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Gilles Muller, US Open, September 4, 2008
   

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Gilles Muller

US Open

September 4, 2008




Q. You seemed very unafraid today out there. Obviously you were serving big. What is it about Roger Federer now compared to previous years that perhaps you thought he could be beaten?

GILLES MULLER: Well, I think it's not so much about him. I think it was more me. Before when I played him, I think a lot of players have too much respect for him. I mean, he's a nice person outside of the court, and he's a good player, so everybody has a lot of respect for him.

But on the court, nobody should have respect for him. You just go out there to win no matter who is on the other side of the court.

And that's the thing I wanted to do today. I went out there and didn't ‑‑ I tried ‑‑ didn't show him too much respect. Which I didn't do so good because I think in the middle I think I had too much.


Q. Came in here, knocked off Tommy Haas and others after that match. You were talking to us and saying, you know, I've got nothing to lose. I'm just out there, I'm playing free, I'm surprised at how good I'm playing and so forth. Is that really what's carried you? Have you learned something about yourself and the attitude you bring to big matches in this tournament?

GILLES MULLER: I think I learned a lot. What I learned is that I know how to deal with a lot of situations, which I couldn't do before. I mean, for me, the most amazing thing is that this is the first time in my career I'm actually winning a lot of matches. Before I used to win one big match and lost the next one, because I lost focus and I was getting all fired up in my head because I won that match. But now I'm just staying calm, and like, even today I guess a lot of people think that I should be happy, but actually I'm disappointed, because I think today I had my chances, and I didn't take them.


Q. After the Almagro match you had Davydenko coming up and you said quite emphatically right where you are now, I really believe I can beat him. Did you feel that way going into Roger?

GILLES MULLER: Yeah.


Q. Same way?

GILLES MULLER: Same way, yeah. Same way. I mean, like I said, I had maybe a little bit too much respect in the beginning but when I started winning the serve games in the beginning I felt confident that I could win. In a tiebreak you never know what can happen. In the first set at 4‑All, that point, I can win it. He hit an unbelievable passing shot, but I mean, I can finish it off, and 5‑4, and you don't know what's happening after that.


Q. How much of that not having respect for him is because he's had spotty results all year? You've seen the guys he's lost to. Does that give you more hope than you had two, three years ago?

GILLES MULLER: Yeah, I think so. I mean, everybody knew that he's had a tough year, and he struggled a little bit because he was sick in the beginning of the year, and he had a tough time, but again, I think almost it's more myself, it's a belief I had in myself I could beat him, and it's the confidence I had in myself, and like I said, I'm always trying try not to focus too much on my opponent. Trying to focus on my game.


Q. Did you hear him out there?

GILLES MULLER: Hear him?


Q. Hear him? He was yelling quite a bit, which is unusual for him, you know, in frustration. You were making him do that.

GILLES MULLER: Yeah, I heard it, but I did it, too, so...

I think it was quite tough for both of us. There was a lot of wind in stadium, and the wind is going around all the time, so it wasn't easy at times. I think the level was not that high and also my level was not that high. Wasn't that spectacular, but some days you have to deal that, and I think we both dealt pretty good with it.


Q. Was there anything he did or didn't do that surprised you?

GILLES MULLER: No, not really. I mean ‑‑ he challenge a lot. That was surprising, because sometimes I thought I was pretty sure that the ball was out but he still challenged. No, I mean, nothing major. I mean, I wasn't surprised. Everybody know what level he can play. So I knew that sometimes you have to play an extra shot, and I was ready for that. But I wasn't surprised at all.


Q. Is he playing the level that he can play at?

GILLES MULLER: I don't know. To be honest, like I said, it was tough conditions out there today. I don't think both of us played the greatest match, but what he did well was at important moments and the two breakers, every time he came up with a good shot, made a good passing shot. I came to the net I didn't feel like I did anything wrong but he just came up with a better shot.


Q. This run here, what do you think this will do for you going forward?

GILLES MULLER: Well, I hope ‑‑ I think now after the tournament I'm going to take a few days off and think about what I did, and I think I'm going to gain a lot of confidence from that.

I hope I can stay focussed and work hard and do well in my next tournaments.


Q. Even though it may be difficult to reflect, how will you look back on this incredible run that you've had here?

GILLES MULLER: If it's going to be difficult?


Q. No, I know it's difficult to reflect, but right now, when you look back at what you've accomplished, how do you think you're going to remember it?

GILLES MULLER: It's tough, because right now I'm ‑‑ I mean, I'm more disappointed than happy about the match today. It's tough for me not to go back and say I'm happy. Of course, if I had thought before the tournament that I would reach quarterfinals, I mean, I wouldn't have believed it, but now it's more disappointment, because I lost the match today, so I think I need a few days to think about what I did.


Q. Is it true that you didn't have a hotel, that you had to switch hotels?

GILLES MULLER: Yeah, I had to switch last night.


Q. What was the story with that?

GILLES MULLER: Oh, it was just in the morning I got a call, and the guy told me, yeah, your reservation ‑‑ you have to leave today. I said, oh, yeah, that's true. I said can I extend it? He said there's no more room. So I had to pack my bags, so I just got a hotel across the street. So I didn't have to walk too far.


Q. Was that because you didn't expect to be here this long?

GILLES MULLER: Definitely, for sure. When I came here, I didn't expect to be until the second week, Thursday, but, yeah, I did it. I guess now I have to feel better with that, to book my hotels until finals.


Q. Somebody offered you some Giants tickets?

GILLES MULLER: Yeah, but I didn't go.


Q. It's tonight?

GILLES MULLER: Yeah, but I'm not going to go.


Q. Nothing left in the tank to go?

GILLES MULLER: No, I'm tired. I guess I'm just going to just go out and have nice dinner with friends and all the guys who support me through all the whole two‑and‑a‑half weeks, and I'm going to have some sleep and tomorrow I have my flight home. I'm going to try to fly home tomorrow, and it's also a long flight, so I'm going to try to prepare for that.


Q. I would think that that outing tonight might have a celebratory air to it. I mean, I know you lost tonight, but I would like to think that the people that care about you that you're going to participate in the celebration with tonight, it will be that, a celebration. I would think there's so much positive that you can ultimately derive out of this. Do you see it that way, too?

GILLES MULLER: Yeah, kind of. I see more of a thank you, all the guys, because there are some people who have been from my first match through quallies to now. Since two‑and‑a‑half weeks. Yeah, you're right. There is going to be a little bit of champagne, maybe, but it's more, from my side, it's more of a thank you to those guys.


Q. You lost three tight sets, couple points here and there, each set you could have won in straight sets. Is that a fair assessment?

GILLES MULLER: I mean, could have won in straight sets is maybe a little bit too much. I could have won the two tiebreakers, for sure. Second set he broke me, I had a break point, yeah, I don't remember the point but I don't think that I did something bad, so ‑‑ yeah, I guess I could have won the first set and the third set, yeah, but I mean, it's also ‑‑ all the other matches, always went my way. Now this time it didn't go my way, and, I mean, maybe I cannot always be lucky.


Q. Do you see this tournament and the results of this tournament as possibly a springboard, if you will, to a second phase of your career? You're 25 years old. There is still...

GILLES MULLER: Definitely. I mean, like I said, I was there before. I mean, never at that point now, quarterfinal of a Grand Slam, but ranking‑wise, I was, I don't know, 59. 59, my best ranking. And I messed it up myself, you know. I went back, lost confidence, played challenger level. I'm hungrier than before now.

Now I know what I have to do. I won't do the same mistake again. I definitely hope this tournament is going to help me to do that.


Q. A lot of the players have been talking this week about how different it is in this tournament than it has been in the past few years with Roger not playing as well as he has in the past, that level, that invincibility aura sort of gone, different attitude going in playing him. Would you say that you always felt that way, or do you feel it's really more about you having confidence in yourself? I mean, you faced him in 2005, so you know what it was like to face him at a high point in his career.

GILLES MULLER: It's tough to say. I mean, I know definitely that I didn't play as well those two matches, in '05 than I did now. I think for me 100% it's a confidence thing. I know I can beat those guys now. I know it for sure. And I think it's not too much about Roger's invincibility and, like, people say now that he doesn't play that good anymore. I mean, for me, he's still a great player. He created also a monster, like he said a couple years ago. He won everything. And now everybody expects him to win everything, and, I mean, he's also just human.

I think even today, like I said, you could still see why he was No. 1 and still No. 2 now. Every time he was tied, the score was tied, he came up with a better shot.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports


 

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