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November 1, 2016

Nicolas Mahut

Paris, France

N. MAHUT/M. Klizan

4-6, 6-4, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. This is a good victory after some weeks that have not been easy.
NICOLAS MAHUT: Well, any victory, of course, is good. But it's true that the past two weeks were quite complicated for me so that victory comes at the right moment.

I'm trying to be as honest as possible, but I don't want to make excuses at all. But the problem I had in this match is that it was very tough for me to control his shots. So then I'm too cautious, and it's really complicated for me to play with those balls indoors.

I need to be aggressive. That's my game. That's how I play well. But those balls are very difficult to control for me. So there are many mistakes I'm making. Because of that, I'm slower. I'm less efficient, and it's quite difficult for me.

Q. Is it difficult to remain focused on the singles at the end of the season with that very long season? Aren't you too tired because of this season?
NICOLAS MAHUT: I didn't go to Asia on purpose because I needed to rest. I really needed to be fresh for the end of the season.

It was a deliberate choice. I had anticipated not going in Asia because of maybe a final in Davis Cup. So this allowed me now to be fresh.

In Bercy, in this tournament, of course I'm playing doubles and I want to do well because there is the Masters. But when you're a French player, it's easy to be motivated even for the singles here.

Q. Was it easy?
NICOLAS MAHUT: Well, we, most of us French players, were able to play in the Metz tournament. What was tired was coming from the US Open, but we were able to play in France. If it had not been in France, we wouldn't have played.

Those three weeks I had after were good for me, because I had time to digest our defeat and start something else.

Q. A personal question. Is your son here? Is he going to watch you play? Did you make any promises to him?
NICOLAS MAHUT: He's here. That's why I'm sorry I came late, because I wanted to spend some time with him.

He had other things to do. He had friends. But he didn't watch the match, but he told me this morning I was going to win.

He asked if I was playing doubles or singles. I said singles. He thought about it and said, You're going to win.

Q. What about your next round? You have a good relationship with that player. He's close to the French players.
NICOLAS MAHUT: I'm very happy of what is happening to him. He's close to the top 10 now. He's someone great.

Personally, I really would like him to be able to make the Masters, but I still want to win that match. Well, you know him as well as I do. It's not only him but his team, you know, his coach. Thierry, Thomas, are great people.

You know, when you're a seeded player, it's easier to get caught. So he always uses that to play with us and he's sharing with us, so that's really a very nice guy.

And the match? Well, I hope it's gonna be better for me than in Metz. In Metz it was tough. It was 6-3 in the third, but during one set and a half it was very difficult for me. He was able to return well, to play along the lines. He's tough to play.

But I'm going to try to play better tomorrow and better than today, too.

Q. A follow-up to the question about your child. Tsonga said he was going to become a father in 2017. You are a father already. When you are a tennis player, does it change to become a father?
NICOLAS MAHUT: For him, I won't say anything, because I don't want to speak for him.

But as far as I'm concerned, it gave me a better perspective. I was able to step back a little from tennis. Of course, tennis is my passion. It's my job, but I also have other priorities now.

When I lose, it allows me to take some distance. Of course when you make decisions, it's always around your child. So sometimes they are good decisions; sometimes not as good.

But we have to make decision for him and to decide about his education. This gave me a lot of reassurance as a person, as a father.

Q. You played 102 matches this season. Are you going to slow down next season with Pierre-Hugues? Did you talk about next year?
NICOLAS MAHUT: Yes, we talked about it. This was one reason for which I didn't play in Asia, because I know I was going to go the 100 matches played. I'm hoping I will play 100 matches next year. It means I will win many matches in singles and doubles. So I have to hope for that.

But I have to be very careful about my program. When there are weeks when you play singles and doubles, it's tough, so you have to be careful playing either only singles, only doubles.

Also, I need to think about the French Open and the grass season. And I also have to include Davis Cup. It's going to be a priority for all the players next year.

So, you know, your schedule is going to be something very important for next year.

Q. How do you see the development of this tournament compared with the tournament you knew 15 years ago?
NICOLAS MAHUT: That tournament was always in my dreams. I came here when I was very young. And also when I started practicing, I came to see the matches and I was dreaming about that stadium. I like very much the design they put in here.

This is a very important tournament for all the French players. We are lucky. We have a tiring season, but we are lucky to be able to end the season here in France.

Some players just give up when they're down in their match because they think it's the end of the season. We don't do that here. We like playing here. I like the efforts they put into this tournament. I like the stadium now. It's a privilege for us to be able to play here.

In 2001, it was a long time ago, I think at that time I played Philippoussis. I didn't play well, but it's a good memory all the same.

Q. Woodforde said he was going to work with Pospisil. Does it change something for your organization?
NICOLAS MAHUT: Yes, it's complicated. Mark is someone I spent good weeks last year, excellent weeks. I have Gabi, I have JeJe, and we went to Indian Wells, Melbourne, et cetera. But if it changes, we have to try to combine some weeks with Vasek, so it's not ideal.

Of course for him it's difficult. He's going to have only one coach. I anticipated already for Australia, because Jerome doesn't want to take the plane. He doesn't want to travel. I'm trying to find another solution.

We'll see what Gabi is going to do, if he's going to stay the coach for the French Fed Cup next year. It's going to be difficult. In two weeks I will know more about that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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