Sunday, May 25, 2008
Interview with Paul-Henri Mathieu
Q. How did you experience this match that was so
special for your opponent?
PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU: It was a very special match in
the career. For him, it was his last match, so I'm
happy with a match to play a few good points, and I
think he had great pleasure on the court for the
Q. Were you a bit troubled by the context?
PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU: Well, it's not the ideal
situation. When I get on the court I know that I am
going to win, and afterwards it's a bit difficult to
maintain your concentration. So of course, of
course, it's difficult.
Q. Do you feel you played a good match?
PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU: Yes. Given the context we had a
few good points. But to me, it wasn't like a real
fast round. It's difficult to regard it as a first
round of a Grand Slam tournament, but it was a good
match. We played, an hour and forty‑five minutes, so
it was good.
Q. What did he tell you when he came to see you
sitting on the chair?
PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU: What did he tell me? I can't
remember. Oh, at 5‑2?
Can't remember. At 5‑2 we switched ends on the court
and the crowd started the, Hola, so it was a bit
difficult. I was thinking about the end of the match
and how it would be. It was a bit strange.
Q. You had lots of emotions. We could see that. But
you were smiling and being relaxed.
PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU: Well, I had to. I wanted him to
have pleasure on the court as well, so I tried to
play my best tennis. I hoped he had great pleasure
playing in the last match today.
Q. Were you surprised by his level as compared to
PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU: I had not seen him in
Monte‑Carlo. I had seen him in Miami against
Grosjean. He lost 6‑1, 7‑6. From the baseline he's
very restricted in his movements, so he can serve
On a hard surface he would have been dangerous, but
he cannot move very well anymore.
Q. Normally the crowd should have been supporting
you because we're in Paris. We heard a few, Paul,
Paul, but even the French were shouting name of Guga.
How did you experience this?
PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU: Oh, fine. Even I would have
shouted Guga if I had been able to do that.
(laughter.) He's a legend of tennis. He is part of
the history of Roland Garros. He won three times,
and it's quite normal.
Q. Would you say that this was one of the most
emotional matches in your career?
PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU: Yes. It was very special. At one
stage I felt I was playing a final game ‑‑ a match
in a final, because the crowd was there and there
was a beautiful atmosphere and everybody was
It's true that a game like this, a match like this,
you play it once in your career and that's it.
Q. Did you at one stage think about not hitting him
too hard and not making things too difficult for
PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU: No, no. At the beginning I was
happy to score the first games. But it's difficult
before the match to imagine what the outcome is
going to be, how much he would score, how much games
he would score, if I was going to win or not. We
were close at the beginning. It was good.
THE MODERATOR: Any other French questions?
Q. Do you have a feeling that your tournament is
going to start now?
PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU: Yes, yes. Well, unfortunately ‑‑
well, unfortunately I'm playing on Wednesday, so I
have two days' break between two matches. That's not
very good, but this is when things really start.