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April 14, 2015

Gilles Simon


G. SIMON/B. Balleret
6‑4, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions in French.

Q.テつ The classic question.テつ It's your first match on clay.テつ Was it easier because he had a wild card?
GILLES SIMON:テつ It's never easy, and I was broken early in the match.テつ But last year we changed surfaces often during the year because of Davis Cup.テつ So we went back and forth from clay.テつ So it was easier for me this year to adapt.

Q.テつ How are you physically?テつ Do you feel the efforts are adding up?
GILLES SIMON:テつ I feel a lot better.テつ I had seven days of complete rest.テつ It had been a long time I haven't been able to do that.テつ It did me good, a lot of good.
Of course, it is always tough to start playing again because your body gets used to the rest.テつ But so far I had no problems.

Q.テつ Are you particularly afraid about possible injuries?
GILLES SIMON:テつ This surface is not the toughest for me.テつ It's rather grass that is worse.テつ But clay is okay.テつ Although the matches can be long and very intense, and the season is long, too.
But I will try to play fewer tournaments than last year, also because I played a lot in the beginning of this year.

Q.テつ You said you had seven days of complete rest.テつ What does 'complete' mean?
GILLES SIMON:テつ Pepito and Coke.テつ It's means really nothing.

Q.テつ But that's rare.
GILLES SIMON:テつ I didn't even do physical training because if you do that, you don't really rest.テつ I needed that.テつ Although when you resume playing it is a bit risky. テつBut I was lucky this time.テつ Everything went well.テつ I was able to get back into it very quickly.
I'm even surprised how quickly.

Q.テつ You're now the No.1 French player.テつ Were you upset that you had to play on Court No. 2?
GILLES SIMON:テつ Not at all.テつ I like that court.テつ I like all the courts here.テつ I know them well and feel very much at ease.

Q.テつ Now that you are No.1, do you feel any changes?
GILLES SIMON:テつ I would have liked to have been No.1 when Jo was top five in the world.テつ Of course, I'm happy, but I haven't noticed any major change.

Q.テつ You don't feel any particular pressure?
GILLES SIMON:テつ No.テつ I was there four years ago already.テつ It doesn't change anything for me.テつ The only thing I'm interested in is the world ranking.

Q.テつ Many players now reach the best level at 30 years old.テつ It's like they have a second youth.
GILLES SIMON:テつ I don't feel any second youth.テつ But as you grow old, you play better if you keep practicing.テつ I think I am part of this generation who took care of their bodies and their physical condition, and who had a healthier life.
I know that when I'm ready, I can be as fast and endure as ever.テつ But I have to be more careful with my schedule.

Q.テつ Can you say a word about your opponent today, Mr. Balleret.
GILLES SIMON:テつ He played well.テつ He approached the match exactly the way he had to.テつ I believe he played a lot better than in 2012.テつ He immediately put pressure on me and forced me to play well, which I did pretty well.
I believe he was very good today.

Q.テつ Nadal seems to say that he feels a lot of pressure when he plays.テつ Are you surprised by that?
GILLES SIMON:テつ I don't know what he really feels, but I'm not surprised by what he says.テつ He always said that.テつ When he was the best player in the world on clay, and he was never losing a single match, he kept saying then that he was not the favorite.
During those 10 years, he never said that.テつ So now that he's not at his best, I'm not surprised he's not saying it either.テつ So whether he says that because he wants to be cautious or whether he really feels that, I don't know, and I'll never know.

Q.テつ But isn't it strange that a player with that experience can come on the court and suddenly doesn't know what he has to do anymore and is a bit lost?
GILLES SIMON:テつ I'm not worried for him.テつ He's top five.テつ For me what is surprising is that for a player who really doesn't show anything when he's on the court, that he shows so many emotions outside of the court.

Q.テつ Can you talk about your next opponent, Benoit Paire.
GILLES SIMON:テつ He won many matches lately.テつ He's confident.テつ But I didn't play badly either today.テつ I might say something stupid, but I think for once I would like us both to play a good match together because we never had great matches against each other.
We played five times.テつ Every time they were awful matches.テつ So I hope this one will be more normal.テつ The Indian Wells match was terrible.テつ For two matches, I was injured.テつ In Madrid, I don't even know why he came to play, et cetera.
But now he's in good shape and so am I, so I hope it's going to be a good match.テつ He's a dangerous player.テつ His game is based on confidence.テつ So if he's inspired, he can be quite impressive.

Q.テつ But how come you play always bad matches with him?テつ His game gives you trouble?
GILLES SIMON:テつ Well, maybe five matches like that that were bad is no coincidence.テつ I would say the most normal match was in Montpellier where he beat me 7‑5, 7‑6.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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