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April 13, 2015

Benoit Paire


B. PAIRE/D. Kudla
6‑3, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions in French, please.

Q.テつ You've been doing well in the Masters lately.テつ Are you satisfied?
BENOIT PAIRE:テつ Yes, but I want to do better than that.テつ I feel good mentally and physically.テつ Today I was very happy I was able to win because the second set was very tight.

Q.テつ Were you disappointed you were not in the main draw?
BENOIT PAIRE:テつ Yes, of course.テつ I was hoping I could get a wild card.テつ So I am disappointed.
But, anyway, I'm here to play matches and win matches.テつ Those two qualification matches helped me to practice on clay and get ready for the match today.
He played well.テつ He's a very good player.テつ I'm very happy I was able to win this match.

Q.テつ So you're just happy playing matches?
BENOIT PAIRE:テつ Yes.テつ But it's better to be in the main draw for that because then all the players are very good and you can find your references on this surface.
I'm really happy I won this match.

Q.テつ It was a good shot on match point.
BENOIT PAIRE:テつ Well, it was not exactly on match point.テつ But, yes, I made some good shots.テつ But the general goal is to be consistent.

Q.テつ You played many futures and other tournaments.テつ Are you happy now playing the Masters?
BENOIT PAIRE:テつ It was really tough in Australia.テつ My knee was hurting then.テつ I lost badly in the first round and I couldn't practice.
I came back to France.テつ I was trying to find out whether I should keep taking those tablets because I had that pain and I was not going to play with that pain all the time.テつ But they found out it was due to a calcification, so then I knew what it was.
For me, playing the futures was mandatory because when you don't play for eight months you're not able to play well on the important points.テつ If I wanted to start winning matches again, it was very important that I played those tournaments.
It helped me trying to find references and to build up my game.テつ After the futures, I played the challengers.テつ Every time I had a difficult moment, I was thinking to the period of eight months when I was not even able to play, thinking how lucky I was.

Q.テつ Playing the futures and challengers, did it help you to take it easier now?
BENOIT PAIRE:テつ Well, for me it was a mandatory transition I had to do because I knew I was lacking confidence.テつ Other players don't know what is wrong with their games, but I knew that was it.テつ That's why I chose to play those tournaments.

Q.テつ But was it difficult?テつ The atmosphere is different in those tournaments.
BENOIT PAIRE:テつ I went there with the intention of finding my game again and winning matches.テつ Of course, it's very different here.テつ I'm staying at the Monte‑Carlo Bay instead of a small hotel.
But I was lucky when I was playing those tournaments because my family and coach were supporting me, they were with me.

Q.テつ So you're not taking any painkillers anymore?
BENOIT PAIRE:テつ No.テつ I have had two perfect weeks just now.テつ Of course, just before a match I take some painkillers so that I can play with my mind free.テつ But otherwise I can practice and enjoy my tennis without any medicine.
Even today I was under pressure, especially in the second set, but I was able to play well.

Q.テつ If you were told in Melbourne that you would be playing this tournament, being top 75 again, would you have signed up for it?
BENOIT PAIRE:テつ Well, you know me, I'm always worried about the rankings.テつ But now I'm no longer worried.テつ I'm on the court just trying to win my matches.テつ I'm in the present trying to win.テつ That way I can only improve.
But losing in Melbourne so badly was tough because I wanted to do well there.テつ I wanted to prove I deserved to be there.
The good thing is I was able to go and play those future tournaments.テつ It was a good thing because now I have no points to defend.

Q.テつ But you would have liked a wild card for Australia?
BENOIT PAIRE:テつ Don't be mistaken.テつ I think Lucas is a very good player and deserved to have a wild card.テつ It's not about that.テつ It's just that if I ever needed the Federation to help me, it was in Melbourne.テつ I was really frustrated that they didn't give me that wild card.
Maybe it will prove useful in the end.テつ But what I learned is that you can't really trust people when you need help.

Q.テつ About your forehand, how are you hitting it now compared with 2012 and 2013?
BENOIT PAIRE:テつ Better.テつ I believe I improved almost all my shots.テつ But I mainly improved mentally.テつ I'm so happy when I'm playing now.
I played better in my match against Becker, but today was a tougher match.テつ The good thing is I was able to fight.テつ Even without playing my forehand well, I still won that second set.
I know my forehand is a weakness, but when I see how I hit it in practice, I think it can become a strong point.

Q.テつ Do you believe you're stronger mentally now?
BENOIT PAIRE:テつ Yes, I do.テつ It gave me time to think what I was doing wrong.テつ I have been commenting on matches in Bercy.テつ It helped me to see from the outside the matches, to realize that the only thing I wanted to do is just go on the court and play.
So I believe I'm stronger mentally now.テつ Today instead of getting angry, I was just thinking, Look, you're in this tournament, you're in Monte‑Carlo, enjoy.
Now I'm able to fight on the court.テつ I'm stronger in my mind.テつ It comes naturally to me now.テつ Before, Lionel, my coach, had to push me all the time.テつ He doesn't need to do that anymore.テつ He rather gives me tactical advice.

Q.テつ You knew Patrice Dominguez well.テつ How are you affected by the news?
BENOIT PAIRE:テつ It is very tough.テつ Patrice was like a second father to me.テつ He really helped me a lot.テつ He gave me my first wild card as a junior in the Cap d'Ail tournament.テつ I went often to his home.テつ I know they liked me.テつ I was very close to Leo, his son.
He really did a lot for me, and for tennis in general.テつ So I feel very sad, also for Leo, Lea and Sandrine.テつ He really did a lot for tennis, for our game.

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