“How do you feel after this match of a very good level. We imagine you disappointed, right?
Oh, I’m good. It’s just a loss, you know. Of course, I’m the type of person who tries to fight to the last point, but he played better. He played very, very good tennis. I will mostly focus on the positive and not focus on the negative. The coming season is still long. There will be a lot of opportunities that I will try to take by playing my best tennis. I will try to make the best of it all because I know I can still improve, physically, mentally and in my game in general. Today’s game (Friday) it is a lesson that I must use to move forward.
You have evolved to a very high level. Isn’t it frustrating to lose while playing so well?
Yes, I played much better than last year when I was cooked after a five-set match against Rafa (Nadal). I couldn’t recover. This year, I really went all out from the first point. I felt good about my game, mentally, I felt real passion on the court. I was close. The first tie-break was very important. I feel like I could have won it. Maybe I should have used a different tactic. The match would have been different if I had won it. Again, this is a lesson.
When you see him losing his control, do you try to ignore him or do you think he takes the pressure?
It was funny (smile). I don’t pay too much attention to it. I know players do this to try to distract you. Maybe it was a tactic. It’s okay, anyway, he’s not the most mature of people.
He accused you of receiving coaching from your father. What about?
It’s wrong. I don’t hear anything when I play. It’s impossible. With the noise made by the public between each point, it would take a great audition to hear what the coaches are saying. I was laughing about it the other day because I think during my match against Benoît Paire, my coaches were like five kilometers away and I still took a coaching warning. It was the funniest moment of this Australian Open.
“I have been in their sights for a long time. I have the impression that the referee is always looking at my box and not at my opponent’s. »
Did the warning disturb you? Because you haven’t won a game after…
I’m used to it. I have been in their sights for a long time. I have the impression that the referee is always looking at my box and not at my opponent’s. I think I’ve been a victim of this for a long time. What can I say ? I don’t think the referees will ever understand that I can’t hear anything on the court because I’m focused on the game, replaying points in my head. The last thing I want is someone giving me advice on what to do. In training, maybe, but not in competition.
Have you ever asked your father not to speak during your matches?
Yes, we had this discussion. But you know, about my dad, when there’s a lot of action, he’s into something, his thing is to talk and you can’t stop him. It’s in his nature. I spent hours talking about it with him, but it’s in his nature. And I’m sure I’ll keep getting warnings, even if I don’t hear anything. But it’s okay, they can do whatever they want if they think they’re right. This is also why last year I declared myself in favor of coaching during matches. Anyway, all coaches do it. Most slip through the cracks because they do it in subtle ways, I assure you. I’ve seen a lot of cases like this and they get away with it, it’s the truth. By authorizing coaching, we remove this pressure and everything becomes more transparent.
“He runs like a marathon runner, for hours and hours. I don’t know if it will last long like this. »
You mentioned Medvedev’s lack of maturity. What do you think of him, personally? Can you separate the person from the player?
He’s a great player, a great competitor. He runs like a marathon runner, for hours and hours. I don’t know if it will last long like this. From experience, I know that it has a strong impact on your body. Other champions have said it too. But I respect that, that he can run that long and that he is physically present at every point. Yes, he is one of the greatest fighters on the court, along with Nadal. »