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May 29, 2014

Richard Gasquet


R. GASQUET/C. Berlocq
7‑6, 6‑4, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions in French, please.

Q.  Not too bad?
RICHARD GASQUET:  Yes.  Great match.  I did not expect that.  It's Roland Garros, central court, lots of people.  Obviously puts you in a mindset which is very different.  I did not want to give up right from the beginning.
It was important to win 7‑6, because after an hour and 10 minutes of game, it was important that he held on.  But it was important.  Super match.

Q.  Do you have any idea how long you can last?
RICHARD GASQUET:  Well, I might have suffered in the fourth or fifth set, but probably with the help of the crowd I would have held until the end.
But on clay, I'm not so well trained.  Amount of practice, I don't have much practice behind me.  It's very difficult.  You have to use your mental strength.
But right from the first set, it was difficult already, but I stayed in the match.  I played in a very serious way.  I stayed in the match.  I tried not to get unnerved.  He broke me in the first.  It could not have gone better than winning in three sets today.

Q.  After a week you said, Don't expect anything from me.  And this situation, isn't it going to help you, isn't it ideal for you?
RICHARD GASQUET:  No, not at all, not at all.  It doesn't suit me all.  I can really tell you from the bottom of my heart it doesn't suit me to find myself after seven weeks playing in Roland Garros.  I would have liked to have come here with lots of ambitions and many matches behind me.
It was really tough.  Last week I suffered a lot because I had to practice.  It was difficult.  There is nothing worse than getting an injury these days.
So, no, no, absolutely not.  Doesn't suit me.  It's not pleasant to be thrown in here like this.
But, you know, I managed to hold through, and I played a good match on central court.  It's a beautiful victory for me and unhoped for.

Q.  You made us lose a lot of money today.  Do you still say we should not bet on you for the next round?
RICHARD GASQUET:  I never said you shouldn't gamble on me.  I said you shouldn't gamble on me for the final victory.  No one can bet on me for the final victory, anyway.  I mean, you'd have to be out of your mind to do it.
But obviously playing here just carries you.  It's the second time this year, and I have some experience.  And with the crowd supporting you, it's great.  It was packed today.
It helped me find a second stamina.

Q.  Do you have a preference between Verdasco or his opponent?  They are fighting right now.
RICHARD GASQUET:  Well, they both play from baseline.  Verdasco is a tough opponent and the other one, as well.  Whatever happens, it's going to be a fight.
It's clay.  It's five‑set matches.  Berlocq made very few mistakes.  You have to be very solid mentally.  It's a beautiful victory to beat him in three sets, straight sets.

Q.  Do you have a specific program for recovery tomorrow?
RICHARD GASQUET:  Yes, I'm trying to recover.  I have my physios, my osteopath.  He's there.  I hope he's going to do a great job.  He's not always good, but I hope he's going to be good tomorrow.  I hope this time he's going to be good.  We have Davis Cup people also.  I have three guys.  The doctor is here also.  He's here, supporting me.
That's how I got back very quickly, and we all worked hard.  And I really thank them, because without them I wouldn't be here, it wouldn't be possible.  It was a race against the clock to be here today.

Q.  In the beginning you didn't move very much.  Was it to try and preserve your back?  What was your strategy?
RICHARD GASQUET:  Well, you have to take options, decide when to run, when to go for points.  It's a difficult fight.  Sometimes there are points where you don't want to run that much.
But from the beginning to the end, I really gave it my best to win the first set and then close the match.
I knew he was there waiting.  And tennis is a mental and a physical fight.  It's the one who doesn't give up who succeeds.

Q.  Was the support from the crowd playing a decisive role?
RICHARD GASQUET:  Of course.  It just transcends you.  It gives you it all.  The crowd is very important.

Q.  So are you enjoying the tournament?  Initially you came here without any pressure, and then you are through second round twice in three straight sets.  You're playing well.  Not in pain.  Not too much.  So you think you can still play this year?
RICHARD GASQUET:  Well, I take the days as they come.  Yesterday I was tired after the first day.  I hope I'm going to recover.
It was three‑sets matches, but I haven't made any physical efforts in the last two months, not sufficiently.
It's already unbelievable that I'm here, that I'm going into the third round.  I know tennis, and after having stopped for two months, I know it's very difficult to come back.
I have been playing for ten years, I have gathered experience, and when you're injured for two months, it's huge already.  It's awesome to be in the third round.
So I'm going to simply keep on that track, and I'm going to continue fighting.  I hope I will not have any pain.  If I don't, maybe I will go deep into the tournament.

Q.  On service, which is the difficult shot, when you're in danger, you try to gather speed.  Can you really put in a really good first serve nowadays, today?
RICHARD GASQUET:  Well, beginning of the second set it was difficult.  I was getting tired.  I was saving break balls.  I knew when to serve well.  I tried to also get second serves.
I did not lose my serve.  I was very sturdy on the break balls, especially in the first set, which was essential.  It would have been very tough to have lost after one hour and 10 minutes.

Q.  The idea was to shorten the rallies when you could, because you didn't have a good physical condition?
RICHARD GASQUET:  Well, when you're playing this kind of player, even when you're very fit, you have to try and shorten the rallies, because again, I'm not 100% top form.
So you have to choose your points.  You should not do just about anything.  You have to try and play well.

Q.  It's because it was since birthday that you played so many winning points?  I mean, you played an unbelievable number of winning points.
RICHARD GASQUET:  Well, my two coaches have a better forehand than I have.  It's difficult.  It's rare that you have two coaches who have a better forehand than you do.  Even when I play with them, I'm in trouble when they play with their forehand.
So I'm very happy to be able to play winning points.  It puts a lot of pressure on me the fact that they are here and they have this huge forehand.

Q.  You were relaxed today on court?
RICHARD GASQUET:  Yes, it went well.  Well, not so much at the end.  I was getting tired.  But everything went relatively well.  I'm very happy I was able to win in three straight sets.
I knew he was there.  He was waiting.  You know, I have met him, I played him in Buenos Aires last year and I knew I had to win that match.

Q.  You haven't worked enough for Sergi for him to have changed anything fundamentally in the way you play technically.  But in the way he approached the match, what he said, did he say anything that was technically helpful?
RICHARD GASQUET:  Well, mentally he helps me a lot.  The fact that he really has the mind of a winner, a fighter, and you can feel that.
His approach of the game is a very mental approach.  That's a very Spanish thing.
It's good to have someone like him by my side.  It teaches me a lot.  I mean, he's there to win.  He's got it in him.

Q.  You had a good pace and then a second ball landed on the court.  There was a problem.  Did it upset you?

Q.  It was a ball sent by Teddy Riner.  That's what I read on Twitter.  Was it a bet?
RICHARD GASQUET:  No, he didn't do it on purpose.  And even if he did, I'm not going to say anything.  No one would dare say anything.
Yes, I saw that ball landing on the court from very high.  It doesn't happen every day.  It was funny.  No problem.  It was not an important point, anyway.  No problem.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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