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June 9, 2018

Pierre-Hugues Herbert

Nicolas Mahut

Paris, France


6-2, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. Congratulations. A question for Pierre. Is it more intense or less intense than the Davis Cup?
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: First of all, Nicolas can answer the question. Although he didn't play that time, he has won a Davis Cup, so I'd like him to answer.

NICOLAS MAHUT: I didn't know we were going to talk about that.

PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: It's different than what we lived in Davis Cup. The team was bigger, larger. Here it's more a story of myself and Nico, and the Davis Cup was very high pressure. It was a real relief. Here is just pleasure and real pleasure.

NICOLAS MAHUT: I'm waiting for the second question with impatience. (Laughter.)

Q. Nico, you closed the loop since 2013. It's finished, over, you have dried the tears. We don't talk about it.
NICOLAS MAHUT: It's still going to be a great memory, but as I had said after the semifinal, I wanted to see you again in a different state of mind. And you had shared with me, that it had been really painful in 2013, because I thought it was my only chance of winning Roland Garros.

Thanks to Pierre-Hugues, we are here five years after. I'm smiling, and I can tell you there is a real difference between losing in the finals and winning a final.

So here it's really 100% pleasure. We are in front of you trying to explain what we are feeling, but it's almost too late. The emotion is difficult to tell. What we lived, we won the match point, and the two, three minutes afterwards, when we try to explain it, it's already too late. It's almost indescribable. It's just utter happiness.

And it's funny because before the tournament you were asking me the question, is it difficult between us? We have had difficult times, indeed. It has been complicated at the end of the last season, at beginning of the new year.

Because we are close, because we love each other, we were able to overcome these difficult times, and we answered in the best possible way this week.

Q. You're French, so Roland is totally different from Wimbledon and US Open, but can you compare now with what you have experienced for your first Grand Slam victory? It's always something particular with respect to what you have lived today.
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: It's certain that the first title is always very special. But to tell the truth, the feelings I felt is almost like the first, because it's at home. Roland Garros is "the" tournament. When you're a French guy, you want to win it. You dream of winning such a tournament.

We were more thinking about the singles tournament. But winning the doubles title, it's as important. And winning at home, there is nothing better in terms of feelings.

Today we were a bit frightened. We didn't want to miss that occasion. And we are very proud of having won the title, having offered a victory to the crowd which stayed for the finals. And to have offered a victory to the 110 guests we have taken with us.

NICOLAS MAHUT: The first is incredible because I had lost finals in Roland, I had lost in the finals in Australia, and we said that we have to win this one. So it was really important. I have been waiting for it for 15 years.

Wimbledon, it was my dream to win Wimbledon. So it was more than an objective. I was achieving my dream, winning on the central court of Wimbledon.

And here, of course, the crowd, the family, Roland, what it represents, it's really different. But emotions are similar. It's difficult to compare.

But I'm happy that Mika can't say, "I'm the only one with three Grand Slams."

Q. There was a massive crowd, which is very rare. Although I'm an old observer, it's very rare. Then Nathanael came down racing. Was it not more difficult to go down the stands? Did you plan something with your wife about that? Did you live all you wanted to live in the few minutes?
NICOLAS MAHUT: I'm a father, and my kid was asking me for two days, On the central court, how can I reach the court? And we will find a solution, I told him. But if you lose, he told me, I won't come down.

I knew that they had found a possibility. I didn't know if he was going to go through the locker room or the players' entrance. I knew he was going to find a way.

These two, three minutes, when we hugged with Pierre-Hugues and then my child arrives on the court, I felt really blessed. I'm really fulfilled. I don't think I can achieve something or live something bigger.

PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: Maybe winning the Davis Cup?

NICOLAS MAHUT: But I have already won it.

PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: Okay. Well, winning it a second time, then.

Q. A question for Nicolas. You described your semifinal as a difficult moment. How were the feelings on the court today?
NICOLAS MAHUT: I felt much better. All the physical problems had disappeared. Yesterday was a bit better. Here I just had to manage a bit of pain, and the fact of hearing not so well.

So it was almost perfect. I know that I had good news yesterday. Everything will come to normal again. It will be just a question of three, four weeks, and then it will be just a good memory.

PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: A good memory, really?

Q. Now you have to win the Australian Open?
NICOLAS MAHUT: Well, first we are going to enjoy our victory. Of course it's the last which we still don't have. But the older I become, the more I want to savor these moments.

Before I was thinking already of the next one, but here I want to enjoy.

PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: Normally it's after five minutes of winning a tournament he says, Okay, well, in two weeks it's Queen's, and here I want to congratulate you. Because you haven't said anything yet. You're just enjoying.

NICOLAS MAHUT: Yes, indeed.

PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: I know that tomorrow morning I will have a message.

NICOLAS MAHUT: Well, I will let you rest two or three days.

Q. Could you talk about the difficult moments between you and how you overcame them? Without telling all the secrets, could you elaborate what was the object of the debate and what was the compromise you found?
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: To be honest, personally, I felt no very difficult moments between us. Of course, it was a difficult situation to manage, but overall it was between us. Everything went fine.

But what was difficult was around us, because many people were talking, and you have to question yourself. But very sincerely, maybe Nicolas will have a different answer, but personally, between us, nothing has changed.

When we arrived at this Davis Cup match, we were there for the team, for the captain. He makes his decisions. This decision was very difficult for us, but it didn't change anything. Nico was not jealous. If I had not played and Nico had played, I wouldn't have been jealous.

So what was the most difficult to manage was you, the journalists, people around us, and that's it.

NICOLAS MAHUT: What was difficult is that we were a team in the team. And so on that final, our team was broken down and it was difficult. We were supposed to play together, and then I had to play with Julien. You all know this story as much as we do.

So indeed it was quite complicated. But it's because we get along very well, because we love each other, that we talk to each other that we discussed about that. It was difficult, these matches in the Davis Cup. The first match afterwards was not easy.

And then gradually we had to, well, spend time together, to make friends again. What was really difficult is that around us we were hearing a lot of comments. And you were talking about that before the tournament. You were hearing rumors -- that was difficult -- that maybe we would be playing with different partners.

We never thought that, because we know each other very well. We are pretty sure of what we want. We want to share things together.

And today we are very happy to be in front of you and to have shown on the court that we are really very strong as a team but also in friendship. That's enabled us to find a way to success again.

Q. Congratulations. Is it easy to have 110 invitations for guests?
NICOLAS MAHUT: We have to thank Guy and the tournament. Normally it's not possible. But here they made an exception and the effort because it was a final with French team in Roland. We have to thank them.

But we had to say no to some people we would have liked to be here, but it was not possible.

So it gave us a lot of energy to see this box full and to have so much support from the crowd. It really adds a lot of pleasure.

Q. To avoid reliving what you lived in the finals, would it be possible to say to Yann, Either we play together or we don't play?
NICOLAS MAHUT: Well, try to say that and you'll see how he will react.

PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: As I was saying earlier, unfortunately we are at the disposal of the team. When you're in a Davis Cup, it's not possible. It's not the same as when you're playing on the tour. Here we are playing for a country, for a captain maybe who will be asking Nico to play with another partner, and we will have to accept it.

But I hope we have showed the captain that we could be a very good option.

NICOLAS MAHUT: Yes, you're right.

Q. I know that you can't demand from a captain, but it has consequences for you for the rest of the year. There are collateral effects.
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: Yes, but there were not so many collateral damage. But indeed it was difficult, especially Nicolas had a difficult time. But we rebuilt our team and this made us stronger. Nico didn't like it, and I would have had the same reaction if I would have been left aside.

And so we were six in the team, and we knew that two players would be left aside. But we knew that being selected in Lille for this title, we knew we were part of six people and only four would be playing, and that two players would be on the bench and it would be difficult for them. It's part of the deal when you're in a Davis Cup team.

When you play in the Masters, we know that your place is guaranteed if we have enough points. But when you play in Davis Cup, we know that it is the captain who decides, and we trust him and he makes the decision.

Q. Beyond your box, which was totally full, were you surprised that the central court was almost full at 8:00 p.m.?
NICOLAS MAHUT: It was a fantastic surprise. Because in 2013, if I remember correctly, there was a half crowd. The ladies final lasted even longer. And here I was saying to myself, if, well, it lasts three sets, people will leave. So it relieved a bit of the stress.

It was a beautiful surprise playing on the central court. I don't know if it was almost full or what, but we had a feeling that they were really present. We were hearing "Allez les Bleus" and "La Marseillaise" at the end.

These are things I will never forget.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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