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April 15, 2016

Gael Monfils

Monte Carlo, Monaco

G. MONFILS/M. Granollers

6-2, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. How did you approach the match knowing that last time was on clay, as well, against him?
GAEL MONFILS: Well, like in the previous matches, I tried to be aggressive. I tried to use my forehand more. Last time he surprised me because he was returning from far behind the baseline. So I tried to have slower first serves and tried to hit my forehand immediately to open up the court for me.

I tried to make him run. I also tried now and then to come to the net to surprise him. Of course, I had different tactics than last time I played him. I always try to use my weapons.

Q. In the beginning of the second set, that was a break, and you were able to keep up?
GAEL MONFILS: Yes, I had a letdown. This pushed me to be more aggressive. During two or three games, I didn't have any energy. My head was spinning. It was more difficult for my body to put energy into the shots. But I was able to react well. It was good for me.

Q. The Coke was a good idea then?
GAEL MONFILS: (Indiscernible) told me I needed to take a Coke, I wouldn't have taken it otherwise.

Q. What about your next match against Jo? Is it special to play against a friend at this stage or will it be difficult?
GAEL MONFILS: I'm lucky to play Jo, no?

Q. It's one of the first times you'll play on clay. You didn't play him often on that surface.
GAEL MONFILS: It's going to be a big match for several reasons. First, Jo has a game that I have trouble with. I was able to beat him once, but he was coming back from an injury.

Another time I beat him, too. He was injured in Montpellier. I can't say I really beat him.

He gives me many problems. It's always the case when I play against very aggressive players. There are different kinds of aggressive players. A real aggressive player is difficult for me.

Tomorrow the match will be different. I will need to find a solution to push him back and to try to stop him dominating the rallies.

I'm sure 100% that he will try to be very aggressive. He will not want long rallies. He will want to use his forehand as much as he can, and he will be very aggressive on my second serve.

So if I have a slight advantage in this match, it's because I know what he's going to do. He's going to play aggressively. I don't believe I'm wrong.

I'll talk with Mickey about it. We'll see how I feel. We'll try to find a solution to what he's going to do to me.

I think it's going to be explosive.

Q. And the fact that it's on clay might affect his aggressive game?
GAEL MONFILS: No. People say that, but he's been twice in the semis in the French Open, and he's done well here. He plays very well on clay. I don't believe that.

Maybe it's going to be a more physical fight because he will not be able to be aggressive all the time. So it's going to be more physical than an hard courts.

But it doesn't change really.

Q. It's never easy to play against a fellow Frenchman. He wants to reach the final, and you too.
GAEL MONFILS: Of course, it's better to be able to go to the final. But both of us are used to that kind of thing. Jo plays very well against other Frenchmen. You have to give him credit for that.

I have to take this into account. I will need to find a way to manage that semifinal well. I believe it's difficult for me to play against Gilles, Jo and Richard. It's always more difficult for me. I don't have good results against them.

But I always try to find solutions. Last time I won, but Jo wasn't very fit. But a victory is a victory. I just need to find something to do tomorrow to beat him.

Q. There were many Frenchmen at this stage of the tournament.
GAEL MONFILS: For me the reference is Pioline here, then Yannick. But it's Pioline I'm thinking about. I have some images in my mind, but nothing very precise.

Q. You're feeling good right now?
GAEL MONFILS: I was able to play this tournament, so that's cool.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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