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June 1, 2019

Gael Monfils

Paris, France


6-3, 6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. Can you give us a little point what you think about your form right now after this match? And also, a prospect for the next match against Dominic. Of course you have a lot of experiences with him already.
GAËL MONFILS: Well, I'm happy the way I played today. I was very solid. I'm getting my confidence back, you know. It was great for me to have another straight win for me on the center court, to have a feel.

I feel good. I feel good. The next match gonna be a tough one. Obviously Dominic is in great form. He's one of the top three guys, you know, have potential to win the tournament. So facing him in the fourth round won't be easy, but as I say, I feel good.

I'm at home, so anything is possible. So I just gonna give a shot for this one.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. Could you tell us what you liked and also disliked in your performance today?
GAËL MONFILS: Today I didn't play my best tennis. I didn't play an extraordinary match. I played a sufficient match to win.

I had some trouble in the beginning. I was rather tense. As I said, I didn't know what to expect. Therefore, I was a bit tense. But very quickly, I relaxed.

I was standing further away. In fact, he was playing aggressive, and at one point I was even too far. So I started walking forward a little bit, and at one point he became shorter in his shots, so it helped me.

Q. When we look at your first three matches, it feels that you cannot be stopped until June 9. Do you feel you cannot be stopped?
GAËL MONFILS: I would love that, but obviously each match is different. Conditions are different. The day after tomorrow I'm playing against a player who, after Novak and Rafa, could potentially win the tournament. He was in the finals last year.

He played a great season up till now, so it's going to be a hard match, like I like them at home, so easier to manage and to get into. Then we'll see what happens.

Unstoppable? I hope everyone can be stopped, including me, obviously, but other people. I hope no one is unstoppable.

Q. Without lacking respect for Antoine and your two previous opponents...
GAËL MONFILS: Well, when you start like that, it's a bit weird.

Q. No, I'm trying to be political. But how do you manage going from opponents who are beatable and where you have some margin and go over to an opponent who is at another level?
GAËL MONFILS: Well, let me tell you, these are matches that are a bit difficult, because you cannot afford to lose. You're tense. They play well. And even though you don't want any pressure, you have this little extra pressure.

Well, maybe after that, you feel okay. But on Monday it will be a completely different match, different thing. This player presents a lot of problems to me. I will work hard with my coach to see why I have trouble playing him or how I could be a challenge for him, then I'll see what to do.

If I'm in the game and I play aggressive and I really want to win, so long as I can impose my game, I won't have any problem.

Q. While you were talking about your coach, Liam, can you tell us a little bit what he brings to you? You mentioned it two days ago. Can you tell us how different his method is from what you had in the past and how does he match with what you want?
GAËL MONFILS: Liam is someone who talks a lot. He analyzes a lot. So I guess I'm at a point in my career when the message gets across better. Let's say I integrate and I factor in his messages much better, his tactical messages, the messages he gives me after the matches.

So when I get to the court now this year, I really get to the court with a clear tactical plan in my mind. Many plans, in fact, because he gives me a lot.

And Liam has understood, probably because he worked with Mikki and Mikki had understood that, well, when I lose, I like to create. I don't like to stay in a game or match when I'm being torn apart or when I'm on the defensive. I try to look for other things to get pleasure from the match. I try to get a dropshot.

And where Liam is good is that right away he's plan A, plan B, plan C, plan D. He integrates that right away, and you can visualize things and we comment on his plans, which is something I may not have had before.

And also, in the way I play, which sometimes lasts for five minutes, sometimes you get the impression it's a whole match. But he's good at seeing things, even if it may be five minutes in a match, and he helps me analyze and he helps me know what to do and when to change and when to change again.

And when we started collaborating together, the first thing he did was to try and help me serve better, because I used not to serve well and he also tried to give me a more aggressive forehand, which is what I have been doing since the beginning of the year.

Q. It's the first time you get to the fourth round in Roland Garros without losing a single set. Have you ever felt that good at this stage in the tournament?
GAËL MONFILS: Well, to be honest, it doesn't matter, really. Obviously I feel good physically. I feel fit. And that's the most important thing. Then the rest doesn't mean much.

Okay, I had three good matches, three full matches. And so long as I feel confident, well, it's not a match when you're on the line and you have trouble becoming confident. I manage to impose my game and in this way I got reassured with these three matches and I'm happy I'm getting to the fourth one rather fresh.

Q. With your experience, can you tell us what you felt about Antoine today? You had never played each other. Can you tell us what you felt about his game?
GAËL MONFILS: I felt that today it was difficult for him physically. He has a very aggressive game. He gets onto the ball all the time, he wants to hold his line. And physically I could tell today he was a bit more tired. He made a lot of errors in the beginning.

The match was a bit weird in the beginning, because I was tense. I didn't give any pace to the game. And when I started getting my pace, he started playing shorter balls. He put a lot in his first two very big matches. He also saw that when he relaxes a little bit, like in the end, he's there.

When physically he's diminished, it's more complicated for him because he's an attacking player. And I guess he will be working with his coach on these physical strengths to be able to play five sets on clay.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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