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May 23, 2016

Gilles Simon

Paris, France

G. SIMON/R. Dutra Silva

7-6, 6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. First of all, congratulations for this match. How do you feel about this first round?
GILLES SIMON: I think it was a good match. He's a player I didn't really know. Well, I actually do know him, because we're the same age. We have never played each other. We bumped into each other, but we never even trained together.

I played my game. He started very well. I felt right away it would be tough to win the match. So I was able to increase my game level. At the beginning was not very good. I quickly had to react. I was at 7-6 after an hour and 10 minutes. A lot of long balls. Very physical. The balls were slow. Felt flat.

It really was important to win this match.

Q. How difficult is it when you have a guy who's hitting everywhere who is so aggressive? Is it disturbing? Does it make it difficult for you to stay focused?
GILLES SIMON: Well, it's true that he has a lot of energy. Does it get on my nerves? No. It's the way he plays. He wants to win. What else could you ask for?

What surprised me is, especially when you don't know your opponent you try to get information, you look at him in previous game matches, how he plays, and he was much more aggressive and offensive than what I had expected. So I played the same way I play generally. I generally don't start at 100%, and he was in the match right away. He was jumping all over the place. He was grabbing me by the neck. That's how it felt.

Which is positive, don't get me wrong. He was very good. 3-0, that's what it cost me after 10 minutes. Double break. It's rough.

Q. There is not one single point you have played with people screaming Gilou, Gilou, supporting you. How does it feel? Is it heartwarming? I don't know. Because a lot of these people you don't know.
GILLES SIMON: It is very pleasant. Is it heartwarming? It certainly is, given the temperature out there. I think everybody needed to be warmed up.

More seriously, it was very pleasant. It's the perfect match for it. It was a tough match, very physical.

A lot of density, especially at the end of the first set with a lot of long balls. You know, the balls very close to the line each time. Great atmosphere.

It was wonderful. The public supported me. Giving me nicknames, I don't make a big deal out of it. When people tell me what to do, things like, Go for it, or Don't go for it, or Fight hard, that's a bit more disturbing. But I know that they mean well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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