THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.
Q. The thought process of after the match, when the decision was made, your level of disappointment?
GAEL MONFILS: Well, right after, the first question of my coach was, How bad was my ankle?
I felt it. I say, I didn’t roll it like full, but I roll it a little bit, enough for me to be careful.
He told me I had no chance.
I was like, Yeah, but we never know…
He knows I love these matches, night session, Rafa. It’s because I playing tennis is for that, for the big moments, big shows.
He say, But not this one.
He’s right, because we been battling all the year. I been unfortunate in March, a little bit again in July. Maybe it was a safest decision not to play tonight.
THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.
Q. What happened exactly against Bautista Agut? You didn’t want to take any risks, and there was no way you would play the other match?
GAEL MONFILS: What happened? Well, I won. I’m happy. I played a good match.
I started well. I felt good. But at 6-4, 2-1 I had a pain moving backwards, and my ankle that was already painful, I hurt it again. When you’re warmed up, it’s okay. Even it’s very okay because I was able to run a lot in the next game because on that previous game I got broken. I had opportunities to break back the following game. I really used my ankle.
But very quickly you could see that physically I was not fit as I should be since the beginning of the week. So in the third set I chose to play only my serve games. On the return games I didn’t have enough energy to win. My ankle was hurting, I was afraid for my ankle.
I chose to playfully the service games where I was hitting hard, and then in the tiebreaker, I gave it all. I tried to be aggressive. The backhand down the line helped me a lot. I was able to pull it out.
Q. If the semifinal was played tomorrow with more recoup time, would you have played it?
GAEL MONFILS: I could have had a chance, but now it was very difficult with only two hours to recover. I had played two and a half hours before. It’s the first tournament since my comeback, and I have to take into account I was going to play against Rafa. Against Rafa you have to be 100%, it’s always difficult that way.
If you’re not 100% physically, and I’m not because I’m injured, and because I played two and a half hours, so it becomes difficult.
I could start the match, but then I might have to stop playing for the whole hard court season. Of course, this kind of match I love to play. It’s champagne matches. It’s incredible.
But this is what we were saying with my coach. Fortunately I got injured in my ankle because otherwise I would have tried. But now because of my ankle, he said, Just don’t think about it.
Q. When did you know exactly you would not play?
GAEL MONFILS: When the coach asked me if my ankle rolled, and I said yes.
He said, You can’t take the risk.
I had retired in Wimbledon. I came back. I played this week. I had played a huge match. It was risky to play another match because I could risk hurting myself for real.
Here, if I can recover, I can play in Cincinnati maybe, have a chance to also play a big US Open.