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May 27, 2019

Yannick Hanfmann

Paris, France

R. NADAL/Y. Hanfmann

6-2, 6-1, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

Q. Can you talk a little about your match today and playing Rafa? What kind of experience was it on Chatrier?
YANNICK HANFMANN: Well, obviously great experience for me. The atmosphere, the court itself, like, it feels amazing to just play there.

But then I also had to, like, focus a little bit on the match itself and make it a little bit smaller, and it's actually pretty big, a lot of people.

And I've got to focus on me, and that's what I tried to do. Sometimes I feel like I was a little bit focusing a little bit out there, like, watching the people and stuff, but it's a bit of a battle. You have to play your match and be with yourself and not let it get to you, you know.

But great experience. A little bit disappointed, obviously, that I lost, but yeah.

Q. That opening game, nine minutes, four break points, how much right there at the start are you able to shut out a player of his stature and just try to play your own game? You were trying of course lots of drop shots and stuff like that, but can you talk about that?
YANNICK HANFMANN: Yeah, I mean, first game a little bit disappointing. But I knew, you know, if my weapons, if they work, I wanted to return aggressive. I wanted to have some big serves, play some drop shots. And I feel like these two things, my big serve and my drop shots let me down a little bit today. But obviously there's also pressure on these shots. You know, I know they need to work to be able to do some damage.

And I feel like in the first game I did some good returns. And obviously Rafa is also a bit nervous. You can see that. And, you know, I took my chances there. And, yeah, I wish I would have seen what happens, you know, after maybe a break and then maybe I can hold and maybe it goes a little bit differently.

But, you know, I had my match plan and, yeah, some of the things they didn't work out well, but, I mean, that's why he's as good as he is.

Q. You may go on to win 15 Grand Slam titles yourself. I don't know. But is it nice to be able to say you played Rafa in that stadium on clay where he's going to be the best of all time probably?
YANNICK HANFMANN: Yeah. Maybe not right now, but in a couple days, sure. In a couple weeks, years, of course. Hopefully I have a chance again. We are definitely going to try.

Yeah, I mean, to play him and, you know, now I know how it feels kind of. You know, to have a guy like him, he has such a unique game on clay, of course. And to feel his ball, like, how it feels on my strokes and, you know, it's -- yeah. You try and, like, have practice set up the way -- you know, I tried to play some lefties and told them, "Okay, maybe you can try to be Rafa a little bit," but nobody can be him.

Yeah, it was definitely a nice to, like, okay, now I know how it feels. It's kind of heavy.

Q. A lot of folks compare that forehand to a second serve in some ways, the spins. Is that what it feels like on the racket?
YANNICK HANFMANN: Yeah, I mean, it's super heavy. The ball jumps up so quickly.

And, you know, I tried to step in on my backhand and take it early. And, you know, what all these good players try to do against him to do well is try to neutralize that stroke, but it's quite hard.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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