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May 27, 2019

Pierre-Hugues Herbert

Paris, France

P. HERBERT/D. Medvedev

4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. Would you say that was the best singles win of your career?
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: One of the best, for sure. And maybe, yeah, emotion-wise, maybe the best, for sure, yes.

Q. Can you talk a bit about the difference of coming back in that situation as a singles player compared to as a doubles player? What are you experiencing on the court that is different?
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: For sure, it's different because I'm alone on court, so the way I live it, it's different. When I'm with Nico, it's also special, but it's completely different.

I wouldn't say one is better than the other, but it's different, for sure (smiling).

Q. Did you watch Nico's match yesterday?

Q. How much of an inspiration was that today?
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: Yes, I watched it, and even when we're not both together on court, we try to do the same, no?

But for sure, I watched it. Yeah, for sure it helped me when I was down two sets to Love, telling me that I had a chance to come back.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. What were you thinking when you were at 4-Love in the second? And the fact of winning this game, did it have an impact on the rest of the match?
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: I don't remember what I was thinking about, but I was just thinking about winning a game in my serve, not losing 6-Love in the second. But it was not going well. I was not finding the solution. I was making a lot of errors. He was using my game well.

I didn't panic, but I started saying, Well, it would be good to get into the match.

Q. There was a great atmosphere on this Court 14. How did you manage that atmosphere, especially in the fifth set?
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: The atmosphere was incredible. It's the court you have the impression where the audience is on the court. I had already experienced that twice last year, and you try to use it as an asset.

It's true that when you come to Roland Garros you know that you can count on the audience, that the audience will be there for us. But then you have to manage that positively, you have to use that as a positive source of energy. It took me a while, indeed, to be in communion with the audience and to get their support. So of course when you start winning it's easier.

But then the audience was incredible, very precious help. I used the crowd. They pushed me, pushed me, in difficult moments. When you're two sets down, it's very difficult. It's in part thanks to the crowd that I was able to win today.

Q. You said earlier that you tried to change something in the second set. Can you be more precise and explain what you changed to turn around the situation?
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: I came on the court with the intention of being aggressive, having variation of pace, but each time I was playing well my game, that I was aggressive, I was playing deep, fast, he was always there.

So I stopped returning from inside the court. I started returning from outside the court and playing a bit slower and varied.

It worked. But his third set was a bit lower level than the first two, and I used that to hold on until the end.

It's true that in the third we raised our tennis level, both of us. It was complicated, because I had the impression that the one taking the initiative was losing the points. So it was war until the fifth. It's not necessarily the most offensive player who won.

Q. You mentioned the influence of the match of Mahut yesterday. Did you think about that match during your match today and think to yourself that it's possible and an example to follow?
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: I didn't want to lose the first two sets and win the match in five sets. That's not the situation with Nico. Of course I thought about it. But to be honest, in the third set, my objective was to try to find a solution on that very set, win that set, and then see what would happen.

So indeed, it's a coincidence which is puzzling, the fact that he won his first match coming down from two sets to Love, and me too.

Q. If I'm not mistaken, it's the first time you win after losing the first two sets. What importance can it have? Is it a sort of trigger moment?
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: We'll know in the future if it was a trigger moment. But indeed, it's the first time it happened to me, and I was able to go further than the previous matches. And indeed, I felt things I had not experienced in previous singles matches.

It's a chance of playing in the best-of-three sets, so it's an experience that will be interesting for me. And I know deep in myself that it's something that I'm able to do in the future.

Q. We have the impression that since you focus more on singles, you're progressing very fast. Do you not have regrets? Or should you not have focused on singles before? Do you have regrets in this respect?
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: No, no regrets, because on the contrary, it's the doubles that has enabled me to be here in the singles category now.

All what I have experienced, the progress that I have made, indeed, and the fact that I'm now focusing on singles is giving me something new.

But we'll see at the end of a given period of time to see the impact of that, so it was the right time. I had the impression it was the right time to do. After our victory in Melbourne this year, now I'm rushing forward and we'll see if it has been a good decision or not.

Q. You have a good ratio in five-set matches. Can you tell us what excites you in the fifth set? Why is it specific? What comes inside your body or inside yourself? Is the fifth set particular?
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: A fifth set in Roland Garros is even more particular. When you play home with the audience, it's something that is difficult to describe. Then I think that with fatigue, with tiredness, I ask myself less questions. When I'm full of energy, 100% of energy, I tend to think too much not to play naturally, and when you have no more choice, you're tired, you no longer have the legs, you think differently. That's maybe when you're most efficient.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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