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April 15, 2014

Gael Monfils


G. MONFILS/K. Anderson
6‑4, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions in French.

Q.テつ It was tough for a first match on clay.
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ I played well.テつ I played solid.テつ I had some good hits.テつ I was happy with my serve.
I was trying to focus on my serve and on the first shot just after that, trying to be aggressive.テつ I was able to do it, so I'm happy.
I didn't have much preparation on clay ‑ only two days.テつ I'm still making mistakes.テつ I'm not moving perfectly yet.

Q.テつ You scared yourself in Casablanca with hurting your ankle.
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ No, I was not that scared.テつ At first I thought it was a sprained ankle because my ankle was swollen immediately after and it was hurting a lot.
When I tried to do that backhand, I dove into that hole on court and I even felt pain in my knee.

Q.テつ When we talk about clay, you immediately talk about the French Open.テつ Is that the only thing?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Yes, for me it's the French Open.テつ I'm not saying these tournaments here are not important.テつ They are big tournaments.テつ But the goal is to be fit for the French Open.
Of course, it would be nice to win here or Rome or one of these tournaments.テつ That would be cool.テつ But what I want to do is do well in the French Open.
Until now, I always was not quite ready for the French Open.テつ This year I'm hoping I can do things better.テつ I hope I will be able to have a good game that I can rely on at the start of the French Open.

Q.テつ The previous years you seemed not to be able to do that coming into the French Open.
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Yes, the previous years I was always tired by the time I got to the French Open.テつ I believe if I can be at my best level this year, if I have some good wins, I can do something in the French Open.
I hope I will be able to play against the best players during these tournaments because that helps knowing what you have to work on and where your game stands.テつ It gives you some references to be ready on the right day.

Q. テつUsually people say you can't win the French Open if you don't win one of the previous tournaments.
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ I don't know.テつ That was true at the time.

Q.テつ But you don't believe in this?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ I don't know.テつ Before players winning the French Open had won Monte‑Carlo or Rome or another tournament, players like Ferrero, Costa, but that was in 2003, 2004.テつ Nowadays it's different.テつ At the time they had real clay‑courters.テつ Nowadays we have true claycourters and true players from Mars.

Q.テつ Are you going to be ready tomorrow with your ankle?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Yes.テつ It's part of the job.テつ My opponent tomorrow is a good player.テつ It's going to be a good test.テつ Usually I don't play well in this tournament, but I need to play well tomorrow.

Q.テつ Do you know him?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Oh, yes.テつ I saw him play Benneteau in the Australian Open.テつ I saw him play last week a little bit.テつ Also I watched him play Roger first round last year in the French Open.テつ I also played him in doubles.
I believe he's a good player on clay.テつ He's solid.テつ He approaches the net very well.

Q.テつ You often play awfully bad here, although people say conditions here are very close to the conditions in the French Open.テつ How do you explain this?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ I have no explanation.テつ Maybe it's just because I need time before adapting to clay.
Today, I must say, it was the best match I ever played here.

Q.テつ You felt comfortable with your serve today?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Yes, it worked well today.テつ But I'm focusing on serving well and being aggressive for the next two shots after that.テつ Then if I'm not able to win the point, I slow down a little bit.テつ But I try to be aggressive on my first shots.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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