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June 23, 2005

Gilles Muller



Q. Was that the most satisfying win of your career so far?

GILLES MULLER: No. I mean, I beat Agassi last year. For me, was different thing. But, I mean, it's nice for me to win a big match like this on a big court in a Grand Slam. That's something particular.

Q. Do you find it a lot easier playing him because it was grass?

GILLES MULLER: It was easier to play him on grass than on clay, that's for sure. I played him on clay in Barcelona and I lost 6-0, 6-2. I mean, on clay, he was the man this year. He won almost every tournament on clay this year. But on grass, it's different for sure because I can use my serve more. My game is serve and volley more. So for sure for me it's much more easier to play him on fast courts than clay.

Q. A lot of the grass court players are saying the conditions now as they are today compared to five years ago are more suited to clay court players.

GILLES MULLER: Yeah, that's true, because sometimes when he had time to hit his forehand well, he's putting so much spin on his forehand, it was bouncing very high. I remember when I played here the Juniors like four, five years ago, the bounce was much lower. It's true that it's different than then. But still I think if you're serving well and if you're playing a lot of serve and volley, it's tough for the real clay court players to play well on this surface. But they are better than before, that's for sure. I mean, like I said, the bounce is higher so they can use their forehand more. It's much easier for them than before. But still I think maybe Nadal is never going to win Wimbledon. With his game, I mean, he's serving well and fighting unbelievable, but he's not playing serve and volley, so I think it's tough for him to win once here in Wimbledon.

Q. Were either of you put off at all by all the noise coming over from the Centre Court?

GILLES MULLER: No. I mean, that was okay. When I was a break, I was always watching the scoreboard, what's going on in the other court. It was pretty strange. I mean, was up and down all the time. But it's nice to be in atmosphere like this.

Q. You've reached the Boys' final here in 2001. How much do you feel you're ready for the main draw here?

GILLES MULLER: Well, I mean, it's completely different, the Juniors. I took too much time to go from the Juniors to the Seniors, and I think now since last year I'm doing pretty good now in the seniors. And I hope I can continue like this. But it was completely different. In Juniors, is different level. I mean, if you're playing well, that's all right, that is enough. But in Seniors, you have to fight every day, every day, and that took me long time to understand this.

Q. Just a word on your next round opponent.

GILLES MULLER: Well, I mean, I played him already three or four times, always on clay court. I lost all the time. But in grass court is different. I think I'm playing better in grass court. But he's also playing good now on grass. He won Nottingham last year. Now he's winning two rounds against good players. He's starting again. So I just have to serve well, I think keep my serve, and wait for a chance on the return.

Q. Do you feel this surface suits your game best?

GILLES MULLER: I like fast courts, in general. I mean, I'm not particular now to like grass court because sometimes I like to stay also in the baseline and hitting from the baseline. But, I mean, I like fast courts in general more than clay court.

Q. Do you think the grass courts in particular suit players with a bit more experience? There's a lot of teenagers in the draw who obviously are very talented. Do you think they will struggle to do well at Wimbledon for the next two or three years whilst they get experience?

GILLES MULLER: I don't know. I mean, it's tough to say if you are going to play well in grass or no because you only have a month every year. So maybe that month you're not feeling well or something happens and then you're not playing well. But I think everybody has a chance to win in grass court because it depends on the day, depends on the form you have, it depends on how you're serving, depends on how you're returning. Maybe one day you don't feel your serve so good and then you're losing. And grass court is just -- you cannot say before the match what's going to happen. You have to just be focused every point, every game, every serve and see what's coming.

Q. You mentioned your progress took a while. What was that process like?

GILLES MULLER: Well, it was -- when I finished the Juniors, I was like 400 or 500 ATP, something like that. And then I start to playing challengers and quallies in challengers. I started losing matches and I didn't know why, because in Juniors before I was winning -- I'm not saying I was winning easy, but it was not so difficult to win the matches. But in seniors you're playing against players who are 200, and it's tough to play these guys. Because I think now, if today I have to play four weeks in a row challengers, I'm not going to win four weeks because all those players are very tough. They're fighting every point, so you have to fight like hell to win every point, and that's not easy. It took me a while to understand this. I thought everything was going to go easy with talent and everything. So it took me almost one year to understand this. And finally I got it.

Q. When did that happen?

GILLES MULLER: After Juniors, I stayed one more year in Paris. I was practicing in Paris also during Juniors. And then I changed to Barcelona. This type of practice was different. It was more like physical, harder. I think that's why I was working harder, and then in the matches I did the same. I was fighting every point. Still it took me a year. I was then playing challengers. Still it took me a year where I was between 100 and 300. And then finally last summer I got the break. I was playing in Washington. I was 120 or something. Then I made final there. I was Top 100. The rest of the year, I was playing good.

Q. What did you make of the crowd today? They seemed to warm to you as the match went on.

GILLES MULLER: Well, I don't know. Maybe they like how I'm playing. I have no idea. I mean, for me it's just nice to be out there and playing. Even if they would be against me. I mean, when I played the Juniors here, I remember my final was supposed to be played on Court 1. Then it was raining. They put it on Court 2. I was so disappointed. So I'm very happy I could play finally on Court 1 today.

Q. You say you're in Barcelona. Did you train with Andy Murray?

GILLES MULLER: Yeah, he's in the same academy. I mean, he was in the same academy like me before. Pato used to be my coach as well before. Now I'm practicing with Campos. Now that I'm with Campos, it's going very well. I started him a year ago. He took me when I was maybe 160 or 170, then I went up very quickly with him. I'm not saying this because I think Pato is a bad coach. I think Pato coach me a lot. It's just the way he taught me the things was not -- I think not good for me.

Q. Do you think that's the same thing that Murray had?

GILLES MULLER: I don't know actually what really happened there between him and Andy. I guess it can be the same because when you're not playing his way, you're not playing good. Even if you're winning matches or something. He's like this. For sure he's one of the best coaches in the world, because when you see how many players he put in top hundred or even better, that's unbelievable. But I think maybe now the tennis became different than it was before. Maybe his way to practice with the people is not the good way any more now. But still, I mean, for example with my coach, I'm still practicing a lot of exercises that Pato used to teach to his players. So I think the system is still the same, but the things change a little bit.

Q. What would be the reaction today in Luxembourg?

GILLES MULLER: Well, I don't know. I think today is national day in Luxembourg. It's the birthday of the Grand Duke. So happy birthday.

Q. You had mentioned you were disappointed that you didn't go to Court 1 in Juniors. How did Court 1 live up to your expectations?

GILLES MULLER: Well, I mean, I don't know. I never seen it from inside. But the atmosphere was great. I mean, already when I came into the court and the people were clapping and screaming, it was a very nice feeling. That's why you practice for. You're not practicing to be playing on Court 10 with 20 people watching. You're practicing to have these nice moments out there. I mean, playing in a good court, full of people, screaming and everything, feeling the atmosphere. I mean, that's unbelievable.

End of FastScripts….

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