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June 19, 2015

Gilles Simon


G. SIMON/M. Raonic
4‑6, 6‑3, 7‑5

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ Big serving has been sort of the theme for the week.テつ How did it feel to be able to cope with what he was throwing down and come through?
GILLES SIMON:テつ I feel it was really tough.テつ I mean, I always lost against Milos before, and the way we played the first set I felt it would be the same.
He was just playing better.テつ I couldn't return any serve in for one set and a half.テつ I had a lot of trouble to win my service game.テつ I was under pressure every time.
And then I don't know how it turns, a bit out of nowhere, I save my serve on two games all.テつ On the break point I played a really good lob.テつ And then I put four returns in for the first time in the match.テつ I break him.テつ I am 4‑2 up.テつ I don't feel I'm playing better than before or better than him, but just the score is with me and I feel okay.テつ Just focus, continue, hold your serve as much as you can.テつ Finally, I could hold it until the end.

Q.テつ Do you think you were reading his serve better or...
GILLES SIMON:テつ I was guessing.テつ There is nothing to read (smiling).
No, what I did better is when I was guessing the right side I was returning like almost every ball in.テつ In the beginning, the problem is I was missing everything, even the second serve.テつ Check the statistic on the scoreboard in the first set, he just serve 52% of first serve in, which is not fantastic for him, and I still won two points in the set.
I was not able to return his other first serve and his other second serve.テつ Then I find a way to return almost every time the second serve in and sometimes the first serve, so we are playing more points.テつ He has more trouble on his serve.テつ Then it's every single bit easier, a bit.

Q.テつ Do you have to gamble a bit then?
GILLES SIMON:テつ Yes.テつ That's what I have to do.テつ When I'm 5‑All in the third, Love‑30, I'm picking up the side, he's going on the other side full power, that's how it is.テつ He's just serving too good.
If you stay there and wait to ‑‑I don't know.テつ There is nothing to wait.テつ Anyway, if his first serve is in and you're not guessing, on grass, maybe on other courts is different, on grass I felt today I really had to cover one side.

Q.テつ So you may have to do the same thing again in the next match, do you think?
GILLES SIMON:テつ Well, it's one more time.テつ I tried it from the beginning and I was not able to do it, and I got lucky that at the moment it was better on my side.テつ I was still able to win the match, because if you are one set and break down, it's over.テつ It could have been the case.
Well, I think he's hard to beat.テつ That's why he's so good.テつ That's why he's in the top 10.テつ I feel, okay, today I did a great job.テつ I feel if I have to play him again tomorrow, it's gonna be the same, as hard as today.

Q.テつ Is the return of serve something you work on in training?
GILLES SIMON:テつ My return is fantastic.テつ I have nothing to work on the return side.テつ (Smiling.)
No, really, but with Milos is different.テつ If you check out the statistic on the return, I'm really good everywhere, first serve, second serve, break point, whatever.テつ So there is nothing to change.
But with Milos it's a bit different.テつ We are not talking about returning because the first thing is you don't touch the ball.テつ The only thing I could have done better today is, as I told you, it took me a bit too long when I was on the ball to put the return in and to stop the point.テつ For one set even when I was touching the ball, the return was always hard.

Q.テつ Do you always look at the scoreboard and see what your stats were and adjust based on it or consider it?
GILLES SIMON:テつ No, but if it's there, I take it.テつ I mean, we talked about it yesterday.

Q.テつ In the first set, did you think...
GILLES SIMON:テつ I felt he had more first serves and I was not able to return enough his second serve.テつ The feeling I had was I'm not able to return enough because I just have one second serve sometimes to return, and I don't have enough.テつ Then I realized I was wrong.テつ This is the discussion we had yesterday.
I realize I was wrong.テつ I had enough second serves to return.テつ I was just not good enough.

Q.テつ On a slower surface where you have more time to react, do you have a tactic in mind before the ball is served or is it pure instinct?
GILLES SIMON:テつ No, I think I have my own technique, I mean, with the way I want to do the split step and everything, and how much I want to guess sometimes not to guess but, no, it's more instinct than reaction.

Q.テつ In that last game, switching to when you were serving, you had two deuce points in a row where you served the first serve, it went to his forehand.テつ Both times he hit it into the net.テつ Do you remember that?
GILLES SIMON:テつ Yeah, that was good.テつ He return in the net. テつThe first serve was not good but the return...

Q.テつ Did the serve do what you wanted it to do, or was he just surprised or hit a bad shot?
GILLES SIMON:テつ I was so tight I was just happy to put my first serve in.テつ No, but it's also ‑‑ it's why it's hard to win against Milos.テつ You break him on five games all.テつ You feel like you have won the tournament.
It's so hard to break him.テつ The point on the break point is so long, and even when I play the first point on 6‑5 after the changeover, I'm still breathless from the point before.
You know, you have no location basically to break him.テつ You have one, you do a fantastic job to do it. I stretch full on the return, I play ten balls in, I try to ‑‑I mean, I played it good.テつ And then you just ‑‑you have to finish it.テつ It's not over.テつ You have to finish it.
It could be a waste, like not to lose my serve right now.テつ And it's a really hard game to win.テつ That's how it is.

Q.テつ How will it be against Kevin Anderson in the next match?テつ Again, another big server.テつ Same kind of thing?テつ Same challenge again?
GILLES SIMON:テつ When I looked at the draw, I had Milos to maybe play Kevin to maybe play John (smiling).テつ It's gonna be hard with Kevin.テつ We played once.テつ He beat me.テつ It was different condition.
But I think he's playing very good tennis, as he proved it today.テつ He's a bit like me in this tournament.テつ He got lucky to survive the first round.テつ Finally we are still here playing good, so I think it's gonna be good match.

Q.テつ (Question about being France's No. 1.)
GILLES SIMON:テつ Doesn't change anything.テつ It's not that important for me.
I don't play ‑‑I don't know how to say it.テつ The French ranking doesn't have any influence on what I'm doing.テつ It's just a worldwide ranking.テつ And I feel you don't have that problem here.テつ We all know who is the No. 1.テつ But for us in France, it's always, yeah, it's you or it's him.
For me, Jo is my friend, he's French, but he's just another player on the tour.テつ And to be French No. 1 or French No. 4 is not important for me.テつ What is important is my ranking, ATP ranking.
I'm 13 in the world, and I have 12 guys in front of me, and I try my best to get there.テつ That's the only thing.

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