“Everything was going too fast for you this Sunday on court against Alexander Zverev?
It was so hard, I had no energy since yesterday (Saturday), I felt I was struggling to recover and apart from that I started the match very badly, I was under a bit of stress. I guess it didn’t help me and he was much stronger than me. I was happy it was over because there was nothing going my way in this match.
You never felt at that time that something had to be done?
I could have tried to get a little better with my physique but that wasn’t it either so I quickly saw that this was going to be very, very complicated. I found it served very well. Later, as we know him, he was world No. 2. I was aware of his level of play. I had already played against other players but there I progressed very badly. His kicking the ball gave me trouble and even on the return I feel he returned me very well. Nothing was easy for me today.
“Not one in 100 people expected me to win against a man like that”
You didn’t have much to lose in this match and yet, we sensed that you were tense from the very first conversation…
This is my only regret. I play as a player ten times stronger than me, I have won four matches now and I think there are zero out of 100 people who expected me to win against such a person. I know I get tense before matches and oddly enough, I don’t feel good. It is very difficult to describe it.
It’s a loss of the day but it’s also the first round of 3 in the Masters 1000. Looking back a bit, what is your assessment?
I’m not necessarily too disappointed. I am very happy with my week. If I’d been told I was going to play this course in my first match (in merit) When I had lost the first set and was 0-40, I would have signed off immediately. There are many positive things. It was extremely enriching to rub shoulders with all these players, train them, observe them.
Could this week change your goals for this season?
No, that doesn’t change my ambitions. I want to try to settle in the top 100. The second objective is to play well in important tournaments such as the Grand Slams or the Masters 1000. This tournament was a platform, it allows me to score points and earn some money. Later on, I see that I still have work to do to play at this intensity and at this level. Today, I couldn’t keep up with my concentration and my physical shape. ,