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April 16, 2016

Gael Monfils

Monte Carlo, Monaco

G. MONFILS/J. Tsonga

6-1, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. Because you played 1 hour 10, he played nearly three...
GAEL MONFILS: For Rafa, it doesn't matter. I think this is something he is very good at, recovery. Actually what is for me even more like talented is no matter he is tired or not, when he gets to the final, he is someone else.

I think it doesn't really matter for him.

Q. Were you expecting a tougher match against Jo today?
GAEL MONFILS: You know, it's always tough to play against French guys. This one was a tough one for Jo, but I feel I played very good. Definitely was expecting a little bit slight tougher.

Q. Is this a new Gael Monfils? More focused, single-minded on the court?
GAEL MONFILS: Well, as I say, I don't really know. I'm just myself.

Q. The final tomorrow against Rafael Nadal, you'll are fired up for that and feeling confident?
GAEL MONFILS: Yes, it's going to be a tough one, a big one. Definitely I will go on the court with everything I have.

Q. You made a point you don't respect names too much. What do you think Rafa should be respecting from your game tomorrow?
GAEL MONFILS: That's a question for him, I guess. It's more a question for him.

I do respect these guy. I think I'm just a guy a little bit outside of the top 4. Can definitely put them in trouble. But then this question I think is more for Rafa.

Q. What will you do to put him in trouble tomorrow?

Q. Yes.
GAEL MONFILS: Be myself.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. It's always special when it's a match between two Frenchmen. Did you destabilize him?
GAEL MONFILS: I believe that tactically it was going to be important. I was saying tactically it was going to be important. Matches like this are very mental. Tactics are very important.

You should not panic on your first points. The fact that I broke him immediately relieved me. It was good for me. On his side, it made him play badly. He started playing long rallies, but making many mistakes because of the pressure.

I believe also he was a bit more tired than I was physically. I also put a lot of pressure on him with my tactics. It took him a long time before he was into the match. I took advantage of this to put my game together.

Q. (Question regarding Nadal.)
GAEL MONFILS: I have no specific approach. I will try to recuperate and talk with my coach to try to find the tactics for tomorrow. The basis of my game is to be aggressive from the baseline and not step back.

I will need to make adjustments. I will need to do something different. I don't know exactly what. But the most important thing will be for me to recuperate tonight because I need to feel good physically tomorrow if I want to make it difficult for him.

It's going to be a physical combat. I saw a few rallies between Nadal and Murray. These were huge rallies on clay with deep shots, and I will need to play well if I want to win.

Q. Does this Masters 1000 final mean something special to you?
GAEL MONFILS: I don't know what to answer. Sorry.

Q. Did you watch Nadal play during this tournament?
GAEL MONFILS: No, I didn't.

Q. Do you know what his level is now?
GAEL MONFILS: Well, I said that in Australia already it is your job. But you like to do that. You're always talking about coming back. It was the same with Roger a few years ago.

Rafa lost two or three times and immediately you are talking about this. You say that too often. It's always the same. Supposedly he's not playing well, but he's still better than the others.

Okay, he's not as good as maybe two or three guys. I said that last year already. Rafa is not good but for Rafa's standards. He's still Rafa. The season which is supposed not to be good would be good for any other player.

Q. Are you thinking about the French Open or focusing on this tournament?
GAEL MONFILS: I'm focusing only on this tournament. The French Open is a long way away. I'm not thinking about that. I am going to play a first final in a Masters 1000 tomorrow. That is my goal.

Q. We have the feeling that what is happening to you is very serious. You are really managing your career. You are improving your ranking. Things are going well.
GAEL MONFILS: If you say the same thing tomorrow, I'll be happy. For the time being, I will just recuperate, do what I need to do to feel good tomorrow. The main thing is tomorrow.

Well, 6-1, 4-1 is normal. I had good tactics. Jo was trying to hit harder in the second set to show he was present. That particular game I didn't play very well. I served to his forehand, and he hit a winner. I had the feeling this game wasn't starting well. Sometimes you think tactics will be enough. But I was not putting enough intensity into it.

Even if you're up in the score, he's top 9, so you need to be focused. At 4-3, I was able to break back. That was good. There was a point for 5-4. There was a bit of tension there. I was good enough to end up winning.

Q. In the match, Murray went out of the match in the third set.
GAEL MONFILS: Well, when he lost matches, it's because the opponent was extremely good. Like for Rafa in South America, he had a match point. He couldn't play better.

Cuevas played an extraordinary match. Verdasco in the fifth set was in another world. So if I want to win tomorrow against Rafa, it will be as usual. As for those guys, I will need to play an exceptional match, not just a good match.

He didn't lose against anyone. He just lost against very good players who played an exceptional match.

Q. Did you speak with Yannick?
GAEL MONFILS: I spoke with him a couple of days ago. But I'm going to talk to my team before the match.

Q. Which match would you remember?
GAEL MONFILS: All the matches were very tough. One in particular? I don't know. There's one match where I remember I played very well. But when I play Rafa, it's never easy for me. It was at the Australian Open. I lost 1-2-3. I had the feeling I played a good match.

The week before I had played three sets, too. In Rome, too. I played him in the semifinal. I lost 2-2. At 4-Love I thought (expletive). I had the feeling I couldn't do better. It was deuce. But he was there. He was playing well.

In Doha, it was the same. I lost 6-1 in the first. I couldn't do better. He was aggressive. He never missed. It was tough winning a single point.

So tomorrow I expect an enormous match, a huge match. I need to try to have him play badly, or walk all over him. To beat him, I need to take many risks, and I need to have some luck from the start.

What is tough with Rafa is often he tries to dominate from the start. Once you're there, it's difficult for you to come out of it.

Q. But you can play an extraordinary match, too.
GAEL MONFILS: Maybe, but those guys played unbelievable matches. Well, I hope I will do the same tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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