What do you feel when you come back here to Roland-Garros?
I have only good memories here. It doesn’t matter if it’s been five years or five months… And I’ll say the same thing 10 years from now! When I come here, I still feel all the emotion from my incredible experiences. And now it's different. During my career, I had always been focused on my campaign and my game. But now, I’m here with my whole family and have had a chance visit the city, really take advantage of being here!
So you’ve been able to be a tourist this time?
Yes, finally! I’ve finally got time. I visited vineyards in the Loire Valley, I learned how wine is made. It’s not far from Paris – just a 90-minute drive. And I also got to see Paris with my family, show them all the major sights. The Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Elysées... all the things you have to see.
It sounds like you’re really enjoying just living your life, being able to just focus on yourself for once.
Exactly. When I was playing, there was a lot of tension, I had to always be thinking about my training, my match or going back to my hotel to pack up for the next trip. Now, there’s definitely less pressure. I don’t have to think about tennis anymore (laughter).
Do you remember how you felt when you were playing here?
This morning, as I got out of the car on my way to the interview room, I thought to myself, 'Oh, it’s Centre Court!' And then I saw my signature on the wall in the hallway and I thought, 'It’s true that I did pretty well here'.
What’s it like to win here?
I remember match point like it was yesterday. I stretched out on the ground and looked up at the sky. I remember it was so blue. It was nice out that day. But the most special moment for me was when I saw my flag before the Chinese national anthem played in the stadium. It made it all that much more emotional and exciting. I was proud of myself, like anyone would be in the same situation.