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April 11, 2011

Richard Gasquet


R. GASQUET/D. Istomin
5-7, 6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French, please.

Q. For this first-round match, you started badly but were able to turn it around. Are you happy that you won?
RICHARD GASQUET: Yes, indeed, I started that match very badly. There was a lot of tension. He was quite confident, very tough to play.
I tried to stay calm, but it was very difficult because we played so many rallies. I stayed three hours on the court.

Q. You were talking about tension. Why was that?
RICHARD GASQUET: Well, I came to the court lacking some rhythm and playing my first match on clay, and he was making very few mistakes.
But I was able to play solid, hang in there. But it was tough.

Q. Last time I've seen you play here was 2002. Do you remember against whom?

Q. I rarely make a mistake, but at that time I said you would become world champion.
RICHARD GASQUET: I feel that question will get on my nerves.

Q. So what do you lack to have a better career?
RICHARD GASQUET: A bit of everything, physically, et cetera. Unfortunately, I must say there's a lot missing. I'm not that far, after all, but still...

Q. Is the transition to clay more difficult than other transitions during the year?
RICHARD GASQUET: It is always more difficult for me. There are many things to adjust to, like sliding. I need to play higher, make no mistakes.
Today I had a bad start, and he didn't give away any free points. If I had been able to hit harder, I wouldn't have had to run so much.

Q. Overall, there's a feeling you came back pretty well this year.
RICHARD GASQUET: Not bad. But I'm not going to get overenthusiastic. However, the beginning of this year is promising. It's better than last year anyway. I will try to remain injury-free.

Q. Is it difficult for you to adapt to clay?
RICHARD GASQUET: It's always difficult for me to adapt to clay. The other players don't make any mistakes and it's always tough.

Q. Is that the most difficult transition?
RICHARD GASQUET: Yes. Switching to grass is easier for me. On clay you need to be very strong physically, whereas grass is more technical and I can adapt sooner to grass.

Q. But you are reassured about your tennis level now?
RICHARD GASQUET: Yes. I'm happy I have no injuries. I'm also happy I pulled out that match today and I can play a second match here. I would have been disappointed if I had lost, because this is a beautiful tournament, there are many people watching.
I'm happy to be able to play again.

Q. You have your best ranking in two years. We see you enjoy playing. Does the fact that now you are again in the top 20 put more pressure on you?
RICHARD GASQUET: Yes. But I'm used to it because I've been under pressure since I was very young. Also, I'm happy that I've improved my ranking. I feel really pumped up and I'm in good health.
I try not to get tense, as happened in the beginning of this match. I started badly, and it could have cost me the win.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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