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November 19, 2019

Sebastien Grosjean

Gael Monfils

Pierre-Hugues Herbert

Nicolas Mahut

Paris, France

FRANCE 2, Japan 1

TSONGA/Uchiyama 6-2, 6-1

NISHIOKA/Monfils 7-5, 6-2

HERBERT-MAHUT/McLachlan-Uchiyama 6-7, 6-4, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. Congratulations on the victory. It was a very strange atmosphere out there, very little support.

Q. Because you won the final point. If you could just talk about that. Was that the strangest atmosphere that you've ever played a Davis Cup tie in?
NICOLAS MAHUT: Yeah. I have to say, it is a strange feeling. When you play Davis Cup, usually the stadium is full. But once you start and you play with France in the back, you forget everything. You play for yourself, you play for the captain, you play for the guys, and for people who are supporting us.

So, yeah, the beginning was a strange feeling. We need to win see if later in the week will be more people in the stands.

Q. To the captain, how do you look back this tie? Could you give your impression each match, especially doubles match so close?
SEBASTIEN GROSJEAN: It was a pretty different atmosphere and style of play.

I will say with the first match, Jo was really aggressive and took control from the beginning. He was pretty quick and he was impressive. On the second match, we know Gael start to miss a little bit here, so not enough time to adapt to the condition with the altitude.

We have to give a lot of credit to Nishioka who played a good match. It was 1-1.

In the doubles it was a big battle. Both teams played very well. We always expect the best from the other team and the Japanese players gave 100 percent. I'm really proud of Nico and Pierre-Hugues because it wasn't easy just to arrive maybe 24 hours ago from London, and they gave everything, yeah.

Q. Two questions, Gael and doubles team. For Gael: Nishioka is a tricky kind of player. What makes him tough to play? The other question for the doubles team: As the captain said, you will adjust in the long run. So what is the challenge of playing this kind of a big match back-to-back?
GAEL MONFILS: Nishioka is very fast, he's a very fast mover. He's a great competitor. I think he had really great backhands. It's tough to get through him. And yes, he's not missing so much so that make him a tough opponent.

PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: It was a big challenge out there today against Ben and Yasutaka. We knew it was going to be a really tough team, a good doubles team because they've played together, they won the Rakuten Open in Tokyo two years ago. Ben is an amazing doubles player and Yasutaka got better and better years after years.

So we knew it was going to be a tough match. It was a big challenge for us because for sure we were two days ago in London in the finals of the ATP Finals. So a big change for us to be competitive today, with different conditions, different atmosphere on the court. And was for sure a little bit of fatigue.

But really, really happy about the way we played, the way that we behaved on court. So, yeah, really happy about the performance.

Q. Your last Davis Cup tie was obviously played in front of about 20,000 people in a football stadium. This one, a few hundred people. Can you talk about how you felt when you were on court coming out and singing La Marseillaise in front of not many. Does it feel like the same competition?
PIERRE-HUGUES HERBERT: Actually, it was pretty special because it was the first time I hear myself singing the Marseillaise song (laughter). So it was special. I was hoping if Nico sings perfectly because I could follow the rhythm and everything. Yeah, that's it.

Yes, for sure, for us, it's so different. I mean, we played in Lille in the finals of Davis Cup in front of home crowd, I don't know, almost 15,000, 20 -- more. 20,000 people. 90 percent of the crowd was for us.

For sure it was different. But we are only tennis players, we are not organizing the events. We are just happy to be here and play for our country and play for our mates and give our best.

NICOLAS MAHUT: It is like playing the World Cup Final and then you play quallies for the World Cup in soccer. So it is not the same atmosphere. But like we said, once you play for France, you have to give everything and forget about the atmosphere.

Q. In a similar vein, this obviously is a very big change in a big tradition in our sport. Would you like to see talks about going back so there are more home and away matches, or are you happy with this format?
SEBASTIEN GROSJEAN: Every time you want to change, you need to give time. So we have to see. You were talking about the atmosphere in Lille, you were there, but it was different. If you want to change, you need to give some time to the fans, to the media, to the players to adapt to a different atmosphere. You cannot say stop right away and then we will see.

But every time you play for your country, you have to go everywhere. It's a privilege. It's an honor as well. So I'm very proud of them because everybody's talking about the atmosphere, but those guys, they are here, they are here for France, for Davis Cup, and we need our fans.

So I hope on Thursday it is going to be a bit more crowd here and if we keep going, and more and more.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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