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May 29, 2019

David Goffin

Paris, France

D. GOFFIN /M. Kecmanovic

6-2, 6-4, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French, please.

Q. A three-set victory. You did quite well. I guess it gives you a lot of confidence?
DAVID GOFFIN: Yes. It was a great game, a great beginning of the match. I started off with the right intention. I was able to dictate the match immediately.

I was up from the outset of the match, and then he got into the game, but I was able to handle the match even when he was performing well, including in the third set. When he started playing well, I was able to step up my game, and I ended up with a second break.

I think it was a well-handled match, very robust and with a lot of consistency.

Q. What are you really happy about in your strokes, in your shots?
DAVID GOFFIN: Yes, I think his shots were better than the ones of my previous opponent. He's more used to playing on clay and using his backhands. Many rallies. And in key times I was able to play well and my serves were good, including in the third set. My game was good. I was able to have the upper hand.

Q. Would you say that this is the perfect preparation before your face-off with Nadal in the third round?
DAVID GOFFIN: In terms of result, yes, but I've never played against a lefty. I mean, he was not a lefty. No one plays like Nadal.

In terms of confidence, yes, it will boost my confidence. I did not tire myself too much and I advanced to the third round. Therefore, yes, it's good preparation for my game.

Q. You are hitting the ball very well. It is important that's something you've been working on? That's something you can feel, that you can see the ball?
DAVID GOFFIN: Yes. In both matches, the two courts are quite different and the weather was quite different. Much more sun today compared to the first match. The conditions were different.

And in both matches I felt good. I could feel the ball. I was strong in attack. I had good drop shots and my serve is helping me quite a lot. So everything was in place in both matches.

Q. Would you say that Rafael Nadal in the French Open is the ultimate challenge?
DAVID GOFFIN: Yes. Playing on clay, this is the only tournament the best-of-five sets on clay, and therefore it is probably the ultimate challenge.

Q. What do you do against Nadal? How do you go about playing with Rafael Nadal?
DAVID GOFFIN: I need to use my strength of course. I need to use angles. I need to play early. If he plays short shots, I will have to do it. But if I have to run a lot, it will be to his favor. And when he starts dictating the match, it becomes very difficult.

So I need to make use of his strength as an advantage to dictate the match myself. I need to have good serves as well. It is important. I need to be aggressive, but his defense is so good. He knows how to move around the court. It will be a big court, so it's extremely difficult to challenge him on clay.

Of course for such a match I hope that the atmosphere will be great on a good court, and I will need to play as good as possible.

Q. You've been playing very well from the onset of the tournament. Are you frustrated that this is an unlucky draw to be playing against Nadal or are you thinking at least I might as well play such players during the first week?
DAVID GOFFIN: Well, there's nothing I can do about the draw. Obviously the first seeded player I'm facing during the tournament is the most difficult one, Rafael Nadal, but there's nothing I can do about it.

It's all the better. Hopefully I will be playing well. It doesn't matter that I'm playing against Nadal in the third round. It remains an important match. And for such a match, you want to play well. You want to perform well. You want to have fun. I want to challenge him as much as I can.

As I always say, if I could lose against Nadal or Djokovic every week, I think it's a good sign.

Q. We all remember the match in Monte-Carlo. You were up 4-1 and you lost 6-3 the set, which was quite a strange situation. There was a refereeing problem. Do you remember these memories, this wonderful 30 minutes?
DAVID GOFFIN: Yes, I was playing extremely well back then, and I had started off the match very well, but this was just the halfway through the set. And for a Grand Slam, you need to win three sets. It takes a long time.

He's difficult to beat. But, yes, I think that I can upset him now and then with my game and when I feel the ball, when I use my forehand and my backhand, and I can use the angles.

It will be difficult. I will do my best. But there were some good moments against Rafael Nadal.

Q. How will you prepare for tomorrow's match? Will you be working with a sparring partner who is a lefty?
DAVID GOFFIN: Yes, maybe. There are some possibilities. I'm only coming off the court now. But yes, it is likely that I will be playing against a lefty, especially for the returns.

When it comes to the rallies, I like to play against lefties, but Rafael Nadal is the best of all lefty players, and it will be different because he has a lot of strength in addition to this.

It's more about his defense, his strength, how accurate he is with his forehand. That's what is really difficult much more than the fact that he's a lefty player.

Q. I know that it was not on clay and it was on different conditions but you have beaten Rafael Nadal before. Will this help you psychologically?
DAVID GOFFIN: In key times I performed well against Rafael Nadal regardless of the surface. The fact is you need to hold on as long as possible. You need to be strong in key times.

And when there's the slightest opportunity, you need to seize it because he's one of the best players when things get tough. In tie-breaks or at the end of a set is usually when he plays the best. And this is when you need to seize whatever opportunity there is and you need to carry on physically speaking.

It's extremely difficult because his game is heavy. You need to attack constantly. You can't give up. Because when you give up even for a couple of minutes, it can change the order of things.

Q. What about the mental preparation in the course of the next few hours. You need to have confidence until the end.
DAVID GOFFIN: Obviously after two matches, I feel boosted physically. There's not much I can do. I was in good spirits for the first two matches. I had a good serve, and therefore there's not much I can say for now.

I just need to carry on and try even harder to be even more successful, and of course I need to have faith.

Q. Physically, to hold on for four or five sets, are there things that you can do before the next match on Friday?
DAVID GOFFIN: There isn't much I can do this 24 hours. I need to recover as much as possible. The work has already been done.

When I say that it is difficult physically, it's not just about coping during five sets. That's something I can do. But you need to continue attacking and being offensive on all points, and that's what you need to do for three or four hours, and that's difficult.

Because he never gives in and therefore you need to -- sometimes when you give up even for a few minutes, it becomes difficult and you're not necessarily aware of it when you are down in a match, and so you need hang on physically.

Q. There's terrible statistics in Roland Garros at the French Open. He won 98 matches and he only lost two matches at the French Open. What do you think about this?
DAVID GOFFIN: Well, I don't think much of it, apart from the fact that I think he likes to play at the French Open. He likes the tournament. You don't even need to look at the figures. We know that he's at home at the French Open. He's the king.

I will do my best to upset him as much as possible, and we will see after the match.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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