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April 13, 2011

Richard Gasquet


R. GASQUET/G. Garcia-Lopez
6-2, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French, please.

Q. You only dropped three games. It was a good match.
RICHARD GASQUET: Yes. And this is important, especially if I have to play Rafa tomorrow. Yesterday I played longer, almost three hours. I was a bit affected physically. So I'm happy that tomorrow I will be able to play him being better physically.
I played a good match today.

Q. How do you explain that it was so easy?
RICHARD GASQUET: Well, I think it was because of my serve. I made no errors and I felt the ball very well today. I was able to mix it up between going up to the net or staying behind the baseline.

Q. Against Nadal, you were saying you have nothing to lose.
RICHARD GASQUET: Yes, indeed. I have nothing to lose against him, as all the other players, when Nadal plays on clay. I appreciate him very much as a person. But tomorrow I'm going to try to play a very good match.

Q. Is it different now than when you played him last time?
RICHARD GASQUET: Last time I played him, I was very young.
Today I played a good match. I'm happy now that I'm in the Round of 16. Everything is going well for me because my ranking is better. Everything is going well for me.
With Nadal, we know what to expect.

Q. How can you give him trouble?
RICHARD GASQUET: I think I will try to win some points on my serve. I know if I stay behind the baseline, it's going to be difficult. He's, of course, the favorite.

Q. But today you were able to move forward on the court.
RICHARD GASQUET: Yes, indeed. I think the whole question on clay is to find the right balance between offense and defense. You have to wait for the right ball to attack.
Today I was feeling confident. But tomorrow I will have to play at another level.

Q. Most players think when they play Nadal on clay that they're just going to be wiped off the court. How can you prepare for a match like this?
RICHARD GASQUET: Playing him on clay is very tough. He won this tournament six times. He dropped very few sets here.
What I must do is stay relaxed and try to play without hesitation and not to be afraid to hit out on my shots. This is all very well, but when you're on the court, you're confronted with reality. He plays very deep, very fast. It's impossible to overrun him.

Q. You played him more than six years ago. Is it even more scary to play him on clay now?
RICHARD GASQUET: Oh, yes, he improved a lot. He's a lot better now. I was happy that I won today because then it gives me the opportunity to play him. As I said, I like him as a person. Also I will be able to play in the sunshine on that beautiful center court.
I tried very hard to come back. Playing this match will be something that I will appreciate a lot.

Q. Is it difficult to deal with his topspin?
RICHARD GASQUET: Yes, his ball bounces very high. Also, he will have played a match today. By the way, just imagine if he loses today, one thing I know is I'm going to play a lefty at this stage.

Q. With Nadal, is he totally predictable?
RICHARD GASQUET: He might make a couple of mistakes in the early rounds, but indeed, there is nothing we don't know about his game on clay.

Q. Do you think he should worry about playing Gasquet?
RICHARD GASQUET: Well, he worries about playing anybody. That's why he's a champion. He always plays at 1,000%. He will not make the mistake of underestimating his opponent. Because we played many times, he knows me, and sometimes I pushed him to a third set.

Q. You will play in front of a French crowd tomorrow. Do you believe they're going to support him or you? Is it going to be difficult for you?
RICHARD GASQUET: He is very popular, and it will be normal that part of the crowd supports him. As I said, I appreciate him a lot as a person, so I will be happy whatever happens, even if the crowd is divided.

Q. Is it going well with Ricardo when he briefs you?
RICHARD GASQUET: Yes. We will talk before the match. The whole issue is to find the right balance between attacking and defending. That is something I was able to do in my match today. I was able to come up to the net, move forward into the court. When I play like this, this is how I can make it difficult for my opponent.

Q. What did you improve lately?
RICHARD GASQUET: I think I'm more calm on the court. I did well in Indian Wells. People, knowing tennis well, have reassured me.

Q. How is your shoulder?
RICHARD GASQUET: This is past history. I have no pain at all now. I'm very pleased because it was so frustrating.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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