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May 27, 2015

Gilles Simon


G. SIMON/M. Klizan
7-5, 6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. This question is going to be easy to understand. Do you feel good despite the end of the first set?
GILLES SIMON: Yes, I feel this was a very good match except for the end of the first set. I can't explain why this reaction when everything was going fine. It was very complicated. But it probably made things easier afterwards. But it was difficult to finish the first set.

Q. Let me come back to the end of the first set. So you yourself, you can't explain why this happened?
GILLES SIMON: No. Everything was going fine. We started slowly -- well, 11:00 is early, so I started -- well, he played a beautiful game to debreak me. I managed to come back. I'm at 5-2. And at 5-3, just one ball, I had a set ball, it was an easy one on my forehand I missed for no reason. And then I felt, oh, fuck, you missed that one. And I felt my arm getting stiffer, and then it became more complicated, 5-4, 5-5, then it's another match. Quite fortunately, my serve was there and he played a very poor game at 6-5. So I won 7-5, and then it was easier. But I missed an easy ball on an important point, a set point, and then I started thinking about it.

Q. Do you know where you stand? Because last week it was a bit complicated for problems you don't want to talk about anymore, but about your mental, about your game? Do you know where you stand today?
GILLES SIMON: Over the last few weeks, there were many issues, not just physical issues. When I arrived in Rome I was very nervous. I had difficulties finding my game on clay, but I feel better. I feel I move better. I play better. Physically I feel better. So everything is going in the right direction. I had no guarantee when I arrived on the tournament. I had only played two tournaments before -- well, two-and-a-half because I resigned on the third one -- I retired on the third one. It's not a lot on clay. In the past I came to Roland Garros with more certainties, but I'm fine now.

Q. How far do you think you can go in this tournament?
GILLES SIMON: Well, if everything goes fine, I feel capable of doing great things. But maybe so many things went wrong. You know, that's what my coach said. He said, Well, so many things went wrong that maybe everything is going to go fine now. So I don't want to talk about it. I want to just focus on my next match.

Q. There were some people shouting in Klizan's box. Was it a problem to you? You had a very good attitude then.
GILLES SIMON: No, it happens. What's surprising is how loud they were. It's not a problem supporting the player you want to support. But, you know, in the past -- very often it goes against a player that they are supporting. Because there were four of them. They were shouting loud, and then the crowd shouted back. I don't think that was actually helpful for their player, the one they wanted to support. I don't think they wanted to disturb me. They didn't shout on a double error. They encouraged him when he was playing well. Okay, go for it. Shout if you want.

Q. Another question. Jo, Gaël, and Richard and you, you had similar rankings at one stage, but Jo always had this image as being the boss of your generation. Even in Davis Cup this is what was said. So would you say that this leadership is still the same or is it more undecided because you're all at the same level in the ranking?
GILLES SIMON: Well, I think he had this image because he actually was the boss. He had the best career amongst the four of us. Now, if you look at ranking, we are close to one another at the moment. We have all played well. But the one who played best over the period, who played Masters, who was in a final of Grand Slam, that's him, not us. So I think it's quite normal he had this status as the boss. Now, does he still have it? Well, we still expect a lot from Jo, because he's a very powerful player who can do great things. We all know that. We all expect him to do great things. But maybe now he no longer wants to have this burden on his shoulders. At one stage he really wanted to be the boss. We could feel it. He wanted to be the boss when he was not the automatic boss. But now he realizes it's a burden.

Q. It went beyond the results, because you're right about the Masters 1000, but it was beyond the results. It was just in the behavior, attitude, just you and the French team. You were hiding from the press, and you were putting him forward.
GILLES SIMON: I don't have the feeling that I ever tried to hide behind him.

Q. No, but on the Davis Cup we heard you say that he is the boss.
GILLES SIMON: I'm always surprised when journalists say so, because this is what you write, I mean, so you make the opinion and five years down the road you say people were thinking that, because actually you wrote it. So, yes, but he's always been very present. He's a charismatic leader. He played better than the rest of us over the period, so there is nothing shocking. But if your question is maybe he's not as much the boss as he used to be, well, maybe, yes, but he's no longer No. 1 in the ranking of French players.

Q. Would you like to be the boss or driving force?
GILLES SIMON: Come on. Listen. I'm seed 12. That's only what matters to me. I was in disagreement with some of your colleagues who said you'd be better off being No. 30 in the world and No. 1 in France. Well, I disagree. I'm very happy to be No. 12 in the world.

Q. A lighter question about your outfit. Are you happy with your equipment? Could it be a problem in case the weather is very hot?
GILLES SIMON: I've practiced. I'll be fine. I'll survive. I'm not used to playing in black, wearing black shirts, but it's not a problem. I moved to something new. It's been a long time since I haven't played with such a shirt and such pants, but there are many changes for this tournament, so that's just another one. I'm perfectly fine with those.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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