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May 27, 2014

Lucas Pouille


J. MONACO/L Pouille
6‑3, 6‑1, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions in French, please.

Q.  What are you feeling about this match?  Was he a better player?  Or maybe you were not in top form.
LUCAS POUILLE:  I'm frustrated, by the way.  He's very strong.  He's very solid.  He's a clay‑court player.  He has a better ranking than me.
I had some opportunities, but I didn't convert, them unfortunately.  So it's not easy.  He doesn't give you a lot of free points.  He's very solid.  There was a lot of intensity.
I lost the first set 6‑3, but I had a break in the first set.  The games were very tight with a lot of intensity.
At a given point in time I had a bad patch and the games were flying.
In the third set, at the break I was ahead.  I was about to win my service game, but I didn't manage to do it.
So lots of opportunities that I haven't converted.

Q.  In this match your coach told you to return better, to step into the court, but it's very difficult to step into the court against such an opponent.  In terms of shots, you were quite good, weren't you?
LUCAS POUILLE:  Yes.  My shots were okay today, but returning on his first serve is quite difficult because he has a high percentage of first serves.
I was able to break him very often, so my return was quite good.  Conditions were quite slow and he was able to return far from the baseline, so it was tough for me to win a point.  I had to earn the points because he doesn't give you a lot of free points.
When he hits the ball, it's very dangerous.  I think that I should have stepped into the court more often.  I was striking lots of balls, but I didn't dictate play today.  But that's not easy to do against such a player who's able to get lots of balls back.

Q.  It's very difficult to give your feelings after this defeat, but what are the lessons learned from that match in order to improve and get better?
LUCAS POUILLE:  It's not easy to give an assessment of a match, but I will continue to work.  There is no doubt about it.
If I had lost 6‑Love, 6‑Love, 6‑Love, anyway you have to continue to work.  I hope I will be able to watch the match again, because at the spur of the moment it's very difficult to draw lessons from the match.  You don't realize exactly what happened after the match.
But I need to continue to play my game, to dictate play, to go for my shots, to work on my assets, and I need to make headway in the areas where I'm not good.

Q.  What's next?
LUCAS POUILLE:  I will take part in a challenger tournament next week, and then the Wimbledon quallies.  Then we'll see.  Lots of challenger tournaments in summer.

Q.  Laurent Lokoli belongs to your same generation; he's made a breakthrough.  Do you feel like emulating?
LUCAS POUILLE:  No, I'm not‑‑ I'm proud of what I'm doing, and I'm very happy for him.  He lost many matches in the future tournaments, and all of a sudden he's able to play well.
I like him quite a lot.  I'm very happy for him.  But this won't fuel my pride.  There is no such thing as a French No. 1 or 2.  I am doing my stuff.
For example, I hope that Laurent will win the match.  Fourth position he's currently playing, I think.  But I hope that he will win.
But I'm not jealous.  If he wins, I won't be sad and saying, Okay, he has won or he's lost.  No, that's not my viewpoint.  I'm delighted for him.

Q.  I didn't want to say that you wanted him to lose, but, I mean, you were born in 1994 and you are one the best players.
LUCAS POUILLE:  Yes.  I want to make headway and be the best one day.  Of course you want to make great strides.
The same goes for all the players.  He qualified for the main draw.  Great.  If he wins the tournament, congratulations.  He's qualified for the main draw.  A credit to him.
And during the quallies he defeated great players.  Congratulations, and I'm very happy for him.  Nothing else to add.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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