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January 17, 2011

Gael Monfils


G. MONFILS/T. de Bakker
6-7, 2-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you tell us about the first two sets and how you got back into the game.
GAEL MONFILS: I think I start pretty good the match. Nice hitting. Was great. And then I sort of drop a bit and, I don't know, get a bit tight. Maybe Thiemo went for his shots more.
Then I start to a bit struggling and have like maybe negative like maybe mind. Like maybe I was too far away again. Then start to feel heaviest, like Thiemo's pressure. Then I just try to hold and believe in myself and try to think about simple things, like do like maybe move a bit faster and move my legs more and just fire up a bit.
And then actually it turn a bit and Thiemo get tight and also tired, I think. So then the key was easier to defend.

Q. What did Roger say to you afterwards?
GAEL MONFILS: He was happy. He was happy. He told me it was great because I play good the first set actually, and then, yeah, I have a very bad period. But he was happy because I found the strength to get back on the court. He knows I'm hitting good the ball. I feel great. So he knows how the match, that can sometimes happen.
He was more than happy. He told me, You did a great match. It wasn't the best match, but you're hitting great the ball. You show like something else like mentally, so he was quite happy.

Q. That ability to win from anywhere, is that something you've been working with him on?
GAEL MONFILS: Actually, I won't say I tried working that because it just happens. If I could win three sets, I will be more than happy.
Is more like, yeah, I show myself like sometime when it's very bad, I need to keep believe. For sure like couple years ago I couldn't hear like this. I was like, Okay, I'm done with that three sets. Thiemo was serving great, and it's okay.
I just try to compete; be talking with my team as well help me. And actually one point change something, and then I just take the ball and survive. And then I think I'm good player, so the win turn.

Q. I was in my hotel room, and I saw that de Bakker was serving for the match, and you took it to a fifth set. Honestly, did you think you were going out?
GAEL MONFILS: Like I can't say, you know, I was so sure. But, I mean, in my mind, you know, I have the strength to say, I'm feeling good. I mean, I have like no major problem. I try just to make him struggling a bit and try to make him own the win. And then actually that was the key. I think he get tighter and then start to struggle physically.
Then when you find a little solution, you just dive on it. And then I keep it in my mind. I was just try to play simple, hold it, like move him a bit, he's a bit tight, he knows I can run. So it was just the basic stuff in my mind.
And then when I get back at 5-All, I was like I had a strong belief like, Oh, I could make him play like more and even go to the fifth. In the fifth, we never know. I knew he would tank the fourth one. I knew like in the start of the fifth would be the key. I had to hold him like to show him physically I was more than hundred percent and mentally I was back to get him.
So it seems that was the key.

Q. Is that one of your best wins or maybe one of your most satisfying, given you were so far behind?
GAEL MONFILS: Yeah. Maybe I think it's the first time, yeah, I come back from two set down and even a break. So, yeah, I think it's a great win. So I'm happy with that.

Q. Do you think you can go all the way this tournament?
GAEL MONFILS: I mean, I feel like I have a second round first, and then I think deeper. I have time because, as you know, the first week in a Grand Slam is very hard to pass, and then it's a new tournament.
So I will say I focus about my second match and then I will see.

Q. Were you surprised he tanked the fourth set?
GAEL MONFILS: Maybe I was surprised it turned like earlier in the fourth like that. Because the first two game, he won it, but he was like in the edge. And then I saw he was tanking. Yeah, maybe if I break him early, yeah, he would tank and then be ready in the fifth. I was kind of surprised.
But I know Thiemo a bit. I know sometime he snap in the head. So this is like a strong belief. We know like he can snap. It's a weakness for him. So you play with that.
You know, before the match, my coach, Rog, told me, Sometimes Thiemo is not a big believer. When I saw that, you get it (snapping fingers). So you tank, be ready in the fifth, because I will. Maybe this is play for me today.

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