April 20, 2000
MONTE CARLO, MONACO
Q. You had recuperated from yesterday?
ARNAUD CLEMENT: I was better than yesterday and the day before. I was running faster
than the other days. Fortunately otherwise I wouldn't have touched many balls. I was not
feeling bad, although I had problems starting up the match. In the end I was really
Q. How do you explain the result?
ARNAUD CLEMENT: His game was really a problem for me. I tried to play a bit high, to
chop the ball, and everything. It was bothering him a little bit, but not enough. He was
hitting right, left; he was very precise. He missed some shots in the end of the first and
the second set, but overall, he was very solid.
Q. It is the third time you were playing against him?
ARNAUD CLEMENT: Yes, the first time was a long time ago. He improved a lot since then
and me too. The second time I was exhausted. Today was a good match. He was very solid. If
I had to remember one match against him it would be this one.
Q. From the baseline what do you think? Did you try change some things in your game?
You must be feeling that if you didn't change anything....
ARNAUD CLEMENT: I didn't want to change things, but I wanted to play a bit longer,
deeper, that is all. At one stage he was playing short. And he really beat me off. He was
hitting a lot, but when I played better he was not able to play winners anymore. In fact,
it wasn't bothering me too much. As soon as I was touching the ball he was putting it
back. That was an extra shot. I don't know, today I didn't serve very well. I would have
needed some free points on my serve each time - an ace on my side would have been enough
maybe to put things on my side in the second set. I had to work hard on his service games
and on top of it I had to work hard on mine. On his serve it is normal, but on top of it,
he returns very well, and even if I was succeeding in having a good first serve it had to
be a really excellent first serve to bother him a little bit.
Q. You were bothered as soon as he returned?
ARNAUD CLEMENT: Yes. When the rally was going on it was better.
Q. But still you are leaving this tournament happy or are you disappointed because of
ARNAUD CLEMENT: I believe that today I played against a guy who is stronger than I am.
I don't believe I can be disappointed. I really fought as much as I could. The tactics I
had today was the right one, I believe. With my game, that is the way I had to play today.
But he was stronger.
Q. If you were to play him again on clay, would you play him the same way?
ARNAUD CLEMENT: Yes, exactly the same. I can try to play differently. I could try to
hit the ball early; to hit the ball with a lot of rhythm, but when he made mistake today
it was because the ball was a bit high, a bit chipped and a bit short. That is the kind of
thing he doesn't like so much. I didn't speak with Eric yet. I didn't see him. But that is
really what I believe.
Q. Can you compare him to the best players as far as the hitting from the baseline is
ARNAUD CLEMENT: Yes, certainly. He can hit very strong shots with the forehand and the
Q. He is one of the strongest ones on the Tour?
ARNAUD CLEMENT: Maybe not all the same. I was going to say something stupid....
ARNAUD CLEMENT: But Andre Agassi hits harder, more precisely, but I believe that from
the baseline there is something similar in both games. . There are not many players who I
play with that much rhythm. It is a big quality.
Q. What is your program?
ARNAUD CLEMENT: Doubles.
Q. Yes, but next week?
ARNAUD CLEMENT: Barcelona, Munich and the qualies in Rome and Hamburg.
End of FastScriptsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.