Julie Coin Interview - US Open, Aug 28Posted on August 28, 2008
Q. I watched you play qualifying at the challenger in the Bronx two weeks ago where you lost to an Irish girl who was ranked 200th in the world. Would you imagine that two weeks later you'd be here on Arthur Ashe stadium beating the No. 2 in the world?
JULIE COIN: I guess saying like that, no. Yeah, the Bronx was pretty hard to get motivation like to be really focused there. So I was like in quallies, but yeah, I would I guess ‑‑ I don't know, before the tournament I was not like imagining it this way like it happened today.
Q. What do you think when you're serving for the match. You double faulted once; were you getting nervous?
JULIE COIN: Well, yeah, yeah, I did, kind of. Like I was hoping putting my first serve in and then I missed it and I was like, "oh, shoot." I have to put the second serve.
I know she's a good player so she's going to go for it. But yeah, so then I tried for too much I guess.
Q. There was a couple of times where you tossed the ball in the air too and you stopped yourself. What was happening there?
JULIE COIN: Yeah, sometimes I go too fast. I throw my ball too fast so I was like it's not the right toss, so I stopped the point. It's not like nervous or anything. I just do it too fast.
Q. Would you just describe how you got to Clemson? Most European women just turn pro right away. How did you end up at the university?
JULIE COIN: Well, at that time, my, boyfriend told me like he wanted to go, and I was just like in university in France and practicing maybe three times a week.
I had a good French ranking but I wasn't doing really anything. So he told me that and I was like, oh, why not. I will practice every day and see like kind of what's the ‑‑ like what the professionals do except that they don't go school. I liked it and I improved my level too there. So I decided after my last year I finished second in NCAA, so I thought maybe I have the level to play on the tour. My parents told me, yeah, you should try. Because they were good ‑‑ they were playing in another sport but they were good at their sport and never got the chance to do it. So they kind of pushed me to do it I guess. Now it's like I'm happy.
Q. What has Amélie meant to you as a professional tennis player? Talk about her influence and has she influenced you at all as a countrywoman in some ways?
JULIE COIN: Yeah, I guess she's influenced a lot of French players. I know her because she's from my region so I've seen her. Like she was No. 1 in the World Junior. I followed her and I follow her career. She's kind of an idol in France. Everybody loves her. Yeah, like I guess she's the one like we want to follow her steps.
Q. She said just now that she knows a little bit about your game. She said, Am I shocked? She said, no. She said, I am surprised but not shocked because there are things about your game that could pose dangers for any player.
JULIE COIN: Yeah, I guess my serve, like when it's like good so, I still have some stuff to work on.
But that's the good thing. I think I still can improve my game, so...
Q. Having just beaten the No. 1 player in the world you said before talking about that. But also, the fact that you're going to be facing Amélie in the next round, describe what's going through your mind right now.
JULIE COIN: I don't know. I'm not thinking about anything right now. Just like enjoying the moment, and I will see what's going to happen next. I don't know. I'm just playing match ‑‑ like match after match. I don't know.
I don't realize yet that I beat the No. 1 in the world. I don't realize that I played at the big court. I don't know how I'm going sleep tonight. I don't know. It's just ‑‑ maybe tomorrow I will be ‑‑ I will ‑‑ I don't know when I will realize everything. Maybe at the end the tournament when I'm going to be done with it. I don't know.
Q. But I'm not asking to you look ahead two matches, three matches. The next match, Amélie, does that make it a little more special perhaps?
JULIE COIN: I don't know her game. I've never played her. I don't know. It's kind of playing the same ‑‑ like it's kind of playing the No. 1 in the world, too. She used to be No. 1 in the world. So I don't know.
Q. You said on the court before that you were nervous about being at big court.
JULIE COIN: Yeah.
Q. You were supposed to be on the other court?
JULIE COIN: I was supposed to be on Armstrong, but there was like a "not before" and they might move me to the big court. This morning I practice on Armstrong. I never practice on the big one. But Armstrong was nice. It's small and quiet. I was hoping I would play on this one; like for the first time playing on a big court, it's better to be smaller.
I don't know. I didn't know how like with my nerves, nervously how it would go. So I thought maybe it was easier to go on the smaller court. But now it's okay, like I did it, so...
Q. You've mainly been playing the Challenger Tour. Talk a little bit about what life is like on that court and what it would mean for you to move into the WTA?
JULIE COIN: The ITF, it's really hard. Like you have to do everything. Like you have to call for your hotel and like you go in some places not really nice sometimes. Like it depends which country you go.
But sometimes it's hard, like the level is pretty hard too because everyone has to go through the ITF before going on the tour. So it's not easy to go out and like get in the top 100 and be able to play WTA. So ‑‑ but I still have a lot of work to do before being able to play more WTA's so I still have to probably play some ITF's.
Q. What was it like for you after you won the first set and she found some momentum in the second. How do you feel like you responded? But how did you respond to her winning the second set?
JULIE COIN: Well, she started playing a little better at 4‑All. She went like 4, three maybe. And yeah, I was ‑‑ well, I was thinking if she is playing better than me, I don't mind losing if she's just better.
So I just like kept thinking just play your game and put your first serve in and do your best and that's it. It was ‑‑ I lost the second set, but I was only one set away from the win, like she was too. But only one more set...
Q. When you were playing on the ITF events maybe in places that you didn't find very nice, were you considered at any point stopping to play tennis?
JULIE COIN: Well, a couple weeks ago before ‑‑ because I was playing some tournament before I played in the States, but before that, I wasn't playing that good and I was thinking, am I really made to play tennis? Am I going to be able to get in the top 100 one day? Because it's not worth it to play tennis if you're not in the top 100. You're in the shadow of all the best players when you're outside the top 100.
Like at one point I was thinking like to maybe stop at the end of this year. So I guess maybe now I'm going to think about like keep playing.
But I think like the tournament I played before in the States, I played Stanford, L.A. I even played ITF in Vancouver ‑‑ that was pretty nice. My game got better so that helped me for that tournament. So I don't know.
Q. What are your parents' names and what sport did they play?
JULIE COIN: My dad is Philippe Coin and my mom Doriane Coin.
Q. What sports?
JULIE COIN: They played handball. You know, the European sport?
Q. Team handball?
JULIE COIN: Yes.
Q. And they regretted...
JULIE COIN: Well, my mom played in the first like national for ‑‑ I don't remember for which club, and my dad, like when he was younger, he played for the French, like on the French team, but when he was under 16 or something. And they always wanted to be like top players in handball, but they had ‑‑ I guess it's not ‑‑ like it's not easy in handball, you have to work and like ‑‑ they didn't make it.
Q. They pushed you hard to be professional?
JULIE COIN: No, no, no. They just told me follow your dream, like do it. Like they said, we will be behind you if you want to play tennis. So it's pretty nice.
Q. What was your plan if you were to quit? You said at the end of this, maybe before this happened that you would stop. What would you have done?
JULIE COIN: Well, I guess I have a diploma in the States. I have also a French diploma in sports. So I can do a lot of things now. I can be a sports coach, like tennis coach. I don't know. I didn't think about what I will do if I was quitting, but yeah, I'm ‑‑ I have like diploma so it's not like if I stop tennis I have nothing and I'm going to have to go in school and everything. In Clemson I got a bachelor in mathematical sciences. I guess with what I did also in the States playing college it would be easier for me to find a job maybe in the States because I was playing for Clemson and I got a bachelor and everything. So I'm not lost, I think.
Q. There was an especially bad match that made you have those thoughts?
JULIE COIN: Yeah. In Wimbledon, my ‑‑ in quallies my match was just terrible. It was more like nervously it was awful. I was leading and I lost the match and I had couple matches like this. So after a point you're like ‑‑ and you know, when you start thinking too much on the court it's not good, so...
Q. How difficult was it today to block out the crowd and the atmosphere and concentrate on your tennis?
JULIE COIN: Actually it wasn't that hard today. Well, I have a mental coach at home and, we've been working for like ‑‑ I started with him in December, so I guess now the work that we did together starts to pay off.
But today was just ‑‑ well, my parents and everybody was telling me, enjoy the moment, enjoy the moment, so I was on the court and I was enjoying the moment. It's great when you play like when you win a point and the crowd is like getting all excited, after the match point everyone is screaming.
I mean, that doesn't happen every day, so it was pretty good.
Q. Is this the first WTA tournament you've played? Is it the first slam, and you tried at Wimbledon and you did you not qualify at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, et cetera, and you qualified here?
JULIE COIN: Yeah, that's the first time I'm qualifying here like in any Grand Slams. That's my first time.
Q. Did you think it would take so long to get to anything, into a main draw?
JULIE COIN: Well, I always been really slow. I am taking my time. Like when I was younger with the ranking, when like to beat a girl just one ranking higher than I was, it took me like six months every time because I was like, "She's better ranked than me so she's better." So I'm taking things slowly I guess. I'm a slow learner or something.
Q. Were there weaknesses in Ana's game today? Did you sense anything that she was struggling to do out there that you were going to be able to exploit?
JULIE COIN: She made a lot of errors from both sides, but I think more with her forehand. I didn't think she moved too well either. Well, she didn't have really like one big shot today, but the big thing was she made a lot of errors during the match.
So I got a lot of free points. Even with the serves she double faulted a couple times, so I thought she was maybe nervous more than I was. I don't know. I don't know. She's No. 1 and she ‑‑ like if she wanted to stay No. 1 at the end of this tournament she had to do well here. Maybe she had a lot of pressure. I think she was injured too so she's coming back and didn't play too much. So for sure that was hard.
It's a lot of pressure for the top players. Like for us, I mean, it's ‑‑ everything is if we win it's a bonus. For them, they get like, I don't know ‑‑ for them like all of you will write on them like, oh, they lost to the 188 in the world. So it's hard for them, too. I don't know.
Q. Have you spoken to your parents yet?
JULIE COIN: Yeah, yeah, yeah. But they said it wasn't on today. Only the third set. That was Mauresmo, because they said something about they thought my match would go fast or something. So they put Mauresmo, and then they put the third set when it was 1‑All and Love‑40 on my serve when I came back in the game. They looked at like the score.
Q. When you're in Vancouver earlier this month, you made the finals there and won the first set. Did you feel more pressure against Radwanska than you did today?
JULIE COIN: No. It was kind of the same thing. I mean, when you play you always want to win and that was the final so I want to win the tournament for sure. Maybe I got more pressure like that day because that was the final or something. I don't know. Well, today I didn't feel really ‑‑ like I felt nervous at the beginning and then it went away. Like I was just like playing on the courts and playing against a girl. Like it was just like a normal match for me.
And then it came back maybe match point and I was like, okay, now it's like the last point and you need to win the last point. Then the pressure came back. But it was really ‑‑ I don't know how I did it. It's just ‑‑ I don't know, today was just like perfect.
Q. Can I ask a Clemson question: American football is so big there. Did you get into that whole thing?
JULIE COIN: Yeah, yeah, I was watching every game. My first year I couldn't understand American football so somebody had to explain me all the rules. The thing is you go to the clubs with them, and you do the weight room with them and you are around them all the time. Every year at the beginning of the year you go on the field. So ‑‑ and you want to watch all the matches not just for football, but sometimes we play some teams that we don't like, I guess the school makes them like not liking them, you know, like South Carolina, U.S.C. When we get to Clemson they're like, okay, you don't like U.S.C.? Why? Because that's like this, you don't like the chicken, whatever.
So that's like how they teach us. And then you start liking football, too. It's fun.
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