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June 17, 2007

Nicolas Mahut


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Nicolas.

Q. You must be extremely disappointed. Match point, the forehand for the win...
NICOLAS MAHUT: Can I see the match point on TV (smiling)?
You're right, I'm really disappointed. Like you said, I was one point away to put my name on the trophy. Like I said yesterday, it's one of the greatest tournaments of the tour. You know, I had match point. It's really hard now.

Q. Did you get a bit nervous? There it was waiting for you to pass Andy. Did you tighten up?
NICOLAS MAHUT: It was just an easy passing shot like I hit a thousand passing like that.
But, you know, it's easier when you practice. When you have to make it to win the tournament, it's another shot.

Q. Nevertheless, the whole of the week has been good for you?
NICOLAS MAHUT: Yeah, I need time now because it's too fresh. I just lost. But I know I did something well. I had a great week. I will keep it in mind, but I just need time.

Q. How tough would it be to go to qualifiers at Roehampton now?
NICOLAS MAHUT: I'm waiting for a good news because I'm only one out from the main draw. That could be the good news of the day.
But if not, I have to play tomorrow morning (smiling).

Q. It will be a different world. There's 7,000 fans here. Maybe only a hundred or so at Roehampton. It will be a test for you mentally?
NICOLAS MAHUT: You know, Wimbledon for me is the greatest tournament, so I will try to do the same as I did today. It's another tournament we start tomorrow. I have to win three matches. That's it. I really want to play Wimbledon. Never mind if I have to play tomorrow morning.

Q. How many times have you played in the qualifiers before? When was the last time?
NICOLAS MAHUT: I don't know. The last time was two years ago. I lost last round, I think. I think I played three times maybe or twice. I don't know.

Q. Do you know who you're playing yet?

Q. What time are you playing tomorrow?
NICOLAS MAHUT: There's no schedule yet.

Q. Do you ask yourself why your fellow Frenchman Tsonga has been given a wildcard?
NICOLAS MAHUT: You know, you have to ask this question to the tournament director, not me. I think they gave the wildcard before I beat Nadal. I think this is the reason why.

Q. Would you like to see them given a bit later in the tournament so if somebody like you reaches the final, it's automatic?
NICOLAS MAHUT: I can't answer that question. You know, I'm French. I'm not from England. My ranking is too low to get in the main draw; you have to play quallies. I have to pass through the quallies, that's it.

Q. Why as a Frenchman do you say Wimbledon is the greatest tournament? Do you have great memories growing up watching it on TV?
NICOLAS MAHUT: Yeah, for me it's the greatest, even if I'm French. I love playing the French. Roland Garros for the Frenchmen is really important. Wimbledon is the older one, the oldest tournament. And I won in juniors. Maybe that's why it's the most important for me.
I can't explain. That's just my opinion.

Q. Did you get an injury? You were holding your hip.
NICOLAS MAHUT: It's because I dive too much.

Q. You're okay physically?
NICOLAS MAHUT: I'm just feeling really tired after the match. It's mentally.

Q. Have you surprised yourself at all with how well you played this week?
NICOLAS MAHUT: Not really. Not really. I think you are more surprised than me. Everyone asked me if I believe in me, if I thought I could win. I said, Yeah, I think I can win. I was really close to win that tournament.
But for the first time I really believe in my game and I really believe in me.

Q. Are you aware of Wimbledon's history of qualifiers having a great run, starting with McEnroe? Do you think if you come through the qualifying, you can repeat what you've done this week?
NICOLAS MAHUT: I don't think about that. I just want to play quallies and then reach the main draw. This is the only thing I have in mind.

Q. You say you believe in your game.
NICOLAS MAHUT: Yes, I believe in my game, and I believe I can reach the main draw.

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