Roland Garros

Sunday, 22 May 2022

Paris, France

Karen Khachanov

Press Conference


6-3, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Well done, Karen. How much did you know about today's opponent and were you happy with the way you played today?

KAREN KHACHANOV: Yeah, to be honest, I didn't know much about him. I knew that he won basically three matches in the quallies. He had three wins under his belt. For me it was the first round. Always never easy, let's say like this.

He played really solid and good tennis. Yeah, I saw some results. I had watched some videos with my coach before, so I knew more or less what to expect.

But, yeah, basically in general I'm pleased that, yeah, I could win in four sets, and, you know, move on at the end is the most important.


Q. Now that we know what the decision is regarding Wimbledon and the penalty, I'm curious what you think of it, how you feel...

KAREN KHACHANOV: You're not talking about my match? You just want to -- you don't care about my match, right?

Q. I do care, but I was going to ask you...

KAREN KHACHANOV: Go on, go on, the question.

Q. I'm curious whether you'd be personally doing anything about it, filing a legal challenge? And also how does it feel when you're playing in a match like you were today knowing that this Grand Slam may be your last Grand Slam for a while?

KAREN KHACHANOV: I mean, first of all, the first question is about Wimbledon, right? About Wimbledon decision or about what exactly?

Q. Well, the decision, and will you protest it in any way? Will you go to court to try and challenge?

KAREN KHACHANOV: To be honest, I didn't think about that. I said already many times I was sad that this decision was taken by Wimbledon and that I was not allowed to compete in the tournaments where I did well last year. You know, it's a special tournament for all of us.

At the end of the day, we are professional athletes, that we put effort every day in what we do, and basically want to work in a sense. To be honest, I didn't plan to do anything legal. I didn't think about that.

Q. When you entered the court for the match today, does that affect you in any way or were you able to put that out of your mind?

KAREN KHACHANOV: I mean, I would lie to you if I said the whole situation doesn't affect me. Of course, we are at the end kind of in charge. Everybody put us in charge even if we don't want to.

Yeah, but still you try to focus on what you have to do. And, you know, at the end of the day I'm pleased that we are allowed to compete in French Open. And, you know, I just want to try to have the best out of it, and, you know, just to keep going, to have the focus on the right things.

Q. About the points for you as Russian player, do you think it's a fair decision for you as a Russian player?

KAREN KHACHANOV: About the decision of ATP?

Q. Yeah, for the points.

KAREN KHACHANOV: You know, the whole situation, you know, for me, Wimbledon did not write this decision basically to go against UK government, you know, about discrimination and all this stuff. So, you know, why not French Open didn't do that? So we can ask yourself, you know, I can ask myself.

So at the end of the day, ATP, you know, did this decision, they wanted to show, you know, support in a way that there is no discrimination on tour. And at the end of the day I just take it whatever our governing bodies decide. I don't want to be into debates if I agree or not agree. The decision is taken.

There is no point to discuss now if I'm happy with that or not, because at the end of the day I did well last year. I'm in the same...

My points will drop. No points. I'm not going to compete in Wimbledon. That's it.

Q. We know you love to compete. What are the biggest challenges for you right now in your life, on the court? What did you say to yourself coming into Roland Garros this year?

KAREN KHACHANOV: You know, challenge is like on a daily basis. I try to chase the yellow ball. I try to put it as much inside the court and to get as more wins under my belt.

Talking about Roland Garros, you know, it's one of my favorite events. Also I said it many times. I played very well here for four consecutive years.

Of course you are coming back here it feels like back to normal. COVID times, '20, '21, was feeling lonely here. Now when you see the full stadium, you feel like, okay, I'm back in 2019 maybe, where you forget about the last two years. That just feels nice and good energy for me, good atmosphere.

So I just really love to compete, and, you know, to keep going that way.

Q. Could you elaborate more on the atmosphere today? I think it was electric, the fans' reaction. How do you like it? How it's like?

KAREN KHACHANOV: Yeah, to be honest, I was surprised that there were many, many Portuguese fans. They were really, I would say, screaming louder than French.

But in general, yeah, the atmosphere is always nice, especially when it's full court, full packed. I really love to play those kind of matches, those kind of stadiums, and to feel the atmosphere. Yeah, it was electric, like you said. It was really nice.

Q. The question was also about how do you feel on the court and with the crowd? Did you feel like -- of course not with the Portuguese fans -- but a relation with the public was like you are really welcome?

KAREN KHACHANOV: Yeah, yeah. In France I said many times also that I really enjoy playing. You know, I really enjoy competing. I think fans, they love me here in France in general.

I used to play many tournaments in Marseilles, Lyon, Paris-Bercy, one of my favorites, as well. Roland Garros.

I think the public is really into it, you know. They really love tennis. You have many clubs here, many people go to play tennis, like, you know, amateur level, as well. Yeah, the crowd is great. I really find it on my side, as well. That's important for me (smiling).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
120538-1-1063 2022-05-22 18:03:00 GMT

ASAP sports

tech 129