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May 31, 2019

Nicolas Mahut

Paris, France

L. MAYER/N. Mahut

3-6, 7-6, 6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. So there was a very powerful moment at the end of the match, the ovation with your son. What kind of emotions go through your head at that moment?
NICOLAS MAHUT: A lot of things. I was really emotional to see him on the court. He comes on a win but also when I lose.

I have the comfort of my young boy. A lot of emotions. The tiredness of the match. My body was aching everywhere today. I finally, that match was over, and finally he comes to comfort me. Normally he's the one who is crying, and I'm comforting him and today was the contrary. Very moving, indeed.

The audience was incredible. Coming out of the court from a Roland court hasn't happened so often to me in my career, and it's something I will remember forever.

Q. Did you notice that your opponent had tears in his eyes when he left?
NICOLAS MAHUT: No. I didn't have the time. I tried to contain my tears, and to come out of the court holding my head high. I didn't see that. That's good if he was emotional, too. I'm happy about that.

I don't know if it was my last match in Roland, but if it were the case, I finished Roland Garros in a beautiful way. I wanted to come out of the court by giving everything. I was able to do that during my three matches.

Today there is some sadness because I felt that I was at the right tennis level. I rarely played at that level at Roland Garros before, and I was capable of doing something today. But my opponent was very good in the serve.

And then my body wasn't at the right level. But I'm demanding very much from my body, so I'm not going to be too severe with my body.

Q. Physically how did you feel before entering the court? Was the practice complicated? During the match you had your physio coming to manipulate the lower back region.
NICOLAS MAHUT: Very honestly, it may be the match in my career where I went the furthest in the pain management. Today was difficult right from the beginning of the match. From 3-2 in the first set, I felt something. I had already felt pain in my body. I had a strap on my right thigh, then it was left thigh. So it was a match with a lot of suffering.

I tried to hold on and move forward as far as possible and was close to forcing him to play a fifth set, but a pity.

Q. The first question, you said finally the match was over. So you met some kind of relief of coming out of the court having given everything and realizing that your body is not performing?
NICOLAS MAHUT: After the three hours and something, there are three hours where I tried to not show that I was in pain and to find solutions, but this match was really long-suffering. I wanted to continue a bit more, to have a fifth set, to enjoy the audience, these moments.

And I knew I would have the possibility to play Roger in the round of 16, and that's what was pushing me forward, also.

But in the end, I said, Well, I have to go back to the locker rooms and assess the situation. But that match, I went very far in trying to control the pain.

Q. What is your assessment? You played three huge matches maybe that you didn't expect at the beginning of the tournament? And at the same time you say that the body is not responding. So is it, I am capable of continuing to play even on clay or I'm 37 and my body stops?
NICOLAS MAHUT: Beyond the fact that I'm 37, I didn't have the preparation I wanted to have. I played this tournament on the basis of the regular work, on the fact that I have a good lifestyle. I work all the time and I base my preparation on that.

But the month before Roland Garros, well, we had done a future, a training block in Sofia with the Davis Cup staff and it was fantastic. But after Monte-Carlo, I trained very little. So I came here, right from the first day, first round of five sets, and then second round, three sets, and yesterday doubles. Maybe if I had not played doubles yesterday and trained and done some care, it would have been different. But that's life and I stay optimistic. I say to myself, Well, the tennis level is here.

I had good news this morning, I will have a wildcard of Queen's tournament and will play an additional tournament, and since the beginning of the year I will assess my season after the grass season. I have a wildcard for quallies at Wimbledon or if I'm able to enter Wimbledon, it's an additional opportunity to gain points. For singles, well, let's assess the situation afterwards.

Q. Will you be capable of playing doubles to the fullest?
NICOLAS MAHUT: I don't know. Very frankly, tonight I'm quite pessimistic, but I have had very good surprises in the past. I was pessimistic after second round with doubles, but with healthcare and a night of rest, it was enough to play in doubles. But we will see tomorrow. Each thing at its time. And I will try, anyway.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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