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May 24, 2022

David Goffin

Paris, France

Press Conference

D. GOFFIN/J. Lehecka

6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. You had to keep really focused till the end. There were two sets when you were up 4-Love, and he managed to come back.

DAVID GOFFIN: Yeah, a tricky match, a complicated match. He hits really strongly. He's very dangerous, given the conditions. When it's flat shots, he's got the power to hit on both sides. His backhand is really good.

It was complicated. I had to make him move around. If it's 4-Love or 4-1, he hits even bigger shots, he's so powerful. I had to make sure he would move around the court. Not that easy. Not that easy to win points on the serves on both sides of the net for him and for me.

But I managed to keep my focus. I was really in the match, a very serious match, I'd say, and I was focusing well from the beginning to the end. I didn't disconnect. Then at the end I had the upper hand, and I won the match with very good games to finish off the match.

Q. What next? What would you say? Tiafoe or Bonzi? Can you tell us a bit more about the two players, please.

DAVID GOFFIN: Yeah, they are playing right now. I don't know what the result will be like or what the score is like.

It's a second round. It's going to be another match. Well, I think I can manage this one. It's going to be tough, in any case. Bonzi or Tiafoe, it's going to be difficult for me to play against any of those. Tiafoe, never played against him on clay I think. Neither with Bonzi either. I played several times against Tiafoe, I lost once to him. He's really a talented player. His forehand is really good, and flat backhand, so two very different shots, and he can do all types of things.

He can get really angry or can really take the lead if he feels comfortable in the match. Not easy to manage.

If it's Benjamin, he's a tough player. It was not the best moment for me in my life when I played against him twice. That was difficult for me to win, at the same tournament I believe in Montpellier. He's a very good player and hits a lot on both sides, very aggressive. Doesn't let any ball go past him.

It's going to be complicated, which is always the case for the Grand Slams.

Q. Tiafoe reached finals in Estoril on clay.

DAVID GOFFIN: Yeah, he played really well. He has very heavy right-hand shots. Not at all bothered by his footwork on clay. He hits the balls just after the bounce, and it's not his favorite surface, it's true. But when he's playing well at Estoril, he could have won the tournament. It was quite open for him as well. He reached the finals, though. I was not surprised at all.

Q. There is this streak that you have put an end to. At the end of the match we saw you were totally relieved and happy. Can you tell us more about this, the feeling and the Belgians in the crowd.

DAVID GOFFIN: Relieved? No. But happy to win here, that's true. My ambition was to win the first round. That's for sure. Even though it was complicated I remained calm through and through. I feel good to win a match in a Grand Slam, which is what I have been doing in the recent weeks with good matches. I'm calm and steady or regular.

After all that, winning a Grand Slam match is always tough regardless of the opponent. It wasn't easy either today, but I was crowned for the work I put in in the past weeks, and I have good feelings for the time being. So I have been today winning the first Grand Slam match for a little while.

I feel really good. I hope I can continue and tread the same path.

Q. There was 1000 Belgians to 350 seats. How do you feel about this and the atmosphere on the court?

DAVID GOFFIN: It's a small court but it was crammed with people, even in the stairs and the flights of stairs everywhere, behind the tarpaulin, there were heads everywhere for me. Really good. But it could have been a bigger court, it would have been the same.

I hope it's going to be the same for round 2 except if it's a French. Maybe then it will be so-so, depending on the court. But if it's Tiafoe, I suppose that the crowd will be with me if I play against an American.

Q. You're saying I'm happy. Why are you not saying I'm relieved? It was a long Grand Slam streak that was probably quite unpleasant.

DAVID GOFFIN: No, I wasn't thinking about this at all. It didn't even cross my mind. Now that I feel really good, I'm really well focused on my matches, and my game as well. I was not thinking about this at all. I was thinking about the match and to continue as I have been doing for a while now.

Now that it's won, I really feel good. That's true. Putting an end to a long streak of losses, of course you feel good and better. But I didn't think about this at all.

Q. What was the most important event so that you would come through after a beginning of the year that was super complicated for you? What was the trigger? How come all of a sudden you managed to win?

DAVID GOFFIN: Well, first, physically I felt good and I trusted myself. After the winter preparation I felt good and good matches in Sydney. I wasn't that tired. In Australia it was a bit of a panic for me. Then I gained confidence again.

After a number of exams, I saw that this was just a small warning, if you will. Or rather nothing serious. And with a bit of rest I could go back to the courts. That's when I gained more confidence. And then after playing a number of tournaments, in Doha or Davis Cup, I felt better physically.

Then after this, Indian Wells. That was a match when I was playing really well. I should have won in two sets against Thompson. But then after that, the other matches, well, I was playing well again, but I had not played enough matches. That's why I was losing.

Or the tension at the end of the match, that's good tension, good pressure, not a moment when you don't try and move around or that your knee would be suffering. Then a very good first-round match in Miami. I was very positive.

Then with clay, good matches I played on clay, as well. There you go.

It's an accumulation of good moments, good matches, good streaks, good wins, thanks to which I'm playing better and better.

Q. A win is always something good. Now that you look at the match that you have played, are there things you'd like to improve? Things you're happy about? Could you perhaps tell us the lessons you will take from this match, the good things or the bad things?

DAVID GOFFIN: By and large it was good. I could have served better. I think my percentage on the first serve was not that good. I did not have enough winners on my serve, which is what I have been doing for a couple of weeks, and it's something that works well for me. That's what I'd say.

And also to finish off a point. That's difficult to finish off a point, to have a big winning point. So I need to be more relaxed so that I could conclude more quickly after the rallies.

Q. What type of results would you be happy with here? I mean, how deep can you go, given your mindset? Given the fact that you're saying you are playing your game, given the players you are going to play on your draw?

DAVID GOFFIN: Well, that's not something I think about, the result, that is. What I think about is the procedure that we have been developing in the past weeks.

Given my game level, given my attitude, which is good, well, I have no duty to attain such a result. What matters is my attitude and to do things, to develop my game. Then anything can happen.

Look at what happened today. During the second set I was up with a break, but he's a very good player. The second round is going to be a big player, as well.

Now all matches can take a different course. It's based on details, you see. We will see what's going to happen next. I will play each match as it comes. I'm in no position today to say, Okay, given what happened in the past Grand Slams, I'm going to look at who is going to be against me in quarterfinals.

No, I take one match at a time.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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