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April 17, 2016

Nicolas Mahut

Pierre-Hugues Herbert

Monte Carlo, Monaco


4-6, 6-0, 10-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. You have had an impressive series of victories. You're confident?
NICOLAS MAHUT: We were playing well and we also had some luck. When you're confident, when you play well, it happens.

We saved a match point against Murray-Inglot. Yesterday they had a set point and we were able to break back. So it's a bit of everything.

When you win matches, you're more confident and you're able to relax when you play the important points. It can turn a match around, especially in the super tiebreak.

Each time we do the same: we don't play well in the first set, then we play better. A super tiebreak is always a chance. It's a mixture between confidence and luck.

Q. The conditions were heavier than previously in the week.
NICOLAS MAHUT: Normally it's a disadvantage, but I believe for this particular match it was an advantage that the conditions were heavier.

PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: I believe we can also be efficient when the conditions are slow and heavy. It's a bit different. We just need to adapt our game a little.

Even if we were not successful immediately, we were able to do that. We have been very humble on the court during the last month and a half. We are playing at our own pace.

After losing the first set, we could have been overwhelmed in the second. But we weren't. We kept fighting. That means in the long-term, we can be consistent day after day.

Q. You are the only doubles team without any weaknesses. That's what Jamie Murray said. He said you don't have weaknesses.
NICOLAS MAHUT: Well, we don't hear those compliments so often.

What we try to do is always improve and keep improving all the time. We watch videos. We also play singles, but when we are finished with our singles matches, we work together on the doubles.

I had Marc come with us and we worked a lot together with him. What we want to do is keep improving and become the best so we know what part of our games we can improve. That's what we've been doing.

What worked well during the past month and a half is that our performances have been more consistent. We improved in this regard.

Q. Now you're able to win on clay, too.
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: Why are you saying we don't win often on clay? I've been hearing that for a long time. Last year we only played two tournaments on clay. We played the French Open. We won two rounds. But it was difficult because Nicolas was in the third round in the singles, and I personally had started serving again only two weeks previous.

We played two matches. We played two tournaments on clay together. Bordeaux also. That was my first match after coming back.

NICOLAS MAHUT: Yes, I agree with you. Our game is more efficient on fast surfaces because we are more aggressive. But we can have some results on clay, too. We can have the opponent be defensive because we can attack. So against defensive players, we can be more aggressive. When we play against doubles specialists able to do many combinations, we can use our qualities as singles players and do more combinations. We have that ability.

We, of course, are going to keep working. But we proved we could have good results on clay.

Q. What about the Davis Cup?
NICOLAS MAHUT: Well, you've been asking that question since Indian Wells, Miami, and now here. It's your job. It's normal you ask the question. But you know the answer we are going to give you.

We are not the ones deciding. Yannick makes the decisions. Yannick has four singles players on his team right now. Four of them are in the top 20. Jo and Richard played a match here. They won. I've seen Yannick in the beginning of the week. He said we would see each other soon.

But when you talk about Davis Cup, for us it's an objective that seems difficult because we have no power over the decision there. We prefer to concentrate on the French Open or other objectives like the Olympics. We are close to being qualified. Those goals are more concrete. We can plan for them. Davis Cup is more complicated.

Q. The Bryan brothers were selected because they had good results. You can force it.
NICOLAS MAHUT: Well, the American team relied on the Bryans for 10 years and they were trying to find singles players to have two extra points. Maybe at that time the U.S. didn't have so many players as we have. All this depends on the choice of the captain.

Here our captain has a choice among five players. The doubles teams are efficient. He even has a choice between two doubles teams. He has to make those difficult choices, and he will make them.

Q. Do you believe having good results in doubles can become a priority in your season?
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: I don't think this would be a good decision because if we are efficient playing doubles, it is because we are good singles players. When a doubles player, like Jamie, says we have no major weakness, it is because we are singles players also.

When you play against Andy Murray, you see that in doubles he would have the answer to every shot. Sometimes doubles specialists have major weaknesses in their games. So for us it is important to play singles at the same time. It's our first goal, to be efficient in the singles.

Nicolas is, I don't remember, top 50 in singles. That's good. I just made it in the top 100. I've been able to play my first Wimbledon thanks to my ranking. I was able to win a set against a top-10 player for the first time.

This is a part of a whole. You need to improve in singles as well as doubles. The first goal is to be efficient in the singles. Eric was asking me if my goal was to have a triple victory. Before that, we had difficult matches. What we are trying to do right now is be efficient on a daily basis, take care of our physical fitness because the schedule is busy, and we need to have high goals in terms of results and performance on the court. We need to be focused and improve every day.

In the end, if Nicolas can become No. 1, we are going to try to achieve this and try to win every match.

NICOLAS MAHUT: I had a very interesting discussion with Amelie on this topic. This is part of our goals. When you're No. 3 or 4, you want to go further, that means becoming No. 1. But you need to work for that. There are different steps.

Q. What did Amelie say? It was important to become No. 1?
NICOLAS MAHUT: Well, when she decided to become No. 1, she got organized for that and she discussed that. She gave me her vision about that kind of goal. It was extremely interesting.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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