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June 18, 2015

Gilles Muller


G. MULLER/G. Dimitrov
6‑4, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ Fantastic win.テつ What influence has Jamie Delgado, your coach, had on your terrific performances over the last year or two?
GILLES MULLER:テつ I mean, obviously he's the guy I'm traveling with all the time.テつ He's always helping me in tournaments.テつ He's definitely a great coach because he knows a lot, he's been a great player, he's played a lot of doubles.テつ So he has a lot of knowledge.
I have also a whole group behind me.テつ I have my team also at home that is helping me a lot that got me ‑‑ when I was injured in 2013, I couldn't play tennis for about five or six months.テつ So during that time I have also worked very hard physically.テつ So they got me in great shape, probably the best shape I have ever been.
So I think it's the whole group that has been helping me a lot over the last few years.

Q.テつ How does it feel to reach the third round here for the first time?テつ And how do you feel about your prospective opponent?
GILLES MULLER:テつ Well, it feels good.テつ I mean, yeah, I have been coming here for a long time, played here many times and actually never got past the second round.テつ So I'm very happy because it's a tournament I really like.
Yeah, it feels good.テつ Yeah, it was nice also to have a warmup tournament on grass the week before.テつ Maybe coming into Queen's I'm already more comfortable now on the grass than usually, because before that I always came right from the clay right to Queen's.
This might be helping a little bit, but, yeah, I'm really pleased with my performances here, and I'm really happy with the way it's been going so far.

Q.テつ Did you feel Grigor was a little flat today?
GILLES MULLER:テつ I don't know, to be honest.テつ I mean, I was focusing on my performance.テつ I was really focused on my game.テつ Yeah, I think I gave him a lot of troubles.テつ I was serving really good today.テつ I felt really confident on my serve games.
In the beginning maybe he had some break chances.テつ He didn't take them.テつ I served well on those, but then after that I was never really in danger on my serve.テつ I felt confident.テつ Knowing that, I also took more chances on the returns and I started to return really well.
I think I put also a lot of pressure on him, so I think at certain times it was not easy for him.

Q.テつ 32 years old, and...
GILLES MULLER:テつ Young.テつ (Laughter.)
Q.I beg your pardon.テつ Playing perhaps some of the best tennis of your career, career‑high ranking.テつ What do you put that down to?
GILLES MULLER:テつ Well, I mean, it's not easy to explain.テつ I guess there is no magic for sure.テつ Also, I was coming back from a big injury last year.テつ In the beginning of the year I was ranked like 500, and like I said, when I was injured back in 2013, I really used that time off the court to really get myself into great shape.
I think this has been helping a lot also.テつ Before that, I had a lot of big injuries so it's been lots of ups and downs.テつ I feel now for the first time maybe in my career that my body is really, really fit, and I'm able to perform good tennis every week.
Like before was one good week and maybe three weeks where I was a little bit flat.テつ Now I feel like I can produce my best tennis every day, so this is really helping me a lot.

Q. テつObviously the opponent in the next round could end up being Andy Murray.テつ Would the influence of Jamie be of any help in that?テつ Would he be able to have any special tactics for someone ‑‑it's obviously a guy he will know well.
GILLES MULLER:テつ Yeah, for sure they are good friends.テつ I knew Andy back from when we were practicing in Spain, Barcelona, when he was a kid.テつ Me, too.
Yeah, can he help?テつ At the end of the day, I mean, I'm the one standing on the court.テつ Obviously he can give me some tips, but everyone knows Andy is a great player.テつ He's been playing really well, especially this year he's really been‑‑ I think he's back on where he was when he was winning Grand Slams.
So, I mean, if I do play him, it's going to be very tough match for me but also very good test.テつ It's those challenges that I'm working for to play those matches on the big courts against the best guys in the world.

Q.テつ If you knew him a bit when you were young and you're sort of getting to know him again now, how impressed are you with what he's done and what he's achieved in his career so far?
GILLES MULLER:テつ Well, he's very impressive.テつ I mean, back then I knew he was very talented, but seeing him now, I mean, you can see how hard he worked to get there.テつ And, I mean, he's a good example for being in great shape.
This has been helping him a lot to win very tough matches.テつ His dedication and his passion for the game is really big, because there is not many guys that work as hard as him.

Q.テつ Just on your injury, what was nature of the injury?テつ You were saying you, just by nature of being out for a while, your ranking dipped.テつ But you have worked hard in the comeback.テつ You must be relieved and delighted to be able to do that?
GILES MULLER:テつ Oh, yeah, for sure.テつ It was also kind of my last chance if you can put it that way.テつ Like you said, I'm 32 years old, and back then I was 30, so I kind of knew it was my last shot, because if I wouldn't make it back or if there would be another injury, then there is a good chance that would be it.
I have two kids at home and a wife, so, I mean, yeah, I kind of have to make it happen, also.テつ Otherwise it's not worth traveling and leaving them all the time.
So yeah.テつ And also, to be honest, these two injuries that I had, I had a big one in 2010 and another one in 2013, it's strange to say but it also kind of helps, because you cannot perform the tennis, cannot be in the tournaments, cannot travel, you're kind of missing it and you're seeing how nice it is, you're missing the nice things, because sometimes when you play week in and week out you're complaining, oh, this is too much and not really enjoy it.
I enjoy being here playing these tournaments, and I think this is something helping me a lot.

Q.テつ Just wondering, obviously you know how everyone gets behind Andy when it comes to the summer over here, how big it is in terms of Queen's and Wimbledon.テつ What does it mean to people back home when you, in your home country, when you get to quarterfinals of a tournament like this?
GILLES MULLER:テつ I'm not really sure, to be honest.テつ (Laughter.)
Obviously in Luxembourg, the people are not as enthused as probably here, that's for sure, because we don't have a Grand Slam, we don't have a big tournament.テつ So I'm almost never playing at home, so people see my performances abroad, but they are not really behind me.
I mean, they are behind me but not really enjoying it, because tennis is not a really big sport in Luxembourg.テつ Cycling is very big with a big tradition behind it, and football, like in every country, is one of the biggest sports.
So tennis is probably not as big as those sports.テつ So I think people notice it, it's in the papers and on TV about my results, but other than that, I mean, I'm not expecting hundreds of people waiting for me at the airport now when I get back home.

Q.テつ Maybe if you win the tournament?
GILLES MULLER:テつ I'm not sure.テつ Yeah, maybe.テつ Maybe.

Q.テつ If you beat Andy Murray, surely you would get some headlines and become a proper sporting legend in your home country?
GILLES MULLER:テつ Probably, yeah.テつ I mean, I beat those kind of players already.テつ I beat Andy Roddick, beat Andre Agassi a couple years ago.
So, I mean, I did it already, but, yeah, people maybe not like tennis so much back home, and obviously people recognize me and, yeah, but that's it.テつ They are not going crazy.

Q.テつ You practiced with Andy Murray this morning.テつ Do you think that benefits you for your match against Grigor?テつ Did it have a positive effect, you think?
GILLES MULLER:テつ No, I practice with Andy a lot of times already since the beginning of the year, so it's really helping me also to get used to play with these kind of players, top players.
I mean, I don't think it had a particular effect now on the match today, but in general, it's just helping to hit with these guys to see at what kind of pace they are playing and to play with guys that hit the ball hard.テつ It helps in general but maybe not for this particular match, no.

Q.テつ Did you talk with him about your current match with Dimitrov?テつ Did he give you any points or anything?
GILLES MULLER:テつ No, not really.テつ Basically we just warmed up together in the gym and hit some balls.テつ That's it.
He's also preparing for his match, so I think each one has to get ready for his match and you don't have time to give tips, I think.

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