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May 31, 2018

Elise Mertens

Paris, France

E. MERTENS/H. Watson

6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French, please.

Q. It's been a long time, but you still remember your match, I'm sure. There were ups and downs, a lot of positive things. How did you experience that?
ELISE MERTENS: It wasn't my best match, that's for sure. This is the way it is. There are days like today and yesterday where -- actually, tennis changes every day.

I have to work on some things. My serve was not up to the level I wanted. It was a tough match on a mental point of view as well.

I know how I usually play, and the level was not there. I was a bit frustrated, I have to say.

Q. We saw that you were very nervous. Were there a lot of expectations to go to the next round and reach the same level as last year? Some explanations, please.
ELISE MERTENS: As I told you, I know that I usually play a high level, and today was not the case. It was not my day, in a way, and yet it was, because I won. It was a tough day on the mental level as well.

Q. You have Gavrilova next round, which is also a very tough match. It's not easy to play against her. What should you do to win?
ELISE MERTENS: I think she likes clay court. It's her favorite surface. I played against her already three times. I know how she plays. She hardly misses a ball. She works well. She has a lot of energy.

But at crucial moments she has ups and downs. We'll see.

Q. You haven't played since Madrid. Do you feel that you're lacking the right pace? What about your physical fitness?
ELISE MERTENS: After my infection in Rabat and in Madrid as well, it was difficult to play.

Now I feel that I have confidence. I'm at the third round, so I can play.

Q. We saw that you were angry at one point on the court. Was it the wind?
ELISE MERTENS: It was myself. I was angry at myself because I wasn't up to the level I expected from myself.

Q. So you got angry; right?
ELISE MERTENS: Yeah, a little bit.

Q. This being said, there's a huge Belgian crowd supporting you. Your family is here as well.
ELISE MERTENS: Yes, it was fun. I didn't play well, but the fans were here to support me during the doubles match as well. It was fantastic.

Q. You're saying that you didn't have the right serve today. What could you do to find the right pace again?
ELISE MERTENS: Well, I think the timing, my foot work, I have to work on that tomorrow. I have practice tomorrow. We'll work on that.

Q. Winning matches without playing well is not so bad for self-confidence, isn't it?
ELISE MERTENS: Well, these are difficult days, but it is important for your mental approach. I know the way that Gavrilova plays. I'm relaxed. I'm calm.

Q. You know how she plays, but you have good statistics against her.
ELISE MERTENS: They're still tough matches. In Australia, it was 5-Love for her at one point.

Sometimes she plays very well. But how shall I put it? She plays well, but then sometimes she has a letdown.

And I have to seize the right opportunity at the right moment.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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