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June 2, 2014

Gael Monfils


G. MONFILS/G. Garcia‑Lopez
6‑0, 6‑2, 7‑5

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions in English, please.

Q.テつ Andy just said on court that you're one of his favorite players to watch.テつ Can you talk a little bit about the matchup going forward.
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Thank you to him.
It's going to be a tough one.テつ I think Andy played good.テつ He had a good match in Rome against Rafa.テつ I haven't see it, but I heard it was great tennis.
Obviously, you know, I think he's good shape now, because he beat three sets Verdasco, and there was I think a big challenge.
I expect a tough one.

Q.テつ Which do you prefer, entertaining or winning?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Win, for sure, like is not even a question.

Q.テつ Is not even a question?

Q.テつ How do you feel at this point of the tournament?テつ You didn't play very much coming in here.テつ You had some long matches, pretty straightforward today.テつ How is your body?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Well, I'm tired.テつ You know, it's not easy, you know, second week.テつ It's never easy.テつ You know, even three sets.テつ I think I lost a lot of energy today like nervously.テつ And, you know, I tried to be better for Wednesday, because seems quick today but it was not that easy.

Q.テつ Andy said that the first time you played each other he was 10 and you were 11.テつ Do you remember anything from that match?テつ What do you remember of him sort of as a junior?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Yeah.テつ I remember.
It was I think in Tarbes I think they putted us first, and I think he won it.テつ We lost like first one both and it was a consolation.テつ He won it.
And then we play in Bois‑Guillaume and [indiscernible].テつ It was kind of [indiscernible] Yannick Noah.テつ I remember I played him in semis and lost to his brother.
Then, yeah, we grew up pretty much together, played juniors.テつ Even on the tour.
It's been a long time I know him, and it's always fun to play against him.

Q.テつ What was he like when he was a kid?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Same.テつ Yeah, same.テつ Didn't change at all, you know.テつ He's the same.

Q.テつ Obviously your best results in slams have been at this tournament.テつ Obviously clay is part of that.テつ But, you know, a lot of the French players seem to have struggled with the pressure here.テつ You seem to have the opposite effect.
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ I wouldn't say clay is my favorite surface.テつ I think I like to play on clay, but I really like to play on hard, too.
It's more like, how do you say, I like play in Paris.テつ I grew up here, and I just feel great here.
It's different energy.テつ You know, it fit me very good.

Q.テつ How is the coachless life?テつ Life without a coach?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Well, fine.テつ Actually, it's fine.
It's never easy, because for sure I wish to find a good coach.テつ I have a great team around me.テつ But, you know, it's been a year, almost a year and a half without, and I try to do my best on my own.
You know, some moment is great, but some moment, for sure, is tough.テつ I miss the view of someone else on me, and for sure the preparation before the matchテつ and is not easy, but I try my best and I don't try to think about it.

Q.テつ How much does the crowd help playing here in Paris?テつ Do you think it can have an influence in the match against Murray?テつ Will it have any effect on him at all?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ For me, it's ‑‑I don't know how to explain.テつ It's strange, you know.テつ Some energy, you know, I had and some more belief I have.
It's always hard for me to explain.テつ What effect, I don't know.テつ But for sure it will help me if I have big decision in the match or I feel tired or maybe I'm down, for sure they will help me a lot.

Q.テつ You haven't played Andy for four years, I think.テつ Do you think the previous matches you have had, do they kind of have an effect or is it just wipe the slate clean and start again?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Yeah, it's been a long time.テつ I think the last one was in Paris, actually.テつ It was in Bercy.
But it's too far.テつ I think Andy change.テつ He won Wimbledon, so for sure mentally will be different for him.テつ I think he's a good player, he's a good player and he come back very strong now.
He's been ‑‑after his injury he struggle a little bit, and now he's more solid.テつ He prove that on clay he's a tough opponent, too.テつ I will just watch him a little bit what he done in these past weeks.
Then, you know, I will just focus on myself.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions in French.

Q.テつ Maybe you were one of the most uncertain players coming here in Roland Garros.テつ You're the last French, going to quarterfinals.テつ You're going to play Andy Murray.テつ Is that good for you?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Well, as I always say, I had this small injury.テつ I injured my ankle, but I always try to tell journalists I'm improving every week.テつ I'm feeling a little better.テつ I try to keep them informed.
Right now what is going on, it's success, but success based on work.テつ I have a big quarterfinal match now to play.テつ I'm going to try and prepare to be ready for this match.

Q.テつ You were extremely consistent, rigorous right from the first rallies.テつ We felt that today there was no room for entertainment.テつ You were really, really focused.
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Absolutely.テつ Maybe I was a bit withheld.テつ I was afraid of how my body would react, because the previous match took a toll on me.
So I tried to be extremely accurate to make tactical choices in a very accurate way.テつ And also, I tried to be very precise in the way I experienced this particular match.
I thought it went well.テつ As I said previously, every day I gathered more steam and power, and every time I win, then I improve and I play better.

Q.テつ You're talking about your fitness.テつ Did you feel that in the third set it was a bit tough?テつ Did you think you had enough steam to go on for a fourth set, or do you think it would have been difficult?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Well, you never know.テつ It's difficult, but he seemed to be also growing tired.テつ What brought him back into the match was that he released his shots.
In the beginning it was easier, because I started immediately to play in a very aggressive way, very long rallies.
At some stage when I felt it was going to be very long, then he tried to shorten the rallies.テつ I felt that he was growing tired and he was going for it more.
If we had played a fourth set, and even maybe a fifth set, I don't know what would have happened, but I would have done my best, obviously.

Q.テつ (Off microphone.)
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ I'm not even asking myself the question.テつ I'm going to try and recover, feel well, and play a good quarterfinal match, maybe advance to semifinals.

Q.テつ This is your fourth quarterfinal here in Roland Garros.テつ Can you tell us about the previous ones or why is this one going to be different?テつ Are you more surprised this time?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ I'm happy I'm not having to take on Federer.テつ But otherwise, every time I feel like I'm going to have to play Federer.テつ Ferrer once, that was better, but otherwise nothing special.
I know for a fact that quarterfinals you're going to meet a top player.テつ I'm going to have to take on a champion, but I'm going to try and oust him.

Q. テつBut quarterfinals in Roland Garros four times it means that you have been very consistent for six years in spite of all the problems you have had.テつ Now that you're here, do you think that again quarterfinals, this has a weight?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Well, as I always say, before I come to Roland Garros, it's a slightly bumpy path.
But now that I'm here, I feel well.テつ Even in previous years, it was the same.テつ Take last year.テつ I played tennis really well.テつ It was very close.テつ I feel well when I'm here.
I can play superb tennis when I'm here.

Q.テつ You always say you want to win Roland Garros.テつ That is your dream.テつ Do you think you can do it?テつ There are three more matches here?テつ Do you think who you might play in the semifinals or the final?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ No.テつ Well, of course I have an idea because we are playing against the same player.テつ In the end you know what the draw is going to be.
But honestly, I don't think about it.テつ Every match is tough.テつ At every match you come closer to your dream.
But I'm not even talking about climbing it one step at a time.テつ It's not climbing a mountain.テつ Every match is difficult.テつ You have to deserve the final.
The next match is going to be very tough.テつ So I'm going to focus on that one.

Q.テつ Murray on clay.テつ Is it less impressive?テつ How are you going to play him on clay?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Well, it depends.テつ People used to say that Roger did not play well on clay, but he won the final; so the same for Murray.テつ He's already played the semifinal here in Roland Garros, and the way he played against Rafa in Rome showed that he was to be reckoned with.テつ Same with Verdasco.テつ So if he plays not so well, well, there isn't that much difference.

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