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May 29, 2019

Nicolas Mahut

Paris, France

N. MAHUT/P. Kohlschreiber

6-3, 6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French, please.

Q. Congrats for your victory. Was the key to success an offensive approach?
NICOLAS MAHUT: As I said during the first round, that was the only way to win. All the more to be down two sets Love, I was even more offensive.

This court is quite fast. So these were ideal, perfect conditions for me.

Q. You said that after the first round it was your greatest win. Have you changed your mind?
NICOLAS MAHUT: No. My first-round win was the greatest. It was unexpected. It was on a new court. The atmosphere was extraordinary, here too. But victory in five sets after being down two sets was a great thing. Of course this win is wonderful because I can go to the third round.

And I don't like comparing. I'm very happy with this win. Reaching the third round is fabulous.

Q. The fact that one has no expectations, does it actually entail playing with no pressure?
NICOLAS MAHUT: Yes, I was playing loose. I went to the court and many times we always say, okay, I'm going to play loose, but there's an event coming up, there's the score that prevents you from playing as during practice sessions.

And this time I was completely carefree. I could be carefree. I played my last weapons, and it was good. This is something that one can do when one is at the end of one's career.

Q. Can we compare you to Benjamin Button? Like Brad Pitt, actually. The more you go, the younger you are?
NICOLAS MAHUT: There will be a limit, you know, I can reassure you on that point. This sport is crazy because three weeks ago I had to walkover in Bordeaux, in Rome, in Madrid. I had doubts about Lyon, and then I decided not to go. And then before the quallies, after some practice with the coaches, I said, I'm going to give my wild card back. And I'm here now at the third round. It's crazy.

But that's also the French Open's magic. French players can give their best. As every time when I was young, I would watch tennis on TV and I could see a French player playing in an outstanding way, and that's never been my case. And I thought, Oh, my God, in 20 years I haven't done it." And this year it's happening. I'm very proud. I'm very happy.

Q. Have you already played at this level on clay?
NICOLAS MAHUT: No. I don't think so. I've tried to play this way. In 2015 when I was in the third round against Simon, I did a great match. I lost in five sets. It was closer to these circumstances.

But I was completely carefree again. So it's quite new for me.

Q. What about the wristbands on the serve line? How should we interpret it?
NICOLAS MAHUT: It was a tribute to David Ferrer because I couldn't see him end his career in Madrid. It was a tribute to him.

I don't know what will happen in two days. We will see how I will recover. But it was time, and I wanted to pay a tribute to him.

Q. I was about to ask you if that kind of tournament would actually induce you to continue for two, three years or would it be the opposite? Ferrer, it was his last tournament.
NICOLAS MAHUT: I've always said, and I will say it once again to make sure that to avoid any doubt, I don't want to stop playing singles. If I stop at one point, it will be because I am not entitled to play in such tournaments. I could play in doubles for the Olympic Games. All my schedule will turn around this.

I will play Masters 1000 in the U.S. If I'm not qualified, then I'm not playing anymore. But I will try and strive to play as long as possible in both, in singles and doubles. I will try to take stock of the situation after the Olympic Games as far as my career is concerned. But right now, I will try to play both as much as I can.

I'm 250 right now in terms of ranking, and I cannot go to a lot of tournaments. Maybe I will have to stop at one point, but maybe this time I will grab a few more points. We will see for the grass season.

But of course every tournament where I play, this is something that is in the back of my mind. Stopping my career is something that is on the back of my mind. But as long as I can play, I will.

Q. More and more, we see 30-year old and 40-year old players like Karlovic who pursue their career as long as possible. How come we see that?
NICOLAS MAHUT: Over the last 15 years, we've seen things evolve. We have a bigger staff. Before, they used to have a tennis coach. Now we have physiotherapists. We have better staff members.

So players have a better life, a healthier life, and they're better prepared. Before, players would actually take care of their body less. Now they're better prepared, and this is why they can hold on for a longer time.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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