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November 2, 2015

Nicolas Mahut

Paris, France

7‑5, 6‑3

HE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. Many unforced errors and you had problems at the net today. It was tough for you to get your game settled?
NICOLAS MAHUT: Well, of course I have to agree with what you're saying. It was frustrating because even if you have the best coach in the world and you practice as much as you can, sometimes it happens like today that you lose because of your strengths.
There was no reason for me to play like that today. Normally at the net I never question the fact that I have to go to the net. I mean, it's the most natural way to play for me.
Today I must have missed about 10 to 15 shots at the net on important points, and I don't understand why. There was many mistakes in that part of the game, and this never happens to me normally.

Q. Is it maybe a physical problem, a timing problem, or is it because of the opponent?
NICOLAS MAHUT: No, physically no problems at all. My explanation is that the court was very slow today, so slow that maybe I wanted to force the volley. I thought maybe I had to play it even faster or even further from the opponent than I used to. This is my analysis.
Otherwise I can't explain why I missed so many volleys. It's my 100th match of the year, I played 50 doubles matches, and it never happened that I played like that at the net.

Q. Well, maybe you played too much? Maybe mentally you're a bit tired? Unconsciously maybe?
NICOLAS MAHUT: Of course I'm tired. I'm 33. I played more than a hundred matches. Of course I'm tired. But of course I can't use that as an excuse.
I had a wildcard in this beautiful tournament. I was very eager to play well. Even if I was a bit tired, the motivation took over.
My body is tired, like for 80 or 90% of the other players, too, but I was very eager to play well. My intentions were good. Everything was good at practice, and this is what happened. I have no particular explanation.

Q. Maybe it's due to the fact that it's a new stadium or a new setting?
NICOLAS MAHUT: Well, this would be an excuse. I'm not looking for an excuse. Of course the stadium is different, but apart from the guy who was hitting with a hammer during the whole match, I don't know where he was. Other than that, the court is beautiful. And the crowd will have to get used to it, too.
I enjoyed playing there. It's just that I wasn't good today. I mean, the only factor is the fact that the court is very slow. From one year to the other, it changes. Sometimes it's faster; sometimes slower. Maybe it was because it was slow that I wanted to force the shots.

Q. Beyond excuses, when you have to play in a new stadium, a stadium you don't know, is it always a bit difficult the first time? You lack references maybe?
NICOLAS MAHUT: Yeah. But I didn't play 50 matches on that center court here in Bercy, anyway, so I was not very much disturbed. You should ask that question to other players maybe.
But it's true that when the courts change, when the colors are different, you have to get used to it. But it's quick. The size is the same. The court is as big as it was. And of course ‑‑ I would say it's even better than it was before. It's very enjoyable to play here, but I believe the craziness of Bercy is not here yet.

Q. What do you think of the last match against Goffin?
NICOLAS MAHUT: Well, it was good for me because he's a player who doesn't like my game, but otherwise he makes me think about Thiem a bit stronger, same style of game. He hits his backhand well when he has time. His balls have an effect. I'm sure he will be able to do well. But what he does, he does well, and he's like all players he plays well.

Q. You're saying the craziness of Bercy is not there yet?
NICOLAS MAHUT: Well, it's the first day.

Q. But don't you feel maybe the stadium is a bit sad?
NICOLAS MAHUT: Well, it's maybe because of my game. I don't know. No, it's elegant. Maybe also the crowd needs to get used to it or they would need a better match than mine to get into it. We'll see this evening when Monfils and Benoit. We'll see if the crowd is more lively.

Q. Did you see the suit you will need to wear for the Masters? How are you going to prepare for this? When are you going to London?
NICOLAS MAHUT: I think we'll go to London next Wednesday after Bercy, this tournament. If you don't mind, we're gonna play this tournament first and then we're going to get prepared. I'll talk with players who went there already. Mika and Arnaud are here. So they are going to give me information because I have never been to London before.
We are very motivated and pumped up for this event. We will take time to prepare well. After the tournament we will have a bit of a rest, and then we will prepare.
It's going to be a celebration and a discovery, too. At 33 years old, discovering a new tournament will be nice.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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