“Did you expect such a good start?
It went well, yes. It is true that there was a good start to the match. Afterwards, I got broken, but I still didn’t expect to win 6-3, 6-1 behind. It’s a good game for me. There were a lot of people and, for a Monday, I didn’t necessarily expect it. It was a great moment and a great victory. 6-3, 6-1 is a great result. He is in the top 50 in the world. The beginning was hooked, but I managed to dominate it behind. I am lucky to have an invitation, it was important for me to start well. I’m on the run from Antwerp.
The fact that there was very quickly a lot of encouragement from the stands, we imagine that this is also why we never hear you talk about retirement.
Of course, it’s always fabulous to play in this atmosphere. There were a lot of people, from the start it was beautiful. Definitely, it’s good. We train and we play to have atmospheres like that. We are lucky to have two big tournaments in France, it’s important. In any case, it did me good to win this match.
“Casper Ruud is a huge player. He is a finalist of two Grand Slams, he is the favorite.
You’ve had quite a few glitches, a few illnesses since the summer. Are you finally at 100%?
I feel better, yes. I played well in Antwerp. The US Open was good too. Behind, it was harder. There were a lot of sequences, especially with the Davis Cup. It’s not easy at 36, but I managed to recover. I will try to finish the season well. I have a great match to play against Ruud.
Exactly, what do you think of Casper Ruud? He’s going through a less good phase right now, isn’t he?
He’s better on clay, but he’s still world No. 2. He’s a huge player. I have nothing to lose. He is a finalist of two Grand Slams (Roland-Garros and the US Open), he is the favourite. It will be a great moment and I hope I can play a big game to try to beat him.
You are a great observer of the circuit. Did you expect to see it rise so high?
He is one of the young people on the rise. On clay, he is huge. But he’s proven he can play hard in Montreal and at the US Open. He has great physical condition, a great forehand, he is smart on the court, he serves well. He is a great player who has been top 10 for two years. We knew he was going to be very strong. It’s the new generation that’s coming, that’s normal. »