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May 29, 2014

Gael Monfils


G. MONFILS/J. Struff
7‑4, 6‑4, 6‑1

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions in English, please.

Q.テつ The one shot in the third set, you were parallel to the court almost.テつ You jumped in the air.テつ What was going through your mind, if anything, as you hung there in midair before crashing to the ground (laughter)?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Well, you know, I was talking about this shot with my agent.テつ I told him, you know, I think I could catch a ball if I was like seriously diving.テつ Because this one, it was a little bit fake one, I would say, because I was out of balance, and I just give a little action to take the ball.
But it was not a great dive, you know.テつ I think it was 5 on 10.テつ Could be better (smiling).

Q.テつ Is that the kind of thing you can practice or...
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ No, I wouldn't say can practice, but it's kind of score I can have for sure, yeah.

Q.テつ You play Fognini next.テつ You have had some interesting matches against him in the match.テつ What should people expect from a match here with you two?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ It's a good question.テつ I don't know.テつ I cannot read the future.
But hopefully a good one.

Q.テつ How important is it for you to be entertaining when you're on court?テつ It seems pretty important.
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Well, as I said always, you know, I'm just natural, you know.テつ I just myself on the court.
You know, if you see me dive, you know, it's not because I want entertain like people is more like because I want to catch the ball.テつ And I think I have the capacity to do it, and the only way is to dive.
Between you and me, I'm not stupid because when you dive it's ground on the floor.テつ I'm not Iron Man, you know.
So I'm happy people like it, but I'm not doing that, you know, to like show off.

Q.テつ Do you ever worry about hurting yourself?テつ Even I worry about hurting yourself.
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Well, you know, with the adrenaline, you just forget everything.テつ I want this ball, I want catch every ball.テつ I think adrenaline help me a lot.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions in French.

Q.テつ Apart from your serve maybe in the first set are you satisfied with that match?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Well, my service was a catastrophe.テつ But after that, I was able to get into the match.テつ But during a set and a half I was thinking about my serve.テつ And also, I had trouble hitting the ball as I wanted to.
I realized very soon that he was playing well, hitting early, and if I played with his own rhythm I would have trouble.
So I tried to change my game to loop the ball and change the directions and the angles.テつ I started playing better at the end of the second set.
And in the third set I was able to build my points a bit better.

Q.テつ Yes, but we felt you always won the important points even if sometimes he outran you.
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Sometimes he outran me, yes, but in the important points I was trying to have this extra aggressiveness that I needed.
But really, for the first two sets I was very lucky.テつ There were set points.テつ I don't know how I was able to put that second serve in.テつ He missed some returns and some forehands.テつ So for the first set I was really lucky.

Q.テつ But at the end we can say he sort of gave up or something?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Well, when I stopped focusing on my serve, I played better.テつ I thought I'm going to loop the ball, play the angles and make him run.
Because it was tough for me to be aggressive.テつ So I was always trying to put an extra point in, and that helped me.テつ I think physically at the end he was more tired than I was.

Q.テつ Do you know a bit more than after your first match, or do you still don't know at what stage you are with your game?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Yes, when I arrived here, I was not serving well.テつ I'm not saying I have no confidence, but I just have trouble serving.
The positive point today is that I was fit on the court.テつ I was able to defend well.テつ It had been a long time I hadn't defended so well.
I think it's been a whole year that I haven't been defending like this.テつ So that was positive.
But now, trying to assess my game is too complicated.テつ I'm just taking match after match.

Q.テつ I believe you were able to serve 59% of first serves, which is pretty good, but you had many break points against you.
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Well, it's because I was winning points with my second serve.テつ Sometimes I was ‑‑in the first serve I was just doing a second serve.
I explained once in a press conference that I had changed the grip on my racquet for my serve.テつ I remember in Australia against Lu I had a very tough game.テつ Sometimes, because of this change, I just am not able to serve anymore.
Today was not as bad as in Australia.テつ I think in Australia I played like 27 aces for 20 double faults.
Today I didn't do that bad.

Q.テつ Talking about the match against Fognini, how will you prepare for that match, and what will you change in your game compared with the other games you played against him in the French Open?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Are you Italian?

Q.テつ Yes.
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ (Laughter.)テつ I won't tell you then.

Q.テつ But I don't have a good relationship with Fabio.
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ I'm going to answer (smiling).
I'm not going to change much.テつ Maybe I'll try to serve better.テつ Focus on my serve a bit more.
The good thing is that with Fabio we have been knowing each other for a long time, and he knows and I know.
But the thing is we just don't know what will actually happen during the match.テつ With Fabio sometimes we can play beautiful matches, but sometimes matches can go astray or maybe him more than I.
So whatever happens, I will have to let him know that I'm playing home and if he wants to get me he'll have to be strong.
I know he's strong right now, which is exciting for me.

Q.テつ Well, this player complains and discusses with the umpire.テつ Is it difficult?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ No, he doesn't annoy me.テつ I think it's funny.テつ Of course, it's annoying and funny at the same time.
It's part of him.テつ As I always say, I have known Fabio since he's been a kid, and he always has been like this.テつ You know, some Italian athletes are really known to complain all the time, and Fabio is a very good guy.テつ He's a warrior.テつ He's not deliberately trying to confuse us when he complains, but he's a tough guy.

Q.テつ Maybe Fabio is not in his best condition?テつ You can use that?
GAテ窶ケL MONFILS:テつ Well, you just saw two tournaments.テつ What I watch is the whole year.テつ When there are important points, he's always there and present.テつ He lost in Madrid against Dolgo, played a good match, when he had some problems.テつ But it happens to any player, anyway.
And coming here, he was very solid, reaching third round.テつ So I believe his season is clean.テつ He played good.テつ He has his best ranking.テつ He beat me already this year.
I'm going to try to make him fight, but legally, let's say, because what he does sometimes in other tournaments, he won't be able to do that in the French Open.テつ He won't do it.テつ He might try though.

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