April 14, 2021
Principality of Monaco
D. GOFFIN/M. Cecchinato
THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.
Q. Three years ago you were one of those who met and played Cecchinato in Roland Garros. Did you expect him to more or less disappear from the top, top level afterwards, after he made the semifinals? What kind of difference, if you may remember, is there between the Cecchinato you played three years ago and the Cecchinato you played today?
DAVID GOFFIN: Yeah, I think he was playing amazing. He was really solid. He was playing heavy. He was moving really well. His serve was really smart. It's never easy when you win titles like in a 250, then you make semis in a Grand Slam, it's not easy to confirm. Especially him, who is clearly a clay court specialist, you can see that his game is more for the clay, not for fast, hard or the grass.
It's not easy for him I think to have - how do you say? He's not 100% comfortable on every surface. It's not easy to have the same level the whole year for him. You never know, it's tough with the confidence. He started to lose one or two matches, then went out of the top 100.
I think now he won some matches again, he's playing better. I think he's coming back a little bit with a better level for the moment. You never know. It's not easy. With expectation when you made the semis, then the year after you have to confirm what you did, it's not easy.
Today I played well. Today I played well. He made a little bit too much mistake maybe, I would say, because I was solid, returning well. So at the end I'm happy that I won.
Q. I know the clay court season has only just started, but could I ask you a question about Wimbledon. I'm asking players for their favorite Wimbledon memories. I wonder what yours might be? Winning your first match? Playing Murray on Centre Court? Reaching the quarterfinals?
DAVID GOFFIN: I wouldn't say Murray on Centre Court because it was not a great memory. Even if to open the tournament on the Centre Court was just amazing, but the match, he just killed me. It was not a great memory.
I don't know. Maybe the last edition when I won Medvedev. I think it was the best match. It was everything in that match, like the tension, the atmosphere with the fans. It was full. The match, like, I was a break down in the fifth, then I won the match. After that I won the next match and I went to the quarters that year.
I think it was a great match there. I think that match was I would say the best for me, yeah.
THE MODERATOR: Questions in French, please.
Q. You played a great match, very solid. You must feel really good. You had very good feelings on the court today.
DAVID GOFFIN: Yes, clearly I tried to implement what we've been practicing. Little by little it comes easier and easier. I'm happy. I still have another good match to play tomorrow now. It's very satisfying.
In the end of the match I was moving better and better. I was hitting better, too. It was not an easy match. We never know what Cecchinato will do on the court. But I was solid in the important moments. I had a tough game, but I played well in the important moments.
Q. I saw tape on your knee. Do you have a physical problem?
DAVID GOFFIN: No. Some little worries, but nothing serious. It's always on the same side, but it's not really worrying for the time being.
Q. You were talking about your next match. Can you talk about it? Are you going to change your routine?
DAVID GOFFIN: It's going to be a difficult match, of course. He plays very well. He serves well. It's going to be tough.
But at this stage of the tournament, all matches are very difficult. I always had very tight matches against Sascha. Sometimes I won, sometimes I lost. I know he plays very well on the clay. He has a good forehand. He's solid with his backhand. He has a good first serve. I will need to play a great match.
But I have nothing to lose. After winning two matches here, having a third match against him, it's good. I will be able to relax and I will take the opportunities that I'll have.
But, as I said, it's going to be difficult. He's been improving lately. He's playing stronger and stronger. He's very solid. He's very precise.
Q. We talked a lot about the Olympics today because it's in a hundred days. We know the swimmers, gymnastics, everything, it's their main goal. But tennis players have many other goals. Do you think about the Olympics? Do you feel you want to be there?
DAVID GOFFIN: Yes, I think about it. The Olympics are the Olympics. We represent Belgium. It's a competition we dream about. We dream about the medals. It's something important in all sports, even for tennis. Even if you have other goals before and after.
Of course, it's tough to prepare only for that, but it's good because we have other things. If we're injured or if things going wrong, we have other things, which is not the case for the swimmers, for example.
It would put a lot of pressure on me to have only that. I hope I will get there feeling good, feeling fit. I hope I will play well. Last time I played well. I like the conditions. I like the place. I really hope I'm going to play a good match for Belgium.
Q. You were talking about Tokyo. How are the conditions here in Monaco? Can you forget about the sadness of the empty stadium?
DAVID GOFFIN: No, it seems all right. Clearly it's different. When you see the stands covered up on center court, it's strange. Last time was great, but this time is different. We only had one day with the sunshine. The conditions are heavy, humid. You need to adapt.
I just concentrate on what I have to do for each match. My team is there. Everybody is there. We tried to do our best. We try to make all the effort we need to find the energy.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports