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May 27, 2019

Benoit Paire

Paris, France

B. PAIRE/M. Copil

6-4, 6-7, 6-0, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. After winning in Lyon, you had to come right here. Can you tell us how you did between your victory in Lyon and today?
BENOIT PAIRE: Well, there wasn't very much time. I got here two days ago late. Obviously after you win a tournament, after a while you have to relax, but I knew I had to be careful because the French tournament was really an objective. So I had to recover well. I had to be able to remain focused after this final.

I'm happy I was able to do it. I didn't play a high-level or exceptional level today, but the aim was to win, and I did it. On the third and fourth I played better. I tried to play slower, to put the ball in, so one after the other. It wasn't easy, but I'm happy I was able to win today.

Q. There is a big difference between the second set and the two following sets. There was a tense moment when you fell. We got the impression you had been hurt. Did this bother you after?
BENOIT PAIRE: No, what happened was in the first set I got a break right away, and then I had trouble after that. In the second one, as I could feel the ball, I wanted to hit hard, and I wanted to get the same feeling as in Lyon, which I didn't have because obviously it's a different tournament.

So in the second set, the ball wasn't in the court. I had trouble. I tried being aggressive when returning, but that wasn't the right strategy. So I changed my strategy. At the beginning of the third set I got a break right away. My shots were in the court, and it worked well and the difference came from being solid and trying to get him to play as I wanted rather than giving a beautiful game.

Q. Second round you are going to play against Pierre-Hugues Herbert. How are you going to approach this?
BENOIT PAIRE: Well, I appreciate him very much, whether it be on the court when he's playing or outside. He's a great guy. We went on holiday together for a few days. He's a top guy.

I was happy he won today, and he made it. He was being led 2 sets 0 and he managed to win, all the same.

So we had texted saying, if we can play, both play the second round, it will be great. Well, we're playing against each other, but we'll both try to play our game to feel relaxed.

It's 100% French match, which is never easy, but whatever happens I'm very happy he won in the first round, and I'm very happy to play with him in the second.

It will be a special match. It will be up to me to continue playing with the trust I got from Lyon. I had this victory, and I don't want to stop the series of victories.

I know that there will be more and more feelings. Winning today will sort of make me freer, and I will be liberated. My aim will be to return well and to seize all opportunities.

I'm very happy to play against him for the second round. It will be a complicated match. But I approach it with trust, and I beat him this year in Marrakech on clay, so obviously that plays a role.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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