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April 14, 2016

Gilles Simon

Monte Carlo, Monaco


6-1, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. Was the match a bit tighter than the score shows? Was it tough from the beginning to the end?
GILLES SIMON: Well, it was difficult from the beginning to the end, of course. But he was better than I was today. Everything was going his way, most of the time anyway. It was tough to win a single game.

There were many tight games. But at the right time he was always playing the right shot. So the score is tough.

But he was better than I was.

Q. What was the most difficult thing? His very deep shots?
GILLES SIMON: Well, it's tough when he plays like that. He hits hard. He misses rarely. He was playing many good shots today. I was trying hard. Every time he was playing an extraordinary shot, like he knows how to do. He was hitting the lines and, bang, that was it.

Both sets, like when I was down 4-1, I had the feeling it was getting tighter, a double break against me, and he seemed very relaxed. I knew it was going to be very tough.

Q. Can you compare this with the match in the French Open?
GILLES SIMON: Well, when I came out of the match in the French Open, I thought, It's impossible to beat him. He was hitting hard, making many winners. He was even more secure than he was today.

Today he hit the lines. Sometimes you can make it and sometimes not. So when it was 30-All and he hit the line twice, I was thinking, Maybe he's lucky. But he did that every time.

But he hits the ball extremely well from the baseline. He's one of the rare players who can dominate me from the baseline in such a consistent way.

But my feeling is there were many lines today. Even the two or three times when he didn't hit the ball well, the ball still was in.

Q. Do you believe he's a favorite?
GILLES SIMON: I don't know if he's a favorite. But when he plays like that, he can be tough. I mean, if you have to play him, you might be quite concerned. I can imagine he's going to be on center court tomorrow. It might be windy. In the recent weeks, he was a bit inconsistent, but it's always the case for him in the U.S.

Yesterday against Kohlschreiber he was very inconsistent. But today, it was a bad day for me because it was good for him.

Q. You had no tactical solutions against him? There's nothing you could have done to give him trouble?
GILLES SIMON: No. Today he was far above me. Well, 1-2 is a tough score for me because there were tight games. It could have been 4-4. But he was still above me.

In those circumstances it's difficult to make him doubt. When he plays like that, and it's on clay, he has more time to do his footwork and to hit hard. There are very few players who can hit so many winners from the baseline on both sides.

It was very difficult for me. But I believe it's complicated for any other player, too. When Stan plays like that, there's not much you can do in those situations.

I don't know if it's me. Well, okay, I can't serve as well as Raonic, for example. Maybe against Raonic, it would have been tighter. But I'm a baseliner and I need to beat him from the baseline. When Stan is playing like that, and he has time to play his game, then it's very difficult for me.

Q. Gael is going to be in the quarterfinals. He's been playing very consistently lately. He was talking about maybe at the end of the year assessing his year in London, which is quite unusual to hear from him.
GILLES SIMON: I can explain this in two ways. I think he's been working a lot on consistency. He did that on purpose. He was aware of the need to work on that. I believe he is not at the ranking he deserves.

But often he goes up and down in the rankings. Now he's going up. If he stays up, it will be more interesting. What he's trying to do is working well because he has open draws often - or he had them since the beginning of the year. So it's good that he's working hard.

It's good for him because he has the opportunity of having good results. Sometimes you work hard and you are unlucky, you have tough draws, you play Novak in the third round, then you might get depressed.

But here, with Gael, he's always lucky with the draw. This is good for him. His spirits are rising. He's there winning his matches. He gives his impression of going far in the tournament every time.

But when you need to do when you look at that is to see what are the players he played.

Q. Are you working at this, too?
GILLES SIMON: Everyone is trying to improve. But in his case, you can see it on the court. I think he would need one or two more matches against a top-10 player or a top-15 player. Right now he's so much better, of course things are going well. But if he plays a better player, he might not succeed. Anyway, what he's doing is very good.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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