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August 9, 2017

Gael Monfils

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

G. MONFILS/K. Nishikori

6-7, 7-5, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

Q. Of all your memorable matches and victories that you've had, where does this rank, saving four match points in a row, winning the last six points of the tiebreak?
GAEL MONFILS: Well, it's a good victory for many reasons. I don't know where it stand, but it's big revenge. Because last year around that time I had the same thing actually against Kei. I was up 6-2 in the breaker in the Olympics in the quarterfinals and I lost the tiebreak. So I know exactly what he feels.

Actually last year, as well, a bit before, I played him at Miami Open. I had also five match points and I lose it 7-6 in the third.

I think it's three match in a row we had that we compete, and this one today was a little bit in my favor, so I'm more than happy. I'm more than happy because I fight through the toughness, because it was tough for me. It was a bit like a rollercoaster. It was a break in each set.

So it was just great to win.

Q. You mentioned all of the other matches you had with Kei, having that same pattern. Are you thinking that during the third set, that these matches with Kei are like this, or are you just focused on each point?
GAEL MONFILS: No, no, we just focus. I think we don't have time to think about it. Honestly, just compete and fight. The only thing about the thinking.

Q. You didn't seem to have any problems with your knees today.
GAEL MONFILS: Oh yeah? Well, it's exactly what I mean: when you win, people see what they want to see.

Today I was struggling with my knee. I think I was taped quite tight actually, like super heavy. I took some painkillers. I did a heavy rehab this morning.

So I don't think it was appropriate to say that today.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French, please.

Q. You were always behind in the second set and in the third set. How were you able to turn it around each time?
GAEL MONFILS: I needed courage and a lot of luck. Matches like this depend on luck also. As I said, in the second set, he started off better than I did. It took time for me to get into it after the first set. I was able to play at a higher level at 5-2 for him only. The same thing happened in the third set.

Now, for the last points, I needed to be brave and also have some luck - a lot of luck.

Q. So the key is to focus only on the present moment and not think about the score?
GAEL MONFILS: Well, what I need to think is that I shouldn't give up anything. At the moment I am not playing well. I didn't have good matches under my belt or else the match was tough but I lost it. I was not very lucky this season.

After 6-2, I was into the match, believing I could win. I was against the wind. I was running all around. I was really believing I could do it.

Q. (No microphone.)
GAEL MONFILS: I don't know if this is going to be a match I will look up to, but it's good to win.

As for my tennis level, I've been able to play a lot better than this before. This match will mainly help me to play better in the next match and to keep improving.

Q. Earlier you were saying this match could be a sort of revenge. Can you explain?
GAEL MONFILS: I played Kei in Miami last year. It was a very tough match. I had five match points in Miami, I believe. It was very intense. I was able not to convert the match points. Same thing in the third set tiebreaker.

I played him again in the Olympics, and the same thing happened. It was in the quarterfinals. You are trying to get a medal. Again, he was able to come through in the tiebreaker.

So with Kei, we always play tough matches. Today I was able to come through.

Q. We thought the crowd was supporting you. Did it help?
GAEL MONFILS: Honestly, it helped a lot. I had a lot of adrenaline and luck. There's one shot I tried at 7-6, 5-3, 30-All. I hit a lob, a winner. I remember at that time the crowd was very loud. It was crazy. After that, I was able to hit missiles with my forehand. It was great, and the crowd helped me a lot there.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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