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March 19, 2016

Pierre-Hugues Herbert

Nicolas Mahut

Indian Wells, California


6-3, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. A great match. Can you talk about the match, especially that tiebreaker in the second set?
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: Yeah, we knew it was going to be a tough match because it's a very strong team. Vasek and Jack are playing really well. They won here last year. They like the conditions.

We knew from the beginning that we needed to be playing our game 100%, be aggressive, and not let them play, so that's what we did.

We were the first to break, so was quite good in the first set, but was quite difficult to hold. We had a really important game on the serve of Nico in the first set. We held it and won the first set.

We were playing well after, throughout the second, but they were always continuing to -- their level was higher, and it went to a tiebreaker. In the tiebreaker you need to be aware the whole time.

Yeah, we did well. We went for it and we hold the trophy, so was a very good match from both sides. We are happy to be the one that won this one.

Q. I don't think you allowed them a break opportunity. How important was the serve?
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: In doubles serve is quite important, even in these conditions. It's fast conditions. Was quite hot. The volleys is fast. Like we were four guys serving quite well. Holding serve was good thing, and we were able to break once in the first, and in the second we had only one chance to break.

They had two or maybe a little more. We hold our games, and the tiebreaker one-mini break was enough. So, yeah, we stayed focused. 7-5, one mini break. Yeah, but then three, we have to say three -- two? Three? Three.

NICOLAS MAHUT: Two. (Conversation between the players in French.)

So, yeah, anyway, was a tough one. We were a bit lucky. I did one return with the net, so maybe a little bit more lucky than they were.

Q. Seems like when you win tournaments you win really big tournaments. Are you guys looking forward to the possibility of competing in the Olympics?
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: Yeah, would be I think a dream for both of us.

NICOLAS MAHUT: First we have to be selected.

PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: First we have to be selected. For sure we have it in mind. I don't know. You want to answer? You are the oldest person.


PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: I continue. Yeah, for sure it's a goal and it's in our mind. After this, it's so amazing to win such a tournament.

First of all, for us it's a goal to be able to compete in this tournament and to be able to win them. So it's just great. I think we both know that we can be really efficient on big tournaments.

We started well last year by doing final in Australia. We won one Grand Slam; we won the 500 of Queens, a big tournament. We know we are capable of this. So right now I think our schedule is just big tournaments.

So if we want to be good we will have to be good in those tournaments. It's gonna be a goal to be able to win this Masters 1000 in the future and to be able to compete in the Olympics.

Q. Nico, can you answer the same question, please?
NICOLAS MAHUT: Yes. The Olympics is the main goal for us this year, I mean, with the slams, and of course it's every four years. I don't know if I will have the chance to play in Tokyo.

But it's very far away from now. We still have time. We have time to play two Grand Slams,many, many ATP 1000, many big tournaments before that. It's already one step to be at least selected. We have to be top 10 and get chosen by the Federation. It's a good first step.

Q. You guys were playing against a couple competitors who won here last year. What was it like playing in the finals like for you guys?
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: I mean, I think we both love these kind of atmospheres. I mean, the crowd was not on our side, but when you play tennis, when I play tennis, I'm searching for these emotions, for the stress, everything, and it's quite good to have.

I think we were lucky to be able to play on this big court for final against guys who won last year. Big champion challenge. We like this. We like big challenges. I don't know. I think I answered well.

Q. Funny exchange. Can you talk about your chemistry playing together and how you guys relate, your relationship?
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: I think -- so first of all, the history of our team is that a few years ago after -- he was always having an eye on me since four or five years. I played him the first time in the final in a challenger and I kick your ass, yes? (Laughter.)

No, sorry. Yeah, he was very positive with me throughout my young career. He came after I won the ATP 500 of Tokyo and he came as a big brother offering me the possibility to play with him the next year. He was top 20. I was just entering top 100 in doubles, so quite at the start.

The last partner he had was Michael Llodra, so really a big name in doubles. He decided to play with me, and, I mean, it was quite a nice gesture. Since then he has a little bit like the chemistry. He is a little bit like my second or my first big brother. I have a big sister, but he's my big brother helping me throughout, even in singles, even in my life.

So we are having -- yeah, we are having a close relationship. It's good to have a friend on tour.

Q. And your perspective?
NICOLAS MAHUT: He said pretty much everything. (Laughter.)

No, he's right. To play with someone -- I mean, we like each other. Everybody knows that. We are sharing a lot of time off the court, and it's really important.

So, well, I mean, I already see the team like this, so playing with a friend, it always was a choice for me. I play with Benneteau for many years; I played with Mika the last two years. I really wanted to play with someone that I like.

So, I mean, this is how I win tournaments, and I think we gonna play for many years together.

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