“How do you analyze your victory against Coco Gauff (6-4, 6-3) for your entry into the running at the Masters?
I stayed in the present moment. Coco is a player who doesn’t give up and tries different things, so I’m very happy with the way I finished the match. It’s always very impressive to play against her, there’s always a lot of intensity. Even when you have the impression of dominating her a little, she is able to come back. In the second set, she tried to be more aggressive with return volleys on my serve and more follow-ups to the net. She never lets go. It was very important for me to stay calm, focused on my game. I did it well.
“A lot has happened this year, I can only be happy to be here”
You have just had a few turbulent weeks, in particular with the surprise departure of your trainer Bertrand Perret. How satisfied are you to have evolved to such a level, in this context?
I felt pretty good on the court, I wasn’t particularly tense. I was focused on what I wanted to do and made the most of it. Sometimes, on your phone, old videos resurface. Before the warm-up, with my physio, we came across a video from April, when I was on crutches and trying to walk in the gym. It helps to remember that a lot of things have happened this year and I can only be happy to be here. Today, I took a good step forward in this group, but the road is still very long. The next game will be a big challenge.
Precisely, Thursday, you will face the world n°1 Iga Swiatek whom you had beaten in July in Poland on clay. Can this help you in the approach to this match?
It is certain that it is a good experience to take away from the tournament in Poland. It reinforces my idea that being aggressive is the best way to try to beat her. When she has time, it becomes very complicated. She changes direction extremely well, using all the court geometry, she’s aggressive and moves really well. When she slides, it feels like she covers two courts when you only cover one. She has been very impressive, especially on hard courts, since the start of the year. All this at only 21 years old. I will have to recover well, prepare myself and take what there is to take from my match in Poland. »