18 April 2018: Gilles Simon (English)
Wednesday, 18 April 2018
K. KHACHANOV/G. Simon
THE MODERATOR: Questions in French, please.
Q. What happened today? Too fast? Too strong? You had opportunities that you didn’t take, and then the match went by quickly.
GILLES SIMON: This match was a lot more difficult, first because I was tired. But still I felt good on the court. I had a good start. But I realized that I should have converted those opportunities. When the games were too long, I was hurting, and it was very difficult to come back. It was easier for him.
Every time in each set I didn’t play well. I had a letdown for three games, and he won them. It was the kind of match where I was not allowed to make a mistake. If I had been able to be more relaxed, maybe I could have done better.
It’s not easy because he has a very intense game. As long as I’m there, it’s all right, but if I let him dominate, I wouldn’t be able to come back. Of course, this encouraged him even more. On my side, it was very tough. I had 10 breakpoints and I didn’t convert a single one.
Q. You had three in the first set, three in the second.
GILLES SIMON: I had plenty of those opportunities, and I didn’t convert them.
Q. Would that have changed the match?
GILLES SIMON: We’ll never know. Sometimes I was ahead, and the next game I wasn’t play well enough. I had breakpoints at 1-Love in the second already. If I’m not able to convert them, it becomes more complicated.
Q. He’s tall. He’s physical. How can you play against that type of player?
GILLES SIMON: Yes, he’s very intense. He just plays well on both sides. There’s nothing extraordinary. With those types of players, what has changed is they are now able to run around the court a lot better than they used to. It took a lot of time for me to make a winner. Two or three times I was able to be aggressive, but he defended well.
What is difficult is that he serves hard, because he’s tall, but he does the rest well also. Everything is difficult. It’s a constant pressure. As I said, I would have needed more energy to show him it was going to be tough for him, too, all along.
His strength is that he’s able to have one or two free points on his serve. He took no risks. He played inside the court. As soon as you make a mistake, he wins the game. After, it’s tough to break him.
Q. When did you feel you were tired? Last night or this morning?
GILLES SIMON: I felt it on the court yesterday already. You need to recuperate. You never know how you’re going to wake up the next morning.
This morning I wasn’t hurting. I felt good. Things were all right. But I had trouble playing at a high intensity for a long time. I couldn’t be at the highest intensity all the time. It was easier for him.
Sometimes the games were tight.
Q. How can you work on your fitness for the next weeks maybe? You say you felt tired.
GILLES SIMON: I can work on it, of course. Physically I’m okay. Don’t forget he’s a player that is playing very heavy, so you need to adjust. As soon as you step back, he wins the point. Maybe if I had played another player today, my fitness wouldn’t have been an issue.
Whatever the preparation, I could have finished the match in two sets yesterday. It would have been better. You can always improve your physical conditioning. I believe, generally speaking, I was able to keep up the rhythm. As I said, the solution was to have a shorter match yesterday.
In this match, I’m not two meters tall or 90 kilos in weight. If I’m running quickly, it takes its toll.
Q. What are you going to do next, qualify for the Masters 1000?
GILLES SIMON: I don’t think so. I wasn’t sure I could play here. If I hadn’t had an invitation, I couldn’t have played here. I believe I’m going to Barcelona and Estoril. I’m in in Estoril. I will not play the other weeks.
I’ve played those tournaments before. I know them well. Doesn’t matter if I miss one Madrid or one Rome. I just need to play wherever. It doesn’t matter. As long as I get some extra points, I just need to play well.
Q. What about Bordeaux?
GILLES SIMON: Maybe. I haven’t made a decision for that yet. I will not play Madrid week. It’s tough to play four tournaments in a row. I believe I’m just going to play four tournaments, then I’ll be in Lyon and the French Open.
Q. Do you know the Lyon tournament?
GILLES SIMON: I never played in Lyon. But Rome, I often played that one.
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