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May 29, 2017

Aljaz Bedene

Paris, France

A. BEDENE/R. Harrison

6-4, 6-0, 3-6, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

Q. Just your thoughts on the match.
ALJAZ BEDENE: I think the three sets I won I was really solid. The third set wasn't the best. Basically gave one game away too easily.

But, yeah, first set was tougher than expected. Second set I played really well. Yeah, basically, just the beginning of the third set wasn't good.

Q. When you won the second set so comfortably, did you feel that your concentration was going? Is that why you felt maybe you let a game loose?
ALJAZ BEDENE: No. Definitely the racquet was loose. I think that was the problem I've got. I mean, I changed it afterwards and I was better.

Yeah, I mean, not at all, because I knew he's going to fight, and he did. He actually came back strong after that second set, which I think he gave it away too easily.

But, yeah, it wasn't easy. I got a little bit frustrated after that. But then in the fourth set I came back strong, so it was good.

Q. You have had a lot of success on clay this year. Some have been minor tournaments, but was that part of the strategy to build up a clay game coming into Roland Garros? How has that changed your clay tennis?
ALJAZ BEDENE: Well, to be honest, I worked really hard in the preseason, and the way I'm playing now, it suits clay court. I'm using the body more. I'm more physical.

So, you know, I'm feeling great. My ball's heavier. Just using all the shots better now.

Q. With everything that went on off-court last year, do you feel you're in a far better place mentally now? Because you look confident out there. Are you happy with yourself, with your game generally, and the off-the-court stuff?
ALJAZ BEDENE: Yeah, it wasn't easy, but I had to say it to myself that I have to forget about the Davis Cup and focus on myself. You know, I'm 27 years old. I want to have a good career.

And, yeah, that time after March, basically started to play different tennis. And I'm good on the mental part, as well.

Q. Was there a set moment where you drew a line? Do you remember the moment when you said, Right, that's it now?
ALJAZ BEDENE: There was, yeah.

Q. Was that a family meeting or...
ALJAZ BEDENE: No, it was just me and my team. Yeah, so struggling a bit. Then I said, Okay, it's gone on for too long. I want to focus on myself.

Yeah, as I said, it worked.

Q. You might have been expecting Sock next round. You have Vesely instead.
ALJAZ BEDENE: I wasn't, no. I think Vesely can beat many good players on clay and, you know, it's best of five. I don't think Sock is the fittest. I think Vesely is really fit.

I know he won in three sets still, but the first two were tough. But I think he's a great player. I didn't think Sock is going to win.

But, you know, playing Vesely -- I played him once. I lost on clay. Great serve. He doesn't miss from the back. It's going to be a good match if I play well.

Q. I know you have talked a bit about Dan's comments before, but he said that you had moved back to Slovenia; is that correct?
ALJAZ BEDENE: Well, I've still have a house it England, in Welling. At the moment for the clay season I spent quite a lot of time in Slovenia. My fiancee said she wants to move back. She wants to have her career there.

You know, I'm traveling a lot, so it's not easy. But, you know, I do want to spend as much time as I can with her. But, yeah, I've still got a house there. My home is still there.

Q. If the Davis Cup thing doesn't work out, would you ever consider switching back to Slovenia for allegiance-wise, or do you see yourself representing Britain for the rest of your career?
ALJAZ BEDENE: Well, at the moment I'm representing Great Britain, but I do want to play Olympic Games. That's, you know, I think a dream for every athlete. I'll have to see on that what can be done.

But, yeah, at the moment I'm playing for GB.

Q. Potentially if you were to switch back to Slovenia you might be able to play in the Olympics?
ALJAZ BEDENE: I don't know what the rules are, really. I haven't checked that, no. I'm not thinking about that now.

Q. I think that would mean playing Davis Cup, as well, wouldn't it, for Slovenia?
ALJAZ BEDENE: I guess so, yeah, but I'm not thinking about that. I said Davis Cup is off the radar now.

Q. So with the Davis Cup situation, do you still think of yourself as a British player?
ALJAZ BEDENE: Well, I have always been known as Slovenian born. But, you know, I love Britain. I have spent quite a lot of time there. I'm enjoying it there. I can't wait for the grass season to start, although I'm not playing Queen's. But, you know, grass is British thing.

Yeah, I can't wait for that. But, yeah, I still feel Slovenian and British.

Q. What was the reason that you decided to go for Halle ahead of Queen's?
ALJAZ BEDENE: Purely business. My coach said it would probably be better to play that. And the field is really strong in Queen's, all great players there.

Q. If you want to play in Tokyo, in the Olympic Games there, you probably have to start thinking about it next year, will you?
ALJAZ BEDENE: I don't really know. I have no idea.

Q. You have to ask the ITF?
ALJAZ BEDENE: Again (smiling).

Q. You have to take some direction from somebody to find out?
ALJAZ BEDENE: Yeah. I mean, I'm not thinking about that. But, yeah, if it's next year, then next year, yeah. But, you know, I want to focus on myself now, more importantly.

Q. You mentioned earlier you said part of your thinking was you're 27 now. Is that the realization that perhaps you only have one more Olympics left? Is that why things are going to a head?
ALJAZ BEDENE: No, not really. I mean, I'm not thinking about the Olympic Games at the moment, although I want to play them. It's more I've got maybe five more years on the tour, and I want to use them well. I want to do everything right.

I don't think I have been doing great things so far, so that's why the preseason was that good. That's why many changes, many good changes happen.

Q. What do you think you could achieve, then? What do you think your top level could be ranking-wise?
ALJAZ BEDENE: Well, I think at the moment I'm playing maybe top 30 tennis. But obviously I want to go higher. If it's top 20, top 15, I will be very happy.

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