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May 24, 2015

Nicolas Mahut


N. MAHUT/K. Coppejans
6-3, 6-4, 7-6
An interview with:

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. You were saying you would take this Roland Garros in a more relaxed way. Was that one of the keys today for you even though the end of the match was a bit complicated?
NICOLAS MAHUT: Well, the end, it's the same for all players, the end. It's always difficult to finish a match, even though I think he played relatively well and was hitting hard. But to answer your question, I think, yes, I looked at things differently, slightly differently this year. I thought, I'm going to enjoy every single moment. I'm 33. I was given a wildcard this year. If I'm not on the main draw next year, that's going to be the end of it probably. No more wildcards. Who knows? Who knows? This is what I said two years ago, you never know when it's going to be the last one. I thought, I'm going to enjoy the crowd. I want to enjoy it, as well, myself, you know, being an attacker this time. I have been saying this for 10 years to you, being an attacker on clay, but it's not that obvious. It looks like it's easy, that is, I will win the match if I'm more aggressive, if I come to the net. But it's always been something difficult for me to do, and I'm happy because I thought, you must do it. You insisted on this, and it went well today.

Q. This requires, I suppose, that mental discipline to stick to your offensive plan throughout the match?
NICOLAS MAHUT: Yes, I think so. Well, sometimes during the match there were moments when I couldn't do this, but I was in the mindset, you know, return and volley, and to be in the match and to accept, you know, to have 10, 5, 15 passing shots. But that's what I had to do. You know, from the baseline today, even today, I had no chance. I would have had no chances, because he's quick. He hits hard. He will be a very good player in the years to come. Had I played what I played several years ago, I would have lost.

Q. Your first Roland Garros was in 2000.

Q. Would you say that with age you are more of a careless person? Is that possible?
NICOLAS MAHUT: I don't think it's the same carelessness. In the year 2000, yes, it was the case. I had a wildcard to the qualifications, but I played juniors. That was my objective. I played qualifications, I won, I was qualified, and then the match I was defeated on the Lenglen, and I lost 7-5, 6-4, 7-5. I wasn't too disappointed. It wasn't my objective. That was totally carelessness for me at the time. Whereas today it's a bit different. It's a bit different, because I have played 10, 12 tournaments here. I have been sometimes disappointed and frustrated. So this is something I have built on. Today my intention truly is to play my tennis and to say, again, okay, let's take a little distance. Okay, I did what I had to do. He defeated me because he's a stronger player. But no regrets, because, you know, in the past when I was to go back home, I was, as we say in French, as sad as a stone. Because, you know, Roland represents so much for us. You're going to miss this opportunity because you didn't play your real game. It's more difficult for an attacking player than for any other player.

Q. You have said Roland Garros represents so much. Can you still enjoy playing today on the court?
NICOLAS MAHUT: Yeah. I enjoyed it today. You know, the beginning of the match was really great. It was sunny, warm. Last year I played and it was raining. So this is something that contributes. This is going to give me a better type of game. I wanted to be on the courts. This is what the French want. They want the French to win. They want the French to defeat the others. I'm not saying that what I did today was something special, but they're here to support us. I thought, yes, I want to enjoy the crowd.

Q. Well, you have seen that's the d'Angers SCO football team has gone a level up. That's good for you.
NICOLAS MAHUT: Yeah, that's true. I got their shirts. You know, I saw them play against Gazelec. They won 3-0. At the end of the match I was given a shirt. I'm convinced this is the right moment. The SCO d'Angers team, yeah, they are going a level up. That's good. And for me this year, so it couldn't be better than that.

Q. A question about Gulbis.
NICOLAS MAHUT: Well, about Gulbis, I'll give you the began by Gabi Urpi debrief. That is, you know, okay, that's the end of us. That's what he says. Look at his backhand. He moves better. That's the end of us. Finished. Oh, but you can try and puzzle him, puzzle him, come to the net, and then maybe, maybe, who knows?

Q. (Off microphone.)
NICOLAS MAHUT: Gabi? No, he played the whole month with me, and, you know, since before Madrid. That was Gabi was with the Fed Cup and now it's Scud with me.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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