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May 24, 2016

Steve Darcis

Paris, France

S. DARCIS/M. Ilhan

6-3, 6-4, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French, please.

Q. I imagine you must be very relieved.
STEVE DARCIS: I am. I knew I could do it, but didn't want to underestimate him. He's a very dangerous player that has been injured, but he's back. I was glad I was able to do the job in three sets.

It's wonderful. I haven't really exhausted myself too much. That's also good news.

Q. Looks like the next round you'll be against Djokovic.
STEVE DARCIS: I wish the draw had been different, but, yes, it'll be a great match again. That's why I play tennis; that's why I started tennis. Playing the No. 1 will be just a great experience.

I also said that I would leave Roland Garros with no regrets, and I'll do my very, very best. Hey, you never know.

Q. You said you would've preferred a different draw. What do you mean?
STEVE DARCIS: Well, he's not easy to beat. I mean, look at his results. As I said, that's why I'm a tennis player. You know, these are very powerful moments, and I'm sure it'll be a fabulous match.

My objective is to give the very best. Sometimes surprises happen.

Q. You take him, Stan, Rafa; is he the most impressive one?
STEVE DARCIS: Well, when you look at his record over the past four, five years, he's by far the most robust, consistent, and hardest to beat player.

That's why he's No. 1.

Q. Have you played on the main court?
STEVE DARCIS: I've played Llodra three years ago exactly. I would love to play on Lenglen, for example. It's a bit smaller. Maybe it'll make things a bit easier on me.

On the central court you play once a decade, so therefore it's a bit more difficult to start the games well. You're not used to playing on it, so you don't have the same experience and references on it.

Then Lenglen, 1, 2, at the end of the day doesn't really make such a difference.

Q. Is Djokovic your favorite player or is it Roger because of his technique?
STEVE DARCIS: I have no favorite player. I simply think that Djokovic is the best player right now. My idol has always been Pete Sampras. Today I don't really have an idol anymore. I can't say I'm a Djokovic fan when I will be playing him in a few days.

Q. I meant a fan because of what he's done, his game, his style.
STEVE DARCIS: I think he's just made tremendous progress. He's become virtually untouchable. For the rest, as I said, I'm not a fan. He does great things, but so do other players. I think we all do what we can. We're trying to make as much progress as we can day after day.

Q. How do you approach, anticipate a match where points are difficult to win?
STEVE DARCIS: You don't get to play top 10 players every week, you know. These matches are difficult. You can tell their rhythm is much higher; there are less errors; the balls are longer. My job will be to try something.

If I stay three meters behind the baseline I'm not likely to get many points, so I'm going to have to do everything I can to get each point. Sometimes surprises happen. I want to believe in it. I know it's going to be difficult.

I'm going to do my very, very best, and we shall see.

Q. Have you played him before?
STEVE DARCIS: In the second round in Rome. Quarterfinal in Miami two years ago. I've played him a couple times.

Q. So it's not like you don't know where you're going.
STEVE DARCIS: Exactly. I know where I'm going but it's still complicated.

Q. You've had some tough moments over the past months, injuries, then Julien passed away. How do you feel about that?
STEVE DARCIS: I think about him every day, when I train, before playing a match. I think about his family as well. We're in touch every day. It's not easy. It's not easy not having him on my side. It's not easy not being able to send him a message the day before an important match. It's tough.

But whether it's for my family, my relatives, for him, I have to do my very best. That's what I'm doing.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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