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April 21, 2017

David Goffin

Monte Carlo, Monaco

D. GOFFIN/N. Djokovic

6-2, 3-6, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. What was the feeling on the court? Everyone was for you. Because you are the underdog or for other reasons?
DAVID GOFFIN: I don't know why, but the atmosphere on the court was really nice. It was really, really special match.

To come back from a break down in the third set, then to finish with a long game, some match points, it was, yeah, really excited at the end.

It was tough to finish the match, but I'm really happy the way I finished it. Yeah, it was a great match, great feeling, great atmosphere.

It's, for sure, the best win of my career.

Q. Obviously he had beaten you five times before. Was that going through your mind when you had those matchpoints? How did you keep your concentration?
DAVID GOFFIN: Yeah, sometimes he's playing too good when I played him few times before. It was always tough. He was always playing his best tennis. It was few times on hard court, his best surface. So it was tough.

But this one, it was little bit different. You know, on clay maybe I have more time to stay with him during the rally. That's why maybe I'm feeling more comfortable against him on clay courts.

The last one I played against him at the French Open, first round on clay, it was also a good match, but I was not strong as today, as for the moment.

Yeah, I always believed in myself during the match. At the end, yeah, I finished with a break. It was a great match.

It doesn't matter how you played before against him. You just have to do your best, give everything on the court. Maybe once, like today, it's going well.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. The third set was incredible. Did you surprise yourself?
DAVID GOFFIN: In the second set and the beginning of the third, he was moving me around. He was able to open the court for himself. I was feeling I was not into it. He was more solid. I was running everywhere. I was not in the court any more.

I knew I had to move forward. It was going to be colder. I really needed to hit hard so that the ball would move better. I tried to dictate the points a bit more, because he was doing that until that moment. He had a point for 3-Love. I needed to change something in the beginning of the third set. This is what I did, and it paid off.

Q. It's one of the greatest victories of your career. Is it tough to digest this and be ready for tomorrow?
DAVID GOFFIN: I now have more experience than in the past. I am better able to manage these matches and these victories. I know there's a lot of emotion. You lose a lot of energy in a match like that one.

Now I feel good and I'm ready to keep going. I think if I play the way I have been, I have my chances and I can stay in the tournament. Whatever happens, I think it's going to be all right.

I'm not saying I'm going to win tomorrow, but I'll be able to give it all.

Q. It's not easy to change tactics the way you did against a player like Djokovic.
DAVID GOFFIN: Yes, as I said, I tried to move forward, stay on the lines. I was feeling the balls were heavier. It was colder. I was playing shorter. This didn't give Novak trouble, so I tried to change it. I wanted to break him.

There was a first game where it almost worked. I had four or five breakpoints in a row at 3-2. Once we changed sides, I continued to play in the same way, and it paid off in the next service game.

I knew that if I was able to play that way until the end, I would have a chance. I thought it was a good tactic. Indeed, it paid off.

Q. Many seeded players lost. First, are you surprised or not? Secondly, tomorrow you're going to play someone who has a similar game to yours.
DAVID GOFFIN: For the first question, I'm not really surprised. It's the first tournament on clay for many players. There was one last week, but...

Sometimes it's difficult to adapt immediately to the surface. It's a very different surface. You need to slide. You need to work, to be able to adapt. It's normal that there are upsets in the tournament.

We saw Murray having difficulties, Berdych, Cilic. They were in trouble when they were playing the real clay-courters. In a tournament like this, everything can happen.

For your second question, I don't believe I can be compared to Lucas because he's much more powerful than I am. He's able to play hard from very far behind the baseline. It's difficult to compare both styles.

Q. With your good results, playing so well, does it make you hungrier?
DAVID GOFFIN: Yes, it makes me hungrier and more confident. I feel I can do it. I can succeed.

I don't know if I'm going to beat Lucas, but at least I feel confident. I hope I will be able to repeat the kind of good match as many times as possible.

Q. (Question regarding the last time a Belgian player was in the final.)
DAVID GOFFIN: Whatever the opponent tomorrow, it's going to be a big fight. I'm ready for that. I feel good physically. I will try to do what a Belgian player did 70 years ago.

Q. People were cheering for you.
DAVID GOFFIN: I would like to thank the crowd because I saw Belgian flags in the stands. I could see flags on my right. I would like to thank them.

Q. If you play Nadal tomorrow, is that the ultimate test?
DAVID GOFFIN: It's the biggest test you can have on clay. He likes to play here. He won nine times. He likes to play on clay anyway. It's going to be very complicated. He runs all over the place. On clay, he can be a real wall.

But I do have my own weapons. I have a good cross-court backhand. I can try to dictate the points, not let him play. I saw today that I could be even more aggressive than usual. I will need to repeat that if I want to win matches.

Q. Do you feel he's different now, he's not playing as before?
DAVID GOFFIN: I think maybe he's not as good as he used to be. In spite of that at 2-1, on two breakpoints, he was able to win 10 points in a row. About his serve, until 6-3, 2-Love, he was playing an extremely high level. It was a good Djokovic.

I don't know what he thinks when he plays his matches. Is he just focusing? When you are playing Djoko at his best, even if you're up, you're not sure he will not come back.

Q. And about the light?
DAVID GOFFIN: There was one side with the sun being so low that was really difficult. I think it was at 5-All in the third set where I had to serve with the sun. I thought if I'm able to hold my serve on this side, I will be able to make it. I was able to hold that difficult game. I was able to break him after that.

These moments were tough. I couldn't see the ball well. But I needed to hang in there. It was tough.

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