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May 26, 2016

David Goffin

Paris, France

D. GOFFIN/C. Berlocq

7-5, 6-1, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. Well, what about your feelings after this win? The second one. Therefore you have reached the third round.
DAVID GOFFIN: Well, I'm very happy. Happy to win the match in three sets. It was really a good match, that is, in general.

Mainly during the third set, that's when intensity was going up. That is, for 30 minutes at the end of the first set and during the second set, the whole second set, then it was a very good match for me. I was moving forward. He didn't find any solutions.

He put more pressure on me during the third set. It was more complicated, but I kept my focus. I remained calm. I played my tennis. And at the end I really played very, very well.

So he did his best during the third set. That's why he probably had nothing to lose. He had so much intensity. His game was so intense to be back.

But I'm very happy to have won the third set.

Q. Do you have the feeling that you're gaining power compared to the first round, that is, that you've improved every single match you play you improve?
DAVID GOFFIN: Well, yeah. It was also very good during the second round. The two players were quite different. The first-round player was very powerful. You had to fight back. Whereas here I had to do the same, but I had to play stronger shots, and he was really behind the baseline. He really is a clay player. He would do everything to destabilize the opponent.

During the Davis Cup he was a nightmare. And even here he can be a real nightmare. He's a difficult player to manage.

I'm very happy I won in three sets against such a clay player during the second round of a Grand Slam. That's given me confidence.

Q. I suppose the conditions have changed, perhaps faster, drier?
DAVID GOFFIN: Yeah, that's true. It was slippery, as well.

Q. (off microphone.)
DAVID GOFFIN: Yeah, but the balls are quite heavy, and they are quite big. But the court itself was slippery, and it was a lot faster than two days ago. That means it was better for me, you know, to hit the balls earlier. And for those who attack, it's better than dampness.

Q. On paper people say it's normal he's gone through the first two rounds. What about you? Would you say it's normal or is there always this enjoyment you have to reach the third round of a Grand Slam?
DAVID GOFFIN: Well, you've said it. It's normal.

Q. (off microphone.)
DAVID GOFFIN: I understand your question. But, you know, for people, for everybody it's normal. You know, two wins, three sets each time. But it's not normal, these two matches were very difficult. But I handled them well. I had to play at a high level to have two three-setters.

But, you know, when you feel less good it can be very tricky, you know, against someone who plays well on clay who's played four matches before who would give his life to win a match. It would be tough. It looks like it's easy but it isn't.

Q. But it's good, if we think it's normal it's good because it means you have gained something. You have gained a new dimension, a status, a position, that therefore everybody expects things to go easily from you.
DAVID GOFFIN: Yeah, that's true, and I can prove it when I'm on the court. People expect a victory. Expect me to win. They think it's normal for me to win in three straight sets, and that's what I do at the end of the day. That proves that, No. 1, that people trust me; and No. 2, that I can manage this, manage pressure, deal with pressure, and play two good matches here.

Q. You were saying he's a nightmare. That is, by that I mean he would everything to destabilize the opponent. You're going to have one in the third round as well, in a similar vein, I'd say.
DAVID GOFFIN: That's true. That's true. I don't know him well, but we have an experience with Berlocq during the Davis Cup. That is, he was not really that much of a fair play player, but he didn't take it well during the first set when I broke him. There you go, it's not very important.

Almagro, I don't know him well. I have never had any problems really with him. But he's a big fighter, and he's reached a high level. You know, and his hand is incredible as well as his arm. He knows how to serve. He has incredible shots from the baseline. And therefore, I have to see to it that he moves a lot, so that he can't really hit too strongly. And I'll do my best to win against him.

He's got very good results. He won I don't know how many titles on clay. It will be a very difficult match to play.

Q. He's back?
DAVID GOFFIN: Yeah, that's true. He won a tournament at Estoril, I think. This time he won in three sets easily. That was Kohlschreiber he defeated during the first round. So he's fit.

Q. Rafa said very positive things about you. He said that in the three months to come you'll do very interesting things. Your rankings will go up. Would you say these players today look at you as if you were one of the club?
DAVID GOFFIN: Well, I have played a lot with these players. I have played a lot with Rafa, with Djoko in Monte-Carlo and just before the tournament, and in Rome, as well. I practiced with the best players, and here, as well, last week.

So, yeah, usually this is very good practice. Each time there is a lot of intensity. I try to remain focused and to fight back. It works well when I practice with the best players. Maybe that's why they are happy or maybe they are happy with the way I play, the quality of my shots.

You know, it's always good to have compliments from Rafa. He said I would go up in the rankings, but there aren't that many positions left, are there? (Smiling.)

We'll try. Little by little. One at a time.

Q. Soon there is the Euro. What do you think about the Belgian football team? Who are you a fan of? Will you watch any matches? Will you change your own timing to watch some matches?
DAVID GOFFIN: No, no, no, it's tennis I'll focus on. But of course I'll follow the Euro matches. We have so many players, good players. I don't know. Some are injured, and that's going to be important. That's going to be key to succeed is to manage injuries and the replacement players.

So I will follow this. I'll watch Les Diables. And the other teams, as well. The whole competition.

Q. Steve a minute ago was saying he regrets playing only twice a year against the best of the best, the top players, and he says that sometimes it's just one point that makes a difference. Now, I suppose that you now practice with the creme de la creme, the best. Would you get some special tips and clues as to what to do later on when you play against them during a tournament?
DAVID GOFFIN: Maybe. To some extent. If you practice with them, you're used to them, to playing with them, you know, how much pace they have. But they get used to my style, as well.

But sometimes, as well, Steve can surprise his opponent, given the way he plays. It's a bit atypical given his sliced balls, and if you don't know him, he's not that easy to manage. He surprised Rafa at Wimbledon.

He might surprise us because he doesn't play with the best very often, as he said himself. And also if he were to play more with the best, they would be used to his style. So it's both ways.

I don't know what to answer to your question, but when you get used to the best, you are used to the pressure and intensity.

Q. Now, this match against Berlocq, is it physically more tiring? There were long rallies, and would you say that you had to use more of what you have left in your reserves?
DAVID GOFFIN: Yes, more than during the first round. The rallies were longer. There was a lot of intensity during the third set with long rallies. Sometimes dropshots, and also some rallies that hurt my legs. But otherwise, I felt good physically. I didn't feel I was going down during the whole match at all.

So it was tougher. But at the end of the day, I feel good. My legwork is good. Physically I feel good.

No real problem.

Q. Is it important to feel some difficulty during the first matches rather than having very easy first rounds?
DAVID GOFFIN: I don't really know what to answer. Well, it's always better when things are going nicely when you have two matches that are quite easy, when you play at a very high level. It's always better, of course. But then in a Grand Slam there are always the reactions of the players, things that you might miss. You might play well for one-and-a-half hours, and then you're up 2-0, two sets to zero, and then things go wrong during the third set, but then who knows?

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