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June 1, 2016

David Goffin

Paris, France

D. GOFFIN/E. Gulbis

4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. It's your first quarterfinal here, too. Can you tell me a little bit what you think about tomorrow's match already against Dominic Thiem? You are fellow mates. You did preparations together and things like that. You're fighting for the top 10 tomorrow, not only for the semifinal.
DAVID GOFFIN: Yeah, tomorrow is gonna be a tough match against Dominic. Of course he's playing great on clay. He's a great player on clay court. Yeah, but it's first quarterfinal for both. Yeah, it's gonna be a tough one.

But, yeah, he's a friend. I know him really well. I beat him already also, but he beat me also on clay. So it's gonna be an interesting match. I hope it's going to be a great match for both and hopefully I can win.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. Now, this match was split in two. Yesterday it was like a nightmare, and today everything was okay after the first set.
DAVID GOFFIN: Yesterday was a nightmare. I was waiting all day. I was completely exhausted in the evening. I was almost certain we wouldn't play, we wouldn't be sent to the courts to play. Yet they said, Just try. And before we were on the courts it was raining. Yesterday I was not in the match. I was feeling, Oh, I want to go back home. I was not ready to play this match yesterday, whereas today we had to start again. I knew that today the weather conditions would be better, we would be in a position to play the match, I had to find better intentions.

Even though I didn't win the first set, immediately I proved that I could start well. During the second set, I thought, yes, here we go for it.

Q. Can you tell us more about the conditions? I mean, yesterday, what was the thing that really bothered you yesterday, the things that made you a bit nervous?
DAVID GOFFIN: Well, it was raining. Playing when it's raining is a bit difficult, so it was raining and the clay was not really good. So when you were trying to slide, there was mud that thick of mud on the shoe sole. So that's important.

Difficult to move on the court, and Court No. 1 is considered to be quite slippery quite quickly. So several times yesterday I said, Couldn't we wait a little? I asked the referee.

And then when it was 2-Love, we still had to play. And then 3-Love. We continued to play. The conditions were quite difficult yesterday.

But then they forced us to play. I didn't have another solution.

Q. Gulbis was a bit angry because you wanted to stop just before he was serving. He said you should have done this when it was your serve. Did you discuss this with him yesterday?
DAVID GOFFIN: No, we didn't discuss this at all. I think, you know, he won his serve game so no problem.

Q. It's your first quarterfinals. What are the emotions that come to you? I mean, just after the match point you were thinking probably that this was an objective for you for this season. What did you exactly feel?
DAVID GOFFIN: Well, happiness, of course. Total bliss. And these three days were very tiring. It was tough. Two days when we almost didn't play at all. So a bit like nightmare or hell, and I played a good match today when I was on the court, a good match. We played only three games yesterday. But I didn't get off to a good start and I won the match today.

So happiness to win, to go to the quarterfinals for the first time. So I'm going to enjoy it now. But then tomorrow we're back again.

Q. Everybody speaks about how powerful Dominic is. What are his other assets on clay or his skills, the reasons why he's so dangerous on the court?
DAVID GOFFIN: He can play all types of shots from the baseline, very deep, high. Behind the baseline he's a big hitter. He serves really well and has one of the best second balls on the tour. He uses this a lot. And he's got good legwork, as well.

Physically he can play many tournaments and the big matches, as well. He won in Nice last week, and yet he's still there. He's found the skills and resources. He has everything it takes to play well on clay.

And mentally, also, I have the impression he feels good. That's why he's really very strong on clay this year and probably in the years to come, as well.

Q. What about yourself, you? How do you manage pressure this year? I have the impression you're taking more distance and you're calmer than before when the challenge is high.
DAVID GOFFIN: I'll not trying to prove anything to myself, but I'm very proud I managed to do this. It was not really an objective. I didn't say, I'll have to focus on this objective. But I was trying to do my best to reach the quarterfinals.

And it's the case, so now I'm very proud, very proud to have made it. But I wasn't obsessed with it. I'm not obsessed with my ranking or my results. I wanted to do my best so that these things would happen.

And when they do happen, it really shows that the work you put in before bears fruit, pays off. After this, you feel proud and happy.

Q. Thiem is a friend of yours and he's a bloke, so it changes the deal. Would you say that I'm playing against another player or I'm playing against a friend?
DAVID GOFFIN: Well, for me, that's really good. I know the atmosphere on the court will be quite pleasant and good. It's always better when the atmosphere is good. Even though we're not going to give anything away, but there's going to be a lot of respect on the court, I feel. It's good when you're on the court to know that this is going to be the case.

Q. Tomorrow it seems that it might rain a little again. Do you think that you can manage this better than on Tuesday?
DAVID GOFFIN: Well, yeah, we'll see. We'll see. I don't really know what to do with the weather conditions, in any case. This is not something we can manage or have control over. If we have to play, we'll have to play. I've learned the lesson from the three games I played yesterday.

Q. Let's talk about the schedule. Are you bothered? Because now there's no more balance between the upper part of the draw and the other part of the draw. You're going to have to play almost every single day until Thursday. Do you think that this should be different?
DAVID GOFFIN: No, it's the way it is. We have plenty of time before we're on Sunday. Usually we have a day off to rest. It's well calculated and well planned. But maybe with two full days of rain it will be okay. We'll be ready on Sunday.

But that's the way it is. We play the matches as they come. We'll see what we feel physically. If we have to play back to back, it's the same for everybody. You know, today, look at Dominic. Yesterday he played more. Today he played a bit less. And we played almost at the same time. So it's for both of us.

And if we have to play tomorrow, it's for both players that they have to play tomorrow. So it's not a big deal.

Q. Now, you are very steady this season. How did you learn this, to be consistent in 2016?
DAVID GOFFIN: Well, it's not this year that I have been very consistent. It's the previous years. This was my objective, to be much more consistent in all of my tournaments. It's the third year now that I have more steady levels of game or more consistent game.

This is something you can see on my results. That's an objective I had three years ago, to be stable, solid, consistent. It was in my head I wanted this to be in my game.

Q. In Rome you played against Berdych. You said you could see the balls really well. Did you have the same feeling today, that is, you were really comfortable when you were serving? These were blank games during the last set?
DAVID GOFFIN: No, you can't compare both matches. You know, Ernests gave me many points, unforced errors he made.

Well, I know I'm solid. It's my return that's good, as well. No, you can't compare this with the match I played against Berdych.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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