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January 17, 2007

Gael Monfils


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you talk to us about the injury, what exactly happened and how it feels?
GAEL MONFILS: It was my strap. My tape was too tight and the blood was compressed, so that's why.

Q. So it eased up? Once you removed it, it was better?
GAEL MONFILS: It was better, yeah.

Q. How about the crowd out there and winning on a stage like this and a match like this? Is this the biggest one of your career? Describe how it feels out there.
GAEL MONFILS: It's something magic. First when I get on the court I was a little bit scared because the stadium was full.
And before the match I knew it was a big match against Marcos, so to win was magic. That's the word, magic.

Q. Last year Marcos Baghdatis obviously went on -- no one knew much about him at the start of the year. He went on to reach the final. Do you hope you can do maybe something similar now that you've had this breakthrough?
GAEL MONFILS: Step by step. It's like only one match, and every match is different. I do not see the future. Just stay in the present.

Q. Marcos beat you in August last year. How much do you think you've improved since the last time you've played him, and what did you learn from that match?
GAEL MONFILS: Today the conditions was very different because we were out there with the roof. I learned a little bit. I know how to play, and when you're going to make mistake -- and I think today Marcos was very tight -- so it was easy to defend, a good way to play against him.

Q. Do you feel like you can continue to play with all the sliding and the movement, or do you ever fear for your health? Are you going to be able to sustain that as you get older?

Q. Do you feel more comfortable on this surface now?
GAEL MONFILS: No matter what I do, every surface. Only on the grass, but every surface is good.

Q. Now you play someone who you know very well, Richard Gasquet, in the next round. You've played each other many times?
GAEL MONFILS: Yeah, two times, I think. Yes, good friends, so it would be a good match and I will see.

Q. Just quickly, how does it feel to get through to your first third round of the Australian Open?
GAEL MONFILS: It feels very good, very good. But I think I have to step through the tournament. Like one match, maybe it's a big win but still a long tournament, so after the tournament I would maybe say second round was good, but I have to see more now.

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