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April 11, 2021

David Goffin

Principality of Monaco

Press Conference

D. GOFFIN/M. Cilic

6-4, 3-6, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. I suppose you are satisfied.

DAVID GOFFIN: Yes, it's a good win. First tournament on clay. Starting with a victory is good. It's a good way of starting the tournament, and I'm happy, yes.

I did what I needed to do to win that match. I was playing better and better. In the third set, I was playing better. In the first and second set, I had problems with the returns. In the third set, I was more consistent.

It was a good match.

Q. In the second set there were nine breakpoints out of 10 that you saved. Was it frustrating for you? Can you tell us how you experienced that set that you should have won, in fact?

DAVID GOFFIN: Yes, I was up 2-1 and a break in the second. He was making many mistakes. He was very aggressive and he was not controlling the match. It all depended on his mistakes. It could have gone one way or the other.

Then he came back at 2-All. I played better but I got broken all the same. I felt in each service game I had breakpoints to be able to break back. The end of the set was a lot better for me.

In the third set, I was able to start with the same rhythm. I was up 3-Love immediately. That affected him, of course. It made the difference. Of course, at the end of the second I could have won those breakpoints, but he played well. I still continued in the same way and was able to win the third set.

Q. In terms of level of play, do you feel you played a real clay court match or are you not there yet?

DAVID GOFFIN: Well, in the beginning Marin won three big games. He was hitting hard on both sides, he was really aggressive. It wasn't a real clay court game where I was controlling the rallies. In fact, it was a match where I had to fight against him and make him make a mistake because he was hitting really hard. I needed to be very solid with my legs and serve intelligently to make him miss.

It was not a typical match with a lot of topspin on both sides that we have on clay usually. He was hitting hard. If I didn't hit hard myself, he was able to win the point. It was not a real clay court match.

I used my weapons, especially my returns.

Q. Often the players say there's no easy matches. Isn't it even more true now than before with this new Italian, all the new players coming up, coming from the qualifying? Apparently the general level has gone up a lot.

DAVID GOFFIN: Yes, I really believe the level is very high right now, even higher than before. Young players are playing really well. They have great potential. They play at a high level already. Others are there, have been there for a while.

I played on a first round on a Sunday against Marin Cilic, and Marin was top three before. Tomorrow I might have to play Caruso or players like him that play well. They play really well on clay. I saw his match today. He beat a good clay-courter.

This is a Masters 1000, but the draw is not that big. You can have big matches in the first rounds. The level is very high. Each match you win is a good thing. I will try to continue. But I think the next match will be difficult, too.

Q. It was your first match on clay. What went well? What can you improve on?

DAVID GOFFIN: I was able to play good returns today. Many went in. I could have moved better. In the beginning, I was a bit stiff. But he was being very aggressive. I wasn't doing well.

In the third set, I was able to be more relaxed and I was running a lot better. This was really good. I hope I will be good with my legs at the start of the next match. Sometimes for your first match on clay, you don't run as well.

But it came quite quickly today, so I'm happy with that. I hope I will move as well as that in my next match. I could have served better, but I was able to keep up with his rhythm because he was being very aggressive. I'm happy with the outcome of that match.

Q. What do you expect from this week, given the draw, the opponents? What are you hoping for? Maybe you might play Zverev.

DAVID GOFFIN: It's difficult for me to look ahead right now because I'm not very consistent. I do good things, but I do bad things, too. I have to take things match by match.

But I'm fit and I can hope for good results here. I'll take things match by match. I'm doing everything I can to raise my level match by match. I hope I can go further and play the best players.

But each match is difficult, as I always say. I'm trying not to think too far ahead. Each match is tough.

Q. Djokovic and Nadal, we haven't seen them recently. Did you practice with one of the them last week? Did you see them play?

DAVID GOFFIN: I didn't see Djoko, he just arrived, I think, on-site. He was a bye, so he practiced before. He just arrived here. I guess he prepared well for the clay.

Nadal hasn't been playing recently. I believe among the top-seeded players, he was the one who arrived the earliest. Each player has his own practices. I'm sure Nadal is used to the clay and the courts here. I'm sure he's a bit surprised by the conditions this year.

We'll see how they're going to play.

Q. What is your status about the vaccine? Some players have the vaccine. Is it something you talk about in the locker room?

DAVID GOFFIN: For the vaccine, I hear many players that are not so keen about taking the vaccine. We have to see what the advantages are, if you can travel easier. It might be a positive thing.

I'm not against it. I'll try to do it as soon as I can. But for the time being, I'm not allowed to have it yet. I have to wait like everybody else.

Q. The tournament in Belgium this week, what do you think about paddle? Are there things you find in paddle that you don't find in tennis?

DAVID GOFFIN: Oh, there's a paddle tournament this week? An international tournament? Oh, that's cool. I believe the good Belgian players would be able to play against the international elite. I hope it's going to be at a high level and the tournament will be great.

I love paddle. I like golf, too. It's very enjoyable to play paddle. It's fun. Small racquet. If you know how to play tennis, you find it great fun immediately. You can immediately play not too bad. You don't need hours and hours of practice. Immediately with a small racquet you can find some tactics and things that help you to have fun.

When you're playing with four, it's always fun. For us tennis players, it's very enjoyable.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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