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April 10, 2008

Arnaud Clement

Guy Forget

Richard Gasquet

Michael Llorda


THE MODERATOR: Questions for the French team, please.

Q. It wasn't exactly what we expected. Michael, how do you feel about playing?
MICHAEL LLODRA: I feel comfortable playing. This is going to be my first singles match. I have nothing to lose against Andy. So, anyway, I have to play my best tennis today to beat him. I'm ready to fight. So we'll see on the court.

Q. Richard, do you have any physical problems that we should know about or was this just a coach's decision?
RICHARD GASQUET: Yeah, that's the coach's decision. I wasn't in a great shape maybe to play this match. Now when we have a guy like Michael, it's not a problem. It's the same.
Michael is one of the best players on our squad. Yeah, I think he will play a great match tomorrow. So I support him a lot for sure.

Q. Someone said you might have had a blister on your hand.
RICHARD GASQUET: Yeah, I have some problems, some physical problem. But that's okay. That's okay. We have great players, so it will be hard for American players to win two points tomorrow.

Q. So we could see you this weekend?
RICHARD GASQUET: We will see. I will try to.

Q. Michael, can you talk about obviously the situation facing Andy on such a quick surface. With the U.S. crowd, how difficult will that be? You can go in carefree, knowing you have nothing to lose.
MICHAEL LLODRA: Oh, of course, for my first match, it's going to be not terrible, but, you know, when you have 15,000 people here support Andy, and also the pressure, you know, I have on my shoulder.
But, you know, when you play this kind of match, especially for me, you have nothing to lose. I'm gonna play, you know, I hope my best tennis. But we'll see.
It's very good for me to play this kind of match. When you are young, you expect to play this kind of match. No, that's good.

Q. Could you preview the doubles and talk about the success you've had against the Bryans and the confidence you will have on Saturday.
ARNAUD CLEMENT: You know, the last time we play in the Wimbledon final, we beat, but we also lost a couple of times. Against the Bryans, you know you have to play your best tennis. We have to play our best tennis together.
Now Michael is in great shape. For me, I feel better and better now. So I think everything, it's a good timing for us to play against the Bryans now.

Q. Is there a secret to beating the Bryan brothers that other teams obviously haven't figured out?
MICHAEL LLODRA: Not a secret. But we are a good combination together with Arnaud. We beat them couple times. But they beat us also. It's totally different, you know, the Davis Cup and tour event. We will see.

Q. How would you celebrate if you won? You've had some famous celebrations before.
MICHAEL LLODRA: We'll see, you know. It depends if we win after the Saturday night or Sunday night.

Q. Paul-Henri, did you think coming into this weekend that you would be playing so much?
RICHARD GASQUET: First of all, I think I'm gonna play tomorrow, then we don't know who's gonna play next. First we're all going to focus on playing tomorrow, so... I'm playing one match tomorrow.

Q. Guy, can you give us a little update on Jo-Wilfried, what his situation was, and also the decision to put in Paul-Henri instead of Richard.
CAPTAIN FORGET: Well, Jo had a little tear in his meniscus, his internal meniscus. He took an MRI here and he had to fly back to Paris. I don't know what he's going to do, if he's going to have surgery or wait for a another couple weeks. But he was out. There's no way he could play here. That's the reason why I took five players. So Arnaud got in.
And, you know, thinking about the singles on Friday, I really felt that Michael and Paul-Henri were the two guys who were in great form and had the most chances of winning a point.
You have to take into consideration, you know, the physical ability, the little injuries that some of the players have, and that can change within the next few days. But on Friday I really felt that was the best opportunity for us.

Q. And with Richard, you feel like he could still play for the team on Sunday, perhaps?
CAPTAIN FORGET: Oh, yeah. I hope he will and I hope he can. You know, once again, the good thing about the French boys is so many of them are playing well. When you have a guy who's physically not yet a hundred percent, you have someone else who can be there and just play really, really well.
So, you know, that's why Michael is playing. I'm very, very confident with the way he played. And if you asked Michael what surface he would love to play on throughout the whole entire year, he would tell you something like that. He's been wanting to play for the last six, seven, eight years in singles. So there he is.
But I think he's ready now.

Q. Do you think he can give Andy a lot of problems tomorrow?
CAPTAIN FORGET: Oh, he will, for sure. When you serve like he does, he's a great volleyer player, you know, you have to play quick points. You know, he's just a perfect player for that. You know, once the rally will go on, he has all the weapons, you know, to hurt Andy. I mean, of course, Andy's got a great serve as well. I'm not going to talk about Andy. Everybody knows how good he is and what he can do. But, you know, I mean, I'm sure Michael, with his game, being a lefty, will cause a lot of problems.

End of FastScripts

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