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May 29, 2014

Axel Michon


6‑2, 6‑3, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions in French, please.

Q.  Do you think that the score is really tough for you?
AXEL MICHON:  Yes, yes, absolutely.  Objectively, 6‑2, 6‑3, 6‑2, yes, that's tough.
Now, whether it really shows what the game was, I don't know.  It wasn't probably so bad in the match.  I lost some games at 40‑All, and I felt like there was a bit of a fight.
Yes, obviously the score is really tough for me.

Q.  Is it tough compared with the way you played?
AXEL MICHON:  Well, yes, a bit.  I felt like I had played a 6‑3, 6‑4, 6‑3.  I mean, there was a real fight.  He was often in trouble playing his serving games, and I broke him.
When I was serving, I felt I lost many games when we were 4‑All.  So I wasn't losing so obviously.

Q.  He's famous for serving very strong on the tour, but it's more than that, according to this match.
AXEL MICHON:  Yes, I knew he served well, but I also knew he moved well because I watched him play, and he plays from the baseline really well.
Now, I must admit very humbly that I thought I would have more trouble upsetting him.  In the end, I liked his serve, because if you stand back it's not so difficult.
The fact that he was tall did not upset me.  Even when he was serving there was somegame.  Obviously we're on clay; on a hard court it would have been different.
But I'm rather positively surprised with the way I could return his serves.

Q.  If we discuss the whole tournament, you went through the first round so you did your job.
AXEL MICHON:  Well, of course if I had lost I would've done my job all the same.  The fact that I won the day before yesterday doesn't mean it's okay to lose today.
I did not walk on court today saying, Okay, everything I do today is simply a bonus.  No, I wanted to see for myself.  Right from the beginning, the very first games, I had high hopes.
He's ranked 20‑something.  I don't know exactly.  But he's a good player.  Statistically speaking, I did not stand many chances of winning.
But still, at some stage I really believed I had the chance because of the fact I just explained.  I got the feeling that if I could return his serves there could have been a closer fight.
When the fight is closer, 4‑4, 4‑5, then there is no objective reason that I shouldn't be able to win.
Today, quite clearly, although I'm very far from that particular level and I still have to make some efforts, I had that feeling that anything can happen.
It happens on court.

Q.  What are your plans for the future?  What are your next tournaments?
AXEL MICHON:  Well, I'm supposed to go next week to Prostejov in the Czech Republic.  A big challenger, $125,000 or $100,000.  Then Prague and then the Wimbledon qualifiers.
Whether I'm going there next week, I don't know.  That's something I need to discuss with my coaches to see if it's feasible.
Because I've had a long week here.  I'm finishing on Thursday.  I'm still probably going to play on Monday.  I'm going to Prostejov, Prague, and the Wimbledon qualifiers.  I might do it because I'm feeling quite well.
Sometimes you have to be sensible and take a week off just to digest everything and be ready to start again.  The Wimbledon qualifiers are very important for me.  I want to feel good there.
If I arrive there completely exhausted, that would be a mistake.

Q.  You said before the tournament that if you wanted Roland Garros to change your life you had to reach quarterfinals.  You didn't.  Is this tournament going to make a difference in your life?
AXEL MICHON:  Well, that was just something I had said.  I mean, it was a symbol.  I said for Roland Garros to really change my life I don't need to win one match, I need to reach the quarterfinals.
How can I say this?  The tournament is going to change some things in my life because now I had a taste of it and I will want to work more every day.  This is going to fuel my motivation because it is fabulous.
But it's not going to make so many differences either, because next week I'm not going to go up to 57 ranking.  I'm still very far away from the top 100, so I still have to do quite a lot.  There is a lot of work for me ahead.
I have to keep my head on my shoulders.  It's simply a good indicator of what I'm worth.  That's the reason we play tournaments.
I'll do the qualifiers in Wimbledon and the qualifiers in the US Open.  I need to continue, but it was a super event.

Q.  You're going to get a nice check, though.  Will this change something for the season?  Will you feel more comfortable because you've got more money?
AXEL MICHON:  Well, it's going to make a difference because it's going to help me feel more confident psychologically.  You know, when you have more money you're under less pressure; you can take time; you don't have to start playing well again.
Materially speaking I'm not going to change lifestyle altogether.  Maybe I will not need to calculate all the time how much money I have.
Sometimes you're very tense thinking about the money.  Obviously this is a bonus.

Q.  You said Anderson is ranked 20th.  During this match, do you really feel precisely the distance between you and the highest level?
AXEL MICHON:  Well, what's positive today is that I walk off court and I don't think, Look, I have to do a 180‑degree turnaround to reach that level.  On the contrary.
I felt, yes, of course I have to improve everything, but I'm on track.  I'm not saying I don't need to make progress.  I need to improve a lot.  But I'm on track.  I'm going in the right direction.  That's what matters.
I don't want to walk off the court and question everything I do and the way I played.  The difference between me and that level obviously is made at the same time of details and big things:  the game that I gave him in the first set; better serves; returning at the right time; 30‑Love in the second or third, a wrong backhand.
You know, small detail, and at the same time very important things.

Q.  About money again, the question I'm asking ‑ or maybe we're all asking ourselves the question ‑ what is your budget?  Talking about travel costs or expenses.  How much does it represent?
AXEL MICHON:  30 to 40,000 Euros for travel.  But I earned some money in the tournament, so obviously you have to deduct that.  You see, the ranking, you can't really say this ranking or that ranking means this or that.
Because you can being ranked 180 and you've done three times the qualifiers and second time in a Grand Slam.  You'll earn much more money than if you never qualify for the Grand Slam and you lose in the second round of the quallies and you win challengers.  So there is no rule.
But, yes, all in all, if I have to give a figure, 30, 40,000 Euros, travel, hotel.  But the higher you go, you play challengers, you earn more money, and you don't pay for the hotel.  So that's positive.

Q.  Regarding the crowd, the whole crowd shouting Axel, Axel, you never had that before.  If you go to challengers and futures it's going to be nice.
AXEL MICHON:  That's the reason why I play.  I keep saying it:  This is what I really like in this sport.  That's my personal opinion.
And times like today‑‑ obviously I wish it had gone on longer and I could have made the crowd happier by playing another match.
That's what really motivates me to practice and go on in difficult times, is when I have this kind of experience.  It's fresh air for me today.  It really gives me reasons to go on and try and do it again as soon as possible.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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