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August 10, 2005

Paul-Henri Mathieu


THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. Do you feel you have just played a good match?

PAUL-HENRI MATHIEU: I did, but it's not that obvious because Arnaud played also very well. At the beginning I was very solid, and somehow I slowed in the second set, but Arnaud just kept playing his game. In the third set, I was able to elevate my level of play, playing better, and that's what saved me.

Q. Do you feel comfortable playing French players?

PAUL-HENRI MATHIEU: It's true that I would have preferred playing a foreigner instead of a French player. But I know him well. We call each other on the phone. We all want to win many matches in this tournament. We prefer avoiding each other in the draw. But when we have to play each other, we have no choice. There are more and more French players in the draw, so this situation is bound to happen very often.

Q. We have the impression that you are cruising with two victories. What did you do after this difficult period that you went through to be able to have successes like this? There was the Davis Cup tie loss and the fact you had to change coach. How did you find the way to overcome all of this and succeed like you do?

PAUL-HENRI MATHIEU: It was not obvious actually because I could not play Davis Cup if I kept the same coach that I had. It was a very difficult tie for me. I gave as much as I could. I wanted to do so well and I wanted to win so much. It's true that I did not experience a great weekend during that tie, but I gave my maximum and then I left in a hurry for Stuttgart. I was very happy to win a match two days later. I had to fight my ego to go and win there. Then I got sick. I had a stomach problem. I went to the hospital for a checkup. That was not something I enjoyed doing. I had this tube going down into my stomach. I had very difficult moments to go through on top of the very difficult Davis Cup tie. I would have liked to have won that decisive victory that we needed. When I was inactive, hurt, injured, I talked a lot about this unfortunate Davis Cup tie.

Q. And with Thierry Tulasne, it went well from the very beginning.

PAUL-HENRI MATHIEU: Yes, it did. We did not know each other very well. We agreed on a trial period, but it went well. We have great communication. We talk a lot. Now since the very beginning of our teaming up together, everything goes well.

Q. Now you have won two matches in a row. You must be after your third victory tomorrow? How do you feel?

PAUL-HENRI MATHIEU: Physically everything is well. Yesterday I did not have a lot of time to savor my victory. Today is the same situation. We wake up early in the morning and we get ready for the match that we have to play as soon as we can. I played two today. Tomorrow it's the same. I'll go for a massage. I'll sleep. It's not that easy to fall asleep when we play late in the evening. Tomorrow I'll get up early again and I'll try and go right back into the match that I have to play at 1 p.m. The problem is not physical; it's in the head. That's the difficult part.

Q. So we won't keep you here too long then. We'll talk together after the match tomorrow.

End of FastScripts….

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