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August 12, 2011

Gael Monfils


N. DJOKOVIC/G. Monfils
6-2, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. What do you think it will take for you to go from where you are to being one of the top three guys?
GAEL MONFILS: For sure I think play more every week or most of the year and then tennistically for sure I need to be a little bit more aggressive because, as you can see today from the baseline, I'm hitting great the ball, but Novak is a little bit more offensive than me, and then it's 2-1 because he's not missing I will say like me. He hits winners, not like me. He's better.
I think I need to improve to be more offensive a little bit and have this step forward to win a couple points maybe easier.

Q. Early in the match, the first couple of games, Novak was shaking his head, appeared to be frustrated with himself. What is it like to be out there when he finds that game and builds his momentum?
GAEL MONFILS: I mean, it's tough. At one stage of the match, I'm really good, but I can't hit any winners because he's on his baseline, he's going whoosh, whoosh, whoosh and bang. You're like, Well, when are you going to start to miss a little bit? Obviously not today.
I think tonight I didn't find any solution, to be honest, to even help myself to win one game I will say in the second set. But still, you know, I think I played a good match. I think I have a good lesson to get. Maybe I'll have the opportunity to play him in the quarters as well in Cincinnati. I think I will have something new for him in Cincinnati if I have the chance to play him.

Q. What is a passion or cause you believe in outside of tennis?
GAEL MONFILS: Outside tennis? I love watches. I love watches. I love the mechanics of watches. I had lessons recently about how to build watches. Right now my passion is watches.
THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. You chose to have fun with the crowd at the end.
GAEL MONFILS: I had no other choice. But I can mention to you that I only started playing the clown when it was 6-2, 40-Love, young lady. But I had to try something at that stage and I thought maybe I'll try to take away his focus. He was playing like a machine. He was much too strong. I had nothing else to do. I thought, The only thing I can do about it is laugh about it. So I tried to make him loose his concentration.
Of course, I was trying to take things lightly. I was, in fact, not only having fun, I was also trying to steal some points from him as much as I could.

Q. Was he totally unplayable?
GAEL MONFILS: He was certainly the best Novak I ever met. Was he unbeatable? Anyway, today he was too strong for me. I played well, I believe. I hit the ball hard. But I never had any solution to finish off a point. I was hitting beautiful rallies, but at the end of those long rallies, he was always hitting the winner.
He was not missing at all. I was gaining no free points on my serve. In the end I was not able to serve anymore. Sometimes when Novak plays so well, I believe that my game enhances his own game. Because of the quality on my ball, he can play the perfect shots. He was always perfect, perfect, perfect.

Q. If you called Jo, would he give you some advice?
GAEL MONFILS: Jo is a completely different player than me. I'm sure he's kind of given Novak more trouble than I can. We have different games. Jo plays bang, bang, bang, whereas I have a different game. I sort of start the rally, I do hit hard, but Jo, when he hits hard, he systematically goes forward, moves into the court.
We don't have the same trajectories. I'm sure Jo is going to give him much more of a problem.

Q. The Cincinnati draw is out. Apparently you would play Djokovic again in the quarterfinals if everything goes well.
GAEL MONFILS: Not bad (smiling). I believe I have a bye, so I will have played two matches before that stage. Here I played well. But Djokovic was too good. If I have another chance to play him in Cincinnati, then it can't be worse than today. I have a few days ahead of me to prepare and I might find something to try to break down his game. It's a beautiful challenge.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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