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October 28, 2019

Benoit Paire

Paris, France

B. PAIRE/D. Dzumhur

7-5, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French, please.

Q. Could you tell us what happened in your head at 15-40 when you actually had at once only aces and winning returns?
BENOIT PAIRE: Since the Asian tour, I've been sick a lot. I had the flu. I had the tinnitus when I came back, and it was not easy for me.

When I get in court with so little trust, I feel heavy. I feel tired. And when I finally manage to have winning shots, then I change. And I felt like in Asia. I felt in a low. I had a very negative state of mind. And I needed to play loose because, otherwise, I could have had 6-4, 6-4 and lose, and I wouldn't have used the opportunity of playing RPM fully.

And I thought, okay, you're 5-5. At least try to take chance because the public is waiting for you. They were boosting me, and I couldn't get it. This is why there was such this U-turn.

And I managed to boost myself and to have winning shots back to back.

Q. While you're talking about the crowd, the public is special. You saw it in 2013. How can you manage the public? Do you feel apprehension?
BENOIT PAIRE: Well, I don't. Since the French Open, things have changed with the public. People come to see me. They're here to support me, to show me their support, and it feels good.

In the French Open, I felt the best sensations of my life, and I really wanted to live that again here.

And I even asked it on my Instagram, on the social media. I said, I need support. Because I know that it's not my best game level, but I really wanted to do my utmost during this match.

And even if it's a match in two sets, I'm very tired. At first, it was very hard until 5-4. I couldn't get in. And I said, well, play loose and focused because you have to give it all.

And it finally worked for me. I incurred risks and I won.

Q. Is this crowd special?
BENOIT PAIRE: Well, you know, the crowd is right, you know, because when I was -- you have no right to make a mistake here. You have to be careful. You have to deal with it.

We need the crowd, and I saw it today. They're here for you. But just to be aware that we have to stay composed. We can't get angry.

This is why in the past I have had problems. But they understand that I've changed and I'm doing a lot of efforts and they are really supporting me.

Q. You're talking about the public. Despite what happened last night, I guess this match was good and made you feel better?
BENOIT PAIRE: Yes, of course. When I saw this match, Paris is better than Marseille. So we have to be realistic. If we were to do a debriefing about the match, I said, a bit more commitment would have been nice.

In Paris, I have lived here when I was younger. I have a lot of memories here. I often left Bercy in difficult circumstances. One day I was injured. I was booed by the public. I had split up.

And every time I come here, I'm very moved. I'm not being melodramatic. I'm tired. Because also on an emotional point of view, I always enjoy playing here.

And I enjoyed winning here today, and I hope it happens again against Gaƫl. The main purpose is to have pleasure for both of us.

Q. We've all seen the movie Lost in Translation. Can you talk to us about your Asian tour?
BENOIT PAIRE: Well, I was sick. I was jet-lagged. I couldn't sleep for two weeks. It's true. This jet lag is very hard for me. It seems stupid. I travel all around the world, but in Asia it's always hard.

With my coach, I would discuss with him all night long because I couldn't sleep. And this time, I would play until 5:00, 6:00 a.m. It's very hard when I can't sleep. I'm very tired. I don't feel good in my head. It's very tough. And the only way for me to sleep was to take sleeping pills.

I couldn't see the ball against Uchiyama, and it was the same case in Tokyo. When I arrived in Shanghai, I couldn't sleep either. And after ten minutes, I was told, you know, Come on, wrap it up.

Because they didn't recognize me. They looked at my eyes, and it's true. And when you don't sleep and you have to play tennis, it's too tough. It was just impossible.

So I think I won't go to Asia next year, not because I don't want to, but it's the end of the season. I'm tired, generally. And I will withdraw from Shanghai. It's too hard for me.

Q. You were talking about Gaƫl for the next match. There's a lot at stake for him. He's had a lot of accomplishments so far. Will you have some apprehension because it's hard to have 100% full French match?
BENOIT PAIRE: Well, it's the last match of the year. I'm not far from the top 20. I know how many points I have to grab to reach the top 20.

I mean, I'm on the Davis Cup team. You know, the team can always change. The captain can change three players at the last moment.

With the poor Asian tour that I have achieved, and it hasn't been easy, recently, because I've been sick. And I have to show to my captain that I can make it, and I have to show him that if he needs me for the future ties, then I will be there.

And I really want to go to Madrid. I don't want just to be there to represent France. I want to show that I'm going to be one of the top 20's, and I'm going to fight when people need me to.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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