M. GRANOLLERS/P. Mathieu 6‑4, 6‑4, 1‑6, 4‑6, 6‑1

 

 

PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU

 

 

 

Q.  What do you feel now after the 15th set in Roland Garros?

PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU:  15?  I am a little bit tired, but I’m happy I could play 15 sets.  I think three weeks ago I would sign for that, so I am happy about it.

Q.  Last year when you came here for commentator and for TV, do you think that this year we can make this?

PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU:  Not really.  I mean, you never know.  I struggle for one year, so I had some doubt before it, but I’m happy that I could play this year.

THE MODERATOR:  Questions in French.

 

Q.  How do you come out of a match like this?  You are proud or you are disappointed of the loss?

PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU:  We are competitors.  So of course we would like to come out of the court having won the match.  But still have to be reasonable.  I think it’s incredible being able to do those three matches here.

So I’m happy, in fact.  A few weeks ago I would have signed for that.  So even if we always want something more, at a certain stage, you have to be reasonable.

 

Q.  Did you dream you would be able to say that once in your career?

PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU:  No.  But I’m not saying I’m happy with the third round in a Grand Slam.  But I’m already proud that I was able to play a Grand Slam.  And playing several matches in five sets in a row, I think I turned the page of my first career and now it’s something new.  I see things totally differently.

I’m proud, and this is an encouragement for what is coming up, because I’m able to fight in those Grand Slam matches.

So I was sure I could come back and do things in a Grand Slam, and I’m on the right track.

 

Q.  The commentators on TV said you were playing dream tennis.  Are you happy with your game?

PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU:  Well, I had good moments, but if I had been fresher, the match would have been different.  I lacked stamina in the end, but I was feeling the ball well, so I didn’t have enough energy to do anything that I wanted to do.

But there’s a lot of positive in this match.

 

Q.  So in the fifth set that was the problem?  It was physical?  You didn’t have enough energy?

PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU:  Yes.  I was feeling bad.  My legs were feeling very heavy.  I couldn’t move as I wanted to.  Sometimes I made mistakes when I tried to be aggressive.  At certain moments I thought I could start again.  It happened in the third set.

So I was trying to set my mind on being able to make it, and I did make it for the third and fourth set.  But in the beginning of the fifth set, I started hurting everywhere.

Of course you can always say “if,” but if I had won the first game in the fifth set, I would have been in another state of mind.  I would have been enthusiastic, maybe.

 

Q.  So it was thanks to your mental strength that you were able to hang in there today?

PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU:  Yes.  Only because of that strength.  Even in the tough moments I was thinking, well, with all you had in those past months, you’re happy to be there, you have to find a solution.  So I was trying to say to myself I didn’t feel tired.

It’s just a pity I wasn’t able to do that before.  It’s difficult to be in that state of mind from the beginning of the match.  So it took a while before I was able to get into that state of mind, and that cost me the match.

 

Q.  Did you learn many things this week?

PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU:  Well, I learned that I was able to play very long matches in a Grand Slam tournament.  This is something I didn’t know a few days ago.

For me, it’s very important to know that when I come into a Grand Slam and I set myself a goal I can win matches, I can make a breakthrough.  Because I came here without having prepared as I wanted to.

I was able to play several matches in a row.  It’s positive.

 

Q.  Even if you lost in that third round, is it going to be the best Roland Garros of your career this year?

PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU:  You can’t compare.  Each French Open we play is unique for us.  We dream of playing here.

Tomorrow it’s over.  Maybe Monday I will start thinking about the French Open of next year.  This is great motivation for me.

It’s the first French Open of my second career this year.  I hope there will be others.

 

Q.  You said yesterday that you were ready to lose.  Did you feel the same today?

PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU:  Well, I was ready to accept that I could lose.  When you lose, you have to accept it.

The important thing is that while you’re on the court you have to do your best.

I think I could maybe have done one or two shots a bit better, but I think I was not able to do much more than I did.

Maybe, you know, if one or two points had turned differently, it would have been my advantage.

 

Q.  What are you going to do next?  Ask for a wildcard for Wimbledon?

PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU:  No, I have a protected ranking for Wimbledon.  I don’t know for the future.

As I said a few weeks ago, I didn’t even know I was going to be able to play one match here.

I wasn’t even sure that I could go from clay to grass in Wimbledon.  But now that I proved myself, I was able to play on clay, playing well, and this was positive.

Now Wimbledon is coming.  I like that tournament a lot.  I have been playing a lot there.  But I will try to play one tournament on grass before Wimbledon.

 

Q.  So you prepared with a physio mainly and also with Jerome Potier from the French Tennis Federation.  Are you going to keep working with them or are you going to use your own structure?

PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU:  Well, I am going to keep working with the Federation.  When I come to Paris, I work with the Federation and the group of players there.  It’s always nice.

I was waiting to start my season and improve my ranking before trying to make a decision about how I would get organized.

Now, because of my injury, I thought it was better to work with a physio for the time being, and now I’m going to see what happens.  I’m on the right track, anyway.

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