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May 25, 2015

Edouard Roger-Vasselin


G. MONFILS/E. Roger-Vasselin
6-2, 6-7, 6-1, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. Gaël said he wanted to have an easy match tonight, and you changed his plans.
EDOUARD ROGER-VASSELIN: Well, of course I did. I was not there to be a sparring partner. Although I played him many times, I was not just there to help him warm up for the tournament and help him make it to the round of 16. I mean, I was there to play my match. I knew it would be very difficult. But I was hungry because I wanted to show that I'm here, even though my ranking is not what it used to be a year ago and I had some physical issues. But nevertheless, I wanted to make it hard for him, and somewhere in my head, I even wanted to win the match, even if I knew it would be difficult. But I knew I had an opportunity to win it.

Q. So what did you miss to turn the match around?
EDOUARD ROGER-VASSELIN: Well, he's just stronger than I am. He is better. I had my chance, but at the end, I probably lacked training. It's been a year since I haven't been able to practice on a daily basis, so this is my last tournament before I have a treatment. I hope this is going to take care of my problems, but it's true that I have been hurting over the last few weeks. So I was more tired than I should have been at the end of the match. So a bit tired. Some stupid mistakes. At that stage in the match, instead of turning the match around for me, I gave him the keys to the house. He is a very good player on clay, so there was not much else I could do.

Q. Apart from the first set, you played a very good match. You lost it. You said he played better. What is difficult when you play Gaël? Is he always defending very well? Is it as if you were playing against a wall?
EDOUARD ROGER-VASSELIN: Yes. I mean, from a tactical perspective, you have to be aggressive against him but not too quickly, otherwise you hit the wall. So you can see that with his hands, his legs, he's so big, he's everywhere. And you need to understand which is the good area on the court you need to play to win. And even if you have the right shot and you manage to get to the net, he is still present. He's going to drop the ball on your feet. And I knew that I had to come to the net, that I would miss some shots that he would pass me. Okay, that's the game. But I probably need to improve a bit. I need to look at the stats, but I want to have a better ratio when I go to the net.

Q. Can you explain what you feel when you play such a player? He is a bit like a spider, everywhere. Is he one of the few players like that on the tour?
EDOUARD ROGER-VASSELIN: Well, I never played Djokovic, but I guess it's kind of the similar player. But you're right. When Gaël is in a good day, he doesn't miss a shot. I don't serve 250 kilometers per hour, so I can't give any free points. I'm not all that powerful from the baseline. So when he is fighting on the point, he can be annoying because he would never let you win. I think he's one of the best players in the world in terms of defense and presence on the baseline, and he slides so perfectly. He's so powerful. He gets every ball from the baseline and plays it back in the court. He manages to turn around very difficult situations, especially on clay where he can slide.

Q. So he was good.
EDOUARD ROGER-VASSELIN: Yes, he was definitely very good. I played my match the best I could. He served very well to relax and win his games easily. If he made some small mistakes, it's because I was there. I hope you're not going to say he lost a set because he was not playing well at that time. I think I was there, and I played a game that made him lose. And nothing comes by chance. If he has concentration problems, well, it's because of his opponent.

Q. You're going to play the doubles now. Can you tell us how you got organized with Julien Benneteau retiring.
EDOUARD ROGER-VASSELIN: Well, we had to sign up and we did, and he was keeping me posted on a day-by-day basis before the tournament. He knew it would be difficult for him to play the singles; he was doing everything for the doubles. On Thursday he told me too late, I'm not taking the risk. I won't be operational. So I found myself on my own, finding a partner when everyone is signed up. Either it was a French player with a wildcard, so I thought about Benoit Paire, but he'd asked for a wildcard to play with Kenny de Schepper, so it was difficult for me. I ended up with Garcia-Lopez. He told me he forgot to sign up with Almagro, so good for me. I found a good, quality partner. I hope everything is going to be fine.

Q. About this treatment, is it reasonable? Is it sensible to play the doubles?
EDOUARD ROGER-VASSELIN: Good question. Very good question, because I know that this treatment is going to prevent me from playing one week, and then I will have one week to practice. But this is Roland Garros. I won here last year. So had it been with Julien, of course I would have played 100%. Not playing it with him, I had many questions, and we are playing tomorrow, so we will play tomorrow and we will see after that. But this is a Grand Slam. This is Roland Garros. If I can go far in doubles, I want to take this opportunity. So I think I'll wait to get this treatment.

Q. But does it hurt?
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