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June 4, 2017

Gael Monfils

Paris, France

G. MONFILS/R. Gasquet

7-6, 5-7, 4-3 [Ret.]

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. Obviously not the way you'd want to go through, but how do you feel you played? How do you feel to be through?
GAËL MONFILS: It was very tricky. You know, it's never a good feeling to win with a retirement from your friend. It's never easy also to get back the next day for the same match. I'm just happy about the win, and then it was kind of tough to handle it mentally the game today.

Q. Your next opponent is going to be Stan. It's a long time since you played against him. You know him very well. What's the biggest change he went through in six years since your last match?
GAËL MONFILS: Well, Stan is now a three slam winner. I think he's definitely one of the best players on this planet. I think he just playing super big. He's physically a monster. Got a lot of matches under his belt, a lot of confidence.

Definitely everything change since I played him. At the end he's still the same. Is still Stan. You know, I know him a long time. We practice quite a lot together. We are friends. You know, it's going to be a good one.

Q. If you had a choice of court to play, will it be Chatrier or Lenglen for you?
GAËL MONFILS: Well, I know tomorrow I gonna play on Chatrier, so I won't even pronounce my choice.

Q. Is there a big difference between the two courts for you?
GAËL MONFILS: A little bit, yeah. They are not the same. I think the center court is slower than the Suzanne Lenglen.

Q. In terms of atmosphere, is there one you prefer over the other or is it different?
GAËL MONFILS: Depends, you know. I think now at this stage, you know, center or Suzanne, crowd are behind me. Maybe at the beginning of the tournament, I think, you know, Court 1 is great experience, good spirits. Suzanne also a little bit more and the center a bit less.

But at that stage, you know, I think the center is the best to play.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. I had the impression you were not always physically well during the match. Was it tension or some problems?
GAËL MONFILS: A bit of everything. Yesterday I was really into my match. It's never easy the following day. I felt different. Today I felt less good physically today. I didn't recover that well.

And then after that, I hurt myself on the set point a little. And then after that, the match was really going in all directions. The conditions were tougher, more windy. He got injured, and it got on my nerves because, you know, Richard, when he goes down, he's totally relaxed, he plays 10 times better. And then I couldn't have my winners physically to try and smother him.

I was so frustrated. And then after that, frankly, I saw he couldn't really run, and I thought with time, when I manage to relax, as well, because, you know, I think in between 18 to 21 minutes, it took me 18 to 21 minutes to feel better.

So all this means that the match was going in all directions and very frustrating, I think. For him, of course, because he was injured, but for me, as well, because I was not in my match. I had good sensations before, and I didn't have them today, so I'm quite frustrated as I got off the court.

Q. You are going to be playing against Stan Wawrinka, you know him well. No. 1, how would you describe your relationship with Stan? How could you set aside all of that? You played against Richard today and you're quite close to these players. What are you going to do on D-Day?
GAËL MONFILS: Well, with Stan, we are good friends, he and I. We have known each other for a long, long while. I live in Switzerland now and we meet more and more often. We are not just friends on the courts. We are friends full stop, and therefore we have close relations.

I can't even say -- our coaches are friends so we are even closer then. And when we are on the courts, it's a different thing, a different story. We have been used to that. Since we have been young we have been playing against each other. It's even tougher when you are younger but we have gained more experience so it's easier.

Q. What do you like in him, more specifically, from Stan?
GAËL MONFILS: What do you mean?

Q. I don't know. In life, in general, is he a good friend? We have the impression that he gets on the nerves of the French tennis world.
GAËL MONFILS: I don't know. We get on well, Stan and I in life. I like him very much. We go and have drinks together. We like many things. It's a private relationship. What I like, it's not something I'm going to tell you, but I like him very much.

Q. What are the problems, given the backhand, the backhand problems?
GAËL MONFILS: Oh, his backhand? Well, it's like Richard, both of them -- well, Stan more particularly, have crosscourt backhand shots and strokes, and therefore, the opponent has to run out of the lines, and it's along the lines that he sends his points and balls at full speed. So it's a risky zone for a neutral ball that you play against Stan.

Q. Do you think that physically you're strong enough to beat Stan tomorrow, or is it big question mark or is it something else that's going to be important tomorrow?
GAËL MONFILS: Interesting question. I could tell you I don't even know. I don't want to ask myself the question. I will see tomorrow when I'm on the court.

Q. You're saying physically he's a monster. Well, everybody says that you have the same reputation. You're one of the best athletes in the circuit. Who is the best of you physically?
GAËL MONFILS: It all depends. It all depends what you're talking about. Well, of course, if we have athletics to fight for, I'll be beating him on many of these events.

But otherwise, on the court, on the tennis court, I think he's a lot stronger than I am for the time being.

Q. You're saying stronger. What do you mean? Powerful? More resistance?
GAËL MONFILS: Well, he's won three Grand Slams. It's everything. He's stronger than I am. Not just physically but mentally, as well. He's stronger than I am.

Q. I'd like to know something. Richard retired. Would you say this is something positive? Because then your match was shorter. Or is it not, for you, before you play against Wawrinka?
GAËL MONFILS: Well, of course, it's a bit positive, but then nervously I'm so tired. It's so bothering to be that tired. I was so nervous. It's not good tiredness, you know. I'm tired, but my muscles are all tense, and I was all tense. So it's a good thing to stop the match earlier, but then, you know, the match is just over.

What's not really that good is in a Grand Slam you usually have one day off to relax, to unwind. I didn't have that. I hope that tomorrow I will be able to mentally recover.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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