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“I Just Played.”

Posted by gauloises1 on June 25, 2010

If you want to torture yourself (and why wouldn’t you?), I recommend watching Nicolas Mahut’s press conference after the conclusion of that epic match. A devastated man on the wrong side of history, handling things with much grace, I thought. Unbelievable that he was back out on court 18 playing doubles after this.

Q. How would you describe the match that you had and your thoughts on why it took so long?

NICOLAS MAHUT: Do you have time (smiling)?

I don’t know. This is just a match I will never forget. I hope the people who watched the match will think the same.

At this moment, it’s really painful.

Q. Would you elaborate? What’s painful about it?

NICOLAS MAHUT: The loss. I mean, I lost this match. I just wanted to win. Was just better than me. Really painful to lose this kind of match.

Q. Do you take a sense of pride in having competed this hard and this long even though you did lose?

NICOLAS MAHUT: Yeah, ask me tomorrow I will probably say yes. Tonight, it’s really difficult.

[…] Q. How do you want people to remember this match and what you did in it?

NICOLAS MAHUT: I just want them to remember that we were just two big fighters, and one of them just won.

Q. John said the match was like a dream. It had its own rhythm, its own feeling. What were your feeling as the match went on and on and on yesterday? What was within you?

NICOLAS MAHUT: It’s tough to explain. I was just trying to ‑‑ you know, I was behind all the match. Every time I was serving to stay in the match.

I just try to win the game, just to win the point I was playing. That’s it. Again and again, every time the same.

Q. You feel very sad now. Is there something within you that is proud of your performance?

NICOLAS MAHUT: Yeah, maybe ask to someone else. For now, I don’t think about this. I mean, you will talk maybe better than me about what you saw. I just played.

Q. What are your thoughts about John right now?

NICOLAS MAHUT: He’s a champion. He served unbelievable. Every time I was that close to break him, he just serves aces, aces, bomb. I could not do anything. I tried very hard, but he was just too good.

Q. Do you think the two of you will now have an affinity for the rest of your playing careers and long into your retirement?

NICOLAS MAHUT: That’s for sure, yes.

Q. Do you not want the match tomorrow to go on late? Are you tired of leaving Court 18 at dusk?

NICOLAS MAHUT: To be honest, I’m feeling great. Maybe surprised, but I’m feeling great. Just want to come back on Court 18 and win this time.

Q. We asked John what he did after last night when he went off court, what sort of food he got, what massage or treatment he got, then what time he went to bed. Can we ask you the same thing and how you slept?

NICOLAS MAHUT: I didn’t sleep so much. Like three hours or something. I had massage. I took a cold bath. Then, I don’t know, I ate some pasta or something. But I was not hungry.

I just wanted to play today. I was waiting. I was just waiting for the match.

Q. But the body still felt good?

NICOLAS MAHUT: (Tearing up.)

10 Responses to ““I Just Played.””

  1. irefusetotellyou said

    I don’t think I have the courage to watch the presser — my heart was already breaking for him when he was being interviewed on court. Can you imagine how horrible it must be to lose an “EPIC” match, then have 900 bazillion people watch you and 900 gazillion cameras flashing your way, while you’re supposed to go stand next to the SB and smile?

    Anyway, props to him for being an all-around classy guy.

    • gauloises1 said

      He handled that so well. I thought, frankly, the interview, presentation and photo op were bordering on cruel and unusual punishment. I do not improve, Wimbledon.

      • gauloises1 said

        Approve. APPROVE.

        Christ on a bike.

        Although for the record, I don’t improve much either.

      • irefusetotellyou said

        Did they ever say what was in the boxes / presents, by the way?

        Also, this is highly unlikely, but what if Quizner played dubs and then they met Mahut/Clement later on … 😯

        • Quintia said

          According to the BBC, Isner and Mahut each got a 10″ Tipperary Crystal Bowl (to be engraved) and six Waterford Crystal Wimbledon champagne flutes. The umpire got a bowl, a tie, and cufflinks.

          • irefusetotellyou said

            Iiiinteresting! I saw Mo get a package that looked tie-shaped. Wonder if it’s just another Wimbledon tie, or if it says “I SAT HERE FOR 7 HOURS STRAIGHT” ?

      • Linz said

        I agree- I was so caught up in the excitement for Johny when it happened, and my stream was in-and-out and I was distracted by work (what’s that?) so it didn’t really sink in how cruel it was to Mahut to have to go through all that until much later.

        The match took on a life of it’s own but it was still a match- they are people, not performers, and to ask him to take a bow right afterwards was just ridiculous.

        He handled himself AMAZINGLY though, and gained a lot of fans forever. I hope that this match fuels him and doesn’t ruin him, because I want to see great things happen for him.

  2. Cubbie said

    I was actually rooting for Mahut during the match. Jon W summed it up nicely- John is younger and moving up. Mahut is more a challenger player, older and his best surface is grass. Not to be crude- but he also needs to paycheck more.

    I am very sad about the result. Nothing against John- but I was rooting for the unique Frenchie. 😦

    • MoneyPenny said

      … and it was Mahut who pipped Bogdanovic in the qualies 24-22 in the third. Talk about putting yourself through the wringer, only to come back for more.

      All that tension will give the guy a heart attack.

  3. harini said

    Yay, more sad-face Mahut to eternally burn into the recesses of my memory 🙂

    Reading the presser was more difficult than watching for me. Reading those last two words “Tearing Up,” Oh god I was dreading watching the presser. But it wasn’t that bad.

    The journo asking about the French football team was classic. And Nicolas’s reaction after – priceless.

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