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May 25, 2018

David Goffin

Paris, France

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. Could you tell us in which mindset you're coming here with the memories you had last time when you had clutches?
DAVID GOFFIN: It was hard going to Suzanne Lenglen, I tried something. But it wasn't hard to come back if this is what you asked. In Suzanne Lenglen I practiced twice. I have good sensations on clay.

Everything is fine. I'm fit. I don't have any problems anymore. I'm coming here to play a lot of matches. That was my objective when I started the clay court season.

I have good feelings. I have good matches under my belt, so I have a good physical feeling, and I feel fit.

Q. We felt that you actually put your foot on the cover. Was it out of superstition?
DAVID GOFFIN: No, I didn't pay attention. I just had to put it on because that was my way out. It was in my way. That's all.

Q. Don't you think that it was actually folded a different way?
DAVID GOFFIN: Yeah, the stands have been built differently. They're a bit farther away. Everything was refurbished, so everything is one meter away, if I'm not mistaken.

Q. What are your feelings in the French Open? What about the surface, whether it's different? You have been here three days, so straightaway you feel that you are again at home?
DAVID GOFFIN: Every tournament is different on clay court. From one country to another the surfaces can be different; can be slower, faster. Depends.

Where we have to adapt ourselves is the balls. When they are different, it's they are different from the other tournaments. It's a different ground so we have to adapt to that. They are good, as well, so there shouldn't be any problems. After one or two practice sessions, everything should be fine.

Clay courts are always very high quality. They are part of the best clay courts that we can find in the world.

So my feelings are okay, and I have played on every court. Conditions are good. I like them. They are very similar to those that I find in Belgium. There is no problem. Everything is fine.

Q. The fact that you lost in Australia in the second round, does it mean that you have more pressure or more desire to win this time?
DAVID GOFFIN: Every tournament is different. Of course this one is more important. We want to shine because it's a Grand Slam. There are not a lot every year, so we want to have a good performance.

I'm trying to approach it as just as any kind of other tournament, with self-confidence, with serenity.

Of course it's the best-of-five sets, so it's important to approach that well.

We have to do our utmost.

Q. What do you think about the draw? The bottom half has a favorite. The upper half is different.
DAVID GOFFIN: I did not analyze the draw. I have looked at those that were in my part, but I didn't analyze from top to bottom everything and everyone in the first and second rounds.

I know that my first round is going to be hard, and then we will see, because every match is difficult to win. There are always surprises.

So it's useless to look further than the first round for the moment. Robin Haase is a difficult first round. We will try to get to the second round, and we'll see then.

Q. There is a great favorite during these 15 days, but there is also a group of young wolves who want to challenge the favorite. Where do you find yourself amid all this?
DAVID GOFFIN: I'm seeded 8 in this tournament. Saying I'm an outsider or potential winner of the Grand Slam, well, we are far from saying that, either. I'm going to try to play my best game. I'm trying to surf the wave that I had until now to keep the momentum, will try to do match after match, as usual, because a Grand Slam is always difficult and long and hard.

It's difficult to think about the future too far.

Q. The conditions before were very much different. Did you think it would help you for the first round, which was not easy?
DAVID GOFFIN: Yes. Conditions are not easy. I played against him in Madrid, and this is why I'm confident to play against him again, but there are other conditions. We'll see if it suits me more or if it suits Haase more. I found solutions early on, so before starting the match I think this gives a little bit of confidence.

Q. We have seen you rising, and it seems that in Rome that was actually the turning point. Is that your feeling? Saying, Okay, now I'm one of them?
DAVID GOFFIN: That's not what I would say. It was a good thing to change the surface, to have a good preparation, to prepare my body, to have good fitness preparation.

And I was surprised from the outset, especially in Monte-Carlo, I could actually manage well, because I train actually all year round there, so it was maybe easier for me. This actually opened the right door for the rest of the season.

And then afterwards I had one week of rest. Then I went to Rome. There was only one bad match, and then in Rome everything went well.

All the tournaments were quite positive, if I have to take stock of the situation. I have to keep going on that momentum.

Q. What do you fear about Mr. Haase's game? He's not an easy player to play against, because he's quite fast.
DAVID GOFFIN: Yeah, his serves are good, his forehand is good, his backhand is good, he's quite cunning, as well.

He's a good receiver. He returns his game quite well. He always manages to find solutions to adapt himself to be efficient.

He's got experience. He's been here for quite a while, for quite a few years now. So it could be a trap. It could be a tricky game. I'm going to try to do as well as I did in Madrid.

Q. There is not a lot of players from Belgium, but among the ladies there's more. What kind of reflection of thoughts does it trigger from you?
DAVID GOFFIN: Well, that's the way it is. Of course I'm focused on myself only. But if Ruben manages to go farther than the quallies, that's a good thing.

We'll see. There are years where we have a lot of men or ladies players from Belgium. We'll see what happens in the years to come. Ladies are doing quite well right now.

But as far as I'm concerned, I focus on my game. If we could have 10 ladies and 10 men from Belgium every year, that would be great, but it's not the case this year.

Q. You have worked a lot on your fitness. It shows, actually, in your shoulders. What is the added value? What does it bring you?
DAVID GOFFIN: Well, I feel good in every way, not only in the shoulders.

Indeed, my body is enhanced, but I feel more fit in every way. I think it's important on clay court to have a physical block to try to have one match after the other, especially if they are longer, because there are more rallies, so it's important to be fit.

There are some points where it is important.

Q. What about your eye problem? Is it solved once and for all?
DAVID GOFFIN: Well, we're back to normal right now. I'm very happy that it's behind me now.

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