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May 27, 2016

Fernando Verdsasco

Paris, France

K. NISHIKORI/F. Verdasco

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

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

Q. It was a great match, and especially you started playing really good in the maybe middle of the second set. Could you talk about how you made this kind of turnaround?
FERNANDO VERDASCO: Well, I was just trying to play every point the best way as possible. Sometimes the things happen the way you want it; sometimes not.

You're playing also against a good player, so he puts the things difficult. It's not easy to find the way or your game the way that you want to do it, no?

So at the beginning he started very good. I was not very good on my first serves. I was playing a lot with second serves. Against player like him that he push you very hard with second serves, it was very difficult to play and to keep the match at the same level.

But after that I started serving better; I started hitting better in the baseline; taking more the advantage in the points. That's why I think I been able to turn around in the match, no?

Like I said at the beginning, sometimes the things just happen as you want and comes to your side; sometimes doesn't. Of course I'm sad that I lost, but I'm also happy of the way that I played in general. I saw the stats, and I won more points than him and I lost the match. That can happen in tennis. In another sport, in basketball, if you make more points than the other one, you win.

You know, it's just one match. Like I said, happy of how I tried, how I played. Just will try to keep looking forward for the next tournament, the next match, and see how it goes.

Q. Today you hit a lot of amazing dropshots; was that your strategy against Kei?
FERNANDO VERDASCO: No, it was not. During the match I start feeling -- well, no, I mean, during one point I just felt to make one. I did it very good. In the next point when I did it I felt it again. I did it very good. Maybe I win the first, I don't know, seven or eight or nine points - I don't know exactly, of course - but I won many points in a row when I was doing the dropshot.

I was feeling it very good every time I was doing it, so I said, Why not keep doing? When something is coming good and you are feeling it and you are winning points, it's something that you have to maybe put in the moment.

But it was not a strategy before the match.

Q. Nearly whole stadium was cheering you up. How did that give you extra motivation, energy? Maybe you must be very happy with that.
FERNANDO VERDASCO: Well, of course it feels very good, no, to feel the crowd supporting you. I know already in myself that I am coming back, that I am playing better, that I am making him struggle more, suffer more coming back in the match, in the score.

And of course to see the crowd supporting you and cheering you up, it helps you to fight even extra more. It's always a pleasure, no, to feel the crowd out of your house, out of your country to support you. I have to say thanks to all of that.

Q. How did you see Kei's performance today compared to previous meetings? You had three meetings before.
FERNANDO VERDASCO: Uh-huh. Well, last meeting was in --

Q. Indian Wells.
FERNANDO VERDASCO: Yeah, Indian Wells last year. It was also 6-4 in the third. It was a close match. The two before I think I won, one in Australia, one in Barcelona.

But in that time Kei was not No. 6 in the world; he was already a good player, but not maybe coming with the confidence that he has right now. I was also with much better ranking than right now.

When you are on the court, yeah, ranking is important, but at the end you have to win and play that match. The ranking is just a number there.

Doesn't give you a free match just to have better ranking. Of course he was not that better player when we played the first two times, and in Indian Wells he was already top-10 player, really good player with a ranking, and it was a close match also.

So, you know, his performance, I think he started like very good. Like I said before, I didn't serve that good, so I gave him that advantage to push me in the return and to don't feel comfortable with my serve.

But that was my part that I didn't serve good and I didn't play with first serves. So I gave him the chances to control that part of the game, and he's a good player. Of course. If not, he was not going to be No. 6 in the world like he is.

But, you know, I knew that I will have my chance, that I will -- if I play good, I will be able to have maybe chances to win the match. It was just one break in the fifth set at the end, no? So was a close match again and he won this one.

So like I said, it's just a pity for me that I lost, and hope the next time if we play each other and it's a close match again that it comes to my side.

Q. What's your program for the next few weeks, please?
FERNANDO VERDASCO: Well, I'm waiting to see if I finally play in Queen's, and after, Nottingham, Wimbledon.

After that, I don't know, because there is Davis Cup coming. I play Davis Cup or BÃ¥stad and Gstaad. Of course now is coming the grass court, and my schedule is to play Queen's, to play Nottingham, and Wimbledon.

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