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April 14, 2015

Gael Monfils


G. MONFILS/A. Kuznetsov
4‑6, 6‑3, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions in English.

Q.テつ The injury in the USA, how did you respond physically?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Much better.テつ I was very surprised that I could play that early.テつ I had some picture that was not very good.テつ I had that special treatment.テつ Just after couple days, feel much better.
I've been able to practice a bit at home and also do some of the fitness stuff.テつ I was happy, you know. テつI was happy the way I moved a couple days ago.テつ I was happy the way I moved today.
You know, I was very surprised.テつ For me, it's good.テつ It bring me more confidence about my movement.

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions in French.

Q.テつ So what can you tell us about this match?テつ It was tough playing the first match on clay.テつ There were ups and downs.
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ There were ups and downs, yes.テつ But he played well.テつ I believe Andrey hit really hard.テつ Also I was not monstrously confident.テつ I had trouble finding the right timing and how to move on the surface.
I never had much success here in Monte‑Carlo, so I'm very pleased that I was able to get through this match.テつ Right now I have mixed feelings.テつ There were good parts in the game, but also bad ones ‑ certainly due partly to him, who was playing well.テつ But I was able to come back.テつ Once I was a bit more confident, I was able to move better, too.
He was playing well from the baseline, I found.テつ He surprised me because I played him in Marseille, but I thought on clay he would not be able to play as well.テつ I can say he impressed me here.

Q.テつ When did you decide you were coming here?テつ Apparently it was a last‑minute decision.
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ I was injured in Key Biscayne, therefore I had to play Houston, which I was not too happy about.テつ Usually when you do well in Houston, it's tough coming back to play in France, which we like to do, play in France.
Then I was injured and I thought I would ask if they would give me a wild card here.テつ The images were not good.テつ But a few days later suddenly I felt better.テつ I thought, Why not?テつ I called.テつ I really wanted to play.

Q.テつ On the court it seems you were mostly fighting against yourself.
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ As I said, it's my first match on clay, and he was playing very well.テつ I was even surprised to see that.テつ I had trouble playing higher balls with him because he didn't give me any pace.
I'm really happy I was able to win that one.テつ He was taking his chances.テつ He was hitting hard.テつ He was relaxed.テつ It was tough.
But little by little I was able to find my game again, and I was able to come back.

Q.テつ Why do you think you always have trouble playing well here in Monte‑Carlo?テつ Is it because it's early in the season?テつ Because here the courts are very similar to the French Open.
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Maybe.テつ But I always have trouble adapting to clay quickly, so it's always a strange period of the year for me here.テつ I always hope I can play those tournaments well.テつ But often I end up losing.テつ I don't seem to be able to play my best tennis.
Anyway, this match was good because it helps finding your references, especially with a tight match like this one.テつ You can have those kind of matches in the first rounds at the French Open, so it's good to start winning those matches early in the season.

Q.テつ You keep saying in six weeks you need to be fit.テつ What happens in six weeks?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Because I want to feel good in six weeks.

Q.テつ You're saying it's a strange period of the year for you.テつ Is it the same this year?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Well, right now I have no injuries.テつ I'm happy I can play.テつ But every year it's a strange moment.テつ Today I was able to win a correct match.テつ I already played worse at this stage.テつ Every year I lose those tight matches, 6‑4, 7‑6, three sets, because when I come here I have no confidence and I'm more or less injured every time.
This year, I feel okay.

Q.テつ So you will be ready for whatever happens in six weeks?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Well, I often get injured during those six weeks, so maybe this is what is different this year.
Although, two days ago, it almost happened.テつ But in the end it was okay.テつ The hip injury I had was treated quite quickly and I was ready to come and play this tournament here.
Of course, I am not overwhelmingly confident, but I have good sensations on the court and I believe this was a fair match.テつ Training physically helped me.

Q.テつ You seemed to play aggressively and go more to the net.テつ Is it because your coach told you to or does it come naturally?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Well, it's more natural now.テつ But I'm a bit disappointed because today I was in trouble on the dropshots and things which I usually do well.テつ However, moving forward has become more automatic for me, especially in the important moments when I know I have to do that.

Q.テつ Do you have any complaints about the scheduling?テつ I think you don't like playing in the morning.
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Well, I played in the morning because I have to play a doubles match.テつ But I will find something I can complain about, don't worry.テつ Maybe I could say the doubles match could have been played another day.

Q.テつ What about your next opponent?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ It's going to be hell.テつ It's very tough to play him when you're not confident.テつ He changes the rhythm all the time. テつHe's very difficult to handle.テつ He can be very aggressive.テつ He returns very well.テつ Also he is a very physical player.テつ He makes it difficult.
I hope I'll be able to serve better and be more aggressive.テつ Also I hope I'll step up my power.テつ If I have the opportunity of having a break, I'll try to hold my serve.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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