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May 29, 2017

Elise Mertens

Paris, France

E. MERTENS/D. Gavrilova

7-6, 1-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. Elise, the beginning of your match was difficult. She was playing very fast. Is it because you were nervous or is it because she put a lot of pressure on you?
ELISE MERTENS: Well, this was my first match here and, I have to say, it was an exceptional performance. I was down three to zero. After that, however, I started to feel great, and I gave my very best and I think I played as well as I could.

Q. Did you have to make some tactical adjustments? She's all over the place. How did you prepare and what did you do to adjust or did you just try to be yourself?
ELISE MERTENS: I think I wanted to be aggressive. Yeah, I think that's it, really, trying to be aggressive. I didn't really have a clear, structured plan in mind. I tried to serve well and especially, you know, successfully use my first serve as much as I could.

Q. So this is your first win at the French Open. At the end at the match point, you almost were in disbelief, like, I did it. How did you feel?
ELISE MERTENS: It's incredible. I had no words. I never thought I, you know, would do this. I played her three weeks ago and, yeah, I'm just very happy.

Q. I apologize. I came in late. Maybe you answered this question before. In your career, I think this must be a very meaningful moment.
ELISE MERTENS: Yes. This is maybe the biggest win ever because we are in a Grand Slam tournament. So, right there, it's just really important. And, of course, I'm going to do my very best for the next matches as well.

Q. The draw is very open. Is that something you have talked about with other players? You know, are some players saying, Hey, we could make it to the fourth round? The fifth round? Is that something you share?
ELISE MERTENS: Not really, not really. You know, whether you're in the top 10, top 50, at this point I think we're all here and we have to play.

Q. She got very nervous at the end of the first set. She threw her racquet, and you seemed to be in perfect control. What is the little trick to keep things under control? What did you do?
ELISE MERTENS: I think I used the towel just for a minute during the breaks to sort of, you know, hide my face.

Q. What would you say is the hardest? Is it to forget you're in a Grand Slam tournament, or is it to forget that you have your relatives and a lot of Belgium fans who are there to support you? Is it the match you have to sort of not think of or is it all the people who are there expecting something to happen?
ELISE MERTENS: As far as I'm concerned, I love having people who are out there to support me, my fans as well as relatives. Playing here is great. It's like playing at home. So, yeah, that's been very positive.

Q. Just to come back to what you said about the towel which you put on your head after the first set because she decided to spend some time out of the court. What happened after that? Because in the second set you were down 6-1. How would you explain that?
ELISE MERTENS: Well, in the second set, she played very well. I really put all my energy in the first set. So I was a little out of energy at that point in the second set, but I was able to charge my batteries and, yeah.

Q. I have the impression that at turning points, important moments of the match, you were in control and you clearly felt like you were able to take the lead. You were sort of on top of things. Would you say that this is maybe your strength? You know, finishing off a match that important with so much authority? Is that your strength?
ELISE MERTENS: The first match point is clearly superimportant, especially mentally, I would say. Again, I did my very best. I tried to play, you know, aggressively. I was down 4-3, and then I started to play more aggressively and, yeah, it pays off.

Q. Are you going to celebrate your victory?

Q. What can you tell us about your next opponent Hogenkamp?
ELISE MERTENS: I don't know her very well. We shall see. At this point, I don't have, you know, a very good idea of who she is. Obviously, she made it through the quals so...

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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