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November 2, 2015

Benoit Paire

Paris, France

B. PAIRE/G. Monfils
2‑6, 7‑6, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French, please.

Q. What happened for that match?
BENOIT PAIRE: It was very complicated. Even during the match, I like Gaƫl very much, he's someone I respect very much, and I felt at the beginning, I felt very sorry that I wasn't playing well. I had a good season. I felt it was too bad I was ending the season that way, so I tried to stay in that match, and I was able to turn it over.
Winning that match here in Bercy was very nice because last year I had lost and people were booing at me, so I was thinking about, oh, what I did, and it was pure happiness today.

Q. Was it just happiness of what happened here or all the rest?
BENOIT PAIRE: Well, I had a very bad season last year. I was injured with my knee, and two years ago I had been booed here, and I was injured. Then I thought, well, will I be able to play again? I wasn't sure. And now, seeing the crowd support me when I stepped into the court. 6‑2, 4‑Love, there were some boos, but I was able to turn it over.
So at the end, it made me sort of crack down, I mean, with all the atmosphere and everything. And it's a sort of recognition of everything I have been able to do since then.

Q. At 4‑Love in the second set, what happened in your mind? There is something that happened?
BENOIT PAIRE: I was just thinking, Don't break a racquet, you'll get booed. That's what I had in mind. And I'm not joking.
My game was bad. I was making many mistakes. I thought, Well, if you get angry, people will see you haven't improved.
So I stayed into that match. I started to get back little by little. He made some mistakes. I was able to play a couple of good games. I became better. I was more aggressive. I was not as tense as I was before.

Q. You were saying, I shouldn't get angry because I shouldn't show that to people. Were you thinking about Yannick Noah? Was it important to show him you were not going to get upset?
BENOIT PAIRE: No, not at all. There is no tie immediately after this tournament. I was mainly thinking about the complicated match I had last year. I was thinking about the fact that I won a future, won a challenger. I made a final in a 500 tournament.
I'm not playing for the French Davis Cup team. I'm playing for myself. I want to do my best because some people always stay by me, and it's pure happiness for me to win a match. I didn't think about Yannick Noah and about the Davis Cup. I was thinking about myself and about the people who supported me.
We'll see what happens next. The important thing for me is to win matches and to become top 20. That's what is important to me, and winning matches.

Q. The crowd in Paris, we interviewed them, and they said they changed their perception of you. So the Benoit Paire that they hated two years ago, they love him now. Did you perceive that?
BENOIT PAIRE: Well, I am very pleased to hear that. It's good if people say that. I felt when I stepped on the court that people were supporting me. So I think they wanted to see the real Benoit Paire that they saw on the courts this year, and they really pushed me toward the end.
At 4‑Love when I made one point, they really applauded and they said they really wanted to see a fight and they wanted me to win, and I appreciated that. I also did what I needed to do for the crowd to be behind me, even a bit more than I had to do.
Two years ago I was booed and I deserved it. I was on the court, I was injured, I shouldn't have played that match at all, I believe. But this year they saw I made many efforts. They saw what I went through. And I think they followed Benoit Paire and they saw I was a lot more calm, more consistent.
It's good to hear that they see me differently now.

Q. It seemed you had a sort of complex facing the top four French players. Did it change?
BENOIT PAIRE: I don't know, because even in the third set, it was very difficult for me. But of course at 6‑2, 4‑love, I did indeed feel that sort of blockage. I had great expectations. I wanted to show everyone that I had changed, and I wanted ‑‑well, people know it, they see it. I wanted to show to all the people who were there two years ago that I was a different person and that I improved in my behavior.
And the complex to face the top French players, well, it was tough for me to play a French player, but I believe I did pretty well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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