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May 24, 2016

Lucas Pouille

Paris, France

L. POUILLE/J. Benneteau

6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. Here again, a tough match for you. You had to put out the best tennis to win. But recently you always have the upper hand. You win all of the matches. So it's more than a coincidence.
LUCAS POUILLE: Well, yeah. No, not that easy against Julien. He was playing really well, very aggressive, and taking the points. Really, just after the rebound, after my first serve he was putting pressure on me, not obvious, a lot of stress on me, and I was the favorite on the court. First time in a Grand Slam ever, so not easy, not easy to manage.

And when there were important moments I managed to be offensive, aggressive, do simple things. And each time it was good for me, the match was on my side, if I can say.

Q. You're saying a lot of pressure. How come? Is it because it's a Grand Slam or Roland Garros or what you said, that it's because you were the favorite or all of the above?
LUCAS POUILLE: Yeah, all of the above. That's it, it's here, in Paris, Roland Garros. I'm a seeded player. I played against another French. A special match that was stopped because it was too dark. You know, when you start again, I was down 4-1, and I didn't want a fifth set.

So sometimes I made choices at the beginning of the games that were not consistent. Dropshots that were totally missed. I was so tense.

What's important, you see, is that each time he was up, it was my serve, I had set points to win, I was solid, I served well. I made the right choices at those moments.

Mentally during the match, I can say that I played my best tennis, and therefore, I won thanks to my head.

Q. By the way, how do you do this? You know, when it's a difficult moment, you're playing well, but otherwise, as you said, at the beginning of the game you were not necessarily completely consistent. This is not consistent.
LUCAS POUILLE: I'm in a hurry, always in a hurry. The first points I want to win in the game. I can't remember when, it was 5-4, yes, 5-4, I think, or 6-5, who knows, but then the first points, dropshot I tried, it was totally useless. The second point, I didn't take time enough. I made another mistake.

If it's 0-40 or 30-40, I take my time, and then I tap the ball several times before I serve. You know, that's due to the pressure on me.

When there is too much pressure, I'm in a hurry. When it's more important, I take more time to make better choices.

Q. So in a Grand Slam, you have not had many wins. Are you working on this? Is that something you think about before you're on the court or is it a special competition?
LUCAS POUILLE: Yeah, it is a special competition. There are only four such tournaments each year.

But then before the match, I wasn't thinking, Oh, no, I have not won that many matches during Grand Slam. The first one was here, the second one was here again, and the other years. These were not easy rounds for me.

I always played against good players, good matches. Very tight matches, as well.

But then today, I'm very happy that I won this match, because I played better than usual at the end of the fourth set and the third one, as well. I was up 6-3, 4-2, and then I was no longer in the match. I lost my focus, and then he won four games in a row. But then I was back again, and I won the most important moments.

Q. Between the seasons, you decided to practice in Dubai with Roger Federer, amongst others. What about this type of practice? How good was it for you?
LUCAS POUILLE: Well, yeah, that's true. I practiced with Roger, with Andy, as well, and Dolgopolov, as well. He was there for the month.

I practiced. That was quality playing. But also quantity playing. It was lovely weather. It was so pleasant to wake up in the morning to go and practice. Not like when the weather is like 5 or 7 degrees and you have to get out of bed. That's not easy, I can tell you.

And I worked and practiced in the sun. It was warm. These were long rallies and a long practice.

So physically I trust myself much more. I can play longer matches. I know that.

This year I have played many three-set matches. Physically I was the winner of these matches, which means that this has given me a mental type of confidence before I start a match. I know physically I'm not going to be down.

And I've gained confidence. I really think that physically this has helped me a great deal.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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