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Old 06-02-2007, 05:18 PM   #213
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Day 7 - An interview with Paul-Henri Mathieu - Saturday, June 2, 2007

Q. Did you feel like changing something in your game at one stage?


PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU: Maybe, but I just couldn't. He didn't give me time to adjust my game anyway. His shots are just wonderful. He's a bit like Nadal, and I was not in the best condition to fight against him.

Q. When did you understand that you'd have difficulties with your physical condition?

PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU: Well, quite early in the match I felt it would be difficult. I felt I had no game. I had difficulties in moving on the court. You always have hopes, but after an hour and a half, it wasn't coming. And he gave me no opportunities to come back.

Q. It was a bit like in Moscow, a bit? Not as tough?

PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU: Well, yes, a bit. Well, in Moscow, I wasn't feeling well. But against a player like him, if you don't feel physically fit, he just plays left, then right, then all you have to do is run.

Q. How does he play his forehand?

PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU: A bit like Nadal, but he is right‑handed. But it's exactly the same thing, except it goes in the other direction.

Q. He also served very well, and, physically, you had difficulties in returning his serve?

PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU: He has a beautiful service. Even when I'm in a very good physical condition, I have difficulties in returning his service. The ball comes very high, and it's very difficult for me to return.

Q. It's very difficult to play two players in a row, because usually you're quite fit.

PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU: Well, I don't want to try and find any excuses to my defeat. Of course, it's not easy to play two matches in a row. And it's true that he started his match the day before yesterday, he played two sets, and then he played two sets yesterday. So it's just like practicing for him. Whereas, I played almost four hours yesterday, three hours and 45 minutes on a big court like this one. Of course, it's tiring.

Q. And what about the draw?


PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU: No, it doesn't mean anything. Andreev was a good opponent for any third round. It could have been Djokovic or Andreev. Then he is going to play Baghdatis. Well, Baghdatis is capable of defeating just anybody today. Clay is not necessarily his best surface.

Of course, I could have of done something, but on one match, you never know. It's always easy to say beforehand, but it was better than playing Nadal or Federer.

Q. Last year, it was very frustrating for you after Nadal. So what would you say after this match today?

PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU: Well, it wasn't a good day for me today. I need to analyze this and understand why. I couldn't run that well today. And, you know, there are days when life is more difficult than others.

Q. You say you like playing on grass.


PAUL‑HENRI MATHIEU: Well, it's fun. All my friends laugh at me when I say that because I've never won any match. But when you look at my draws over the last three years, I never had very good draws, whether in Wimbledon or in Queens. One year it was Philippoussis. The other year it was Draper. The other year it was Nalbandian. So, I mean, the draws were not very good draws for me.

And today, all I want to do is come back in the top 20. And if I can win points on grass, I'll do everything I can.
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