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January 16, 2015

Gilles Muller


V. TROICKI/G. Muller
6‑2, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ Bad luck on the loss today.テつ How much of a factor was the heat today?
GILLES MULLER:テつ I'm not really sure, but I definitely felt pretty flat today.テつ Yeah, couldn't get myself going.テつ Against a player like Viktor it's obviously very tough.テつ He makes a lot of balls and is very solid from the baseline.
Yeah, it was tough for me today for sure.

Q.テつ So can you talk a little bit more about what was difficult for you today out there?
GILLES MULLER:テつ I think the match started obviously pretty bad.テつ All week long already, except for the match last night, I had quite some difficulties to get into the matches.テつ I always got broken very early.テつ Lots the first set in three out of four of my matches.
So, yeah, it's not easy to start that way.テつ Other days I managed to turn it around.テつ I tried again in the second set.テつ I think in the second set I could have had more chances.テつ Especially in one game, I'm not sure, but I had big chance to go up Love‑40 in that game and didn't do it.
Like I said, against a player like Viktor who is solid, who was serving big today, yeah it was quite tough to get those chances.
Yeah, it's not easy.

Q.テつ On the other hand, this time last year you were in a completely different position in terms of your ranking.

Q.テつ Even though you lost today, next week you're going to end up with your career‑high ranking, I think.テつ I'm not sure.
GILLES MULLER:テつ I haven't checked.テつ It's possible.テつ My career high was 42 before.テつ Possible that it's going to be better.

Q.テつ Yeah.テつ So can you talk a little bit about the journey back from outside the top 300 a year ago?
GILLES MULLER:テつ Yeah, in 2013 I had a big injury.テつ I was out for almost seven to eight months.
Yeah, I mean, as you know, back then I was 29, so the question was is it going to be possible to come back?テつ Should I do it again?テつ Should I try to again.
I also have two kids at home and a wife, so it's not easy to travel when you have kids at home.テつ I said, Okay, if I'm going to do it, I'm going do it right.テつ I worked really hard.テつ I used that time off the court.テつ I had elbow problems so physically I could work.
So I was working really hard physically and getting myself into really good shape.テつ Then, yeah, started last year with some tournaments, some challengers, and I played really well in the challengers.テつ Won I think five challengers last year, and then started playing the big tournaments.テつ Also had some decent results.
Yeah, now I'm happy in that position to be able to play the big tournaments again, play these players week in and week out.テつ I'm pretty sure that by playing these guys every week I'm going to improve my game.
Yeah, who knows?テつ A lot of things are possible.

Q.テつ Why did you decide you were going to do it again, come back?
GILLES MULLER:テつ Because I love the game, first of all.テつ And then I really didn't want to stop with an injury.テつ I want to stop when I want to and not when my body is telling me.
Yeah, another thing that kept me going is the family.テつ It's not easy to do it, but on the other hand, I really wanted to play well and play those big tournaments and that my kids are able to see that.テつ They're still quite young, so I still have to try to do it for another two, three years so they really see what their father is doing.
That really kept me going.

Q.テつ You're one of a bunch of players reaching their career high at sort of 30, 31, 32.テつ Do you think it's because of fitness and because you had the time off and you were able to improve?
GILLES MULLER:テつ It's two things.テつ mentally the game has become very, very tough, and I think players that are 18, 19 ‑ you have a very exceptions ‑ but I think it's just very tough for them to get there at that age.
Then also physically, I think you need to be really fit nowadays.テつ At 18 years old or 19 years old, their body is just not there.テつ It's not possible.テつ Over all those years when you work hard physically in the gym, on the track, and everywhere, if you do it during ten years, you're just logically you're better than a guy who did it for maybe two or three years.
So I think that those two factors are very big.テつ I think that's for sure, in my opinion, the two big reasons why nowadays players, when they're like around 30, they're better than before.

Q.テつ As you said, you had a great year in the challengers.テつ Do you find a big difference between the level of competition there and the ATP Tour?
GILLES MULLER:テつ Yes and no.テつ I think the difference is the not level of tennis.テつ I think the difference is consistency.テつ In these tournaments here it's very hard to win every single match when you're not at 100% all the time mentally, physically.
I think in challengers the level of tennis is the same.テつ There are a lot of good players in challengers, but they just can't compete at the highest level all the time.テつ You can have maybe mentally weaknesses or physically weakness, and then they're going to be playing well one week or one or two matches, but then in the third match something is going to happen and they're giving the match away.
This is not happening here.テつ In these tournaments you have to be at 100% every single day.テつ That's what makes it tougher.

Q.テつ Do you think that consistency is because they're just not at that level or because things are tougher and the challengers are so good and you don't have a coach and physio maybe?
GILLES MULLER:テつ Yeah, it's possibly also tougher for sure.テつ When you stay too long in the challenger level it's tough to make money also.テつ That could also be a factor that those guys maybe feel more pressure, and that pressure can maybe hold them back.
Like you said, there are different conditions.テつ You come to this big tournaments and you have physio, guys for the massages, everything is taken care of.テつ Whereas in challengers ‑ I know they're trying to improve that now and I think that's a very good start ‑ but last we're when I played it's just not the same.
So you have to take care of a lot of stuff.テつ You have to pay for the massages.テつ You have to pay for the physio sometimes.テつ You have to, like I said, you travel a lot.
There are people here that you say, I want to leave tomorrow, and they get you tickets or whatever and they do everything.テつ You kind of have to manage everything yourself on the Challenger Tour.テつ It's a bit more exhausting for sure.

Q.テつ How do you think Victor is playing right now as another player who has come back from a break?
GILLES MULLER:テつ I can only tell you what I saw today.テつ I think there is not much difference from when he was 13 in the world.テつ He is a very solid player, very strong physically, serving big, and, yeah, not giving you any chances to‑‑ exactly what I told you today.テつ If you're not 100%, and I was not today, yeah, he takes advantage of that right away.
I think he's a very good player, and definitely going to be better ranked by the end of the year in my opinion.

Q.テつ What are you looking for in the season?

Q.テつ Yeah.
GILLES MULLER:テつ Kind of stopped trying to set goals ranking‑wise.テつ I'm just trying to take it day by day.テつ It's not easy.テつ Yeah, just focus on every match.
So far the start has been pretty good.テつ I played quarterfinals last week in India; now this week semifinal.テつ I think my confidence is pretty high going into Melbourne, into the Australian Open.
I mean, I don't try to put myself limits.テつ I think, yeah, I can do well for sure.テつ If I'm staying healthy and my body stays fit, I think for sure I can do some good results this year.

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