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August 12, 2019

Richard Gasquet

Cincinnati, Ohio

R. GASQUET/A. Murray

6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You broke him to start the match and also broke him first game of the second set. How do you feel that that set the tone for both sets?
RICHARD GASQUET: Yeah, of course for him, the match, of course he didn't play since January, so I know it was very difficult for him. It's different.

That's why I wanted to start well, you know. It's never easy for him to serve as the first match after so long time without play. So of course I'm feeling good on court. I played last week.

Yeah, of course I knew maybe was the favorite of the match, but, you know, it's still Andy. You are still -- he serves well. He has a big return. So of course in the second set he start to play better. We did great games. He was playing very good and 2-0 to 5-4, second set he play much better, start to return well. Could be another match for me, but I kept my serve.

So of course I hope he's feeling good day after day, and of course I hope he will come back strong.

Q. I'm curious, what did you expect from him today and what did you see in his game? We haven't seen him play singles in a long time.
RICHARD GASQUET: Yeah, he was still playing good. Of course, you know, it's tough, you know, first match after he had the surgery. Very difficult. Of course I hope he will recover well, and of course if it's recover, if he's feeling well and he will come back, no problem, he's still one of the best players.

It was tough for me, 4 and 4. He could break me many times in the second set. So even with this, you know, he's still a great competitor. That's why you're still scared when you face him. You know, I know it's still Andy Murray, you know.

So with his return, with his mind, you know, everything can happen. Main goal for him, yeah, to step after step, have the surgery start of the year, of course he knows the process. The process is very difficult. You need to be strong, and of course he is. I have no problem with this.

I hope he will waking up well tomorrow morning, and he still can play good in the future. He's great champion of the sport.

Q. I remember your first match in Madrid, first match back since the surgery. Just what is it like coming back from that? How does that feel?
RICHARD GASQUET: Yeah, after surgery you never know if you're gonna come back or not. You know, you have -- mentally it's tough. Physically after this it's very difficult to come back on the court, especially to play on a high level, you know, running, one step to the other side, to serve. To play high level, it's very demanding.

Now I'm feeling good, so of course -- yeah, I fought a lot all the year to come back, so now I'm feeling great. I'm feeling better.

I hope it will be the same for Andy. I practiced a lot now. Maybe it's not the same surgery too. I don't know exactly what he had, but even with this he's playing very good. I hope he will come back.

Q. If you were to say something to Murray going through, like, similar experience, what would you say to him?
RICHARD GASQUET: You know, I have nothing to say to him. He's a much better player than me. He won Grand Slam. I only did semifinal. He has many things to tell to me. Him, I have really nothing to say to him.

He's a better player than me, so I just hope he, step after step, day after day, tournament after tournament, he will climb, you know, the matches, the practice, and he will come back strong as before.

Q. You played him several times before, and obviously this is the first time back for him. How was his pace? How was his overall game, being on the receiving end to this compared to previous times?
RICHARD GASQUET: Of course he was the best player physically with -- he was everywhere, playing incredible. So of course it's the first match for him. He didn't play for seven months, so it's very difficult, you know.

He's only at the beginning. You know, he has a lot of steps to come back as before. But I think he can, feeling honestly, he will do it. I'm sure about it. He's still one of the best players. He's playing great. The return, as I said, the serve, he's still one of the best in the world.

I think just physically, you know, need to move. Of course it's normal. It's his first match. Before, you know, impossible to do a winner against him. Now it's a little bit different. It's normal because it's his first match.

Q. The pace of the ball, was it comparable to before?
RICHARD GASQUET: Sometimes, yeah, he did, but of course now it's not the same. It's normal. Seven months he didn't play, so impossible for him to come back first match as before, but I hope he will feel better.

As I said, the first week, two weeks, three weeks are important to feel better day after day, to feel you can practice, feel you can -- matches are different. So of course now, yeah, now I hope he's gonna feel well and come back in the future.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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