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May 26, 2014

Paul-Henri Mathieu


D. THIEM/P. Mathieu
6‑4, 7‑6, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions in French.

Q.  This was a very difficult first round.  He was very solid.  Did you expect him at this level?
PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU:  Well, it was difficult.  I had never played him, so I didn't know what to expect.  I knew he played well, but then when you have to play him, there is always a bit of time when you need to adapt, because you don't know what to expect.

Q.  So how would you describe his game?  Is it difficult to find some mistakes in the way he plays?
PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU:  Well, he's a very good player, but he was ‑‑the conditions today were good for him, because he's a tall player.  He stands behind the baseline.  He returns very strongly, and it's difficult to find the right momentum.
I had difficulties being present in the game today, so it was difficult.

Q.  Were you nervous for this first round, or did you just play your game?
PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU:  Well, you're always nervous.  Everybody is nervous for the first round, but I wasn't more nervous than anyone else.

Q.  The second set was, you were pretty close.  How did you feel before the tiebreak?
PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU:  When I was up 5‑4, 6‑5, I thought if I can lead the game, it can change the match.  He was scoring good points, and I had difficulties finding the right momentum for me.
I need to make my opponent run, and he would return very powerful shots.  I was in difficulty or he was making a mistake right at the beginning of the rally, but he played well on all the important points.
In the third set he felt very relaxed, and he plays ‑‑he's like a 20‑year‑old kid.  That's a strength.  And he will be an excellent player.  Well, he already is, but his ranking does not reflect his ability today.

Q.  Losing first round at Roland Garros is a disappointment.  You want to go further in such a tournament, don't you?
PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU:  Well, of course it's a disappointment.  Yeah, I'm sad.  I'm sad I lost so early in the tournament.
I have the feeling I didn't really play my match.  I never was in control of the match, and that's difficult for me to accept.
But then you also need to accept that your opponent was a very good player indeed.  That's part of my career.
It's tough because we all look forward to playing in this tournament.  We have huge motivation.  Every morning when you get up, you want to practice to play this tournament, and leaving it so early, yes, it's difficult.

Q.  Was it a motivation for you to potentially play Nadal, or did you want to forget about it?
PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU:  When you look at the draw, you think about your first round and you don't start thinking about the second round.  What I wanted today was to win the first round.  No use thinking about the second round if you lose in the first round.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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