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August 10, 2019

Eugene Lapierre

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. There was a lot of talk about a roof before the tournament. What does this do to help the battle for that when you lose a great semifinal and money? I know you have insurance, but you lose a lot of money.
EUGENE LAPIERRE: That's what I was saying. It's clear that it's a situation if we had a roof, this doesn't happen. I mean, Gael plays his match, and Roberto would play a match last night, finish on time. The semifinal takes place today, as it should be.

But that happens often everywhere. That's why I said earlier this week, I think the way of the future for our sport, if we want to promote it the right way, is to get roofs in order to guarantee play. That's the reason. That's what it is.

Q. This is the first year you've had the insurance for canceled matches. Was it last year that prompted a review of that or had it been in the works for a while?
EUGENE LAPIERRE: Well, there was a few occurrences in the past few years in other Masters. I remember a couple years ago in Miami where pretty much both semifinals, the day and night session, did not occur. It was a nightmare.

The tour started to look for packages for insurance. They offered something affordable for the tournaments. That was just developed recently. This year we said, Yes, why not? Let's do this.

Well, I think it was a good choice. At least we're not going to be losing everything (smiling).

Q. As a tournament director, if you look back, if somebody going to tell you before the tournament there was a retirement, one walkover going to happen, you going to take this?
EUGENE LAPIERRE: I tell you what, if you tell me all the ingredients of the tournament beforehand, at the start of the week I have all the players, everything, if I have to write the scenario myself, there's quite a few things I would have changed in that scenario. But I have no control of that.

I'm happy with what happened because that's what happened. That's the story that we're going to live with. We come up with the final that's going to be very interesting tomorrow. No matter how we got there, we got there. That's going to be the final dot on the week.

It's going to be a beautiful day, packed stadium, good promotion of the game. Either a new champion or a fifth-time champion of the Canadian Open. It will a great day.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. With Gael's decision to pull out, does that bring us again to the issue of the roof?
EUGENE LAPIERRE: Yes. If he had played his match yesterday evening, he wouldn't have needed to do this marathon today. But these kind of things happen every year almost. So you did draw the natural conclusions from that.

Q. Since people are going to be reimbursed, how does this affect the tournament's revenues and the money that will be given to Tennis Canada?
EUGENE LAPIERRE: A night session like this is one million. But for the first time this year we had taken out insurance for the last three matches, the two semifinals and the final. I have to see the details of the contract. We might be able to get back half a million. We will be lacking several hundred thousand dollars.

I still believe this year can be a record year, but we would have preferred this not to happen.

Q. So those who had tickets for center court tonight were allowed to go and see the doubles match of Denis. They are still going to be paid back. How does that work?
EUGENE LAPIERRE: Because it was not a match with their tickets. If we had been able to play the doubles on center court, it would have been with their ticket. But here we didn't know whether the people on that court were there from the afternoon or whether they were people coming in the evening. It's difficult to calculate all that.

Maybe we are a bit lucky here because we had sometimes people saying, We can't tell them you didn't see Nadal but you saw a tennis match. This is our idea of serving the clients. We just tell them, There was no match, you get reimbursed.

Q. You are guaranteed a singles match?
EUGENE LAPIERRE: I will have to read what is on the back of the ticket to know exactly what it said about the rain delays, et cetera. We know that a complete match is okay, but we don't know if that match takes place on another court if it counts or not.

Q. Another topic that might make you smile. Andreescu is in the final.
EUGENE LAPIERRE: Yes, I've seen that. It's wonderful. She was playing a very tough opponent, Kenin. She won in two sets. So it's quite a performance.

They have a dream tournament there in Toronto because they have Andreescu on one side and Serena Williams on the other side. We'll show this on the giant screens here. It will be shown while the doubles final is going on here. People arriving in the stadium will be able to see that. It will create a good atmosphere.

Q. Of course you are disappointed with Monfils' retirement. You are still happy with the final, Medvedev-Rafa?
EUGENE LAPIERRE: It's rare that we have fights between generations. It's a bit the case tomorrow. It's like in 2005 with Agassi. So here Rafa is going to play against a very young player who wants to have a stand in the tour. It's going to be a big battle between the two.

Medvedev has been adopted by the crowd here in Montreal because he speaks French. Of course, Nadal will have had a day off today, and he will be fresh for tomorrow's final.

Q. People were complaining that they couldn't have access to the first semifinal, although they had tickets for the evening, because there were empty seats.
EUGENE LAPIERRE: Well, all the people who were not able to see the match that didn't take place will be totally paid back. It will be credited to their credit cards. They will have to do nothing.

As you've seen, there were many people in the stadium for the semifinals. After Gael's match, many people went out to get a drink or something. But you can't say it was not full.

You can't tell people, Go and try to see if there's a seat somewhere. We don't want any fights in the stands.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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