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May 25, 2015

Gael Monfils


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

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. We felt you were on an AC/DC mode. Was it because of the wind?
GAEL MONFILS: Well, the weather conditions were not great, but at one stage I didn't feel like running too much, and Edouard started the match not quite well -- not that well, so I started leading. I was up one set, and I started playing dropshots. I was not 100% in my game. Then he adjusted his game, and he started managing the weather conditions better than I. I had to fight a bit more. I was not successful on the tiebreak, so he forced me into boosting my game up again. And likewise, after I took control of the fourth set, and once again, started being a bit lazy, and once again he was fighting back, forcing me to work harder. So it wasn't easy, because each time I had a slight drop in my level, he played it very well. I was surprised he would play that well at those moments, because you can sometimes, you know, boost things up a bit, but at those precise moments he was playing very long balls and it made it much more difficult to play him.

Q. That was quite a strange match. What do you learn from such a match?
GAEL MONFILS: Well, I'm happy because I was quite zen. I saved my strength to be able to boost things up. So given the difficult conditions, I'm quite happy I played many winning shots today, but I had some problem finding the game I want to find because of the wind. But my return was good. I'm happy with my return. It's been a long time since I have been working on this during practice. I'm happy. It's always good feeling you've played two hours-and-a-half, I think, and I feel good. So it's a good match, because you never want to underestimate Edouard. He played very well. He was quite present in the important moment.

Q. So you were controlling the match, but there is one set too much?
GAEL MONFILS: Well, I did have control of the match, but he was also very tough to beat, and he took a set. So is it one set too much? I don't think I had to dig in my reserves, so to speak.

Q. You had not played many matches over the last 10 days, so is it reassuring for you to be quite robust on the baseline? Because at the beginning of a tournament like Roland Garros, is this something you need? You need to find reassurance?
GAEL MONFILS: Yes. This is why I was happy there are some points when I had a break, I tried to put it in. It's been a long time since I couldn't play that well, and there were times I had difficulties to run because of my knee. You have seen that. So, you know, the first rounds are also useful for that, to feel better. Today there were things that were good. But for my second match, I have to step it up.

Q. How are you organized with Jan De Witt? Two players for him on this tournament. So that's one question. And another question about a detail, but you seemed very annoyed by your shorts at the beginning of the match.
GAEL MONFILS: Well, Jan, well, Jan always starts with the first player, the one that plays first, and he would stay on the court till the end. And if Gillou plays a bit longer, he would have been even later on the court. Now, if the match starts, he doesn't go to the warming up of the other. The first player on the court gets priority. As for the shorts, yeah. I couldn't put balls in my pocket, because the pocket is too small. It's, you know, quite annoying, because you have your routine. You know that you have the second ball in your pocket and playing the first ball and then having to turn around, get the second ball before you serve, it took me a few minutes to adapt. So I will have new shorts for my next match.

Q. Talking about defense, today you felt reassured with your defense game. For the next round, will you be closer to your line? Will you be more aggressive? Is it step by step?
GAEL MONFILS: Well, if I can return from the baseline for next match, I will be quite happy, because I didn't build up that much confidence today. But when conditions are not easy to be on the attack when there is a wind, I'm more comfortable from the baseline. So the weather condition is going to dictate that, as well. I want to feel good, to feel the balls, and I think there are many compartments in the game when Edouard was getting aggressive I was not that good at anticipating things. So if I can win my next match, that's good, and if I can play well from the baseline and not be aggressive at all times, then I'm fine.

Q. Everyone is talking about you as the best French opportunity in the tournament. Do you feel more pressure as compared to last years?
GAEL MONFILS: Well, I think because of you guys Edouard was more eager to win than ever. So thank you for that. Now, I think Jo, Richard, Gilles, they have just as many chances as I have. Of course I appreciate your comments, but once you play in the tournament you forget about all this, and, you know, we have to win every match we play.

Q. Next round you should be playing Schwartzman. He's playing match ball right now. Not an easy one for a second round.
GAEL MONFILS: No, not easy. He played three sets to Rog in Istanbul. I don't know him very well. I can't tell you otherwise, but I think it's going to be a very big match, because that's the kind of player who doesn't give you any points. So I don't want to be too much on defense. But at the same time, I want to be able and play long rallies to see how I can play them. But to be honest, I have full confidence in Jan. He's going to show me all this perfectly.

Q. You have still not taken a look at the draw?
GAEL MONFILS: No. But it's the first -- well, some years I would physically take a look at the draw so you get an impression, but this time, no.

Q. So you don't want to know who you might play?
GAEL MONFILS: No. And I saw Robredo. Maybe I would have to play him in the third round, so that's the only one I saw on Suzanne Lenglen Court, and I thought, okay, if that's Robredo in the third round it's going to be tough. So it's not him? That's the only guy I saw. But then that's the only guy I went to the Lenglen straight when I arrived, and I said to Gad, oh, fuck, it's Robredo for the third round and you didn't tell me.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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