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May 30, 2019

Gael Monfils

Paris, France

G. MONFILS/A. Mannarino

6-3, 6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. So again, we imagine you are very satisfied with your match. You were saying at the exit on court that you didn't want to let Adrian enter into the match.
GAËL MONFILS: Yes, I entered very well in into the match. I had a difficult moment in the beginning of the second set with less intensity that enabled him to enter the match, to be more aggressive and to win the break.

Again, I have to try to better manage my beginnings of second sets. And then afterwards, I did a solid match today by serving quite strongly and quite fast, and I was successful.

Q. When he called the doctor, you said he did this the previous match. Was it superstition?
GAËL MONFILS: Yes, he had done the same thing the previous match. He was losing one set, one break. He was one set, one break down. Here I just broke him back, so it's like a ritual I was expecting.

Q. How do you see the next match? French against French.
GAËL MONFILS: People came to me. Antoine had just won. And frankly, I have no vision. I have just finished my match. I'm happy. And they said there will be two French in the next round.

So of course it's going to be a big match. I don't know him much. I don't have much to say about him.

Q. Beyond that, how specific is it to play against a French player in Roland? Is the atmosphere different? Because usually you have the audience entirely for you. What does it change in the approach?
GAËL MONFILS: Yes, indeed. The audience has mixed feelings. It's more difficult for the audience to be as one.

What does it change? Afterwards, for us not so much. It's more when we know each other more, when we are used to playing one another, that's what's different. But with Antoine, is the first time I will play him, so I don't know him very well. So I don't really know what to expect.

Q. Antoine has a specificity of having played for a long time ahead, with two-handed forehands and backhands. I know you like to have fun at practice. You certainly have tried to play with your left hand. At what level could you play with your left hand?
GAËL MONFILS: I have no idea. I'm running very well. But I was told he was playing 1/6 or 0 with the left hand. I don't think I played that same level.

Q. The underhand serve is very fashionable. There was one this morning. Some people think it's lack of respect. Others think it's fine and nice for tennis. What do you think? Is it excluded or will it come if it happens?
GAËL MONFILS: I think it's a shot as any other in tennis. I don't know why it would be lack of respect. I think it's a shot as any other shot.

Of course it's not very popular, because we don't use it so much. It's not a very efficient serve. It's a serve which surprises, it's a surprising shot.

In general, it has been used more and more because players are very far from the baseline to the back of the court. Even myself. So it's a surprising shot.

I don't think we should abuse it, because first of all, it's a difficult shot. It's just a surprise effect.

But there is no lack of respect. Honestly, it's a 50/50 in terms of success. And if the guy misses the serve, he gives the point. So continuing serving low, you might lose more points -- or win more points than the other guy.

Q. You seem quite grumpy.
GAËL MONFILS: Well, he put me off. He made me angry. That guy over there (smiling).

Q. So in general, is there something --
GAËL MONFILS: I was in hypoglycemia, I was seated, he pushed me.

Q. Usually you do very focused conferences.
GAËL MONFILS: No, I'm feeling well. But he really shook me. He took me by surprise.

Q. You were in hypoglycemia. Is that not too severe? You didn't draw from your reserves during these two matches? Regarding your physical state, how are you feeling?
GAËL MONFILS: With my injuries, I'm able to manage them very well. But you shouldn't think that winning in three sets is easy. I tried to be aggressive, to play fast. So I use a lot of my energy, and I tried to stay solid. That uses a lot of energy.

And also, there is a lot of stress. So I want to play well. I'm not too relaxed. In the morning it's complicated. I'm tense so I have a routine to try and relax and feel better.

But I'm feeling well. I didn't play five-set matches so I'm not overtired. But I'm careful because I have to manage stress, intensity. I want to play in the game. So I'm using quite a lot of my energy.

Q. I talked with Geoffrey, who worked with you in Greece, and he told me that he considers that Elina has given you rigor and work, your girlfriend has brought you some form of rigor, vitality in the training. Do you feel that?
GAËL MONFILS: I just want to put things straight.

Q. I know that you're working.
GAËL MONFILS: It's just to make things clear. With Elina, it's wonderful. It's cool. It's been quite a long time we have been together. It's fabulous. And it's cool.

But if people start telling me that I play tennis well or that I'm more rigorous or more like this or like that, so this year I change coach. So we have to put things back into context, changing team, changing coach, so I changed a lot of things. I grew up.

So my love life is fantastic, but it doesn't really help me. I have the impression that I'm more afraid of my coach than my girlfriend. You see what I mean?

So if I'm late, what's Elina going to say? But my coach, yes, he might say something. But she helps me for many things, indeed. But you're right, because she also plays tennis, she understands incredibly well many things. She's also a champion.

But in this respect, no. I say this because sometimes people forget I changed coach, and he does excellent work. And people put too much focus on Elina. She helps me, yes. But my coach is new and he's really helping me a lot and he has a different way of working.

And people say, Well, he's more stable in his love life. In general, I'm not talking to you specifically. But my coach, well, he loses credit, which he deserves. (Laughter.)

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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