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May 31, 2018

Pierre-Hugues Herbert

Paris, France

P. HERBERT/J. Chardy

2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 9-7

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. What did you feel you had to change after the first set? I get the impression you came back to your actual game and your style.
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: Well, first of all, I had to start better than in the first set, because what put me in a tight spot was my first serve. And then I feel he really played well in the first set. He didn't let me play. He was attacking. I didn't have time to organize my game.

He was imposing his own. Then he played a bad game and gave me the break, and that's when I really was able to enter, to get into the match.

But I didn't change many things. He played a little less well. I was a bit more aggressive. I served a bit better. I varied a little bit more. Instead of hitting strongly, I tried to be a bit more precise and give it a bit more spin.

Q. You have always been classified as a serve and volleyer. You didn't do this so much. Has it become so impossible on clay nowadays, or is it because you want to organize your game differently?
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: Well, first of all, we are on clay and this is important, because it's very difficult to serve and volley. It has to be very hot, but it is very hot, but I don't think the balls are that quick.

And then in modern tennis, it's even more difficult than in the past to serve and volley. You have to really be very good in the game to be able to do it throughout the game.

It's difficult to do it all the time. You have to vary. So it's both the tour and the conditions. And I also tried to vary, diversify my game a little bit more, and to be a more holistic player.

Q. What happened in your head when he saved four match points and equaled the score every time? What happened in your mind?
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: Well, in the fifth set I was in a state when I honestly wasn't thinking too much. I was playing point after point. Honestly, for these four match points, I have almost nothing to reproach me. I went up to the net once, and he played very well, these points.

Q. Already three matches within this tournament. How are you physically? What advice could you give to your partner in the double to face your opponent?
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: Well, for the first part of your question, physically I can feel it, because I had to play three matches, including a double, so I had to recover.

Then it's true that I'll try to talk to Nicolas and ask him whether it's possible to win a bit faster than what he tried to do in Wimbledon.

But he's a player I know rather well. I played him twice, and I lost to him, including once in Roland Garros on the Suzanne Lenglen. So we'll try to prepare the match with Benjamin and Fabrice as best we can, and especially there is a double tomorrow.

Q. You're playing John Isner in the next match. What do you expect?
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: Well, I expect someone who is really a server. I might surprise you, but I think he's going to serve well. I expect a match with maybe rallies that are not too long but is very hard mentally, because when you have someone who serves well, you have to be there mentally.

I'll have to be able to recharge my batteries before I get to that match, because once again, I know I won't be a favorite, but I'll have to battle as I did today against a player who plays slightly differently from Jeremy.

Q. I come back to my service and volley. You did one at 1-3, Love-30.
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: Yes, I remember it. He returned in my feet, and I volleyed -- well, I did a nice volley. It was an important one, let's say.

Q. My question, in fact, was: I wonder what was in your head to serve and volley on a second ball? Did you have time to think? Did you think, Well, in view of this situation, if all is lost, I'll do it?
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: No, I didn't think if all is lost. My idea was to get his backhand. But he moved and played a forehand and returned very well, and it was really my instinct that played.

I didn't panic, and I didn't do many things with my body and my racquet, but the ball was nice.

And it was a most important point, because I believe if he had won that point, that he might have gotten the fifth set.

Q. Do you have a preference for this third round in terms of court? You played the first round on the 18. Now on Court No. 1.
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: I believe I'm not part of the players who are lucky enough to decide where they play. Well, if we can avoid 18 and 1, why not? Because the more space you have, the better.

But I don't think I will decide on the court where I'm going to play. If I can, I would like not to play on court No. 18, because he played there twice and he served well there.

Q. He would like to play again on No. 18.
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: Well, yes, I guess it's a good court.

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