seems from a tennis point of view, you managed to handle it well. Aren't you surprised?

LEOLIA JEANJEAN: Yes, I'm very surprised. The top-50 player I played during the first round, I won. I didn't know I would win. I was surprised.

It seems that my level of play disturbs them. I thought that I would not win, but it's not the case. I'm very surprised, but I'm also very happy, because it means that maybe I have the level to be there on the tour.

Q. You have been preparing for this French Open for one year and a half. On which element did you work more as a preparation?

LEOLIA JEANJEAN: In the USA I lost my fitness, I took on weight, so I worked on being fit. So I practiced, I managed to work on a few gaps, but the most important thing was the fitness and also the attitude on court.

Q. In the worst of cases, you should be 150th worldwide, in the worst of cases with your win today. Have you set objectives before the French Open? Maybe you went far beyond your goals. Did you expect actually to go so far so quickly? Have things changed in the meantime?

LEOLIA JEANJEAN: The first thing was to play a Grand Slam and to have a second round. Of course my schedule is going to change, because I was expecting to do ITF tournaments and other low-ranked tournaments. Now, of course, I will certainly do WTA tournaments.

Sorry, I forgot the rest of your question.

Well, I have no ranking limit. I would like to be top 100 and to be able to play Grand Slams. I will play and we will see what happens.

Q. When you are playing a Grand Slam match and you are 150, there is a structure to set up. Aren't you a bit overwhelmed by everything you will have to organize?

LEOLIA JEANJEAN: I think the medias are taking a lot of place. I'm not used to them. I don't feel comfortable with them. So the most difficult thing to tackle will be media coverage.

I'm pretty simple. I'm level-headed. So I take one thing a day. I try to enjoy every day, every moment, and I hope that the third-round match will not be my last match in a Grand Slam.

Q. The dropshot on the breakpoints was something, right? You were really self-confident.

LEOLIA JEANJEAN: I love dropshots. I have always thought that it was pretty nice, very efficient, especially against the type of player who's not moving too much to the net.

It's a matter of instinct. I'd rather do that than having strong forehand shots, for instance.

Q. Is the fact that you are unknown so far a strength for you? Because I'm sure that Pliskova didn't know you before.

LEOLIA JEANJEAN: Yes, they don't know how I play. It's actually an asset.

But I have seen her play quite some time. I know who she is. I know her strengths and weaknesses. So I can actually set up a tactic.

As for the opponent, the opponent can say, Okay, who is she? If I'm playing a Grand Slam tournament, of course it means I play well, but they don't know me.

Q. You have talked about playing Putintseva and other great players when you were younger. What was your relationship with the other French players of your generation? Whom were you closest to? Who was your rival, so to say?

LEOLIA JEANJEAN: Well, I was close to girls who are not playing anymore, apart from Audrey Jumel and Audrey Albie, who were born in '94. I was not really friendly with anyone, I have to say.

Of course we were head to head with some girls for the French championship and for some finals with girls who were born in '94. The two girls who are actually playing right now, the two French girls who are playing, Audrey Albie and Jumel are my best friends right now.

Q. What is also very interesting for all of us, it's actually your background, because it's quite atypical. Today you will get some prize money. You were saying earlier that you didn't have a lot of money. Now it's going to be easier, won't it be?

LEOLIA JEANJEAN: Sure, it will make life easier. I can certainly pay a coach, pay my tickets when I go to tournaments. I can actually travel around further away. I can actually have staff. So this will change everything, certainly.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. I wonder if you could talk a little bit about the kind of ups and downs of the last few years and your career, and particularly your experiences in America and what role that played in getting to this point, I'd be interested to hear.

LEOLIA JEANJEAN: Well, I don't really know what to say actually because what's happening right now, it's really something I never imagine before. You know, when I stop playing for four, five years, I never told myself I'd be in the third round of a Grand Slam.

Yeah, I think, how can I say, but the fact that I never gave up, I always believed in myself, it's probably why I'm here today.

But, yeah, honestly, I'm just really happy with what's going on.

Q. A lot of people who don't know you and don't know your story would wonder how you are here at 26 in the third round of a Grand Slam. How can you explain that?

LEOLIA JEANJEAN: Well, I mean, even me, I don't have an explanation. I don't even realize what's happening. I know I'm 26. It's my first Grand Slam. I thought I would have lost in the first round in two sets, and I found myself beating a top-10 player.

So honestly, I have nothing else to say. I don't really know how it's possible, what's happening. I just try to give my best to play my tennis, and it's working so far.

Q. You were a very good junior.


Q. Then what happened?

LEOLIA JEANJEAN: I got injury on my knee, so I didn't play for two years. Then that's when I decided to go to the U.S. and do my studies.

But, yeah, when I stopped playing when I was young, I just wanted to give myself another chance, because in my head since I was good when I was like 14, 15, I'm like why I can't be good 10 years later. So that's why, yeah, I take my chance, and so far it's working.

Q. Did you have just one year at Lynn as a senior? Was that 2019?

LEOLIA JEANJEAN: Yeah, yeah, I was.

Q. You had a very successful last year. Did you feel you had been improving at other colleges? Talk a little bit about your college career.

LEOLIA JEANJEAN: Well, the first few years were not easy, obviously, because of the way we were training. It's something really different in the U.S. My last year I will say perfect because I didn't lose a single or double match. It was really good.

Then after this, I was thinking maybe I should try to go and try to play a few ITF, which went really well too, because, you know, I went to the semis and stuff. I was, like, Okay, so maybe if I practice hard enough, you know, get back in shape, maybe it will work.

Q. I think that you are up to 149 in the world, if my math is right. Will we see you over in Britain on the grass this summer?

LEOLIA JEANJEAN: If I will play on grass? Yeah, I hope.

Q. I'm not sure of the cutoff but Wimbledon qualifiers?

LEOLIA JEANJEAN: Yeah, I should be in the quallies in Wimbledon. Obviously I will come (laughter). That's not even a question.

Q. Can you just tell us what that would mean.

LEOLIA JEANJEAN: That would be just amazing. You know, living my first dream obviously to play Roland Garros, because it's my favorite surface, my country. So yeah, it's a dream come true.

But then to play on grass it's just as nice. So I'm really excited.

Q. On your time in college, because that's not an experience that a lot of tennis players have. A lot of people start young and just go on tour. I just wonder, do you feel like that's helped you in your life and also in your tennis career?

LEOLIA JEANJEAN: I think it did, yeah. I think it did. I'm not the only one that took this path. A lot of players actually went and played college. Cameron Norrie played for TCU. A lot of girls and guys played college.

And I think it's a good thing for some people, because it makes you grow as a person. It makes you see life differently. I think it's just important for your life to take this path if you can.

Q. What was your degree in?


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
120761-1-1063 2022-05-26 11:18:00 GMT

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