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November 23, 2014

Arnaud Clement

Richard Gasquet

Gael Monfils

Gilles Simon

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga


R. FEDERER/R. Gasquet
6‑4, 6‑2, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions in English, please.

Q.テつ With how the weekend played out, do you still feel that clay was the right choice for the surface?
CAPTAIN CLEMENT:テつ Yes.テつ I still think it's a good choice.

Q.テつ Why?
CAPTAIN CLEMENT:テつ Because I think it's a good choice.

Q.テつ Arnaud, how much blame do you take personally for the weekend's results considering your choices, the team chemistry and on‑court strategy?
CAPTAIN CLEMENT:テつ It's tough question for me to answer in English.テつ If you don't mind, if I can answer in French, somebody can translate.
(Translated from French.)テつ As captain, I will, of course, think about it.テつ I will question myself and think about how I could have been better strategically before the tie, during the training sessions, and during the matches.
Of course, now I'm just coming out of the court.テつ It's very soon.テつ But I believe we tried everything we could.テつ We did everything well, especially in the preparation for the matches, in the way we approached the final.テつ We've been preparing for it for weeks and weeks.テつ The players did the same individually in the various tournaments they were playing during the past month.
Of course, I have to ask myself some questions.テつ I need to be better in the future.テつ But for the time being, the first feeling is that Switzerland was better than we were during the whole weekend.

Q.テつ Can you tell us when you decided that Richard would be playing today and why?
CAPTAIN CLEMENT:テつ (Translated from French.)テつ It was decided yesterday.テつ Well, I will answer many questions about what happened this weekend.
This weekend, after the matches on Friday, Jo felt a pain in his arm.テつ It's a pain he had recently and came back on this occasion.テつ Saturday morning he made a test to see if he was able to play the doubles.テつ It was not the case.テつ So Julien was told the day before that he might not play the doubles.
But after Jo practiced, Julien was confirmed to play the doubles.テつ We knew also at that time that Jo would not be able to play the singles on Sunday because of the pain.テつ So this is how Julien was confirmed for the doubles to play with Richard.
In the evening, of course, we all were together.テつ This is how Richard went to play against Federer today.

Q.テつ What is the diagnosis of your arm problem, Jo?テつ What is the injury?
JO‑WILFRIED TSONGA:テつ Today I don't really know.テつ I didn't do a diagnostic.テつ And today, you know, I feel the pain.テつ Of course, I will be happy to go on court and fight as much as possible.テつ But today with this injury I was just not able to go on the court and be the best chance on the court for France.

Q.テつ Richard, can you talk about Roger's level today, what you were trying to do to stop him from playing so well.
RICHARD GASQUET:テつ Yeah, first of all I'm very disappointed to lose in three sets.テつ It's always difficult.テつ But I tried my best.テつ I just need to improve.
He played very good, the first time he played that level against me.テつ I think he played the best match against me, I want to say.テつ Of course, he has experience with these kind of matches.テつ It's a big disappointment for me to lose.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions in French.

Q.テつ Arnaud and Jo, could you give more details about the circumstances you were explaining.テつ When did Jo get hurt?テつ Was it during the match against Wawrinka or did he have pain before the match?
CAPTAIN CLEMENT:テつ Well, that is a pain Jo had before.テつ He had the pain during the training week.テつ Well, he had a long preparation and hit a lot.テつ We thought the muscle was getting tired.
But after this high‑intensity match he played the first day, and the additional pressure, the pain came back.テつ This, you know, can cause the pain to come back.
I hope that it is not going to be serious for Jo, and that after some rest I hope he will be able to play again and be ready for the next season.

Q.テつ Jo, were you hesitating to play on Friday or not?
JO‑WILFRIED TSONGA:テつ Well, not a single second did I hesitate.テつ I was feeling a lot better.テつ In Bordeaux it's true that I felt a little pain.テつ But we worked well with all the physios and the team for me to be 100% on Friday.テつ When I went onto the court, I was sure that I could do my best and give it my all.
But it didn't really work, so to speak.テつ I tried my best, but the opponent was better than I was that day.
After that match, I started feeling some stronger pain once the muscles had cooled down.テつ I didn't really know how I would feel on the Saturday morning.テつ Unfortunately on the Saturday morning I was not able to hold the racquet and I was not able to hit the ball cleanly.
Julien knew there was a possibility that I wouldn't be able to play.テつ Unfortunately that was the case.

Q.テつ Arnaud, why didn't you say anything about this injury last night?テつ Why did you say Jo might play?
CAPTAIN CLEMENT:テつ Well, I have a lot of friendship with you, but I believe the answer is obvious.テつ We don't want to give information to the opponents at that particular stage of the weekend.
I think we have to leave them with some uncertainty until the last minute.テつ Honestly, I don't like to give you wrong information at some moments during the tie.テつ Maybe some of you were doubting what I was saying, but I couldn't do otherwise because the goal was to protect the group.
It might just create an extra doubt in the opponent's mind if they don't know who they're going to face the next morning, and it's my duty to keep this secret.

Q.テつ With Jo's problems, did you think of having a different team, or was it important to have Jo from Friday on within the team?
CAPTAIN CLEMENT:テつ It was obvious to have him because Jo had played extremely well during the whole week of preparation before this little problem.テつ He was feeling well at the end.
When we came closer to the tie, and with the intensity of the first match, the pain came back.テつ But that's something we couldn't know in advance.
Anyway, the Swiss team was superior.テつ But we were also a bit unlucky.テつ We tried everything we could.テつ We took care of Jo's arm.テつ We really have to praise the medical staff.テつ But there are some things you can't control.

Q.テつ Jo, do you know when you're going to start treatment?テつ Are you going to have x‑rays?
JO‑WILFRIED TSONGA:テつ Normally it should start tomorrow.テつ I don't know much more.テつ There's not more that I can tell you.テつ We'll have the medical examinations tomorrow.テつ Then, according to that, I will do what I want to do.

Q.テつ Richard, what was your state of mind when you entered onto the court?テつ You had the crowd behind you.テつ What did you feel at that moment?テつ Were you trying to stay calm?
RICHARD GASQUET:テつ It was fabulous.テつ The crowd was 1000%.テつ This is what we were saying with Arnaud.テつ We were on the top of the stairs together and we thought it was incredible.テつ We could see the whole stadium.テつ It's extraordinary.テつ There's nothing to say about this.テつ It's extraordinary to experience those moments.
I'm not happy with the results, losing in three straight sets.テつ I need to be stronger, to improve my game, but I'm extremely disappointed for the time being.テつ I felt he was playing very well.テつ He was playing fast.テつ He was very focused and making very few mistakes.テつ I was not even able to have a breakpoint.
It was difficult for me to give him problems.テつ We are all disappointed.テつ I would have liked to do more for the team because the crowd was ready, ready to support me to the end.テつ In that situation, the only thing you want to do is play a fourth or fifth set just to please the crowd.

Q.テつ Richard, if we look at your stats, they're not bad.テつ You made no mistakes.テつ Roger today was unbeatable.
RICHARD GASQUET:テつ No, it's not true.テつ I made many mistakes in my returns.テつ Sometimes I let him play.テつ This you can't do.テつ So I did make mistakes.
I should have hit the ball harder and at a higher level.テつ But it's extremely difficult to play him.テつ I felt he was extremely experienced.テつ He played dozens of those matches.テつ When you play him, you know he's not going to make a mistake, he's not going to give any point away.テつ He has a lot of talent.テつ He always hits the right shot.テつ His shots are of a very high quality.テつ I believe he's one of the toughest opponents you can have today.

Q.テつ Arnaud, what is lacking in this team to be able to win in Davis Cup against the best teams?
CAPTAIN CLEMENT:テつ Honestly from the tennis point of view the Swiss team was superior, better than we were.テつ Maybe we could have used some details in our favor to turn around some matches and the tie.テつ But if you look at the tie as a whole, you can see that the Swiss players are at a higher level than us.テつ They're top one and top four of the world.
We prepared for that as much as we could.テつ But we knew that beating them would need an exceptional performance.テつ So what we are looking is maybe big victories on a regular basis in major tournaments during the year so that our players can be at a higher level.
It is a lot and it is a little at the same time.テつ It's sometimes difficult to achieve.テつ I know all the players really want to do that.

Q.テつ Arnaud, what did you say last night to the players?テつ You knew that Jo was not going to play already.テつ How did you raise the spirits of the team?
CAPTAIN CLEMENT:テつ I knew that Richard was absolutely prepared.テつ When Richard said, I would have liked to have played a fourth set or a fifth set, it was because physically he was totally able to stay four hours on the court.テつ His preparation was perfect.
We would have liked also if we had made 2‑2 to see Gael play the live rubber in the end.テつ But Federer didn't miss at all.テつ His performance was incredible.テつ He raised his level all throughout the weekend, although he didn't have much practice before.
We saw that anyway today his back was not hurting anymore.テつ He was back to his exceptional level.テつ Of course, against Gael, maybe he was lacking some practice.テつ Also the quality of Gael's game gave him problems.テつ But today he was above us, the Swiss team was better than we were.

Q.テつ This final took place in an incredible atmosphere.テつ I guess this will be a useful experience for next year.
CAPTAIN CLEMENT:テつ Yes, I'm totally convinced this is a very important experience for the players.テつ Living those moments against high‑quality players such as the Swiss is important.
Right now it's tough.テつ It's difficult to accept that loss for all of us, for the players, for the staff, and also for the fans.テつ They believed we could win.
The quality of great champions is to be able to bounce back, to take the lessons and come back very strongly.

Q.テつ Jo, it's the second final after Serbia that was ruined because of an injury for you.テつ How do you feel?
JO‑WILFRIED TSONGA:テつ Well, of course I feel extremely disappointed because I really was committed to the team.テつ I invested a lot of time and effort in it.テつ Clearly this is very disappointing.
I would have liked to have played today.テつ I would have liked to have played yesterday.テつ I would have liked to have played all the matches if I could.
But, unfortunately, this is not the case.テつ You can't go backwards.テつ I'm just going to try to look towards the future now.

Q.テつ Gael, what is your state of mind?テつ How are you going to leave after this Davis Cup final?
GAEL MONFILS:テつ Disappointed.

Q.テつ I would like to have all of you say something.テつ Did you feel everything went wrong when you knew Jo was injured?テつ Did you feel winning against Roger was impossible?
CAPTAIN CLEMENT:テつ Well, you can't say what would have happened if.テつ I don't think it's possible to answer that question.テつ It's not that we don't want to.

Q.テつ Gilles, when you see that one player was not 100%, do you think they could have given you a chance?
GILLES SIMON:テつ It's a long time I stopped thinking that way.テつ I think all the reasons were explained by Arnaud.テつ I'm not going to repeat all this.
But it was Jo's decision to play.テつ If you start thinking, What would have happened if?テつ Nobody cares about that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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