R. GASQUET/T. Haas 6‑7, 6‑3, 6‑0, 6‑0

 

 

RICHARD GASQUET

 

Q.  When we see you playing as you did in the two last sets, do you think that it would have been better to play it in three sets?

RICHARD GASQUET:  Yes, it would have been better, but he played very well at the beginning.  He won the break right from the outset, so it was a bit more difficult.  He has huge talent.  What was good was I managed to have a break at 2‑All.

I tried to be more inside the court on the return, so I tried to be more inside the court, and then I won the second set.

I also had my serve back.  I served better.  But I knew that he had not played long matches in a while.  There were quite a lot of people out there, so I really wanted to win this match to give everything I could.  It was a beautiful match, and I played real well during the third and fourth set.

But he played very well during the first set.  I had no opportunity.  He served very well.  It was a beautiful tiebreak.  He served better than me, so he was stronger.

 

Q.  The last player who won 6‑Love to Haas won the tournament?

RICHARD GASQUET:  Who was it, Nadal?

 

Q.  No, Federer.

RICHARD GASQUET:  Oh, yes, back in 2009.  Well, it’s inspirational, but I have to play Murray first.  Then, you know, it’s Nadal and Djokovic.  So, yes, 6‑Love is inspiring, but it’s not going to be an easy job.  You need to play very good players before that.

 

Q.  Do you think it’s your best match since the beginning of the tournament?

RICHARD GASQUET:  Well, I played a great match.  I felt more released.  I could play my shots.  Before I would lift my balls but couldn’t score any points.  It wasn’t easy.

But today I managed to have a break, and then I served better.  I had two beautiful shots, huge shots at the end of the third set.

But, I’m telling you, the match against Dimitrov was really difficult.  He played real well.  It really was a great match for us, defeating him, because he played at a very high level.

So it was difficult.  This is why I played well in the fourth set, because I had gained confidence after Dimitrov.

 

Q.  In this fourth set when all the crowd was behind you, that must have been very nice.

RICHARD GASQUET:  It’s always nice.  I mean, it’s a great court.  It’s Roland Garros.  It’s always nice.

But now I have another match to play.  I’m happy I went through, and I’m in second week.

 

Q.  As compared to last week, same number of rounds, same number of victories, but talking about the level of your tennis.

RICHARD GASQUET:  I played well in Rome.  I defeated Federer, Berdych, Bellucci in a wonderful match.  I think I’m more fresh than last year.  I never made it to the second week last year, so I was a bit tired and I left a lot of energy when I played Bellucci.  But today I didn’t use too much energy, even though I won in four sets.  So I’m in a better shape.

So it’s always different from one year to the next, but I’m not the favorite for the next match.  I have a big match to play.  And I have to be ready.

 

Q.  Next round is Murray.  You played him, and you won in Rome recently, but the last time you played him here in Paris, it was a bit more difficult.  So what do you remember from this match?

RICHARD GASQUET:  Well, all matches are different, and I lost to him in Wimbledon.  I think it’s always better to play him on clay than on grass.

But he’s in the top 4 and has been for quite a while.  So I’m not the favorite, but it’s up to me to play a big match, to play inside the court, be really inside the court, which is what I managed to do in Rome during the third set.

So I have to play a very big match.  I’ll be playing on a big court.  I’ll have to play a big match, but I have the crowd, and I have to give everything to have no regrets.

 

Q.  After you won Dimitrov, and today, Tommy Haas, it’s possible.

RICHARD GASQUET:  Everything’s possible, but I’ll have to play my best tennis to defeat him.  But it’s great for me to play the No. 4 in the world in front of the crowd in Paris.  It’s great.

 

Q.  And you’ll have to attack?

RICHARD GASQUET:  Yes.  You always have to find the right balance between defending and attacking.

 

Q.  What did you say to Haas at the end of the game?

RICHARD GASQUET:  Well, I have great respect for him.  He had a beautiful career.  He had the surgery on his shoulder.  He fought through.  He’s still here.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to do the same thing at his age.

After having surgeries, to be back, I congratulated him.  And he said I played very well.

So I have great respect for such a big player.  He has a wonderful career, beautiful attitude.  It wasn’t easy for him after he won the first set.  Lots of respect for the man.  He’s been one of the best players in the world for quite a while, and this should not be forgotten.  So that’s why I told him that.

 

Q.  Making it to the second week, was it an objective you had before the tournament began?  Do you feel more relaxed now?

RICHARD GASQUET:  Well, it’s always an objective when you are a top seed, you want to make it a second week.

Physically, I’m in great shape.  I’m still fresh.  So I’ll be at 100% on the court for my next match.

My objective was not just to make it to the second week.  I know I can do better.  So I’ll have to play a great match against Murray.

 

Q.  You play with two coaches.  How do you debrief the matches?  Are they watching the same thing?  Who speaks first?  How do you debrief?  How do you work together?

RICHARD GASQUET:  Everybody talks, whether first or second.  There is no rule.  Very often we see the same thing.

Sometimes I take a bit more risk.  I mean, they see exactly the same things, so there is no problem here.

Now, the difference between the first, the second, the third, they tell me I should return the shots and be more aggressive as I was in the third set.

 

Q.  But they don’t have a specific view over the technical aspects of the match?

RICHARD GASQUET:  No, there is no specific rule as to who is going to talk about what.  We speak, the three of us.

 

Q.  You just played a beautiful match, and you had beautiful matches so far, but you seem to be humble.

RICHARD GASQUET:  Well, yes, you know, you have to be very modest, because it’s one game at a time, one match at a time, and I know I’m not over with the tournament.  There will be another big match, first against Murray, with a lot of people out there.

 

Q.  Don’t you fear people might say, Well, he can’t be defeated?  He won 14 games in a row?

RICHARD GASQUET:  Well, people have been saying that since I was a kid.  When I was 9, when I was 16, they said I’m a genius, you know.  I’m used to that.

But I need to give everything I have.  I need to do my best.  That’s the most important.  You want to give your best, and the crowd is supporting you from the beginning till the end.  That’s a beautiful emotion, you know, playing on such a big court and giving everything you have for people.

 

Q.  Julien Benneteau said he hoped he could play the Olympic Games in doubles.  Would you play the doubles with him?

RICHARD GASQUET:  Well, that’s not up to me to answer.  I don’t even know the rules.  I mean, he couldn’t play at the beginning.  Now, he can.  It’s too complicated.

No, honest.  In the beginning he was not supposed to play.  But I didn’t know he could come before me.  Had he not been injured, he could have been in the four and playing doubles like he does very well.

So he deserves to play the doubles, whether take my slot or that of Gaël or others.  He’s a beautiful player, and he deserves to make it to the Olympic Games.  Given his level, he could take part in the Olympic Games.

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