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May 25, 2016

Gilles Simon

Paris, France

G. SIMON/G. Pella

4-6, 1-6, 7-5, 7-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. How do you feel after such a match? I guess it was a very contrasted match. The beginning probably didn't satisfy you, but then the outcome was very positive. How do you feel?
GILLES SIMON: I'm tired. You're right about the end. I went through a lot of different things, but I guess if you really want to know how I feel now is I'm just tired.

There are a lot of other things, I guess, but I can't really express these now. During my match, I tried to stay focused, play the next point, and win.

When you place yourself in that condition, in a sense, you simplify things. You forget all the other stuff. You forget about tactics. You forget about a lot of other things. And you put yourself in survival mode.

Q. In the third set you were a break behind. Did you think you could turn things around? You have some experience with matches with a big change in momentum. Did you believe you could turn things around?
GILLES SIMON: Yes, I have had matches where things turned around. You know, when I'm behind two sets to zero, if you can't find a solution after two sets it's difficult to find one in the third set.

And when that happens, it means your opponent is just playing better. So this time I tried. I was there. I tried to fight.

I didn't really believe in it. He was very solid. He was hitting hard. He was there. He was very good.

But then if you take a step back, you analyze the situation, the guy was really playing well. So the beginning was not very encouraging.

Q. Jan de Wit said at the beginning of the match when you could not find a solution, you asked him, what do I need to do? Do I need to just relax or should I fight even more? And Jan at that point said, Go for it. He thought you were a bit passive. Is that correct?
GILLES SIMON: It's the opposite. He said, Do the opposite, fight. But then that wasn't clear to me. It's the first time he ever told me this in three years. I just felt very bad, very bad on the court at that point in the match.

My overall sensations were very bad. I had not had such bad sensations in a long time. Typically Jan always encourages me to play my game, and he didn't this time. The first time in three years. This time he said, There will be no miracle. So you shut your mouth and you just fight.

Yeah, that's what I did. I think at one point in the game I made a conscious decision. I hesitated for a long time. What do I do? Do I engage in long rallies or not? I was hesitant, very hesitant. In the second set, I was trying to hit harder and my balls were just going all over the place.

And finally I think I made a conscious decision to just move on. I could have lost. I really felt like I was going to lose the match.

But once I made that conscious decision to continue, I placed myself in a different mode. At the end of the match, at the end of the third set, I came back, and then I started to believe that I could make a difference. Things were becoming a bit more difficult for him. It wasn't great for me, but something was happening. Maybe he was tired. I was dead. And, yeah.

Q. So you were behind, you said, and you didn't really think you were going to win? What do you think about then? About the next holidays or the next question journalists are going to ask you?
GILLES SIMON: You, I couldn't care less about your questions at that point, honestly. It's tough. That's all. I felt sad. Being there, Roland Garros, I want to play well. And it's just not working out.

What a disappointment. That's how I felt. I almost felt at one point that it was already over. Two sets to zero, in absolute terms you can still catch up. But at that point I didn't feel like I was going to turn things around.

So I really need to reactivate myself and that's -- it was important for me to take that conscious decision to do this.

Sometimes well; sometimes not so well. That allowed me to focus on something, focus, become more positive, become more active.

Q. You've played a lot of matches at Roland Garros. Is this one of the most tiring matches, would you say?
GILLES SIMON: I'm dead. I'm absolutely tired. I think this was my 30th match in five sets. I don't know how I would rank this one. Maybe probably in the top five in terms of exhaustion. I remember against Gaël in Australia I was completely exhausted. There have been a few others, so probably in the top five most exhausting games I have ever played.

There were two against Gaël at Wimbledon. I was not looking pretty. There was another one I played in four sets in Australia against Ferrer. I was dead, as well.

I remember one at the US Open against Del Potro and Ferrer again in four sets.

You know, honestly, there are so many. You know, it's all coming back to me now. This one was a tough one, though.

Q. (off microphone.)
GILLES SIMON: I have done too much. Too much.

Q. You got some medical assistance on the court. What happened?
GILLES SIMON: I had a blister, and then I called my massage therapist because I had some cramps. I typically don't like to get assistance on the court, but at that point, I said, Okay, I need help.

I just needed -- you know, I couldn't deal with it anymore.

Q. This is an epic match. The end couldn't be easy. He had seven match points. Do you remember ever needing seven match points to wrap up the match? I don't remember how long it lasted but it was very long.
GILLES SIMON: I was exhausted. The guy was playing really well. It went on and on and on. I was like, Can't you just give it to me? (Laughter.) Can't you just miss the point? You know. And then I missed it.

But honestly, I don't really remember how I felt. I remember it was difficult. I had a strange thought at one point. I figured if he gets me now, after having worked so hard, it would be terrible. But then things went okay.

I mean, congratulations to the guy. He's a great player. Great attitude. He didn't say a word. You know, if I had the lead, and then if my opponent turned everything around like I did with him, I would be very upset. He didn't say anything. He's very, very strong.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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