“You didn’t celebrate this second title of your career on the court very much, but we imagine that there were a lot of emotions that came up?
I’m not a very demonstrative person either, but it was a big relief. He’s a player (Laslo Djere) against whom I’m supposed to win on this surface and win a title like that, it’s always super important. Today (Saturday), it was quite a stressful match but I managed to make the difference at the end of the first set. Winning the title here is quite unexpected but it’s great news.
Quite unexpected, that is? In relation to your form at the moment?
Unexpected because I didn’t win 40 so obviously it’s not something I do every day. I had still trained well, I had made good tournaments this summer but each time when it came to finishing the matches, it did not turn out in my favour. Succeeding in making a difference for once feels good in the head. I had a very tough first lap where I saved match points. I knew that to win the tournament, you had to play every day, so starting it with a match lasting more than 3h30 was not easy. I did not expect to recover so well physically.
Saving match points, does it allow you to be more relaxed for the rest of the tournament?
I didn’t have a lot of ambitions when I arrived here, it’s not necessarily a tournament where I really enjoy playing. During this first round, I was playing a little while not having much to do with the match, telling myself that if I lost, at least I would be quickly in New York. (for the US Open). I didn’t have too much stress and then as the laps progressed, we got closer to the title, a lot of ATP points, the stress started to rise and finally, it was a good surprise at the end.
“We really had to keep him under pressure and continue to set the pace”
You miss the start of the match a little bit by quickly giving up your serve, was it difficult to bounce back?
It was a match with a lot of stakes so it was not necessarily easy to get into it well. I was a little stressed and I played Friday night in totally different conditions, at night with a very low temperature where it was easy to smell the ball. There it was very hot, the ball flew a lot. So at the start of the match, it’s normal not to play my best tennis, but telling myself that I have the legs to last a long time reassured me a little. I knew it was going to be a fight and I was going to have the chance to come back at some point, which happened at the end of the first set.
Did you feel that he was starting to tire physically?
He took a small blow behind the head when I break him. Afterwards, if he had felt that I was tensing up a bit, it would have given him energy. We really had to keep him under pressure and continue to set the pace. For sure it’s reassuring on my side to see him a little blunt because I know that even if I don’t finish right away at the end of the second set, I was going to be favorite in the third because I I was physically better. »