G. MONFILS/M. Safin
6-2, 3-6, 6-2
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Your first match in quite a while. How did you feel out there?
GAËL MONFILS: It was -- I mean, I was pretty excited because it was the first match in two months. I feel great.
I mean, I didn't really expect to play that good today. I mean, I served pretty good, high percentage. I have a good return. Physically I feel comfortable on the court, so I was pretty happy with my performance today.
Q. How is the knee?
GAËL MONFILS: It's been good. It's been good. I received a lot of treatment since two months, and now I get used to play with, and now I know likewise my limit and where I can push it, so it's okay.
Q. You do a lot of the splits and things on court. Of course, it's fun to watch, but do you get told that maybe if you didn't do that so much you'd be injured less often?
GAËL MONFILS: But if I didn't do that, I will not win the point. I mean, it's part of me. It's my nature to play like that, to slide and -- I mean, when I saw the ball, I mean, I don't even think, oh, yeah, shit, I'm going to make the slide and it's going to be fun. I just do it, because I know it's the way I can reach the ball. It's part of me.
So if you take out this, I think I will be not the same player what I am.
Q. You had a couple of good matches with Marat this year. Is he still fun to play and playing at a good level?
GAËL MONFILS: Yeah. I mean, I really like to play against him. I mean, first of all, I have great respect for this player. He had a great career.
Now he's got old, so maybe it's tough for him not to play like his best level every week, but, yeah, I mean, he's dangerous. I mean, he was up a set and break, so we never know. In one match he can play very, very strong. I mean, I'm very happy to win tonight.
Q. What about as a person? Did you look up to him when you were younger?
GAËL MONFILS: Yeah, yeah. I mean, I used to, with my friends, to watch him when he was young. He have a very good personality. I think he don't enjoy it on the court even sometime. He can be loony, smash his racquet and speak a lot.
But I mean, he had great tennis, and I mean, he have a lot of talent. Of course when I was younger I did like to watch him.