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June 1, 2015

Gael Monfils


R. FEDERER/G. Monfils
6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1
THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. Obviously it's tough having a match that gets suspended for darkness. You're back today with different conditions. How did you handle that, and what do you think wasn't working for you today?
GAEL MONFILS: First, for me, was tough because I'm sick. Now it's been few days I'm sick, so I'm battling with my sickness. I have not much energy. And actually yesterday I thought that maybe we might not play and it will help me a little bit, and finally we did play. I was battling to get a set and actually to -- for me one set all was perfect. I didn't have a great night last night, so it was maybe a mistake. Then today for me was very tough. You know, Rog played solid. I think not very decent, but just a solid match. I think it was pretty obvious that I have no energy today. Couldn't challenge him because I was too tired.

Q. Do you have a cold or is it something else?
GAEL MONFILS: Yeah. Actually, you can hear in my voice. You know, I think I have a flu. In English I don't know how to say exactly. But, you know, first day I didn't have fever, but yesterday before the match I had fever. Day before also. So it was tough. And especially when you're 100% is it's never easy to beat Rog, so when you're not 100% is definitely impossible.

Q. That's why you asked for a blanket yesterday on the court?
GAEL MONFILS: I was freezing, you know. Actually, yeah, it was really cold. When you're sick, you feel it even colder.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. Is it a matter of bad luck or do you have some regrets because maybe yesterday you could have done something else? Is it easy to digest?
GAEL MONFILS: This is sport. I told someone, a colleague of mine, In fact, I would like to know what is the secret to be a machine, not to be injured, not to be sick. So it was cold and I was slapped in the face because of the weather conditions. So I need to make progress in order to be at the top of my game. Physically I feel good, but when you're sick it's harder. I need to make some progress, and I will make progress. I'm not far from it and have more courage and determination, more willpower.

Q. So what about these things that you have identified? You want to make progress? In which compartments?
GAEL MONFILS: I will continue, but I think that I need to make progress in terms of nutrition. I have to better manage simple things. Regarding the weather, I need to better manage the weather, for example. Very often I'm playing with some shorts and a sweater, but that's not enough. So these are little details, little things of life that are important. In the evening when I have dinner with my team, with my family, I don't have enough clothes. I should wear from time to time a coat. I will test new things in terms of nutrition. I tested new drinks with Gaetan, and I felt better physically. So I will try new things. We did that for 15 days, testing new drinks. Of course I want to make sure that I don't indulge too much in terms of nutrition. So we are talking about sleeping, nutrition, food. We have tried many things in order to be fitter.

Q. When did you catch your cold?
GAEL MONFILS: On the eve of the match against Roger I was not at my best. Yesterday I was not good at all. Better than today, but had a bad night. I woke up repeatedly during the night. I didn't have any fever this morning, but my body was sluggish. I felt slow. I couldn't keep up the pace and I had a stuffed nose. So it was even harder. Much more complicated for me today.

Q. You have said that you have to wear a cardigan, a pullover. So there is a sense of guilt and you're under the impression that you knew exactly when you caught a cold.
GAEL MONFILS: Yes, with hindsight I know when I caught the cold. After a practice session. I'm nice. I talk a lot. I sign lots of autographs. I should wear a pullover, a cardigan. People told me, Okay, you can sign, but if you sign some autographs, put on a pullover. So these are silly things. But from time to time I'm too kind, or at some point I was harebrained.

Q. You have said that you will try to have a new diet. Will it be a gluten-free diet?
GAEL MONFILS: I need to take some tests. No, I'm thinking about simple things in terms of nutrition. Maybe to choose some specific, simple diets, performing diets. I'm not necessarily in favor of that, but I want to test that. I want to have a go at it. Gaetan wants me to test new things. I decided to recruit a new team in order to try new things. As regards gluten, I don't know, but why not?

Q. You were talking about machine players. Any examples to follow? Any examples?
GAEL MONFILS: The best players, they are rarely sick. They are rarely injured. I'm talking about the top 10 players. Top 10 players, they are fit. They are not sick. The Big 4, they are always healthy. In a Grand Slam tournament they make sure that they are healthy for two weeks, and that's indispensable.

Q. Bad luck because you have a flu. Most of the time you are knocked out because of some small details.
GAEL MONFILS: Of course we are talking about small details, but Roger is very good. I'm not saying that I have lost because of these small details. I'm just analyzing the match. I mean, Roger was a better player today; there is no doubt about it. It's not a matter of bad luck. He better managed the match. He better handled the match. I want to be honest with you. I'm just analyzing the situation.

Q. Years are passing by. Is it a problem to you?
GAEL MONFILS: No. I'm honest, but the players are better. I don't win a Grand Slam because opponents are better. There is no mystery. There is no secret. These players are better than us. Of course I need to correct some small details. It seems to be idiotic to put not on a pullover, but I'm more mature. I think in tennis we can play at an old age. Roger is 33 years old. He's still playing well. Why not? He can win other Grand Slam tournaments. I'm not afraid of time passing by. Quite the opposite. I can tell you that physically I will be at my best and more mature. I do pay attention to some small details. Not enough, but I'm doing better. In my mind I'm more solid. I will try to do some little things in order to win more matches.

Q. At 2-1, why did you call the physio, the doctor?
GAEL MONFILS: I had a stuffed nose. I took something in order to relieve my nose. I wanted to breathe better. Of course I believed in myself. I had a break point at 4-3 and he hit a serve on the line; he hit some first serves. But I thought I could turn the tables. Bernard gave me this drug, and I told him I'm a little bit flat. I asked him if the drugs would be effective. So he gave me a drug in order to relieve my nose.

Q. Maybe it's premature, but are you motivated by the Wimbledon tournament? There is the Davis Cup after Wimbledon? What do you want to do in order to improve your game on grass? Everybody says that you could play well on grass.
GAEL MONFILS: There is a sort of mental block with grass. It's not really pleasant to play on grass because I can't move very well on grass. I need to adapt and adjust my game on grass. I have to be aggressive in terms of my tactics, and I find it difficult. When I'm in a difficult position, it's very difficult for me to put the ball in the court on grass, which is not the case with the other surfaces. So this is a sort of stressful situation when I play on grass. I'm afraid of playing on grass. I got lots of injuries on grass. That's why I'm apprehensive, and I haven't been able to overcome this psychology.

Q. There will be the Davis Cup tie. Does it change something in terms of motivation?
GAEL MONFILS: No. The captain knows that I have some problems on grass, but I will be on the team. Everybody knows that I'm not a grass specialist. I don't feel comfortable on grass. But I could be a good Trump card, a joker. For me it will be difficult to win a match on grass and to get a point for the French team.

Q. Would you think that you will be selected?
GAEL MONFILS: I don't know if I will be among the top 4, but at least among the top 5. Even though I don't play, I can provide my contribution to the team. This is what I told the captain. I will pull out all the stops in practice. If there is a problem with one of the players, I mean, I will be able to take over. But if the tie is at 2-2 and if one of the players is injured, I mean, I can play. I can play. As I told you, if one of the players is injured, I mean, I can move in. But I think that the other four French players are better on grass. And the captain told me, But if you reached the semifinal at Wimbledon... I told him, Me? Reaching the semifinal of Wimbledon? That's not possible. (Laughter.)
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