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August 17, 2005

Gael Monfils


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Gael.

Q. You were up 5-2 and he got it back to a tiebreaker. What was going through your mind during those games that you let it slip away?

GAEL MONFILS: When I lose this game, you know, I think -- I was think about other thing, don't stay focused on my match. And when it was 5-3 I think little bit shaky, little bit. So I little bit push, not play my game.

Q. You were pushing?

GAEL MONFILS: Yeah. Only run on my baseline. Only run, you know, on the baseline and try to keep the ball on the court. But I think he -- it was like because I was scare. I was scared to play my game, afraid to hit normally.

Q. You were afraid to...

GAEL MONFILS: To hit normally, yeah.

Q. And yet you won the last five points in the tiebreak. You were down like 3-6. What went through your mind? What turned the point there?

GAEL MONFILS: I don't know. It was lucky because he missed two forehand I think. I did one ace and one double-fault so, you know, it was lucky. Maybe he too was like me, but I think it was lucky.

Q. How have you managed to stay calm during those points? He was very frustrated and you seemed to stay calm. Even when he had breakpoints, you either hit an ace or got a service winner. Do you feel that you've matured, you know, on the court?

GAEL MONFILS: Maybe a little bit, yeah. Maybe more than few months ago. Because before, you know, I made some errors. Now I worked on this, on my errors, so now I have more control on me. You know, I can keep the frustration.

Q. This is a very hard court and you're not Kim Clijsters and yet you keep sliding. You did that I don't know how many times today. Is this something you're trying to sort of break the habit just because it doesn't seem to be a real good idea to keep doing that?

GAEL MONFILS: Like all my life, you know, I do that so...

Q. When you look around the tour, you see other guys your age around 18, 19, what do you think of all the young players on tour that are making an impact like Nadal, yourself?

GAEL MONFILS: It's very good because when we was young we played together. So now to see each other on the tour, it's better. And I hope everyone in my generation will be maybe in the Top 10.

Q. In terms of all the other French players of your generation that are on tour, is that nice to have other guys like Gasquet, Mathieu on tour with you and being successful, too? Do you guys ever like hang out, you know, because you guys kind of came up together?

GAEL MONFILS: Yes, I think is very good because for France I think it's good have young one like us. We have a good mentality I think. We try, you know, to grow fast but together. I think we have a good spirit, team spirit. So it's very nice.

Q. Besides the bigger paychecks, what's the difference between, you know, playing on the Juniors and being up here kind of with the adults and playing full-time on the tour? What are the benefits? What do you like about being on the tour?

GAEL MONFILS: The organization, maybe it's a little bit better.

Q. What did you say?

GAEL MONFILS: The organization. Maybe it's a little bit better. The hotel is a little bit better, too. But I think almost everything, maybe it a little bit better. I think depends tournament, but it's same, I think.

Q. Did you think you'd move up so quickly from last year to this year? I know you won three junior Grand Slams, but being full-time on the tour, did you think you'd move up this quickly?

GAEL MONFILS: I don't know. I move. I don't know I move. But "quickly," I don't know. Maybe. I don't know, you know?

Q. Did you feel your game was ready to compete and do this well at this level?

GAEL MONFILS: My game maybe but, you know, I think is not the game, is the head and physical. But, you know, I practice. Now my life change little bit; I took two coaches so is different. So now I know I'm very happy to be here now. But quickly, maybe. I don't know, you know. It's difficult question.

Q. Do you think there's any sort of characteristic or quality that could maybe sum up the French players as a whole, or are they maybe too different to sort of group them together? Could you describe how maybe your games are similar or how you play out on the court, your style maybe?

GAEL MONFILS: If -- I don't know.

Q. What do you and the other younger players do when you're not playing tennis? Do you play video games, go to the movies? What hobbies do you have that you guys do that maybe some of the other older players don't?

GAEL MONFILS: Video game, but play basketball - a lot.

Q. Who do you play basketball with?

GAEL MONFILS: With some friend out, out of tennis. But I play basketball, tennis.

Q. It's not that long since you were winning junior Grand Slams. Here you are with -- some of the guys look like big men. Do you think that you're still going to get taller? Do you think you still have a lot more to grow, to add weight? Are you working out any differently? I mean, you're a young guy still. Do you see yourself being pretty different in two or three years?

GAEL MONFILS: I don't know. Maybe (looking at his arms). I don't know. Every winter I have a big preparations, so maybe. I think maybe little bit more stronger. But after, I don't know is like.

Q. Has your life changed much from last year to this year?


Q. Has your life changed much?

GAEL MONFILS: Yeah, little bit. Little bit. Because last year I was, you know, in the federation with the group, and now I'm by myself with two coaches so that's very different. And last year I wasn't go to the other country like now. Last year I was more in France, more with my parents. So this is different.

Q. Who do you travel with now? Do your parents travel with you or just coaches?

GAEL MONFILS: Right now a little bit more my parents. I was in Bastad with my father and my brother, and my mom come in for New Haven. So now they start come with me a little bit when they can.

Q. Have you been homesick at all? Do you miss home?

GAEL MONFILS: No, it's okay.

Q. What would it take for a very young player such as yourself to make a dent at the US Open?


THE MODERATOR: To advance far in the US Open, what do you think you need to do, or someone your age?

GAEL MONFILS: The best... I do the best I can (smiling). I enjoy myself on the court and do the best.

End of FastScripts….

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