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April 11, 2008

Guy Forget

Paul-Henri Mathieu


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How disappointing was that? You had the match points. It looked like it was yours.
PAUL-HENRI MATHIEU: Thank you for reminding me.
What do you want me to say? It was a pretty close match. I had two match points. I was ahead. What do you want me to say? The guy almost closed his eyes on the match point. He make two return like he never did in the match. What do you want me to say? I have to give him some credit.

Q. You must have been pleased with the way you played, right?
PAUL-HENRI MATHIEU: Yeah, I mean, I will be more happy if I had a victory at the end, for sure.

Q. Could you sense where it turned around there at the end, where the momentum changed? Could you feel that?
PAUL-HENRI MATHIEU: No, definitely not. I think I played pretty good game at 5-4. I lost the first point. But then until 40-15, I put all my first serves in, even on the match point, so... I mean, that's tennis.
Yeah, I'm really disappointed. That's life, huh? That's life.

Q. What do you think was the difference between you and him? I know it was a couple of shots. But what shots? His forehand?
PAUL-HENRI MATHIEU: I mean, there's no difference. We play four hours. I have maybe one more point than him. I don't think we had any difference today. I was pretty close to win. Like I said, I mean, on the two match points, I mean, what do you want me to say? The guy did two unbelievable shots. I don't think we had any difference today. I don't think he play better than me today.

Q. Like you said, you were up two match points. Obviously it's very disappointing. Can you put that into words as to how disappointing that is, for him to be that far back and for him to come back and win pretty easily in the last game or two?
PAUL-HENRI MATHIEU: You never win a game easily, so... What do you want to know?

Q. Talk about letting it slip away.
PAUL-HENRI MATHIEU: I don't think I let it slip away. I mean, the guy, he play great. After he serve the two match points, he didn't move from the baseline, and he make some unbelievable shots. Even on the last game, I mean, no, the guy play great at the end.

Q. What was your strategy coming into the match that you and your captain came up with?
PAUL-HENRI MATHIEU: No, I mean, I knew he had a weaker backhand, so I try to play first on his forehand to find his backhand. No, and then I was trying to focus on my game, on my serve, put a lot of first serves in, just to stay focused because on the kind of court, it's going pretty fast. So you have to stay focused all the time.

Q. Can you talk about the lack of free points. You had some aces. But a five-set match, it was pretty low for the speed of the court.

Q. About not getting many free points.
PAUL-HENRI MATHIEU: What do you mean "many free points"? I think we won many free points.

Q. Both of you were like backboards today.
PAUL-HENRI MATHIEU: My game is not to do serve and volley. It's not his game also. I think we did pretty much aces.
No, I think we won some easy free points. I mean, if you want to watch us on clay, it's not the same, so... Yeah, compared to Roddick and Llodra, we don't have the same serve than them. We play more from the baseline, for sure.

Q. Was there any weakness that you felt you had any opportunity to exploit?

Q. Yes.
PAUL-HENRI MATHIEU: Weakness to him? What do you mean?

Q. Did you feel there was a weakness either coming in or that you saw during the course of the match that you tried to exploit?
PAUL-HENRI MATHIEU: No, like I said before, I tried to play his backhand a lot because he has a pretty good forehand. So I try to go on his forehand first to find his backhand. So that's what I tried to do.

Q. Guy, how disappointing is it, you have your two guys play such good tennis and yet you're still down 2-Love after that?
CAPTAIN FORGET: Well, it's very disappointing. But on the other hand, you know, I'm proud with the way they've played. You know, I knew getting into this tie things were going to be really difficult for us. I told them that they just had to go out there and give their best and fight all the way to the end.
Even though Michael lost in the first match, I thought he played quite well. I mean, just Andy every time was just a tiny bit better. That's why the score was close, but he lost in straight sets.
Paul-Henri, throughout the whole match I thought there was a lot of times where he was playing a little bit better, he was a lot more solid. But, you know, it's never finished until the last point's done, and I knew that. I know with someone like James, you know, who fights a lot and who has all the crowd behind him, he was not going to give up anything.
You know, till the last point, I knew, one more, just one more point, just stay focused, do what you have to do. You know, it almost worked out.
It is disappointing because I thought at 1-All we still had a bit of a chance. 0-2 is getting very, very difficult, almost impossible. So, yeah, I'm disappointed. But on the other hand these guys did their best. You know, you can't blame them for anything.

Q. When you see how well your players played on this super fast surface, how entertaining the tennis was, do you wish there was more tennis on surfaces this fast?
CAPTAIN FORGET: Well, yeah. I think, you know, I like to see aggressive players. I'd rather see Andy and Roger Federer than to see someone who stays back and rallies, Argentinian or Spanish players. We saw some great points today, it was incredible. Yeah, I do.
But, you know, sometimes the ATP, even Wimbledon the last few years, they've been slowing down the grass, making slower balls. So now Wimbledon doesn't look like a grass court surface, I mean, what it was. Wimbledon now is like another slow hard court tournament, almost clay. And it's sad in a way 'cause, you know, I think that's what makes tennis special, is to see different kinds of game, different kind of players doing well.
The sad thing about the game now is more and more guys play exactly the same way. You know, we miss that contrast that we had when Borg was playing with McEnroe and Lendl, and Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi. I think, you know, if we had more courts like that, we'll see a lot more different games.

Q. It really brought the best out of your players. Is that because it's just more fun for them?
CAPTAIN FORGET: No, I think Davis Cup -- I know tennis is not the biggest sport in the U.S., but when you look at the way Andy and James, all what they've put in Davis Cup the last few years, you realize that it's very important to them. And in our country, I mean, tennis is big. All the guys make Davis Cup a priority in their schedule. You know, they give everything they have.
In the past, I have to say that I've always seen them play great tennis in Davis Cup. Not that they don't do it in the other tournaments, but I've rarely seen them miss matches, play really poorly. So you have to give credit to the players for that. I'm sure they'll be doing the same tomorrow in the doubles. Whatever the result will be, they'll fight and they'll give everything they have.

Q. He had two match points. You could have been 1-1. Now it's 2-Love. Does it feel almost like it's insurmountable?
CAPTAIN FORGET: It is, it is very difficult. You know, I think things happen for a reason. And, you know, I've seen some French journalists just before talking about bad luck. It's not bad luck. I think James deserved his win. He went go his shots. He made them. Paul-Henri played perfect 99% of the time. I mean, just that last point, a couple of points where he could have played differently. His position was not right. Now we're talking about very tiny little details, but that's what makes the difference between winning a match and losing it.
You know, that's why probably James is ranked a bit higher than Paul-Henri today, because he's been winning more matches that were really close. A guy like Roger Federer, you know, he's so good because a lot of times when he's in situations, he always finds a way to advance. He finds the right solution. He's got all the shots. He plays all different kinds of shots, just like Tiger Woods in golf. When you see a complete player, a guy that goes to the net, stays back, can have good defense, serves and volleys. I think that's why Federer today is the best player in the world, just because he's got all these shots.
I think James was a little bit more offensive, a bit more creative in the end than Paul-Henri probably. So that's what makes the difference.

Q. Do you think there was a lack of aggressiveness on his part?
CAPTAIN FORGET: You know, as I say, he was fine all the way until these last points. When you get at the end of the match, you have the match point, sometimes the match point can be the most difficult point to win. When Paul-Henri was serving, normally you serve and you try to keep the edge and control the points. When you serve and he's controlling the points, something's wrong. It happened once, twice, three times. So you have give credit for James.
Had he missed his forehand return on the match point, I would have said, Paul-Henri was very solid and James was shaky on the match point, he missed another return. But you have to admit that he made these shots. Not just one, he made like a few of them in a row. And he was getting more and more aggressive. Paul-Henri on the other hand was kind of, you know, getting not frustrated but really upset by the fact that he didn't make these points. And you could feel like the balance kind of going like that, where it was all even all the way throughout the rest of the match.
But you can't blame him for anything. I'm proud of him. He fought so hard. These things happen, like he said.

Q. How do you approach the mental aspect now for your doubles team tomorrow as the captain?
CAPTAIN FORGET: In a very simple manner. You know, we have nothing to lose now more than ever. Just go for it. Just enjoy yourself. If you lose, you know, we'll still go home on Tuesday and still be playing Monte-Carlo a week from now. It will be sunny. You'll be outside on clay. You'll be driving your sports car. Just go out and play good tennis. That's what all the fans that flew to Winston-Salem are expecting from them. That's what I'm going to tell them tonight. You beat these guys in the Wimbledon finals last year. I wasn't there. I want to see it again.
I'm sure, you know, they'll give everything they have and it's gonna be very, very difficult, but I think they can do it.

End of FastScripts

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