No, to be honest, I don’t regret this fifth round. Maybe this is the set where he played better than me. He deserved to earn it. I had three break points, but you know, breaker in the first game of the set, there are still a lot of points … I’m more disappointed with the second and third set. I had everything in my racket, I don’t know how I managed to lose them.
When you come back to the locker room you must be wondering how you lost … You played 50 fantastic minutes, proving that a dream tennis was possible with different weapons. The disappointment must be immense not to have gone to the end.
Yes, without a doubt. I gave the stick to get beaten. We will again say that it is the French who had the match in his racket and who lost it. I am sorry to be in this situation. It is not the first close match that I lose at Roland Garros. All the stars were lined up to make a great game. I was playing very well in the third tie-break. No matter how hard I rack my brains, I don’t know how I lost him. Even in the second set, it is not far to explode. I take an ace at 15-30, I have a end that I need to finish. This sport, frankly, hurts my head. That’s how it is, bravo to him. It’s because of him that I lost, that’s also why he is top 10. He lost a final of a Grand Slam tournament, it was terrible too, he had maybe this feeling. It’s like that.
There is only one Frenchman left in the painting, Hugo Gaston. Is this disappointing for all of you?
I was afraid of this question. Yes, I would really like to be in the third round. We had fantastic people who were always present in the third round like Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Richard Gasquet, Gael Monfils. I’m disappointed not to be able to go their way and have their results. This is the saddest side for me. I disappointed a lot of people who watched the game because I had it in my racket. I should have won. I would have liked to take up the torch, but what do you want me to tell you? It was catastrophic in the conclusion of the sets.
“The double remains a priority”
Would that kind of match make you think even more about managing your singles career? It’s still a very big performance, despite this defeat.
I didn’t win, so I don’t consider it a tennis performance. I played well, indeed, there is no doubt about it. I have the feeling that I managed to press where it hurt. For the double, I already asked myself the question last year, I had a period where I had put it a little more aside. With Nicolas Mahut, we have an important goal that has been postponed by one year, the Olympic Games. You have to get to qualify. So no, the double remains a priority for me. Afterwards, it is certain that the simple is one too. I try to deal with and manage both. Personally, I think doubles is an amazing discipline, worth playing. There are few players who do it, because it is more and more physical. I can understand their choice. I am proud to align myself with both in a Grand Slam tournament, especially with “Nico” and the goals we have together.
Do you feel safe in the bubble, did it help you mentally in your game?
I think without that and a safe environment we couldn’t play. We need a bubble. In my opinion, it is well organized. I have to be tested again on Thursday. After four or five days, everyone is retested. Glad to be back on court, I spent a lot of time with my family, my fiancee was pregnant and now I’m a dad. So yeah, I’m at the hotel, but I don’t mind. I am delighted to play at Roland Garros. Whatever the conditions, cold, rain, I’m delighted to be back on the court.
Is your fiancée with you at the hotel?
No, I had to leave them, that is to say that my little boy was born on September 19, it was a bit short to come to Paris since we don’t live there. She is at home, she is recovering from childbirth and taking care of the baby. I thank her because she is the one who does the dirty work, although I would love to be with her to do it.