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November 2, 2015

Gael Monfils

Paris, France

B. PAIRE/G. Monfils
2‑6, 7‑6, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. 6‑2, 4‑Love. What happened from then on? Benoit started playing incredibly well or what happened to you?
GAテ記 MONFILS: Well, I think I was a little bit too kind at that moment. It's strange to say that because I lost, but I think at that particular stage I gave some points away to him. I was too nice, too kind. He took his chances, played well.
And after that I started playing worse. He was back into the match at that stage. So he was more confident. I was less aggressive. I had less energy. He took all his chances.

Q. You never were able to become aggressive again, to be in a better position?
GAテ記 MONFILS: No, not really. I didn't play great today, because when I was winning 6‑2, 4‑love, he was making mistakes. It is a bit like my whole season. I'm too kind, too sensitive. I want to get out of that have match. I'm a bit upset. So I let it slip away. I let him beat me loyally.

Q. Why weren't you enjoying?
GAテ記 MONFILS: Well, you don't like to play against a friend. When a friend is injured, it's even worse. So I lost my concentration. And I was less careful. He was able to get back into that match, and after that, he won the match.

Q. I remember a game at 5‑4 in the second, you were starting to hit harder.
GAテ記 MONFILS: I was trying to. I was trying also to get back into that match, because he surprised me. He started playing like he was going to let me get that match. Suddenly he changed, so I also needed to get back into it myself. He was being aggressive and succeeding well in his attacks, and I had to change my game then.

Q. So a traditional question at this stage. It's the end of the year, what can you say about this season?
GAテ記 MONFILS: Well, I have mixed feelings about this season. I was looking at the points with Nicolas, my agent. I have a package of 90 that has not been accounted for, and this shows a certain consistency in the 500 and all these tournaments.
But in the Masters this year, I didn't do that well. I believe I didn't play enough of them. And when I play them, I don't play well enough. I often lose a bad match.
This year it's bad to say that, but it's the worst year I had in the Grand Slams because of several choices I made. So I'm quite happy to finish that year.
I found a good coach. I think he's very useful, except for today. But it is my fault today. I made the mistakes. But I think we are working in the right way. He's really doing a lot for me, and I'm sure next year I'll try to be ready physically, but most of all mentally, especially for the Masters 1000 and the Grand Slams, of course.
But the Masters 1000, I need to be ready. I want to go further than a semifinal in Monte‑Carlo for the whole year. This year I didn't manage those Masters 1000 well, and I'm angry at myself for that. I resent a certain number of things I did this year. I regret ‑‑I have regrets about things I did. So this is what I can say about this year. I have many regrets.
I believe instead of improving, on the contrary, I went down a bit this year. I lost my time, and I lost a year, I believe.

Q. Could you be more specific about your regrets?
GAテ記 MONFILS: I think I didn't manage my preparation. I didn't manage my practices, my choices of tournaments, the mental choices, too. You know, how I can get prepared mentally for a given match. Very bad management, I'm insisting on that. But I believe it's even the worst year I did, given when I was alone without a coach, I was doing better than that. So I really poorly managed my year.

Q. Were you angry against the coach you had before?
GAテ記 MONFILS: No, I'm angry at no one. I'm just angry at myself. It's a bad year, 2015. I had good results in the tournaments of 250 or 500. That's why I have this ranking. But when I think about how I have been working on certain things with Gaテォtan and how things were going well and we wanted to make a few changes, well, really I made the mistakes on a certain number of things and I now found a better motivation.
I found a schedule for my work that suits me. I feel a lot better mentally. People say that to me. People expect things from me, but I expect a lot from myself.

Q. Can you give us one or two precise examples of a bad management on a given tournament so that we can understand?
GAテ記 MONFILS: Well, you know, my life has ups and downs. And in my life, everything is a bit mixed up.
But I made some bad choices. I don't want to go into the details, because it's also my personal life involved. I'm just angry at myself. And also, I think I gave wrong information to my coach, Gaテォtan. People always think I'm not working, but I do work a lot. But I'm too over‑excited sometimes, too speed. I should sometimes work less maybe, but‑‑well, not work like if it was an emergency.
But anyway, all these things made me more mature. I understood a certain number of things. So now and then a player has to listen to what he feels himself. Of course he has to listen to his coach, but, well, I should have listened more to Gaテォtan for a certain number of things. When people don't know me, people think it's my fault. I want to listen to that.
But I am functioning in a very specific way and the coach has to adapt of course to that. Of course I want to follow what he says. I need to listen. And also, I need to listen to what I am and what I feel. Sometimes I want to do things and people forbid me from doing them, and I want to do them. Anyway, it was very confusing this year. If you want more details, well, this year I practiced more physically than tennistically, and that's bad.

Q. For the immediate future, we are at the 2nd of November. It's a bit early to talk about it, but what are you going to do now?
GAテ記 MONFILS: I'm going to play in Bulgaria, but I'm going to take two good weeks for myself. It's not even to rest, but it's more to relax mentally. I'm disappointed about myself for this season, and I'm really angry at myself, as I said.
So I'm going to really take two weeks for myself. After that, I'm going to practice for the exhibition in Bulgaria with Grigor. I'm going to work the whole week before, and then I'm going to do things differently at the APTL. I know what to expect.
I know how to adapt my work before I go there. Well, maybe it's stupid what I'm going to say, but I think I'm going to get out of this little by little, because I'm also going to keep working in the beginning of the year, because I don't have tournaments then. Of course this will lengthen my period of practice. I'm going to do more physical training at that time.
I'll have also matches of practice and just before Melbourne I'll have a lighter week of preparation.

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