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January 6, 2012

Gael Monfils


6‑3, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ When we spoke yesterday you said you weren't really bothered, you seem unfazed about your previous record against Nadal.テつ What do you think you did different this time than you did in previous games to beat him pretty comfortably today?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Well, I just think I play my game, you know.テつ Like I say, you know, every time it's something different and that today was another day, other condition.
I think last night I played a good match, and I have felt very good the ball.テつ I knew today if I was a little bit in the same spirit would be a regret against Rafa because you need to take advantage of every shot you can make.
So I just focused on my game and be aggressive.テつ Then today everything worked.

Q.テつ What were you thinking, 4‑1 down in the second set?テつ You came back like that.テつ Were you at all nervous, or what was your thinking?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ It was 4‑1?

Q.テつ 4‑1 in the second set.
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ It was just a break, you know, so I was just trying to, adjust, you know, the way I played because I think in the beginning of the second set he was playing a little bit, how you say, a little bit more looping, you know, like not straight ball, so I had a bit time to adjust.
Then after, you know, was just thinking, you know, it's like one break and I know I can break him.テつ I think I was just focused to make my game, my game serve, but then just stay aggressive and break him back.テつ Was at the 4‑1, two breaks.

Q.テつ You mentioned the word "focus."テつ Do you think one of the really good things you did was to maintain your focus through most of the match, even through that down period?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ No, I was focused, you know.テつ If you can see I smile all the time.テつ Even when I asked to challenge on the last point I was smiling and even chatting with his coach.
It's easy to say I was focused, because I'm sure if I was in the same situation, you would say, Oh, you lose your concentration because you talk.
So, you know, I was just like focused on my tactic just like, Keep going what I'm doing.テつ It was great, even I was down 4‑1, and that was the focus.

Q.テつ He would often attack quite well against you in the first set, and then suddenly you would change the rally with a sudden injection of pace, one really big shot.テつ Was that what you were trying to do?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Yeah, I mean, I think I'm capable, as I showed tonight.テつ Then, you know, I work for that and I was confident.テつ And I think I'm strong, as well, really, but if you want to defeat Rafa on the hard court, you need to overpower him at some stage and I think I did great tonight.

Q.テつ I guess you may not want to speak too soon, but do you think this all goes really well for a push up into the top 10, top 6, or is it too soon to say?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ It's too soon, but, you know, as I say, my main goal of the year is just to be healthy and then hope everything will follow that.

Q.テつ So you mentioned various factors like confidence and focus and capability.テつ What do you think is the role of luck in a game like tennis?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Well, I think it's a daring question, because I could be unlucky to play against Becker, you know, when I hit my knee with my racquet, and I think it's only in life you get luck and unlucky.テつ In sports, it's the same.テつ Sometimes you get luck; sometimes you not.

Q.テつ So you believe that luck has a role to play?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Yeah, for sure.

Q.テつ When he saved those two match points, did you get tight?テつ Didn't seem like you got tight at all and you won it on the third one.テつ How did it go for you?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ You know, it was like relaxed, because I made two great match points.テつ It's not like, you know, I was shaky, pushing.
I think I hit harder ball and was running first one, and then he won and then it was a big rally and then he got it.テつ Then, you know, you are still winning, still leading, and I was on serve.
So it's a bit different, you know.テつ It was like, Okay, maybe the next one I will serve 220 and maybe he won't get it.テつ So when you're serving, it's easier to be confident.

Q.テつ Can you talk to us about your final tomorrow against your friend, Tsonga?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ It will be a really tough one for many reasons.テつ First, because I think Jo is a bit lucky because he had a day off (smiling), whereas it was a bit harder for me.
Then it's really always tough to play against Jo because he have a powerful game and kind of game, you know, it's tough to manipulate him from the baseline.テつ So, you know, I need just to focus also on my game and focus on my mind.
It's always tougher to get in like this in the final against a friend, you know.テつ You want to show him like you're the best, and sometime you're going too fast, sometimes you're a bit like shaky.
You have to find a balance.

Q.テつ After tonight, Doha must be having special place in your heart because both victories against Nadal have come here only.テつ Doha must be having a special place in your heart now.
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Yeah, I mean, always.テつ You know, it's a little strange, but it's like, you know, I remember also my first top 10 was here in Doha in 2005.テつテつ You know, I beat Gastテδウn Gaudio, and I think like the debut was here, and, yeah, I think I made great stuff here.テつ Hopefully I will catch the title now.

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