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April 21, 2008

Paul-Henri Mathieu


6-2, 2-6, 6-3

(Translated from French)


Q. You said yesterday you didn't expect much from this tournament because of the lack of preparation. Was it the case today?
PAUL-HENRI MATHIEU: Yes. I didn't have any reference points on this surface. I only had one set of practice on clay, and this is not enough.

Q. But your opponent didn't have much preparation either.
PAUL-HENRI MATHIEU: Yes, but he started practicing on this surface on Monday. I only started on Wednesday. I only had half an hour on the surface. Plus I was coming back from a long trip. I was jetlagged. I had played tournaments for five weeks. He had the advantage of being able to stay at home. I only spent one day at home.

Q. But it was a good test. You played a good match.
PAUL-HENRI MATHIEU: Yes. He plays well. Clay is not his best surface. I believe if I had had more practice I would have been able to win today.
But, really, I would have needed to play a couple of sets before that.

Q. And you would have needed a "more forgiving" net for you?
PAUL-HENRI MATHIEU: Yes, but that's tennis.

Q. Did you believe you had chances when you were coming back?
PAUL-HENRI MATHIEU: Yes. It was just a couple of points difference in the end. Maybe if I had kept my break. At the end of the second set, I was feeling good. After four or five games, my legs started feeling heavy. Physically it was difficult.

Q. After the Davis Cup you heard that Richard's father started asking for Noah as a captain. Llodra said you had agreed not to speak to the press. What is your position about all that?
PAUL-HENRI MATHIEU: I have no position. I thought the matter was closed. I had problems with no one personally.

Q. Do you believe losing in this first round is a good thing for you; you can rest now?
PAUL-HENRI MATHIEU: Yes and no. If it hadn't been the Monte-Carlo tournament, I wouldn't have played this week. But on the other hand I really need to practice on clay. I need to work a lot. It's impossible to play well on this surface if you don't practice.
But if I had won a few rounds, it would have been a miracle.

Q. But you would have needed to have a break after the United States?
PAUL-HENRI MATHIEU: Yes. I would have liked to have two or three days at home. I only had one day. On Wednesday already I had to start playing on clay. Otherwise, it wouldn't have been worthwhile playing this tournament.

Q. But now you can do your preparation next week?
PAUL-HENRI MATHIEU: Yes. I'll start even tomorrow. But I'm going to do that here because I'm still in the doubles, and the clay is good here. If the sun shines, the conditions are okay.

Q. Are you playing a tournament next week?
PAUL-HENRI MATHIEU: Normally, yes. But I'll see how I feel. If I'm ready, I'll play it.

Q. In Barcelona?

Q. How do you feel mentally?
PAUL-HENRI MATHIEU: I feel good. Worse things have happened to me before. I'm top 12. Life is beautiful.

End of FastScripts

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