17 April 2018: Gilles Simon (English)
Tuesday, 17 April 2018
G. SIMON/A. Mannarino
6-3, 4-6, 6-2
THE MODERATOR: Questions in French, please.
Q. Not an easy match against an opponent that gave you many problems before.
GILLES SIMON: It was a very tough match. Physically, too. Indeed, I had lost twice against him already. In the last one, I was almost about to win, but then he started playing better and turned it around. It was a bit the same here.
I’m happy that I won it this time.
Q. You expected this type of match with long rallies? Do you believe you were able to stick to your tactics more than him, being more precise?
GILLES SIMON: It was very close. My feeling is that there were key points all the time. All the games were tight. The points were long.
Also the match could have been a lot shorter because I was in a good position in the second set. After 1 hour 20 minutes, it would have been good for me. But it was tough. He’s a very good player. He takes up a lot of space on the court. You need to play well.
You have to find a balance that is quite difficult to find. You have make him run all over the place and stress him a little bit. At the same time you can’t make mistakes because he doesn’t make errors. He covers the court perfectly. There’s the right balance to be found, and that’s difficult.
Overall, I’m quite happy with my performance today. I was able to be very consistent throughout the match. It was tough because in the second set I lost five games in a row, and suddenly the match is not as nice to play.
Q. Can we compare the games of both of you as quite similar?
GILLES SIMON: When we play against each other, yes, they are. We were able to block each other pretty easily. But when we play against other opponents, it’s different.
With Adrian, we don’t have the same stats against the same players. He can play well against some players that I don’t like to play, and the other way around. But it’s good we don’t always do the same thing. We would have the same preferences otherwise, which is not the case.
When we play against each other, it’s tough because we both defend very well. We counterattack well. There are very few free points on our serves and from the baseline. So there again, we have to try to build up our game. We can’t afford to make mistakes. I know that’s what he likes, so it’s difficult.
Q. Is it nice to play this kind of match? It’s like playing chess.
GILLES SIMON: No, it was a nice match because I felt good mainly. I really played matches against him where I was in a different state of mind. I was not as calm as I was today. I got very annoyed.
But today I was quite relaxed. I believe I had a good reaction in the third set. Overall I’m happy with my match, the way I played, the tactics. All points are tough against him. You can always have regrets on one or two points, but overall, as I said, it was a good match.
Q. You’re going to play Khachanov next. What do you think of that?
GILLES SIMON: It’s a different style of game. We’ll see tomorrow what the key will be. It will be a different match. I will need to switch quite quickly.
I had three matches in a row against three different players that made no mistakes, they were difficult to outrun. This helped me against Adrian today. But now I will have to change things up, and change things up quickly. It will not be easy.
I will have to play a different game because soft balls in the service square is not what you want to do against Khachanov.
Q. A question not about your match. You certainly heard everything that was going around regarding the Davis Cup, all the talk about reformatting. What do you think of all this?
GILLES SIMON: Well, I believe that it’s been a long time that we’ve been talking about the Davis Cup format. I heard about it since I’ve been on the tour, in fact. We talked about it on the players council, with the ITF. There’s no magic solution, otherwise we would have found it a long time ago.
There are requests for change on one side. But every time a suggestion is made, everybody is saying no, it’s not good. So it is complicated. Davis Cup has not the same importance according to the different players and according to the different countries. So pleasing everyone isn’t going to happen.
I’m very much at ease with all of this because we have absolutely no influence on Davis Cup whatsoever. The ITF can make announcements, changes, and we can’t do anything. Well, we can try and make some noise, but in the end we have no influence. We are just subject to their decisions.
Last year they announced something different. I think it was three-setters instead of five-setters, but it was knocked down. I don’t like wasting my energy on things where I have no impact. I’m just a spectator there.
Q. But you have the players council. You can have an influence.
GILLES SIMON: Well, you can have a movement from the players. I don’t even know what we’re talking about here. Some players like the competition the way it is now. Others don’t play it any more. That’s the basic problem. We’ve never found something that pleases everyone.
Q. But if something is promised that nobody likes, can’t you do something?
GILLES SIMON: Well, in France they don’t like the new suggestion, but it’s not the same everywhere. This is what we should talk about. In our country, we give a certain importance to Davis Cup that is different from what happens in other countries. It doesn’t have the same impact.
Among the players, if some are in favor, others are against, in the end I am just sitting back and enjoying watching it.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports