Roland Garros

Monday, 23 May 2022

Paris, France

Corentin Moutet

Press Conference

C. MOUTET/S. Wawrinka

2-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: First reaction after this victory, without thinking too far ahead because there is a great player awaiting you in the next round, but you certainly have to enjoy this first moment and this communion with the audience.

CORENTIN MOUTET: Yes, it was fantastic. It was fantastic that I won and that I was able to play in front of this great crowd.

It had been a long time since we had that over the last few years. It was a great pleasure to have that again, and then to win, that's a bonus.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. So you were lacking references before this match, and we didn't see that. Is that one of your qualities or is it because you played well? We didn't have the impression that we had someone who had not played for many matches over the last month.

CORENTIN MOUTET: I trained a lot. I didn't play many official matches. I needed to adjust. But he was aggressive at the beginning of the match, and I didn't play so many players of that level in my career.

So I needed time to adapt. I had to realize what game I had to produce to upset them, so that's what I tried to do, to be one more aggressive.

At the beginning I was surprised by his ball speed. He was very aggressive and I had difficulty finding solutions.

Q. I think about the next match. You'll certainly play the most beautiful match for the French at Roland Garros against Rafa. What do you think about playing Rafa on the center court?

CORENTIN MOUTET: It's not sure it will be on the center court, but Rafa, it's my dream. He's no longer my idol because now I'm on the tour, but I started playing tennis while watching him. I remember his first Grand Slam. I even imitated him when I was a kid.

So a few years ago I played Londero to potentially play Nadal next round, but I missed that occasion so I was always thinking about that.

So it's a great pleasure to be able to play him on center court or any other court. Of course I will try to win, because I'm a competitor and it's my profession. I train every day to play these kinds of matches and win.

But already to play against him, I have never played against him, so to see how it feels, what type of player he is, it's a chance that I deserve. I'm very happy to have won the ticket to play against him.

Q. You said you were imitating. What did you imitate? His tanktop? Forehand?

CORENTIN MOUTET: I was imitating a lot of things, and I even did stupid things, but I was sleeping with his tanktop of Roland. I was a kid, not like I was 14 or 15 years old. I don't even remember how old I was.

I was imitating his serve. When you're a kid you need to have idols to identify to people. I was a lefty, so he was my inspiration. When I was a kid, I tried to reproduce what he was doing. So I imitated his serve, his forehand until I started doing what was best for me, and it was not to imitate him.

Q. What do you fear the most? You have seen him, studied him, saw him again and again. So playing him, are you fearing that or will it be only pleasure for you? On court, what do you fear the most with him?

CORENTIN MOUTET: I'm not fearing anything, to be honest. He's a great player. Everyone knows him and I don't fear anything. I have never trained against him, so I can't really imagine how he plays.

I know that he has won a lot of Roland Garros titles, so he will have good feelings. He's used to playing here. I will have to focus on what I can do like I did today.

At the beginning it was complicated, but I was able to turn the match around. So if I have to fear something, it's more myself. But fearing something from him, no. I will try to enjoy this match and do my best to win and to see how things go.

Q. A question regarding your season. You said I trained a lot during the season, that's why I did a few tournaments, so you had the Australian Open with good results and not so many matches in between. Can you tell us how you have been training this season since January?

CORENTIN MOUTET: I had a lot of time to train. I worked on many things. I did things different than tennis. I was about to do physical work to improve in many fields.

Unfortunately, I had repeated injuries here and there, so I was never able to play tournaments and matches. When you are injured and the rest you can continue doing physical work, when you're injured in the legs, you can train the top of the body.

So with my team we had to adapt with my physical conditions. We did a current job, and today I had excellent training weeks. I had not been able to train so much week after week physically.

So it's great pleasure to see that when I am in good shape, I can play the high level. So the objective now is to stay in good physical health. It's the most important for the rest of the season.

Q. A question regarding Nadal. You love him. Why were you not able to train against him? You never asked? You were not able to do it? When you love someone, you try to train with him.

CORENTIN MOUTET: I'm not the kind of people who bothers his idols and ask them for a picture or play together. I don't like that at all. I prefer watching them and leaving them alone and keeping that image as a child on my idols and not false things to play against them.

It never happened naturally, so that's why I never trained against him.

Q. You are talking about your training. What did you feel today with respect to all these training sessions? Did you feel what has improved against Stan?

CORENTIN MOUTET: What has improved is that I'm in good physical health, and that's the most important. When you are in good physical shape, you can use all the things you have worked and trained for.

It's more what is satisfactory today. I feel well, and I was able to play freely, physically speaking, and implement what we had trained for. So I was very happy on the court. I have no physical problems, to be able to be present in the rallies, to play against what he was offering me. So that's what I keep in mind and what I will take away from today.

Q. I wanted to know, we know that Rafa Nadal was injured in Rome and his first round was very reassuring. Do you take this into account before playing him? Do you say there is more room now or not, or is it something you don't want to elaborate on?

CORENTIN MOUTET: It would be stupid to let myself be influenced by that, because he won the Australian Open, if I'm not mistaken. He had beautiful victories, and then of course he lost matches.

I saw that he has played a lot of matches while injured and won many victories. He has impressive mental strength, and he's able to play despite victories, so I don't want to count on his injuries.

Rafa injured can play excellent tennis, and he has proved it, 21 Grand Slams. I'm sure he hasn't won all of them without any pain. So I'll have a very, very tough match, and is he injured or not, I don't care. I'm not going to elaborate on that. We will see.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
120606-1-1145 2022-05-23 18:08:00 GMT

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