Q. Were you bothered by the high balls?
RICHARD GASQUET: Yes. What really bothered me is that he is physically stronger than I am. For instance, he resisted much better than I could with the heat and long rallies. The lift was a real problem.
Q. Do you think that with the heat the balls were bouncing much higher and, therefore, you had to hit them at a higher point than you are used to?
RICHARD GASQUET: Well, that's true, and it didn't help me. But on top of that, the heat was really a problem. I had a problem to resist the heat during three sets. I found it very hard today. It's got nothing to do with the surface, it's got little to do with his tennis, but it's very difficult to be 100% with such heat.
Q. Why did you feel very tired?
RICHARD GASQUET: Middle of the second set, it was very hot. I was thinking, "Two and a half sets more," or, "Three sets more," and it was awful.
In the various tournaments I played before, the first two rounds, that didn't help me. He was physically stronger than I am. I have a lot to work on.
Q. Do you think if you work on it, you can be at the same level physically?
RICHARD GASQUET: Yes, we have the same age. I think he's much more mature than I am physically. I haven't worked so much on my physical shape. We are the same age and I feel like a junior player and he's like a senior player. He is there 100% physically, which is not my case. I am not ready for such a situation.
Q. Do you think that he's the only one to return the sort of shots that he was returning?
RICHARD GASQUET: Yes, yes. You have the feeling he's never tired. He's always there. He's running all over the place. It's very hard for the opponent.
Q. At the end of the second you called Bernard. What was the problem?
RICHARD GASQUET: Well, I was sure, because I knew I couldn't start again if I stopped too long. It's lack of habit on my side. It would have been very hard if I had stopped too long.
Q. Have you done that before?
RICHARD GASQUET: Well, it was total emergency, I tell you. It was an emergency.
Q. What was your mental state when you started the match, when you got to the court?
RICHARD GASQUET: I felt well, and I'm very happy with the tennis I've played for the last couple of months. Even if I lost today, I really enjoyed playing a big match on the central court. It has given me an idea of what I'm still missing.
I'm very happy with my last two months of tennis. I know it was difficult. I had to struggle on the court.
Q. You said that probably he could resist pressure more than you could.
RICHARD GASQUET: No, no, no. Not at all. The pressure wasn't the problem. It's purely physical. I didn't have any problem with the pressure or the tension.
Q. Since you were below him, don't you think you should not have played doubles?
RICHARD GASQUET: No, there was no problem yesterday. I didn't waste a lot of energy yesterday.
Q. Can you tell us what was your tactic in your mind before the match, and when did you realize that you could not really implement the tactic?
RICHARD GASQUET: Well, I know that I could move towards the net, but I could not physically keep the same game of serve and then net and back and forth. I just couldn't hold the rhythm. The more the match went on, the more difficult it was.
Q. The fact that you played against him in Monte‑Carlo, did that help?
RICHARD GASQUET: Yes and no. No, not really. I know exactly how he plays, but you can know how the opponent is playing and that might not give you the weapons to win.
Q. Talking about your serve, your first serve was not as good as it was in Monte‑Carlo, for instance. Do you agree?
RICHARD GASQUET: Yes. The heat again. The heat again. And it's very difficult to give all the energy in your first serve and then to carry on with the same intensity. I found it very difficult.
It was not possible for me today. I could not physically.
Q. What sort of memories are you going to keep from this Roland Garros?
RICHARD GASQUET: Well, I was a bit stressed before the first round. I was hoping to do my best. I'm very happy that I went to the third round. I lost against Nadal ‑ no shame to that.
I've been working the last couple of months only, but I had a break for two or three months, which didn't help. During the last couple of months, or two months which I worked, I think I played quite good tennis. So we'll see for the future.
Q. How do you see the Nadal‑Grosjean match?
RICHARD GASQUET: Well, he will run to the net, but it's going to be a difficult match.
Q. Are you going to rest now?
RICHARD GASQUET: Yes, a few days. Just probably until I go to the grass tennis, to England.
Q. What do you have in mind?
RICHARD GASQUET: Queen's, Nottingham and Wimbledon.
Q. Do you like that surface?
RICHARD GASQUET: Yes, no problem. It's a good surface for me. I can serve, volley. I can play on grass very well, just as well as on clay. It's well adjusted to my game.
Q. Do you intend to watch the match, Grosjean‑Nadal?
RICHARD GASQUET: No tennis. I've had my share for this time. Maybe I will watch it on television.
THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.
Q. It was a very hot day and the court was very fast and hard. He hits with such heavy topspin. Even at your height, was it difficult to hit the shots you wanted because the ball was constantly up around your shoulders?
RICHARD GASQUET: (Translated from French.) I'm not very tall myself, so it was very difficult for me. The height was really a problem. It was a really quick court today. Especially on the backhand, I had to face balls that were bouncing very high. I have problems with people that are better physically than I am. I have a great difficulty facing the rhythm.
Q. Your best moment was perhaps early in the second set when you broke back and hit two very strong backhand winners. What was your confidence level at that point?
RICHARD GASQUET: (Translated from French.) Well, yes, these were two fantastic backhands and I won a number of points there. But I knew it was going to be difficult to repeat such a success. It was the fruit of a lot of effort.
I knew after that, my energy would go down, which was the case.
Q. Of course this is a very big crowd. The crowd was excited even two days ago when this match was joined. How much did you feel the crowd today on the court, and did it help you at all?
RICHARD GASQUET: (Translated from French.) Yes, they did support me a lot. I was trying my best, but it was not easy. It was hot, and I found it extremely difficult. I could feel that he was much better physically than I was. I would have liked a court where the tennis would have been less fast and with less heat. I mean, that was the main problem. I would have loved to have given a better show to the public.
The Nadal one is very lovely also so might as well post it. He's so complimentary of Richard. I love the last question about what he said to Richard at net. So sweet
Q. Was it easier than you expected?
RAFAEL NADAL: (In English.) Of course. Before the match, I can't think I won 6‑4, 6‑3, 6‑2, no? I think Gasquet and me, we have pression, and I think the pression ‑‑
(In Spanish.) I'll say it in Spanish or else I'll get in trouble. Pressure affected us both, and I think probably, with everything that has been said, he had more pressure than me.
(In English.) And I think I play really good today, no?
Q. Back to the final point of the second set where you had to make a difficult backhand shot with your back to the net. Can you describe it in your own words?
RAFAEL NADAL: (In English.) I don't know. Is very important point. I can won the point, and that is very important, because I can won the second set, no? When I won the second set, the match is better for me, no?
Q. How difficult was it?
RAFAEL NADAL: (In English.) I don't know. All points is difficult. This one is difficult for the point and is difficult for the moment, no?
Q. At the end of the match when you congratulated Gasquet, you put your arm around him and spoke to him. Could you tell us what you told Gasquet?
RAFAEL NADAL: (In English) No. I ask him if he have any problem, any physical problem, because I see you a little bit tired. So he say to me, "No, I am okay. You play very well. Very good luck for the rest of tournament," no? We speak a little bit.
Q. In English, French or Spanish?
RAFAEL NADAL: (In English.) In English (smiling). In my best English.
Q. How much did it make it easier for you that you were able to break him the first time he served in each set?
RAFAEL NADAL: (In English.) Yeah, that's important because to begin the match with breaks is important for the ‑‑ ("tranquilita") to be calm.
Q. Now that you've had this first time Grand Slam meeting, the two of you, there will be more over the years, what is your feelings about the future of your rivalry?
RAFAEL NADAL: (In English.) I don't know. I don't think so. Only Gasquet and me in the tour? We have lots of players ‑ Federer, Coria, Hewitt, not only this one, no? Normally in the next years, it's come back a lot of players, too, no? We not only have Gasquet and me.
Q. It was very hot today. The courts were very fast and hard.
RAFAEL NADAL: (In English.) Better for me, I think.
Q. How much more bounce did you get from the ball with your topspin today?
RAFAEL NADAL: (In English.) Yeah, I think the weather is better for me because I can ‑‑ the ball is when touch, bounces, is go good up, and that is important for me, no? For my game, that very important.
THE MODERATOR: Any other English or French?
RAFAEL NADAL: (In English.) No!
THE MODERATOR: Questions in Spanish.
Q. Now that it's all over, this comparison with Gasquet, do you think there's another player who can be a rival of yours?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, as I say, I don't think that you should have a rivalry with one player because there are many players. There's no one special player to be your rival. I mean, I'm not the best person to compare myself with anyone. I think I'm just a player among others, and I try to play as best as I can. There's nothing else.
I mean, we all try to play our best tennis. I don't think there's a rivalry between two players specifically. I think we're all rivals. We all want to win.
Q. I want to ask you, what about those pants you wear? Do you wear them because you like them or because you're paid a lot of money to wear them?
RAFAEL NADAL: Neither reason.
Q. But why do you wear these long pants? They're really strange. Where did you get the idea? Do you think they'll be allowed in Wimbledon?
RAFAEL NADAL: But those trousers are white.
Q. One woman tried to dress in white and it was a problem.
RAFAEL NADAL: 50 years ago, everybody wore those types of pants.
Q. But not today. Don't you think it would be better to play with shorts?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. I've been playing with these pants for some time. Nike decided I should wear them. Actually, I feel perfectly all right in them.
Q. And you've been winning a number of matches in them.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, that's not an excuse. I'm not going to start saying I've won or lost for reasons of heat or pants. I think these pants are extremely comfortable. I feel perfectly at ease. I don't think they're any different from shorts.
Q. This is a marketing idea by Nike?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yes, but I like them.
Q. Do you think there's been too much talk and too much written on this match beforehand?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I think that probably there's been a sort of rivalry made up between myself and Gasquet, and I don't think that it exists. I think we're two young players. Obviously here in France, there's much talk about their very good players. I think probably he's going to be very soon in the Top 10.
We both try to play as best we can. There's been a lot of talk. Possibly he's been affected by the pressure as I have. The fact that he was playing at home was possibly an extra pressure for him. That might have affected him and favored me.
Q. You started your first victory with an excellent score, but you've been improving your tennis since.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yes, the fact that I won today, I'm of course delighted. This was not an easy match in any way. Of course I'm delighted with my game today in spite of all the pressure and everything that was being said about the match.
Q. What do you think made the difference in the end between you and him?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think I was feeling quite strong out there on court. I think it was very difficult for him to make the point. We had very high shots, and a lot of players have problems with that. Gasquet is one of the best players on the tour.
But the fact that the clay was very dry today, the bounce was rather high, this might have been a problem for him. Because of these high shots, he might have lost a few points. That might have helped me dominate in this match, make him run around. This favored me.
Q. Today you've probably overcome a great hurdle. Is this a new tournament that's beginning?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I must say it was a difficult match. Well, I felt quite well previously, with Malisse in particular, but I was probably thinking too much about this particular match. After that I'll just take it one match at a time.
Each match is a different story. I'm improving my game day after day. I'll try to do my best. I know that in any case as time goes on in the tournament, the matches will get more difficult and I could lose at any time. It's not because I've won this match that everything is done. I'm very happy with my game, but I'm very aware of the fact that I can lose any time.
Q. Is there anything in your life that has affected you, some special place, when you were very young?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, Roland Garros is a very important tournament for me. It's one of the most important in the year, and I would love to play well here. But I don't remember anything that struck me especially. I've watched a lot of finals here since I was a kid, but I don't remember anything special. There was Courier, Corretja with Moya, Berasategui, there was Bruguera. I remember a number of finals I watched here, but nothing special. I've come here to try to do my own game and to get my own name on the list.
Q. Would you bet on a final Nadal‑Federer?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, it can't be the final. Of course, the important thing is to reach the semifinal, which it would be against Federer. But I still have a few matches to get through. I don't like to think too far ahead. I don't even know about the next match. Is it Stepanek? Are they in the fifth set? Did Grosjean win? They're still playing? Is there a break?
Q. Federer was asked what he thought about the video, the cameras, for the replay.
RAFAEL NADAL: And he said he didn't like them, didn't he?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, personally, I don't see why not. I think it's a novelty. It's interesting to be able to ask the linesmen to show me what happened exactly. I think it can be an interesting innovation. But I think it's also possible that you can only do it three times during a set, because otherwise we'd be doing it all the time.
Q. 5‑4, Love‑30, you were serving. Of course, the crowd was all for Gasquet. How did you face the difficult points?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I had a similar situation in Monte‑Carlo. I was leading, then I lost a set, and in the end I lost the tiebreak. This time it was beginning to look pretty much the same. I was calm. I think I saved a few important points at Love‑30.
The first set was, of course, very important because there were difficult things, long rallies. I think this was actually good for me; it was important for me to win that first set.
Q. A comment about the crowd. Was it what you expected? Did you like it? Was it positive to have so many people with so many expectations around this match?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I thought it was lovely. They obviously supported Gasquet. It's perfectly normal, of course. That, I completely understand. But there was never any lack of respect. I think that was wonderful.
I would like to actually thank the crowd for their wonderful participation.
Q. You spoke to Gasquet at the end of the match. What did you say to him?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, now I'm going to be able to say it in Spanish. It's easier for me. I asked him whether he had a physical problem because I saw that he was rather tired at the end of the match. In spite of having lost three sets to love, he said nothing was wrong with him, that I'd played very well, wished me good luck. I congratulated him for his recent successes. He wished me good luck for the rest of the tournament.
We do get on very well. There's no problem between us. We're good friends.