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May 22, 2015

Gael Monfils


THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

GAËL MONFILS: I don't know who is playing except Roger Vesely. Don't ask me. I don't know. I don't know the draw. Perfect, you guys. (Laughter.)

Q. Is it more difficult to face a Frenchman in Paris here in the first round than if it was anybody else?
GAËL MONFILS: Actually, I play Arnaud Clement first round actually, my captain. No, seriously, is not difficult, because we get used to. I played him actually in first round in Rotterdam. I think when you're young it's a bit tough, but now I have experience.

Q. Can you talk a bit about how you feel coming into the tournament, like physically, mentally?
GAËL MONFILS: I feel great because I think my body is getting better and better every day. I was a bit bothering with my knee. Had a lot of rehab. I just pick up the racquet maybe four days ago, four, five days ago. Maybe I miss a bit tennis, but every day it's getting better. I have few more days. Hopefully I pass the first round and, you know, just improve my game day after day, you know. In case, I hope, you know, I will rise my level if I have to the first day.

Q. You have been working with a new coach for the past month. Could you please talk about what he did to your game?
GAËL MONFILS: Well, I think with him it's great. You know, we had a good connection because he teach me a lot of tactics, you know. I think that's the main thing he brings to me, you know, is the tactics. Then the understanding about the game. You know, I have more plan in my belt. Like, you know, if I don't feel that, I can try this. To be very careful also but, you know, how I say, like where you put the ball and how the guy reacts and sort of thing like that is very... Definitely, you know, I think about the challenge, because every day challenge me, you know, give me a new challenge. You know, so far I like it.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. You just arrived in Paris. Have you changed any of your habits? Do you have the same sequence of events? Do you stay in the same place?
GAËL MONFILS: No, no. No mysteries. I have been in the new hotel this year for the first time. It's not very far away from here. So it's a change. First time. So if I don't play well, then I won't be back next year. (Smiling.) Except for that, this may sound a little strange, but it's my first Roland Garros with my new team, so it is different. I always arrive in a tournament, you know, with the same mindset. But this week I didn't feel that well. I felt a little bit frustrated because, you know, it's different because it's the first time with my team.

Q. I know that Roland Garros is really "the" objective of the season. Do you think that preparing for the tournament is difficult with stress building?
GAËL MONFILS: Absolutely stress has been building, but I think it's good stress. You know, I'm always tense. I'll be tense from now onwards, up to the warmup. But once I'm on the court, it's different. I know there will be a lot of tension all the way up to that moment. Again, once I'm on the court, once I start playing -- of course, there is always a little bit of stress during the game, but most of it is gone then. I want to do well. The conditions this year are a little different. I think I feel different. I feel better compared to before. I have a little bit of pain, but I'm feeling well. I think that I can do quite well. For example, I arrived today, and right away I felt the balls were a little different, a little heavier. That puts me under stress right away. I try to take it well. Honestly, I do like stress. Stress is not something that has ever bothered me. Whoever beats me, if it's Edouard, well, they will have to work hard to do so.

Q. Are you going to give us the battle dance?
GAËL MONFILS: I said I wouldn't dance. More seriously, no. I won't do it. You know, I'm not even sure people will want me to do it. Honestly, I did not plan on dancing this year.

Q. Your season on clay has been, there have been ups and downs. Monaco, Rome. How do you feel on clay this year? Is it the same this year versus the previous years?
GAËL MONFILS: Well, I was a little disappointed. In Madrid I didn't feel too bad. Granollers was good. I wanted to win more games, and then I hurt my knee and it slowed me down. I wish I could have played better in Rome. I went to the semis in Rome, so I really wanted to do well. So my preparation has been somewhat different. And again, that's what frustrated me last week right after Madrid. Generally I arrive in Roland Garros after having played a little more. I went through physical therapy and it's bothering me a little bit. I don't know. I'm not really that comfortable with it.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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