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January 21, 2022

Gael Monfils

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Press Conference


7-6, 6-1, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: A straight sets win over Christian Garin today. Take us through the match.

GAEL MONFILS: It was a tough one, different condition today. It was hot. It was quicker. Just felt that again, we need to adapt a little bit the game plan. Had a good start, fortunately, and I a little bit hurt myself in the fourth game. It was okay actually. It was nothing really special on my ankle, but just I had a neck problem, so it was more affecting my neck again because I had to roll. I just had to adjust a little bit, and he's playing I think good, his changes at the moment because he was clearly like 3-1, Love-30, is when you want to do the push to straight away show him it's going to be tough, and this gives him I think a little bit more hope.

So then I had to battle and was very lucky and fortunate to win this breaker, and I just think I was solid enough to win in straight sets.

Q. Obviously you seem in a great place. This time last year I know it was a very tough experience for you at this tournament. How different does it feel to 12 months ago? Are you surprised to be in such a different place 12 months later?

GAEL MONFILS: To be honest I tried to not even remember last year. I just can say that I'm here, I'm good. I feel good, as I say. I worked, well, a lot hard, and just been playing great tennis for many months now since America last year. So I'm just me.

Q. Non-tennis question. I was asking Elina about this yesterday and she gave a very good answer. How different is it being married now to another tennis player? What are the positives or maybe the negatives? How do you approach it? She had a very good answer.

GAEL MONFILS: So I give this answer also.

I've been asked about that. The positive thing is definitely you have someone who's sharing the same goals and sharing the same lifestyle that you have, but always I say you don't get married to someone that has the same passion as you. Tennis is one of the passions that we have in common, but we have so much more in common, so much things that we do in life in common, and that's what matters the most.

Obviously others think that's helping us to get married, but as I said last time, if she choose me for tennis, I don't think she marry me because she could marry like many more players or whatever. For sure I didn't choose her for tennis. It's more like personal reasons. I think both we choose to get married, and we have the same passion, it's great, but doesn't really matter, but our personal life is more the personal life the more important.

Q. Does it make it a little bit easier for you to be able to speak to somebody who totally understands what you go through and you understand what she goes through and also seems to have given you extra form because you won Adelaide, as well?

GAEL MONFILS: I guess it helps for sure a lot. The only thing is because she's my wife, so I don't know if for sure it helps, but it's more like she knows me more so as a person. It's like, okay, she understands tennis, but she's my wife so she knows I have my own problem, I have my own battle. She helps me through all of that, to maybe make me a better tennis player in the way that she understands. But I feel like the work that she's doing as a wife is more like 99 percent of my personal life and 1 percent that she picks up quicker than someone else and then she can give the input in tennis. That's why it's more like as a person, Elina, she's matching my life in a perfect way, and then yeah, of course that she understands a bit better tennis and obviously she understands tennis. It's a plus.

Q. When you and Elina play on the same day at a slam and she plays before you and she loses, is that hard for you in terms of your preparation for your match?

GAEL MONFILS: It's tough. It's tough in a way because it's nothing with the preparation because you know you do the same thing, but it's a little bit tough because I know she be sad. It's a tough one. Then we always support each other, so I know it's tough inside a little bit to come, and I know she will give good support and she can straight away. It's just sometimes tough because it's almost that you're losing, as well, today just before the match.

Q. Would you prefer to play at the same time if you have to play on the same day?

GAEL MONFILS: It depends. Honestly, no, because you always want to wonder what the other one is doing, so it's better like that to be honest.

Q. On a completely different topic, I know it's early days, fourth round. You've come up against Novak a lot of times in slams and that's been hard. Does him not being in your draw, does that feel different?

GAEL MONFILS: To be honest, for sure Novak is the world No. 1, and he always beat me, I never beat him. I lose to him, I lose to Roger, I lose to Rafa. When you go no matter what in a slam, for many years I've been losing to those big guys. Whoever is in the forefront, he's there for a reason, so it's going to be a big match no matter what.

I think at that stage you don't really think about it, you just like, okay, it's different, but different is not easier.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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