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February 25, 2020

Benoit Paire

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

B. PAIRE/M. Cilic

2-6, 7-5, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Got out of jail there, didn't you? Four match points...
BENOIT PAIRE: Yeah, it was not easy today. I lost five times in a row against Marin. Lost against him in Melbourne 7-6 in the fifth. I was not confident before the match.

But really happy about the win. It was not easy today. I was not feeling really good on court. Little bit sick two, three days. Really happy to win today and to fight until the end.

Normally when it's one set, 5-3, I normally tank (smiling). This time I was full and I tried until the end. It was good working. Really happy about the win. It was not easy.

Q. How difficult was it in such brutal heat certainly in the early part of the match?
BENOIT PAIRE: The only thing is when you play against Marin, he was top 10, he won a US Open, he won a lot of big tournaments, he is not seeded here, and honestly he's very good player. I knew it will be difficult to beat him today. But that's what I did.

It was very difficult because I was very frustrated during the match. I was not feeling well. Tough to breathe normally. So it was not easy.

The only thing I got to think today is the win and that's it.

Q. You said usually you would have tanked; you were not feeling well. How were you able to turn it around?
BENOIT PAIRE: I have my coach, I have my friend here. I didn't play good the last tournament. I lost in first round in Pune, first round in Rotterdam. I was not really focused on my tennis.

This tournament we said, Even if you don't feel good, just try to enjoy. That's the only thing. I was not enjoying at the beginning of the match. More and more the match was going, it was much better.

When he broke me at 4-3 to do 5-3, honestly I had breakpoints in every game, I had a lot of chances. It was just unlucky for me.

At the end when he had the match point, with the frame, I hit a forehand, then he made a double-fault. I felt he was under pressure. I say, Try to fight. That's it. It's working today. But lucky.

Q. You've got your French colleague Richard Gasquet next. How do you view that match?
BENOIT PAIRE: Yeah, we played a lot together. He's in front of me, so it's never easy to play against him. When he play good, I know he's a very good player. He was top 10. He was one of the best players the last 10 years.

I know how to play him. I beat him already. I know it will be a tough match. I have to play much better than today to win. But if I stay focused on my match, confident with myself, fighting until the end, I have my chance.

Q. The match in Australia, obviously it was a tough one. Did that factor into you not feeling great after? Was it difficult?
BENOIT PAIRE: Honestly it was not easy because I said to my coach when I had the breakpoint at 4-All or 5-All in the third, I said I remember the match in Australian Open. He told me, It's different day today, you are better than him, you can beat him, it will be different.

For me mentally it was not easy to serve at 6-5 because I lost three matches this year at 7-6 in the third. Even if you do 6-All, you going to lose. Why to fight until the end (smiling)?

This time I say, Okay, I try.

I made two aces on the match point. I made a good point at deuce. After I say, I have nothing to lose. You lost every match, you are 6-All in the last set. Try to be aggressive.

First point I hit a very good forehand. Then I made a double-fault. After that I played very well. That's why I'm really happy because I was fighting, and this one with the confidence it's working.

Q. It seems you have a lot of inner dialogues in your mind. Is it a good thing?
BENOIT PAIRE: It's better if I don't tell you what I think in my head (smiling). I'm going to tell you it's positive, but not.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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