R. FEDERER/D. Goffin 5‑7, 7‑5, 6‑2, 6‑4

 

DAVID GOFFIN

 

 

 

Q.  In the first two sets it looked like you were writing a fairytale.  Unfortunately fairytales don’t exist.  But was it still a very nice day for you being on court with your idol?

DAVID GOFFIN:  Yes, it was a very nice day, very nice match.  I start very well early in the match, I was playing aggressive, and with my backhand, and, yeah, it was great.  But I give all my best during all the match.

I was a little bit tired at the end, because I play a lot of match in this tournament, but it’s okay.  No regrets.

I give all I had.

Q.  Nice to also embrace him after the match?  Must be also kind of fairytale.

DAVID GOFFIN:  Yeah, after the match, I didn’t expect that.  It was a great moment.  I will never forget this moment.  It was a great moment on this stadium.

I hope I will have a lot of moment like this.

 

Q.  How did it feel to sit down in the changeover chair after winning a set against Roger Federer?

DAVID GOFFIN:  Yeah.  I’m feeling good after a set like this.  (Smiling.)

But it’s a long match.  I have to win three sets against him, and that’s only one.  So I have to keep focused and play point after point and don’t think it’s finished.

 

Q.  What was your feeling when you won that point in the fifth set and turned around and raised your arm and bowed to the crowd?

DAVID GOFFIN:  Yeah, it was a great point, I think.  (Smiling.)

The lob and then the dropshot.  It was ‑‑ all the stadium was on fire, so that’s why I did the (demonstrating a bow).

So after a point like this, I don’t know what to do, so that’s why.  But it was a great feeling.

 

Q.  This is obviously the biggest match of your life, but you seem to go out and just play your game.  Did you not have any nerves out there?  How did you handle it?

DAVID GOFFIN:  Yeah, of course, it’s the biggest match of my life, play Roger here in Roland Garros after tournaments.  It was a bonus match for me, but I took a lot of pleasure on this stadium.

I was a little bit nervous, of course, but I was feeling good.  Physically I was good at the start of the match.  So it was a great match.

 

Q.  This is maybe the first serious prize money you’re going to win here.  What do you expect to do with your first earnings?

DAVID GOFFIN:  I don’t know yet, but, yeah, first I see the result and not the prize money.

But of course it’s my best prize money ever, but I don’t think about this.  First I think about the result and the moment on the court.

 

Q.  And you were 5‑4 up in the second set, and Roger was serving and you had 15‑30.  Did you feel like you had a real chance then to go two sets up against him?

DAVID GOFFIN:  Of course.  Otherwise I stop the match and go to the hotel.

Yeah, the key moment is always good.  That’s why he was No. 1 during a lot of weeks.  But he serve really good.  I have one chance I think with my backhand and put in the net, but I have no regrets.  I did what I have to do.

I have no regrets.

 

Q.  Roger spoke very highly of you in the press room.  He paid a lot of compliments to you and your game.  Just how does that make you feel?  Because I know he was one of your big heros as you were growing up.

DAVID GOFFIN:  Yeah.  I never had a lot of journalists like today.  (Smiling.)

But I had a lot of work on court, and now off court.  But now it’s my job.  I have to do it.  But they are very kind, so it’s okay.

THE MODERATOR:  Questions in French.

 

Q.  Although you lost the match, is it the greatest match in your life?

DAVID GOFFIN:  It’s definitely the greatest moment in my life.  I had never played in such a big stadium against the best player I’ve ever had as an opponent.

This is a moment that I will not forget, and I hope I will have many more in my life.

 

Q.  You’ve already said something about that when you were leading in the first set and the second set you were almost winning.  What did you think?  Oh, God, I’m almost as good as Federer?  What did you think?

DAVID GOFFIN:  Well, no, I tried to focus and play point after point.  Otherwise, if I started thinking I’m 5‑4 up in the second set, no, no, no.  I was trying to take one point at a time.  I had an opportunity at 30‑All on my backhand.

But I said, No regrets.

He also played a very tight game.  He served really well.  Yes, I almost was two sets up, but at the same time I was very far from defeating him.

 

Q.  Why is he the most impressive player when you’re facing him on the court?

DAVID GOFFIN:  Well, what is very frightening is his attitude.  When he was down, I thought he’s going to show something with his face, he’s going to have a shake in his lips.  Nothing.  Poker face.  Like in every other match.  He’s very focused.

Even when he’s not playing at his best level, he continues playing and he ended up winning.  Just like anywhere else.  That’s what I find impressive.

 

Q.  People are going to start expecting a lot from you, expecting great results.  Are you worried about the coming weeks?  Do you think, okay, now I have to be up to the standard?  My Roland Garros tournament was beautiful, so everybody expects a lot from me?  Do you think about that?

DAVID GOFFIN:  Well, of course people will expect more from me in the future.  But I’m still very young.  I’m working on the long term, and if I want to have a long career, I still have to work hard.

Of course you can’t play in the round of 16 in a Grand Slam tournament three times a year, so I’m going to work hard to go back to the same level.  It might not happen overnight, but I will give it all so that I can improve.

I still have to work a lot.  I still need to develop my play.  I’m young.  I have a long career ahead of me, so I’m going to work on the long term.

 

Q.  You are improving so quickly that people start thinking about sending you to the Olympic Games.  Have you ever thought about that, being selected for the Olympic Games?

DAVID GOFFIN:  Of course.  If they ask me to go, I will go.  I will defend Belgian colors in London.

But I had not been thinking about it before I came for this tournament.  But now after this round of 16, obviously I’m on the brink of going to London.  I hadn’t really thought about it.

We’ll see after the tournament.  I still have to manage my grass season, but I will prepare for the grass season.  I really like the grass, and I will prepare and I can do some good stuff.

 

Q.  For the Roland Garros tournament, you are “the” fairytale, the beautiful story, but also the luckiest of lucky losers.  What memory would you like to take home with you after this tournament?  Obviously this match against Federer, but anything else you would like to tell us about your tournament?

DAVID GOFFIN:  Yes, of course.  This particular match is what I will remember most vividly.  But every match is different.  My very first match was great, and then the second match I won in five sets, and then the third match is an unbelievable result that opens the door for me for a match against Federer.  And obviously “the” match was today’s match against Federer.

That is “the” memory that I’m going to hold on to.

 

Q.  When you talk about working more, developing your play, where exactly are you going to work?  How?  Are you going to work on your fitness, on your tennis level?  And regarding your tennis level, what do you think you need to work on in priority?

DAVID GOFFIN:  Well, of course my fitness is important.  I have been working for some time to develop better fitness to be able to play for long seasons without an injury, being able to play throughout the year at my best level.

And mentally I hope that here in Roland Garros I move one notch up regarding my consistency.  Because previously sometimes occasionally one match was not as good as the previous one or one set was not as good as the previous one, so I need to work on being mentally focused.

If I can play at the same level consistently throughout the year, then I will be satisfied.

 

Q.  During the third set he broke you very early, and I got the feeling that you were going slightly downhill afterwards.  Was it a mentally or physically issue?

DAVID GOFFIN:  Both.  Because when you start playing against Roger, you fight on every single ball.  You really want to strike that winning point.  And mentally it’s very taxing to remain focused.  Physically, as well.

I felt like at the end of the match he was beginning to be a bit hard.  I mean, I wasn’t playing just any player.  It was Federer.  And I really tried to give it my best right to the end of the match.  And he managed to hold on to his break, and he wrapped up the match.

 

Q.  Over the last two weeks, anything you’ve learned about yourself?  Something you would like to take home?

DAVID GOFFIN:  Well, as I said before, mentally I have discovered that I can do this.  And also regarding my level of play, I have realized that I can do some really good stuff.

I hope I will continue and that I have discovered that in tennis everything is possible.

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