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April 10, 2024

Gael Monfils

Principality of Monaco

Press Conference

D. MEDVEDEV/G. Monfils

6-2, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. How did you feel? There were ups and downs in that match. Sometimes you changed the pace of your shots?

GAEL MONFILS: Well, you know, Daniil beat me easy. He played well tactically. He was able to impose his game and what he wanted to do.

On my side tactically I didn't do the right thing. I tried a certain number of things, but I was not able to change the situation. He really made me work hard, and he played shots that were bothering me, so it was more difficult for me today.

Q. We saw how the crowd was happy to see you back on the court today. Can you explain the emotions you felt last night, for example?

GAEL MONFILS: It's cool. I was lucky to play here with a wildcard, and playing again was great because I hadn't played here for many years. So it was a privilege to be here, and I know it's not going to happen many other times, so I was happy.

Q. Do you believe that Daniil is a really good player on clay?

GAEL MONFILS: Well, I don't know if Gilles helped him a lot, but Daniil played well. He didn't make many mistakes. It's a strange question, because he won a Masters Series. I never won any. Am I a bad clay-courter for that?

He did something that very few players did. He played a Masters 1000 on clay. He reached the quarterfinals here. He won Rome, et cetera. Quarterfinal in the French Open. He did win Rome, no?

So this is exactly what I was explaining yesterday. Sometimes players don't play as well on clay, but still, they are very efficient. Anyway, if I had been able to do what he did, I would be happy.

Q. You played a shot with your left hand.

GAEL MONFILS: Well, I was lucky on that shot. It's only pure luck.

Q. Congratulations for yesterday evening. I would like to know if, at your age, it's a lot more difficult to play well the next day after that, and even psychologically it must be difficult, or not?

GAEL MONFILS: Well, it's a bit more difficult, for sure. But I was happy the way I felt physically today coming into that court. It's positive, because I normally am in a period where I feel tired and I was able to start well the match. I felt good in the rallies. I felt I could sustain the rallies for a while, so you have to see the positive side of it.

So I was able to play those matches one after the other in a period where supposedly I'm tired and I was able to still be well physically.

Q. You always set new goals. Now you are No. 37. Are you going to set a new goal for that?

GAEL MONFILS: Of course it's a goal to be a seeded player again. It's always better in Grand Slams, so I want to achieve this goal at some stage, but everything depends on your state of mind.

Today I played a top player who plays very well. Of course you can always do better. But I see the positive side. I felt good, and this is important.

I'm not bothering him yet, but maybe next time I play him I will be able to make it more difficult for him.

Q. Gael...

GAEL MONFILS: You're going to talk about the Olympics (smiling)?

Q. Can you explain what happened in the first set?

GAEL MONFILS: I didn't understand what happened at all. There was that time when the player said the ball was out, but the umpire came down and said it was good. I think what happened is because he said the ball was out, he stopped playing.

Q. Would you prefer to have Hawk-Eye on clay or not?

GAEL MONFILS: This is a very good question.

Q. It happens (smiling).

GAEL MONFILS: It's tough for me to give you an answer, because last week I had it and it was strange. Honestly what you want is the umpire to come down and see the mark, and in the best of the world, then the Hawk-Eye would say the opposite.

Q. Coming out of the court, you bent down and touched the clay.

GAEL MONFILS: It was a tribute I was paying to clay. I had experienced great moments on that court. I was able to go to semifinals twice. I was really happy. This is my spiritual side.

Q. You'll be back here next year?

GAEL MONFILS: I hope so.

Q. Because you're tired, are you going to take a lot of time to rest or are you going to Madrid?

GAEL MONFILS: Yes, I am going to Madrid. Physically I'm tired. Everybody can see that. And I also want to spend time with my family. My family will be back next week. I haven't seen my little girl for a while now.

I played many weeks, so I think I can take a week off. I gave everything I did to prepare well, and one important thing is also to have time with your family.

Madrid will not be before the Wednesday. If you want to know my program, I'll try to go back home tonight to be there for when my girl will wake up tomorrow morning. I won't play again before the weekend. Of course I will also do some physical exercises with my physical coach. So tennis, I will play maybe the weekend or the beginning of next week.

Q. Family life is important to you?

GAEL MONFILS: For everybody.

Q. But now, are you in control of your organization, organizing matches, tennis, and the family?

GAEL MONFILS: It's tough, because every decision is a sacrifice either for the family or for the tennis. It's not easy. It's even very complicated.

That's when you were lucky or unlucky to grow up being selfish, and it makes me sad, because in our kind of life you do many things back to back and you miss important moments. Some people say you'll do that later, but your daughter is one year old once and two years old once and not again.

So either you go and play, you try to be tough, or yesterday you hinted that I might be able to go to the Olympics, but, you know, thank you, tennis, but this is a week also where I can say no, and every decision is hard to make.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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