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July 4, 2018

Gael Monfils

Wimbledon, London, England

G. MONFILS/P. Lorenzi

3-6, 6-3, 7-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How did you feel about how you played today and your first matches?
GAËL MONFILS: Yeah, today was, it was a little bit tough, I think, because Paolo is never easy to play against him, because he has a quite aggressive game, I think.

He actually surprised me today. You know, his backhand is definitely his best shot, but today his forehand was not bad at all. I think I get caught first set. I was not moving so fast, so I get caught a little bit with my legs, and then I had to speed up my movement and speed up also my serve, because he was returning good.

I think I just was solid each set. The third set was tricky, as well, the breaker. I missed a volley. Very, very lucky with the lob. Give me the set point. You know, I think he was a bit down mentally for the start of the fourth set and had the early break and played a great game to break back.

He was just too solid in his service game. Could not really hold. And then me, just tried to serve and go to the targets and just be solid.

Q. You haven't played Sam Querrey recently. You have only played him twice. You both have had long careers. What has impressed you most about how he has picked up his game in recent times? What's the biggest challenge for you in facing him?
GAËL MONFILS: You know, Sam is a big hitter. You know, he serve big. For sure he doesn't like long rallies. Try to hit as many ace as he can, and big forehands. You know, he's super-aggressive. I think he just improve also the way he's moving on the court. Maybe is a bit faster, is moving a bit better, I guess.

He took confidence. He start to win matches and believe that he could be a much better player than he was and he's a great player.

Q. How do you feel on the grass?
GAËL MONFILS: I feel good, you know. I feel good. I feel that my game is better, is much better.

Try to always find a good target, you know, good tactic, not to be too defensive or too offensive. Now it's good. I'm in third round and I feel good.

Q. Usually we say that on grass courts the grass courts favor the best athletes. You're an exceptional athlete, but your mindset hasn't always been the best one on grass. I remember commentating a few matches of yours in Stuttgart, and you kept saying, I can't play on this stuff. It's impossible. How is your mindset on grass these days?
GAËL MONFILS: I just try not to even think about it. I try to like the grass as much, you know, I like play tennis. So it's different as when I play on clay. On hard is different. I just had my mindset like, you know, it's another surface.

So I need to move differently but be aware of I have to adjust the way I move, adjust the way -- I mean, adjust the thinking, also, but be a bit more offensive, maybe less defensive. Have as less neutral shots, also.

So I just feel that, you know, year after year I improving and finally, you know, I can say that I like grass. I'm happy, you know, the way I played those two matches.

Q. Are you concerned if you reach the final you might miss France in the World Cup? It's scheduled same time. Would you want the final moved?
GAËL MONFILS: I'd be the first player walk over to see the World Cup (smiling).

No, well, you know, let me play Friday and definitely make this one first. But as I say, the last match I just saw like only one half, so I get used to it.

Q. Back to the World Cup for a second, I guess every four years it coincides with Wimbledon. Does it make Wimbledon different? Does it help take your mind off of stuff between matches? Have you been watching with other players?
GAËL MONFILS: Four years ago, I can't even remember the Wimbledon four years ago. But this year, me, I'm happy. I'm happy. I'm not saying like every slam I'm really focused on what I'm doing, so I always allow myself to watch any sport.

But World Cup, you know, is definitely different. We love -- I mean, most of people love soccer, so I feel it's different. And we have been chatting a little bit in the locker room, and for sure I have some comments and, you know, and watched the game actually in the locker. It's a bit different, yeah.

Q. Who is the biggest trash talker between all of you?
GAËL MONFILS: I can't say the name, but you'd be surprised (smiling).

Q. For people from the United States who have never experienced the passion of the World Cup, and France and other countries in Europe and other places around the world, how would you describe that passion for it?
GAËL MONFILS: Well, I think in France it's a culture. The soccer, it's culture. For my side, my dad have been soccer player, as well. So it's part of our, I don't know, nature, I will say.

And the World Cup, yeah, it's a place that where is no more, you know, different people, is like no more team, is no more cities. It's the country. So it's bringing the joy and definitely bring a lot of people together, you know, to watch actually our team. That's beautiful to see.

Q. Did you watch last night's British victory?
GAËL MONFILS: I did. Actually, I watched the shootout. It was cool. I was actually in the restaurant and saw on the phone it was the shootout, and I saw a pub, so I just went to the pub and watch it.

Q. In the Village?
GAËL MONFILS: No, in the city and watch it, and it was pretty cool.

Q. What was the atmosphere like in that pub?
GAËL MONFILS: Unbelievable. Like, crazy. Crazy. Like, crazy. Can't describe. I was scared to have my phone. It was jumping, screaming. Everything. Beers, everything. Was great, great.

Q. I wanted to ask you quickly about Stan. Obviously you know him really well, and he's coming back. He had the big win over Dimitrov. What do you make of how he pulled through that?
GAËL MONFILS: I was super happy for him, because it's been couple months I have been seeing him quite a lot, home. You know, Stan is a hard worker. See all this passion and how he was practicing. We did practice quite a lot also, you know, on the clay.

He's a champion. He's a true champion. I think it's just a matter of time, and he pulled it out two days ago the big win. It's what he needs is big wins.

You know, I have no doubt that he will be fine and he'll come back as strong as he was, because he's a hard worker, very passionate. He's too good to not come back.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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