16 April 2018: Julien Benneteau (English)

Monday, 16 April 2018

Julien Benneteau
Press Conference
B. CORIC/J. Benneteau

6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. Do you have any comments about your opponent today? Two generations face to face.
JULIEN BENNETEAU: My opponent was very solid today. He has a complete game. It’s difficult to play him given his style of game. Also the performance in the American tour made him very confident. I think he made the semifinals in Indian Wells. He’s very good in the Masters 1000s now.

As I said, he’s very complete and he serves very well. Today he was the best. The first set was not so good. The second set was more like it. It was a real game where we were competing. He didn’t make many mistakes. I was making more mistakes than usual on my side today.

There’s nothing more to say. He was the better player today.

Q. Do you believe he was more aggressive than you, he was taking more risks?
JULIEN BENNETEAU: No, he was not taking more risks. It’s just that his style of game stopped me from being as aggressive as I wanted to be. I made mistakes that I don’t usually make.

Also his shots are high quality. He’s very intense. But his intensity was preventing me from being aggressive. Sometimes he was playing very deep, which gave me trouble. Other times he was playing very short, and there I was making mistakes.

I didn’t get many free points on my serve. Well, this is clay also. It’s my first match on this surface. I don’t know what his ranking is today, but anyway he plays at a very high level right now. For me it’s too high on clay at this stage of the season.

Q. It seemed last year clay was your favorite surface. You had your best results on clay last year. This year it seems it’s more on hard courts.
JULIEN BENNETEAU: My game allows me to play on all surfaces, but on clay, it is more difficult physically. When you get older, it makes it more complicated. In Monte-Carlo, even in my best years when I was top 30, I rarely played a good tournament. It’s always the first tournament on clay. Maybe one or two years I was able to play Casablanca before. It’s always difficult to play my first matches on clay, more difficult than on other surfaces.

Q. I guess this question was asked to you a thousand times already, but how do you experience this last year?
JULIEN BENNETEAU: Things are very good. Here it’s a wonderful tournament, a beautiful setting. The infrastructure is excellent. The hotel and everything is perfect. We are always welcomed perfectly well here. It’s a pleasure to come here.

I remember playing my first match in a Masters 1000 here in 2003. It was an important moment in my career. I was injured twice here, but each time something very good came out of it. Once I couldn’t play until the French Open. When I played the French Open, I was able to make it to the quarterfinals. The second time I sprained my ankle and broke my elbow, and I was able to play just before the French and qualify for the Olympics. I was able to win a medal there.

So I really enjoy coming back here. Of course, this year I’m not playing as many tournaments as in a normal season, but I enjoy each one of them. I’m fortunate to be able to do that. I try to practice the best I can to be competitive.

Anyway, even when I was playing well, the first matches on clay were not so good, so I’m not worried. My goal is to be in the best shape possible when I make it to the French Open. I would like to win one or two matches there. I want to try to do everything I can to be able to do that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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