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April 18, 2012

Paul-Henri Mathieu


6‑4, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:¬† Questions in French for Paul‑Henri.

Q.¬† You started off well and then at 3‑All you had four breakpoints and you were not able to convert them.¬† Was it a key, at least for the first set?
PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU:¬† Of course it would have helped to be ahead in the first set.¬† One of those breakpoints, I hit it, but it hit the tape.¬† That's part of the game.¬† It's always more difficult when you're down in the score.¬† He had one opportunity and he converted it.
Also it was very windy today and it was difficult to adjust.  Of course, if you don't adjust properly, then you have no chances.

Q.  How do you feel physically?
PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU: ¬†It was tough.¬† I need to find my rhythm.¬† I need to move more than that.¬† Today I was not able to do it.¬† And also he was able to dictate more than I did today.

Q.  Does this give you some hope for the future?  You're not that far behind.
PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU:¬† More or less.¬† I think I still have a lot of improvement to do still.¬† I know that I can beat these players, and they know I can beat them.¬† That's important, too.¬† This gives me some hope.
But I need a lot of practice.

Q.  This week has been positive, generally speaking?
PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU:¬† Yes.¬† I'm happy I was able to play here and I would like to thank the organization for giving me this chance.¬† I'm also happy I won a match.¬† I was able to play this second match.¬† Although the conditions were difficult, it's a good practice because you can't always play when the weather's nice.¬† Overall it was positive.
I hope I will be able to win two matches next time.

Q.  What did your opponent change in his game compared with last time you played him?
PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU:¬† It was three years ago and at the time I was playing better.¬† He's a good player and he can play well on clay.
What exactly does he do better?  It's difficult for me to say.  It was a totally different match on a different surface and a long time ago.  So I know he knows how to play all the shots.

Q.  Do you see things day to day or do you have a shorter vision?
PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU:¬† I live in the short‑term.¬† Of course, in the short‑term I know I have to keep working if I want to be competitive.¬† But now in the short‑term, it is spending a lot of time on the court doing physical training.¬† It's extremely tough for me to play on clay.

Q.  Is it frustrating sometimes?
PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU:¬† Yes, it is.¬† It is disappointing, too, because it used to be one of my favorite surfaces.¬† I would like to do better and I can't, so it's difficult.¬† But I knew it would be that way.

Q.  It's a real school for learning patience.
PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU:¬† Yes, but I have no other choice.¬† If I see things negatively, I'm sure I will fail.

Q.  Playing on clay is really tougher for you?
PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU:¬† Yes, it is.¬† I used to love the surface, so I'm very sad now to see that it is complicated for me to be competitive on this surface.¬† At a certain stage, I was thinking about playing all the year round on clay because it's not as hard on your body as hard courts.¬† But I realize it's more difficult for me to play there because I can play only a couple tournaments a year and I need a lot of preparation before.

Q.  Can you explain exactly where it hurts or why it is so difficult?
PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU:¬† It's very difficult to describe it.¬† But on clay you do a lot of sliding and you have to slow down.¬† Your position is a lot less stable than on a hard court.¬† All of this makes it more difficult for me.

Q.  But do you feel confident in your body right now?
PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU:¬† Well, I have to.¬† One year ago I was unable to walk and now I can run, so I'm happy.

Q.  Do you think you will be able to play at the French Open?
PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU:¬† I would like to think I am able to, but it's going to be tough.¬† Here I was taking antibiotics, and I felt a bit low in energy.¬† So I hope it is because of this and that if I train a lot and play other tournaments I will be okay for the French.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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