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June 2, 2018

Pierre-Hugues Herbert

Paris, France

J. ISNER/P. Herbert

7-6, 6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. After such a match, what is your predominant feeling?
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: I couldn't really tell. A mixture of disappointment and pleasure, because after all, as I was coming here, I have the greatest job in the world. You're playing in front of an audience that applauds you in a fabulous atmosphere.

But in hindsight, I wasn't close to winning at all. I had one break point. And even against such a player, I never came even close to winning.

It's really sad, because it was also in the French Open in Roland Garros.

Q. Do you feel that since you're playing in front of a French audience it can recharge your batteries, but it can also be negative, as well?
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: No, I don't think it's negative at all. It's just a shame that there are no French players and the five French players lost after the third round.

Q. I think that Isner plays very well, but the fact that your court was changed, wouldn't it have been better to play on a larger court with more space for returning the point?
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: No comment. I'd rather not talk about that.

Q. Just to come back on the French players. It's the first time that there is no French male tennis players playing since 2007. After the preparation and Tsonga's injury, was that the reason or was it some other reason?
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: I wouldn't know what to answer, either. Jo was used to playing the second week, so the fact that he didn't play here obviously gave us less chances. But even though Gaël didn't play well, he still went up to match point today. He wasn't far from beating David. As for Richard, he didn't have the best third round of the draw.

As for me, it's my best result here. So it's really cool to make it to the third round, although I was hoping for more.

Gilles is coming back well, but in the ATP ranking, we're not as well-positioned as we were at one time in France. Obviously it's harder to reach the next round in that situation.

Q. Isn't it concerning that it's the second Grand Slam in which there are no French players in the tournament?
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: I'll let you do your job as journalists. We train every day. We try and work hard to progress. You should do your job. I'm not going go into that.

Q. Maybe the doubles you would have done without playing yesterday. Do you feel you weren't protected or listened to?
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: No, I think that we are listened to. I would dream, like any player, to play on Court 18, because it's a quick court for aggressive players. But playing John Isner on that court is not the best option. He is a great server, and he played extraordinarily well. Maybe either on Philippe Chatrier or on Suzanne Lenglen there wouldn't have been that much of a difference, but I would have liked to know how it would have worked.

Q. Sorry to come back to this, but you're the last Frenchman playing. Beyond the fact that there are no more French people left on the draw, tell us about the younger generation, because you speak to them. First of all, does it exist? And do you feel that they are capable, if that's the case, to be part of the draw in a tournament? Because so far they are not yet there.
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: Well, yes, there is a younger generation that have a good profile for some of them. They have done part of the work but compared to the golden generation that existed at a certain time, there are fewer of us. Jo, Richard, Gilles, Gaël, and some of them I'm forgetting, but today the younger players and the young generation, it isn't as great as that one.

But there are people. Calvin Hemery plays well. He's moving up the ranking. And there is another one, Quentin Halys, that is not very far away. Corentin Moutet. Now, how far will they get, it's hard to say, but they have potential.

Lucas, also, is moving up the ranking. And there are other ones. But clearly I'm not part of the younger ones. I must have forgotten some.

Q. Is John Isner, with his very particular profile, able to beat Nadal on court 18?
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: At the beginning of the tournament, when you think about who would have the biggest chance to beat Nadal, he's the one who comes to mind. He has such a strong game and so powerful that he can impose that on anybody on a good day.

But then Rafa can impose anything on anybody. So it's somebody who is not going to be easy to play, and he plays well.

But I don't think he's playing Nadal at the next round. It's Del Potro who is playing against Isner. So first of all, he has to overcome that match.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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