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November 18, 2014

Julien Benneteau

Arnaud Clement

Richard Gasquet

Gael Monfils

Gilles Simon

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga


THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please, in French.

Q.テつ A very simple question.テつ What is your impression or feelings about the stadium?
GAEL MONFILS:テつ I haven't seen it.
RICHARD GASQUET:テつ The stadium is beautiful.テつ That's the first thing that strikes you.テつ It's very big.テつ It's beautiful.テつ It's wonderful to be able to play on such a court.
JO‑WILFRIED TSONGA:テつ Well, I came in this morning.テつ I watched Richard and Julien play.
We were welcomed very warmly here in Lille.テつ As far as I'm concerned, I'm looking forward to hit on the court.テつ I haven't had that opportunity yet.
JULIEN BENNETEAU:テつ Yes, I hit with Richard and Gilles this morning.テつ The stadium is incredible.テつ The quality of the court is extremely good, although it's the first time they're doing it here.
This morning I thought it was a bit heavy, the ball was bouncing low.テつ I know this will be better in the coming days.テつ So I think it's impressive.
It's a very high ceiling.テつ I believe when the stadium will be full, it's going to be wonderful.
GILLES SIMON:テつ Not much more to say.テつ It's going to be a good court.テつ It's going to be easy to play on it, even if it's very big.テつ I believe it's going to be perfect for this final.

Q.テつ It's so big.テつ Isn't it a bit too much?テつ It's the first time you will play in such a large stadium.テつ Also the light, with the overheads, is it okay?
GILLES SIMON:テつ No, the court is not too overwhelming.テつ It's big, but the stands are a bit further away.テつ You don't have the feeling the stands will be on top of you.テつ You have some space.
I wasn't bothered by anything this morning.
JULIEN BENNETEAU:テつ Same thing as Gilles.テつ On the sides, the crowd is quite close.テつ But on either ends, the stands are a bit further, so no problem with that.
With the light, we were not bothered for serving or for overheads.
RICHARD GASQUET:テつ Same thing.テつ Nothing more to add.

Q.テつ Since Federer pulled out on Sunday, after the semifinal between Stan and Roger, what is your feeling about everything we hear about the Swiss team?テつ Maybe they fought a little bit.テつ Are they going to play, not play?
JO‑WILFRIED TSONGA:テつ Well, I didn't read about all this, about what happened during the week.テつ I don't really know.テつ I don't really want to know either.
I think for this weekend, the important thing for us is to stay focused on ourselves, on our team.テつ What we need is to have a perfect performance.テつ What we can do is just play tennis.テつ Anything else is not really our business.
RICHARD GASQUET:テつ Same thing for me.テつ We were focused on what we were doing ourselves.テつ We didn't really try to see what was happening outside.テつ I think we need to be really focused on the Davis Cup.テつ This is our state of mind right now.テつ We don't bother with the rest.

Q.テつ Arnaud, what will be your daily routine tomorrow, Thursday?テつ What is the team going to do on a daily basis?テつ What is your schedule?
CAPTAIN CLEMENT:テつ We are still far from the first day of competition, so we have time.テつ What we need to do is work hard.テつ I mean, they've been working hard until now, during the past 10 days.テつ Julien came and joined us.テつ He's very fit and he adapted very quickly to the clay.
So there's nothing special for these last days of preparation before the matches.テつ All the players know exactly what we need.テつ We're not going to change anything.テつ We're not going to do anything new at this stage.
Of course, there will be a bit more pressure in the hours just before the first match.テつ But otherwise our daily routine will be as usual.

Q.テつ Arnaud, have you made your choices for Friday?テつ Have you announced your choices to the players?
CAPTAIN CLEMENT:テつ Well, we discussed this all together and things are moving ahead.テつ I'm sure that when the draw will take place, you'll see that, the name of the players.テつ But we have started talking about it amongst ourselves.

Q.テつ I would like to talk about the stadium and the court.テつ Is this the court you were dreaming about for this final?テつ Is this the dream stadium you were wishing for?
CAPTAIN CLEMENT:テつ There was really a great excitement for all of us, especially since the semifinal in Roland Garros when we qualified.テつ We saw a photograph of the stadium.テつ During the following week we received some images showing how the court will be constructed.
When the players came here, they were very eager to see the final stadium.テつ Jo came here just to see it.テつ He was practicing in another place, but came here to see the court.
What will be even more exciting will be to see the stadium totally full with the crowd.テつ It's going to be totally different, for all of us, for the players, and the Swiss players, too.
Anyway, we felt very good vibes with our first contact with the court.

Q.テつ Arnaud, what is happening to this Swiss team, especially with this marathon between Roger and Stan?テつ Maybe this confirms that clay was the right choice.
CAPTAIN CLEMENT:テつ Well, we know that Swiss players are able to adapt to clay very quickly.テつ They've shown that previously in the past.
But a match lasting two and a half hours is not a marathon for tennis players.テつ Here we're going to play the best‑of‑five, so it's going to be a lot longer.テつ I don't believe that much has made them tired.

Q.テつ We can feel the pressure building up.テつ This is a gigantic stadium with thousands of people.テつ How do you prepare for that specifically in these last few days?テつ Are you going to have some outside people come in?
CAPTAIN CLEMENT:テつ No.テつ We'll discuss this together.テつ Also individually the players will visualize what it will be like, as they are used to doing.テつ Each time they play in new stadiums, that's what they do.
Davis Cup is a different atmosphere, and they know that.テつ With their imagination they will visual what it will be in terms of the crowd, in terms of the light, in terms of the atmosphere.テつ But I don't feel my players are frightened by anything.テつ On the contrary, they're very excited.
But we will talk about all this.テつ We need to prepare.

Q.テつ About the court, it's very big.テつ Does this change anything?テつ Is it different to play on this type of court?
CAPTAIN CLEMENT:テつ I don't think this court is smaller than at Roland Garros.テつ On the contrary, on the sides, there's less space than in Roland Garros.テつ I don't think there's a big difference anyway, so I don't think there will be any problems adapting for the players.

Q.テつ It will be like playing on center court in Roland Garros?
JO‑WILFRIED TSONGA:テつ It's very big, honestly.テつ But I don't think it's very different from other stadiums.テつ It's just that they have extra stands on the top.テつ The stadium itself is more or less what we are used to.
Of course there will be many people.テつ There will be many stands at the top.テつ But it is still just a tennis court.テつ I don't believe it will have an impact on the game.
JULIEN BENNETEAU:テつ With Gilles, we were saying that the stands in the back are a bit far.テつ This gives an impression of playing on a big court.テつ It's true that on the sides, it's smaller than Roland Garros.
In London last week, the court was very big, too.テつ All the players here are used to playing on very big courts anyway.テつ It will not be a problem for us, I believe.

Q.テつ If ever Roger was not going to play, would this change anything for you?
RICHARD GASQUET:テつ It will not change much.テつ Of course, it will not be the same player, but I'm sure that the players who will play will give 100% to win the match.テつ That's the goal.

Q.テつ Jo, you're saying you're not bothered about what is happening in the Swiss team.テつ Are you getting ready to play, after what happened, Wawrinka maybe on Friday?
JO‑WILFRIED TSONGA:テつ Well, when you play tournaments, it happens.テつ Sometimes you don't know who you're going to play for the next match.テつ Whatever happens, you adapt.テつ We are used to that kind of thing.
If things were to change on Friday, I will adapt.テつ I'm used to it.

Q.テつ Gael, how is your preparation?テつ If you had to play, are you ready 100%?
GAEL MONFILS:テつ I feel pretty good.テつ I'm feeling better and better.テつ If I had to play, I would be at 100%, no problem.テつ No problem.

Q.テつ So the time you had in Bordeaux was enough for you?
GAEL MONFILS:テつ Yes.テつ In the last session I was able to feel that I was able to sustain a long effort.テつ I'm pretty happy.

Q.テつ A question about the doubles.テつ How many sessions did you practice?テつ You played the first doubles match yesterday.
CAPTAIN CLEMENT:テつ Yes, we didn't play a lot of matches in doubles, but we did many exercises.テつ Yesterday we played the first time in doubles.テつ We'll play doubles again tomorrow.

Q.テつ About the uncertainty concerning Federer, will you maybe change the team on Friday?テつ Did you include that uncertainty in your thinking?
CAPTAIN CLEMENT:テつ Well, for the time being, we are not thinking that Roger Federer will not play on Friday.テつ We have been preparing for 10 days, and we are prepared to play the Swiss team with Federer and Wawrinka.
Many people asked questions about Federer, even before he pulled out on Sunday.テつ But what we are going to play is not Federer's team, it is the Swiss team.テつ They have good players.テつ This is the reason we are preparing for the past 10 days because we want to be at our best to beat that team, which is the favorite for the time being.
Now, as I said yesterday, the physical condition of Federer is unknown to us.テつ What we need to do is prepare the best we can until the last day, until the last practice session, and we'll see who we'll have to play.
But I know they will do everything they can so that Roger will be totally fit for Friday.テつ We'll see what happens then.

Q.テつ Most of you have already played in a Davis Cup final.テつ Is it good?
CAPTAIN CLEMENT:テつ Of course it's good.テつ But we know that a final is always a bit more emotional, there's a bit more pressure, a bit more of everything.テつ So the experience all the players have is something important.

Q.テつ Jo and Gael, can you tell us about your schedule today.テつ You both hit.テつ Did you do more physical fitness or tennis?
JO‑WILFRIED TSONGA:テつ This morning I had time to rest and I'm going to practice this afternoon.テつ I had a good day of work yesterday.テつ I'm now going to do more tennis this afternoon.テつ I'm sure we're going to play many points, and that's it.
GAEL MONFILS:テつ I played two sets with Gilles Simon this morning.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you.

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