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January 6, 2018

Gael Monfils

Doha, Qatar

G. MONFILS/A. Rublev

6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: We'll start with English questions.

Q. Finally, four times. How does it feel to finally have won this title?
GAEL MONFILS: I'm very happy. I like this tournament so much, you know. I always come back. And I was very close and finally get it. So I'm just very happy and very proud.

Q. Just talk about obviously last season you had a lot of injuries. I think you pulled out of six Masters tournaments and everything. How does it feel to be healthy and start the year like this?
GAEL MONFILS: Very happy. It's been a while -- it's been a year and I was waiting for that moment to get back in shape.

It was in 2016, I was almost on my top and I had a very good year, finish 6, and couldn't really defend my chances in 2017. Definitely, I haven't played so much in '17, 100 percent. And I had a long rest and come back strong in 2018 was a goal. I wouldn't say I was expecting to win the first tournament, but I'm more than happy that I did.

Q. You were 19 when you played the first final here in 2006. Today your opponent was 20 year old. Any feeling of déjà vu or something that you had in mind playing such an opponent?
GAEL MONFILS: I think he's young. He's coming. He's going to be very strong. He had very solid end of the year last year. We could see already that he could beat the top players for sure.

I mean, for sure he's going to be definitely another finals and maybe win it. I have no doubt about it.

Q. You're a great player to watch. The crowd loves you. The way you played, you have a very athletic game. Sometimes you tend to get injured quite often. Have you and the team worked out any strategy on how to prevent injuries in the future, work on something different maybe in training or during the match? Are you going to work on that?
GAEL MONFILS: Not really. You know, I think I get injured because I'm unlucky about stuff. I think I'm just working the way I am.

I mean, God gave me such great abilities and sometime that's a strength and sometime it's not a strength. So it's just the way it is. I just pray every day that He gave me strength for all the year, and then I see what He give me.

Q. Can I just ask, after this performance, has it raised your expectations for the Australia?
GAEL MONFILS: Be completely different. As I say, it's a nice week. Everything was well. Been very lucky in some matches. Australia is definitely something else. It's a Slam. I played quite a lot. I know it's going to be tough because I won't be seed. It's been a while since I played without being seeded. It's always an advantage in a Slam. It's going to be interesting to see the draw, where I be. I know I can have a very tough first round.

So I just expect a tough first round. But I think I prepare. I will be well prepared to have a great tournament there.

Q. I'm just wondering on your thoughts, this is the last year they will have 32 seeds at the Slams. They will go back to 16 after that. What are your thoughts on that?
GAEL MONFILS: I have no idea. Actually, I just learn it now. So I didn't know. It will be even tougher, you know. So I will prepare it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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