I am like this. I don’t necessarily show my emotions, but I’m very happy inside. I don’t yet realize what’s going on. I will try to enjoy with my family and rest. There are a lot of emotions and joy after this victory.
When did you feel like it was okay?
Right from the start, even though I lost the first set 6-2. I entered the field to win. I knew it was going to be tough, but when I get back on the court, it’s to give my best and try to win. After the first run, it was complicated but I was able to relax, I tried to be more creative. It worked, I managed to get out of it. This is something crazy for me.
On the match point, what happens the moment you realize you’ve won? Stan Wawrinka opposite, winner of Roland-Garros, what’s going on in his head?
I turn around, I look at my coach and my family. These are unforgettable things. I love. That my family is there to watch it, it’s really unforgettable … I was really happy at the time, and obviously still is. I think I will perform on Saturday.
“I did tasks on the wall, it pissed off my parents”
Was there some form of apprehension, of panic? Playing Wawrinka on the Lenglen is not just anything … Did your coach Marc Barbier reassure you, what did you say to yourself?
There wasn’t much of a panic, no. My trainer told me that he had two arms and two legs like me, that I had to give the maximum and that I would see well. But that I really had to take pleasure, not to regret. It went very well. I necessarily came home a little disturbed, because Wawrinka is a great player, it was on a very long court … I wanted to do well. I played my game, I’m happy.
You had never tapped on the Central, you had simply come to visit. Do you remember this feeling of immensity?
It was crazy. When I was little, I watched all the matches at the Central. I don’t know what field I’m going to play on Sunday yet. For me, the Central is important. I tried not to put more pressure on myself, but when you see such a stadium, it impresses. I’m very happy to be in the round of 16. I will take advantage and give my all.
How did you get started playing tennis? What are your first memories of Roland-Garros, when you may have just achieved the greatest French feat there?
I started because my dad was president of a tennis club and I loved playing. I love this sport and I continued. For me, tennis is the game. From now on, I play at Roland-Garros. Before, I watched all the players on TV, yes I encouraged the French. Now I play on this court, it’s fabulous.
Your father used to say that as a kid you kept banging on the cellar door and watching videos. Is this where you managed to work this hand that allows you to do a lot of things on the field?
Maybe. I have always played against the wall in my living room. It pissed off my parents, I did chores, but it’s paying off (smile). I am very happy, because my parents gave me the opportunity to play tennis. If I am in eighth, it is also thanks to them. There are bound to be a lot of emotions behind that.