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June 1, 2021

Gael Monfils

Paris, France

Press Conference

G. MONFILS/A. Ramos-Vinolas

1-6, 7-6, 6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. There is scenes of what we have really missed in sport, you know, with the crowd going wild, players like you conducting them. What was it like to be involved in the middle of that?

GAEL MONFILS: It was incredible, you know. It was incredible. It's a little bit for that, you know, you play even, you know, it was not like a full crowd but it was like enough to make a decent spirit, you know.

I could feel their energy. I could feel, you know, that every day I'm working to be on the big stage like that with crowd. You know, as I always say: You give to them, they give back. Then sometimes it's them to give to you and you give back to them. It's exchange.

Today you could see it was clearly, you know, it was a clear example today. Definitely make me so much happy. Cannot be happier than that.

Q. How good does it feel to have all the experiences that you just mentioned, the joy, sharing with the people, but also to play at a level that maybe you haven't played at for a while because you had that joy?

GAEL MONFILS: I was very happy. You know, to be honest, the main thing make me happy it's been a long time I play in front of both of my parents. You know, was both of my parents there. My brother. So that was very big for me. Very, very big. Even my auntie was there, some cousins.

It was like very big, to be honest, for me crowd. Make it special for me. Make it special in the way that I was missing them, I was missing that and the crowd.

So somehow I have struggled at the beginning, couldn't really find my range, couldn't find my timing. I think my legs was not moving enough.

Then slowly I get inside of the match, make it tough, make it work for Albert. Make a lot of mistake, but as I say, I'm trying to be more aggressive, so I need to accept but also I trust in the way that be aggressive, be defensive, be aggressive, find balance. I was happy.

I think this week, as I say, coming up here, it was better and better, you know. Some tough matches, tough losses, but better and better. To actually conclude the first big win here in over -- it's easy to say, but I put that win, you know, on the crowd, my parents. I put that help me quite a lot to achieve like a better match, better serve, I was more relaxed on some stage. As I say, I was more me, a bit more fun. It was a better Gael Monfils today.

Q. Could I just ask you a little bit about Naomi Osaka and what she's been going through. How much do you empathize and sympathize what she's going through at the moment? What would you like to be seen done to maybe help players that are struggling like she is at the moment?

GAEL MONFILS: I think it's very tough. It's very tough situation for her. I feel for her, because I have been struggling quite a lot as well.

It's a big moment for everybody I think even outside of tennis, you know, what we experience now. Definitely to bring back on the hotspot, it's really tough.

I feel like, as I just say before the tournament, you know, she's a champion. You know, she's a real champion. So champions dealing sometimes with bigger than even us good player. What she's dealing is even tough for me to even judge, because I think she have a massive pressure from many things. I think she's quite young. She's handling it quite well. Sometime we want maybe too much from her, and then how she say maybe she can't manage it that well, so sometime for sure she going to do some mistake.

But I give her always, you know, the chance because she's a champion, she's quite young, she has a huge influence on many stuff. So I think, yeah, she needs, as she say, take some time for her to -- you know, I think work on herself, feel better.

Always people, sometime a lot of people, like let's say the people in the top of our sport, they manage it very well, you know, which is amazing, you know, how they manage it. Naomi, she's on top of the game and maybe manage it a bit different, but she's still a human being, as I say.

It's sad, you know, in a way for her, what's happening, it's very sad. As I say, it's tough to judge if it was right, if it was wrong. She made this decision. For sure it's not helping our sport, but for sure is not helping her as well.

I think she was in between, so, you know, I'm just waiting. You know, she say that she going to work with ATP, WTA, with ITF about changing stuff, about press conference. I'd be very curious about what they gonna change, but first of all, you know, I really wish her a speed recovery, mentally recovery, to feel better. You know, she's a young girl, first of all. You know, make us sport high, bright.

So, you know, we need Naomi. We need her definitely to be 100%. We need her back on the court, back on the press conference, and back happy. You know, that's what we need.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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