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June 2, 2018

David Goffin

Paris, France


6-7, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. Four match points. Which was the most difficult to save, if there was any? They were all the same? Second, I don't know if I can ask another question, Fognini, what do you expect about that match?

Q. Cecchinato. Sorry. Because I remember you had that problem in Rome, 5-Love, vomiting, and then 7-2, 7-5, et cetera.
DAVID GOFFIN: What was the first question?

Q. Four match points.
DAVID GOFFIN: Yes, four match points. No, I was just focused on what I had to do. I just had to control the point and to be aggressive, because I knew if I give him only one opportunity to take the point, he will take it with his forehand. So I had to be really aggressive, and that's what I did.

From the first serve -- I think I put a lot of first serve on match points. Then I took the control of the rallies with my forehand and I make him run a lot, left and right. And then he missed.

But, yeah. I just wanted to have the control of the point and be aggressive.

And then for Cecchinato, of course, he's a great player. He's improving. He won a lot of matches. He won the first title in Budapest.

Yeah, he's here with a lot of confidence now, fourth round, he has nothing to lose. Next match tomorrow. And he beat Carreno Busta, great win.

Of course, we played against each other in Rome. It was a tough match, but, yeah, I had a little problem in the first set, but I found solutions to win the match. So it's good. It's good that I won the match with that kind of problem -- was not a problem -- but, yeah, I found solution to win that match.

Yeah, I will try to do the same, hopefully feel 100% tomorrow, but I'm sure I will be feeling great.

Q. You have played 3 hours and 58 minutes, I think, in two days. Do you think versus Cecchinato, if you have to play tomorrow, you may be tired? Normally you recover very easily or sometimes you have troubles for that? Is an advantage for him?
DAVID GOFFIN: Maybe, we will see tomorrow morning, but I think I will recover very well.

But the most important tonight is to sleep well, because I think physically I'm feeling great. I'm not feeling tired. But mentally, I think, it was a -- I waste a lot of energy today on the court, even if I only play maybe two hours yesterday and two hours today. You know, to play in front of that kind of stadium, people, and against you, you waste a lot of energy mentally, but physically there is absolutely no problem today.

Yeah, hopefully I can rest my head and be ready mentally tomorrow.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. So this is a French problem. We have no match in this fourth round, and it's the first time in this kind of situation. Maybe Pierre-Hugues will come and save us. We have a gap in a generation, and we feel that the relief team is not yet there.
DAVID GOFFIN: I think that it happens. There have been a lot of injuries. Jo, Gaël, who has lost a number of ranks, he played against the top 10 in the second round. And when you're seeded, you have a better draw. But there is Lucas, also, who can play very well.

But there are good surprises. Pierre-Hugues, for instance, that can play nicely against Isner, he has a card to play. He beat his opponent, which is not an easy one.

And on grass everybody is coming back, and there are nice performances. Jo can play well on grass, as Richard. But he played against Nadal, who is practically unbeatable at the moment. When you look at who he's played, who all the French players have played, I think it's a bit logical.

Q. This match over two days, can you explain when it suspended what you feel. And you start back today and it's a new match with a completely different audience and different conditions. You have a hard start. And then things tip over. So what were your feelings in the beginning of the match?
DAVID GOFFIN: Yesterday was a long first set, and then I started playing a bit better in the second set and find my level and start leading until the match was suspended.

Last night I was feeling well, and it's never good to stop when you're playing well and have to come back the next day. Since the conditions had changed today, it was sunny, the shots were heavier, and I had some problems.

At the beginning of the match today, he played very well, strong balls, heavy ones. He came back playing very good tennis. Gradually, I had to find a way to control the rallies.

I had a good return. I got the break back. And when we were 5-All, I managed to conclude the last set and start well on the fifth.

It was a match in two stages with a very different public, and today it was much more supportive.

Q. This was a mental fight, and on match points, you really had to try hard. Was it frustrating to see that you had to fight for it?
DAVID GOFFIN: No, I expected it today. I knew he was going to give it everything, and he would start well from the beginning, which he did. He played very heavy points, very deep, and I never got the opportunity to win a rally. And when he had the opportunity to do so, he would complete the point. So good for him.

I managed to turn things around and impose my game, and I'm very proud to have won today.

Q. Gaël was saying that he used the public, the support of the public to give him courage and in his favor. Did you feel this? Did you feel during the serves that there were disturbing noises? And how did you manage that?
DAVID GOFFIN: It wasn't easy. I tried to remain very concentrated, in my bubble, but he was asking for the response of the public on many occasions, and it wasn't easy.

But I wasn't focusing on that. When you serve and you hear people shout, it's not great, but there was a lot of very strong atmosphere. It was full. And it's nice to play in full stadium. But it's not easy. It requires more concentration to remain in the match, to serve. And once again, these are really points of references in your career when you manage to turn matches like that around.

Q. We really were scared that it might be the end of it for you. What impresses everybody is how calm you appeared to be, from the first point to the last. Can you manage inside to be as calm?
DAVID GOFFIN: Well, for instance, at a match point, I try to play it as if it were any shot, any normal point. I knew that I was playing well at the end of the fourth, and it was very close. I could come back. And I thought that if I really hung in, I can manage to turn this situation around at 5-All. And I tried to save all the match points with courage, giving it my all, and I got it. I got through.

And I thought if it didn't get through, well, it will happen the next time.

Q. There was a very tight moment. Did you think it was difficult with Gaël after the warning?
DAVID GOFFIN: No, I saw him go to the umpire, who told him to play. Now that he had got his warning, I thought that he had to play. I thought it was game point, and we won't go into explanations now, we'll go into explanations in the changeovers, because yesterday he was going too fast and today he was going too slow, and the umpire gave him a warning. And that was it.

Q. You often say that you have to concentrate on players from your side of the court. What about Gaël? Is it more difficult?
DAVID GOFFIN: I know Gaël very well, and I know how he can act on court. Sometimes he uses the public. Sometimes he's tired.

It's very hard to manage, because here in the French Open, he does everything to win. It's very hard to get him out of the tournament. But I knew this in advance. I tried to remain calm. And today it was paying. Because he could have won. But this time it played in my favor.

Q. You say that this is a reference match. Where would you put it among all the Grand Slam matches you have played?
DAVID GOFFIN: I don't really know, but it's a win to play against Gaël in his country, facing a public that is 100% against you, and that kind of an atmosphere where it's physically tough, where it's tough on your nerves, and trying to remain in the match when you're 5 to 1. And it's really good to win a match like that.

Q. You say the public is against you, but it's happened that they are in favor of Belgian players. They come to help you. Would you like the public to help you later on in your next match?
DAVID GOFFIN: Yes, I hope that I will have more support from the audience. But for us Belgians, when we come to Roland Garros, there is always a great warmth of the fans. The organizers knew that there would be quite a few Belgians in my court and in the adjacent courts.

But I think that although all the stadium was the majority against me, there were a lot of Belgians, and I think that -- well, I hope that this will be the case in the next match.

Q. Your next opponent is Marco Cecchinato. How will you be facing the next match, the fourth round against him?
DAVID GOFFIN: Well, I'm going to approach it as usual, but I think the key will be to rest and come in with the same energy I had today, to remain -- keep my calm and try to impose my game, remain in my bubble and focus on what I have to do.

I hope that my mental condition will be very good tomorrow, and I hope I won't be too tired. I know that physically I'm in good shape. I'm confident. And I just want to recover mentally after a match as today where there were ups and downs.

But I'm going to prepare it as usual. I'm going to try and impose my game. I know that I have weapons against him, but I know that he has nothing to lose, so I will have to be pretty solid.

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