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November 2, 2016

Nicolas Mahut

Paris, France

D. GOFFIN/N. Mahut

7-6, 6-3

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. There is a lot of frustration I guess after that match. It's because of your serve?
NICOLAS MAHUT: Well, I didn't see the stats, but I was just at 40% or lower. So I played the match I wanted to play, but I rarely served as bad. You know, when I miss a volley and make three double faults, it becomes more difficult.

It's difficult to analyze that match, because I played well when I played. I did what I wanted to do, but my serve was a catastrophe. Against a player like him who returns so well, it's impossible. I was broken too many times, and it's at least once too many in each set.

Q. When we see matches like that, we always think it's the end of the season. Is that the reason for it, or is it just a bad day?
NICOLAS MAHUT: No. If it's a bad day, then your whole game doesn't work, whereas I played a lot better than yesterday overall. It was a good match, but just I didn't serve well. I didn't control the balls. You know what I'm thinking of those balls. But that was not the reason for it today. It's not an excuse. It's just me. I lost the rhythm.

In the second set, I just wanted to serve my first serve as a second serve, but I was not even able to put it in. It's really a pity. It's a pity to end the season like that. But as I said, overall, it was quite a good match. But the serve is supposed to be my weapon.

Q. Generally, when we get close to 35 years old, the ranking slips away, which is not your case. So do you still have a priority for singles for next season?
NICOLAS MAHUT: Well, not the only one. There are other players, too. Maybe a certain number of things I understood a bit late, and there's no reason for me not being able to keep improving.

As you said, I'm already focused on 2017. The main thing will be to be able to win the Davis Cup. I need to be a better player in singles and doubles for that. But all the French players have the same goal. It's very clear for us. Top priority will be to try to win the Davis Cup.

Q. So the stats are 44% in the second set. So can you say something about his game? Goffin never had a letdown during that match.
NICOLAS MAHUT: Well, I believe he has really improved this year. So he's very precise all the time. He plays the lines. Some players hit the line once or twice. And we say he's lucky, but he does that all the time. He improved a lot, and including for his serve. His first serve and second serve have improved a lot. It's faster.

On the court he runs fast, he's very precise. He deserves his ranking. I wish him good luck.

Q. After Zadar it was difficult to start playing again. My impression is that since Wimbledon you have been in a more difficult position. What was the reason? The opponents have learned about your game?
NICOLAS MAHUT: No, it was just difficult to keep the pace. We played so well. And we played less, also. We came to Cincinnati being exhausted, and the Olympics were tough. We were into the quarter. Then we played the US Open. Of course it's a disappointment. We went to the semis. The Olympics were a great disappointment. But in Antwerp we went to the final. We played well, but we didn't win any tournaments.

So it's not as good as the first part of the season. I don't know if it has a connection with our loss in Zadar, but we were a bit tired. I mean, in the US Open we did well because we went to the semis, although we were tired.

We'll see for the end of the season if we are able to play well here and in the Masters.

Q. A question about the Davis Cup. You said it was a priority for all the French players, but it's going to be tough to go to Japan just after Australia. Is it compatible? The calendar is crazy. That means you're gonna cross out February, right?
NICOLAS MAHUT: I don't know what the other players think. We are supposed to meet at the end of the week.

It is a priority. So when it is a priority, we just need to adapt our calendar to that priority. We have to play a tough team, and the traveling is going to be tough, too.

But it's also when there are difficulties that we can see if the team is really motivated. Of course after the Davis Cup there is the Montpellier tournament, and that will be very difficult to make.

For the rest of the season it's also complicated, because there will be Indian Wells and Miami around the second round of Davis Cup, so when you have a priority like this one, we adapt accordingly.

Q. You were to the Masters last year and you didn't have very good results. What lessons did you draw from it? Are you going to be stronger this year?
NICOLAS MAHUT: That was a first experience we had. It was a special format. And also, out of the courts we also had special circumstances. We played in France after the attacks. It was a strange atmosphere. So it was tough for us to focus on the competition.

When we came, it was a celebration, and, well, I don't need to comment on that.

But now we really want to go there and do well, but I'm always very cautious when I talk about the goals, because I was not very lucky lately about that.

So I know that if we play well, we'll be very tough to beat. So we need to focus on that, try to be in good shape, and play well. We might have a surprise in the end.

Q. The Bryans say that you and Pierre-Hugues are the best thing that could happen for doubles. It's not only your game but your personalities. Can you feel the transition in the locker rooms?
NICOLAS MAHUT: Well, I can pay them for saying that already. The Bryans represent a lot for doubles, so it is a compliment. I try to be inspired by their way of playing and practicing, but of course what you're saying it's tough for me to say. I can't really answer the question.

I know we have a good relationship with Pierre-Hugues. It's one of our strengths. And it's good if we can send a positive message to people. It's great for everybody.

But now just saying we are taking over from the Bryans, it's going to be difficult. They have been top 1 for 11 years. They have won more than 100 titles and Grand Slams, and so it's quite tough. If we can end the year No. 1, it will be already an achievement, but already, I will thank them when I see them.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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