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June 2, 2016

David Goffin

Paris, France

D. THIEM/D. Goffin

4-6, 7-6, 6-4, 6-11

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. Now, had you won the second set do you think that the match could have been totally different? How come the match totally escaped you at the end?
DAVID GOFFIN: It's difficult to say. I haven't got a crystal ball with me. But, yes, the match would have been different. Two sets for me and I was playing better than he was, so maybe the match would have been totally different.

But he decided to fight back. Even with two sets for me, I don't know, you know, how he would have reacted. But he decided to stay and hang on, and he played better and better even during the fourth set.

Despite the rain and the very heavy conditions, he was hitting very strongly.

Q. Now, during the third set you had opportunities, but then I had the impression that you were always leading but you couldn't really finish your points.
DAVID GOFFIN: Yeah, that's true. I was leading almost all the time. I thought I was better than he was for long, long moments during the match until the end of the third set.

But the difference is these minimal differences, that is, a few points. Then he was back with very good shots, as well.

So congratulations to him. He deserves the semis. Yeah, not much difference between his game and mine.

Q. Is there a shot or point that you remember that you would regret?
DAVID GOFFIN: Not that I regret, but maybe the set point during the second set. Maybe I could have -- no, no, no, I don't regret it. No, I came to the net. He defended well and he played a good shot afterwards.

But I had an opportunity at that moment.

Q. We knew the context, that is, the first time for both of you and this friendship between you. So how did you feel when you were on the court?
DAVID GOFFIN: I felt good. Good. Nothing special about it. I felt really good, like a normal match.

Q. The general public is going to discover Thiem tomorrow against Djokovic. Everybody was expecting Nadal against Djokovic. You're a tennis player. What does it mean to be playing Thiem for those who have never seen him play, who are going to discover him tomorrow? Because you have been hitting a few balls with him for a few hours. How would you describe Thiem's balls?
DAVID GOFFIN: There is a lot of trajectory in his balls. They are very deep, and he's really behind the baseline. He hits very strongly and his arm is powerful.

He's got natural power. I don't know where this comes from, but a natural type of strength he has when he hits the balls. It's very difficult to control his balls.

What you have to do is change the trajectory or hit the ball as early as you can, otherwise you're going to be running all the time. When he opens up the angles with his forehand, that's when it becomes very complicated for all the other players.

Q. How do you feel now? Is it frustration that you feel mainly?
DAVID GOFFIN: No, disappointment, because today I could have made it. It's a pity. Okay, in Australia I won, but this time he won.

So disappointment, I'd say.

Q. Now, this match was quite similar. You lost nine games in a row at the end of the match. What happened in your head? There's a spring that broke or is it the legs that were broken?
DAVID GOFFIN: A bit of everything. The conditions were very heavy. I was not hitting him any longer.

The balls were soaked with water, and the clay was heavy and he was more comfortable during the fourth set.

And then he was more aggressive. He tried a number of shots along the line. He had a number of backhand shots along the line that he tried that were in.

So he was quite bold, and he succeeded.

Q. We were talking about your set point in the tiebreak. Unfortunately you lost it, but you reacted well; after the tiebreak you were still there. You still believed in what you could do, so there is not much difference. But then you couldn't do anything; your legs were not working any longer.
DAVID GOFFIN: Yes, yes. Is it a question?

Q. No, no, but can you tell us more about this 5-3 point?
DAVID GOFFIN: It was a pity. I was playing to win the point, but he was back with a number of shots and then the break point. It was along the line. That's on my second ball, so not much difference.

And during the last game of the third set it was just a few points that I could have won but he won them, so then it became complicated. It was tough physically. I had so many opportunities. I was leading for such a long spell, two-and-a-half sets, and then it was 2 sets to 1. Dominic is playing better and better, so it is hard. It's not easy then to come back.

Q. In general, what would you say about this tournament and what are the benefits for the rest of your career?
DAVID GOFFIN: Well, the conclusions are quite positive even though, as we speak, I'm disappointed after this match. I'm very disappointed.

But it's a very positive tournament. First time I have reached quarterfinals in a Grand Slam. It was a very good tournament. Difficult to manage sometimes with the rain, the conditions, and round of 16 against Ernests, yet a good tournament for me.

And then the rest, what am I going to do now? Well, I have gained more confidence, and I'll continue on grass.

Q. Did you manage to enjoy your matches, to realize that this was your first quarterfinals? You've played on minor courts usually when it was raining; whereas today you played in front of several hundreds of people for your first quarterfinals. Did you enjoy it?
DAVID GOFFIN: Well, never mind if it's raining, if you're in the mud, it was quarterfinals.

The court was not crammed with people. I played before that on the annex courts, and yet the performance and the tennis match is still something important. It's not the people here that account for the performance. It's the players.

I think that I had the level, I had the performance.

Q. Now you're going to be No. 11, so how do you feel in the world, No. 11?
DAVID GOFFIN: Oh, I didn't know. We will see on Monday. But okay. I'm going up two notches. Level 11, why not? Okay. Well, it's a number. That's all.

I'll try and continue and go up. The thing I'll remember is that, you know, I have never done that before, quarterfinals here.

And then little by little I will be thinking about Wimbledon. It will come very quickly. I want to be ready for the grass season. I'll continue. My objective is to continue to improve and to win again more and more matches.

Q. You and he are very close. What's the difference between you and Djokovic playing against Dominic in the semis? Do you feel like you're far from Novak or close to him?
DAVID GOFFIN: It's difficult to know. You know, it's a match during which you have to win three sets against Novak. It all depends on the conditions. It depends on the match.

Maybe there are moments when he doesn't play that well, but for the Grand Slams he plays his best tennis because he's so prepared. I don't know.

I think that sometimes he can be defeated, but then you have to play excellent tennis and seize all opportunities. For instance, in Miami I had opportunities. I didn't seize them. He was very solid.

Now, Dominic played against him in Miami before me and he had opportunities with break points and he lost. He lost in two sets.

So you have to play incredible tennis. You have to seize all opportunities. Because even though sometimes he can be beaten, he's so strong.

Q. What are you going to do for the grass season? Will this match change something for you?
DAVID GOFFIN: At present, what I have planned is Rosmalen and Halle. Then we'll see what's going to happen.

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