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September 2, 2009

Richard Gasquet


R. NADAL/R. Gasquet
6-2, 6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You played one tournament after your layoff. Is it going to take time to get back? How much practicing did you do when you were not allowed to play? Is it tough getting tournament-ready again?
RICHARD GASQUET: Yeah, it's tough, of course, to come back, because I stop three months. I played my last tournament in April in Roma, so I stopped three months. It's a lot. I couldn't practice. I stopped practicing, so I'm not very good.
But, as I said, I have no pressure. I'm happy to be back. I know I need time to come back, but I will, for sure. I don't know when, but for sure I will.
I practiced three weeks ago or one month ago, so it's not a long time to be ready for US Open, especially to play against Rafa. But I tried my best.
Now I will work a lot on my tennis to be ready for indoor season.

Q. Why did you stop practicing?
RICHARD GASQUET: Try practicing. If you have this kind of thing, you will see you won't to.

Q. Does it feel almost like a wasted year? Is it hard to get over that, to get your mind back into playing again?
RICHARD GASQUET: No, it's not hard. I'm really happy to play. I'm a tennis player. That's my life, to be on the tour. It's hard to play well, to be fit, to be ready and everything, especially when you have to play against a guy like Nadal.
But I'm very happy. In my mind, I'm very happy to be there. I can play on the center court. I saw two Grand Slam on TV. So for sure, even if I lost, I'm disappointed, but I'm really happy to play.

Q. How do you see the shape of Rafael? Is he 100%? 70%?
RICHARD GASQUET: I don't know. You never know with him. He's one of the favorite of the tournament, like Federer, Murray or Djokovic, and him. They are the four favorites of the tournament.

Q. Like Nadal of old?
RICHARD GASQUET: He can win the tournament. Day after day he will improve his level, for sure he can win. He won the three others, so he's one of the favorites.

Q. What was the reception in the locker room after what happened the last few months?
RICHARD GASQUET: Very good. I have no problem. I had no problem with everybody.

Q. This is the first time some of us have had a chance to talk with you. When the ruling first came out, what were your feelings? Were you angry?
RICHARD GASQUET: When I had two months and 15 days?

Q. When you got the suspension.
RICHARD GASQUET: I was impossible for me, but it happened. It was something incredible happen in my life. I have maybe more chances to win Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon, and US Open than to be tested with cocaine.
If in the beginning of the year someone will tell you you will win the four Grand Slam and you will be tested for cocaine, for sure I will tell I will win the four Grand Slams. Incredible, but that's happen.
Now it's finished and I can play, and that's the most important for me.

Q. Are all the aspects of the situation finished now? There are no more legal ramifications?
RICHARD GASQUET: I'm playing. Now I'm happy because I'm playing. That's the most important for me. I don't want to talk about it. I want to play tennis, to enjoy it. Because the last three months were really hard for me, so I just want to enjoy my situation. I can play. I can practice.
I was really sad when I couldn't play. It was the hardest part of my life, for sure.

Q. You have a very nice one-handed backhand. Is it an advantage to have a one-handed backhand or two now?
RICHARD GASQUET: I don't know. It depends on how you can play with slice when you have a good backhand. Like Federer, he has a good slice. Sometimes with two hands there are not a good slice.
I don't know if is better to have two or one. I think one is more beautiful for spectators. Me, I like a one-handed. That's better for me.

Q. How would you describe your own one-handed backhand?
RICHARD GASQUET: That's my best stroke. Maybe if I hadn't this stroke, I wouldn't be one time in the top 10. That's my best stroke, so I am happy to have it.

Q. Why did you have so many struggles today returning Nadal's serve?
RICHARD GASQUET: It's hard. He's a left-hander, so it's really hard to play with him. But he played better than with me with his forehand, his backhand. He was better on the court.

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