16 April: Gilles Simon

Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters
Tuesday, 16 April 2019
Gilles Simon
Press Conference
G. SIMON/A. Popyrin

7-5, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. This question is not really on tennis but on Notre-Dame. I wanted to know what was your reaction and whether you saw the images?
GILLES SIMON: I think that, like everybody else, I was really sad. That’s it. And of course I saw the images, and it’s a real pity.

Q. Do you have any expectation on your clay court season? Do you have specific goals, or like football players, you live match after match?
GILLES SIMON: Not even match after match but day after day. When you wake up in the morning, you try to do whatever you can do. But quite frankly, I don’t think that far ahead.

I try to be well prepared on clay, because I think I played very well at Miami. I had the chance of winning some matches last week. But it is true that I feel tired already and I’m tired very early in the tournament. So I cannot complain. I have won some matches, but as I was saying, every day I wake up and I try to do my best as possible.

Q. Last week you played in Marrakech an incredible match, 7-5, 6-4, but that lasted two hours and 40 minutes. What about next day? Was it hard? And probably you are asking questions about what you should do for the rest of the season of clay? Because you were talking about fatigue.
GILLES SIMON: That was a really tough match, and I couldn’t recover easily from that match. But then it was the first tough match on clay court season.

I remember last year here. I played against Adrian, and we played for a long, long time. And the following day I had to play against Khachanov. And then by the end of the clay court season I managed to get to Lyon, and two days afterwards, I managed to be present at Roland Garros and I had to play every two days. I remember that the match against Nishikori was really tough match, but I was able to do it then.

Then against Taro I did what I could. I played the match. I tried to win. It is true that if I play matches as tough as those, it is very difficult. But this is the beginning of the clay court season. It is difficult to have one match after the other.

It’s difficult thing to have a very long match with only two sets, which is quite different when you have a three-set match. It’s not the same, because you have more sides changing and you can rest more, because when there is a three-set match, you have 20 minutes to rest every time you change sides. Whereas when you have a two-set match, you have six or seven minutes. So that was really hard. And then, well, he managed to play better. So it’s not the same if you can rest six or seven minutes as opposed to 15 or 20 minutes.

So that match was really tough. Then he came here, and then he won. He managed to do it. He did that. So it was possible. But to me, that was really tough.

Q. It is true that he was more trying not to make any mistakes and probably you haven’t had the chance of playing such a big player like him or a player like Fognini so far?
GILLES SIMON: We’ll see tomorrow. It is difficult for me day by day. Today it was tough. Things are never easy. This is why, if we don’t have any other choice but taking day after another — of course, I have won, I’m very excited, and I’m very happy. But we’ll see tomorrow, when I will play against Fabio, we’ll see what happens.

Q. Head to head you are winning 5-0. It was always on clay court. Do you know why? Do you think you will be able to have a clear vision of your tactic tomorrow?
GILLES SIMON: Yes, I know why I won, but I don’t know whether I will be able to win tomorrow. Those victories or those head-to-heads are quite old now. We haven’t played each other for a little while.

He’s a very good clay-court player, so it’s a real performance, the fact of being 5-0 head to head against him, especially such a player like Fabio. We know that Fabio has very difficult tennis in the sense that he may have a very high level, and then he can change along the same match. We saw it on the first round here. So I have to stay focused on what I have to do.

Q. Do you prefer a specific kind of player, some player which shows no emotions, as opposed to a more emotional kind of player, like you were saying with Fabio with highs and lows?
GILLES SIMON: It’s not a matter of personality. It’s more a matter of the level of tennis. It is true that I like Fabio. I really like him. Still, I will try to win.

Q. A question on the future Roland Garros stadium. This is going to be the last year that we will be able to use Court No. 1. Have you played on that court? What are your memories of that court, such an iconic court?
GILLES SIMON: Court No. 1 was the one I always tried to avoid. (Laughter.)

Yes, and I never played there. At the beginning, when I played there and then when they asked me the question whether I wanted to go to that court, I would say no, because I don’t know it that well. So I rarely played on that court.

Probably played a match against Klizan, which was a good match, but then I also played against Pella. The atmosphere is good, but I didn’t like the sound of it. There was lots of echo, especially when we go to the net. And since my style of tennis is serve/volley, it was really annoying.

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