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October 29, 2013

Nicolas Mahut


N. MAHUT/A. Dolgopolov
7‑6, 6‑1

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions in French, please.

Q.テつ The first set was decisive.テつ Everything went well after that?
NICOLAS MAHUT:テつ You can see that, like you're saying, I had a first break point at 1‑love, at 2‑1, and 6‑5.テつ Yes, indeed the beginning of my tiebreaker was not so good, so after that I was just trying to win the next point.
But it's rare to come back when you're down 6‑2 in the tiebreaker, and indeed winning this first set was very important, because in the second set I was able to break early and he gave up, I guess.

Q.テつ Are you watching the top 50 with a lot of attention?
NICOLAS MAHUT:テつ No, I'm watching Gilles Simon with more attention.テつ I don't know.テつ If I win tomorrow I might be able to enter the top 50, is that what you're saying?
Okay, I knew more or less where I was standing, but it's not my goal.テつ I prefer to be in the third round here and be top 52 rather than the contrary.
But anyway, it would be a good end of season or end of half season.

Q.テつ Next opponent is Gilles Simon.テつ What do you think of your head to head with him?
NICOLAS MAHUT:テつ Well, we played each other three weeks ago, one month, and I lost in straight sets.テつ I have many regrets on that match.テつ I had the feelings that I was doing some things well, and others I was not doing well.テつ At 6‑5 he was imposing his own game.テつ He was able to make me play bad.
But I'm going to use that match and draw the lessons from it not to do the same thing tomorrow.テつ I hope I can win that match tomorrow.

Q.テつ There are many players injured or tired.テつ How are you?
NICOLAS MAHUT:テつ I'm extremely fresh.テつ Every year we are saying the same thing.テつ We know the season is long, is tough.テつ I believe it's easier for a French player to be fresh in Bercy, but imagine a foreigner playing on Court No. 1 at the end of the year.
For us, it's a great difference to be able to play on center court with the crowd.テつ At this stage you often see players giving up.テつ They're tired.テつ The season is very long.テつ Some of them play 25 to 30 tournaments a year.
As far as I'm concerned, I feel good.テつ I was able to start the year later than others.テつ That's why maybe I'm fresher.
But in the end of the year I did play a lot, though.テつ Well, as long as I don't have any injuries and I'm healthy, it changes my life and I can go on and on.
I know that in the locker rooms I hear a lot talking about holidays among the players.

Q.テつ So this is a good opportunity for you here.
NICOLAS MAHUT:テつ Oh, yes.テつ For me, each tournament is a bonus.テつ I think I did more than I anticipated this year, and I'm lucky to be able to finish the season here in Bercy.
I thought I would never be able to do that.テつ If I had been told that in the beginning of the year, I wouldn't have believed it.
I just have to try to play my best tennis, and when I'm doing this, it always goes well.

Q.テつ Jo officially was saying...
NICOLAS MAHUT:テつ I was expecting that question.

Q.テつ So what do you think about the cooperation with Jo's coaches?
NICOLAS MAHUT:テつ I think it's great.テつ Jo was wonderful.テつ He came to see me in Metz.テつ He said, This is something I have in my mind.テつ I would like us to function, both of us, with those coaches.テつ Is it okay with you?テつ If it's not okay with you, I can find another solution.テつ I like the way he did that.
Of course, some people might wonder if it can work, but for me there is no problems.テつ Often it's one coach for two players.テつ I had two coaches for one player.テつ So if Jo is with Nico I will have the other one.テつ For the Grand Slams, they will both be there for both of us.
For me it's okay.テつ And also, it's going to drive me.テつ I mean, practicing with the first, the top French player is fine with me.

Q.テつ So maybe you can change your doubles partner and play with Jo because maybe your schedules will be made together?
NICOLAS MAHUT:テつ No, each one will decide his own schedule.テつ So for next year we decided to play doubles with Mika because it's his last year and he trusted me with that and I am very pleased.
But when Mika will not be playing, maybe there will be an opportunity for me to play with Jo like we did in Metz.
But our schedules will be made independently, but sometimes it might be easier when we will be playing the same tournament for our coaches.
Well, anyway, Jo's schedule is easy.テつ Everybody knows what it is.テつ The Grand Slams, etcetera, Masters 1000, etcetera.テつ So if my ranking improves, it will be easy for me, too.
Sometimes I will maybe need to play a challenger or two, so I need to be reactive and change my schedule if needed.
But there are two coaches, so there will be no problem.

Q.テつ I was talking about the doubles because Mika is going to be in the position you had last year.テつ You might not be able to play the same tournaments.
NICOLAS MAHUT:テつ Well, in Australia there is no problem for the beginning of next year.テつ Then we will go to Rotterdam.テつ Mika can play the quallies.テつ Then we will have tournaments in France, like Montpelier or Marseilles, etcetera.
So this brings us almost to the clay already.テつ Maybe for his singles there might be some difficulties sometimes, but Mika knows it's going to be his last year, so he might not want to have to try to win too many points.
So I believe that if our doubles ranking is better, maybe the doubles will come first.テつ Anyway, for the first part of the season we will have no problem.

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