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April 20, 2017

Lucas Pouille

Monte Carlo, Monaco

L. POUILLE/A. Mannarino

3-0 (ret.)

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French, please.

Q. Did you know about Mannarino's condition before the match?
LUCAS POUILLE: I heard it from a Canal Plus journalist. He asked me whether the match would take place or not. I thought, Why wouldn't it take place? I didn't know that. I had heard nothing.

When I went back to the locker room, I heard some things. But I prepared as if I was going to play a normal match, a full match.

But after the first rallies, I realized immediately there was a problem.

Q. How does it feel when you see the opponent early in the match not in a normal condition?
LUCAS POUILLE: I just tried to put the ball back into the court. I thought he would try something. This is what happened. He started hitting hard, trying for strange shots.

But it's difficult when you can't move, and you have to play only with your arm.

Q. Does it change the tournament when the top players, among them the No. 1, are losing? I'm thinking about Murray, Wawrinka. We don't know for Nadal and Djokovic yet.
LUCAS POUILLE: It changes, of course. Murray was one of the favorites. In a way, I don't know if you can say that, the draw is more open. At least the other players have more opportunities. This is what happened for me.

There were surprising losses compared with previous years. I am going to focus on my side of the draw. I will have to play Cuevas. He's an excellent player on clay.

I saw some points he played against Stan. He seems to play well. It's going to be tough, even if it's not Stan.

Q. The losses of the top players, is it ordinary or is something happening?
LUCAS POUILLE: I wouldn't say it's ordinary. What happens this year is special. The previous year was very busy with the Olympics. It was a tough year.

I don't know if it's an explanation. The other players also are playing better and better. It might be an explanation.

Once a player loses once or twice, in the other player's mind, it means they feel they can beat him. They come onto the court with a different state of mind. It can change things.

Q. Can you feel personally that this season maybe there are fewer questions to be asked about the top players, and the field is a lot tougher?
LUCAS POUILLE: Once I will be able to beat several of them, I might be able to make a comment on this. I need to make more improvements to my game and see what happens.

Q. Did you practice after that short match?
LUCAS POUILLE: Yes. I went to practice for three quarters of an hour.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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