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April 18, 2017

Gilles Simon

Monte Carlo, Monaco


6-3, 3-6, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French, please.

Q. At 5-4 in the third, do you have regrets?
GILLES SIMON: Well, it's a long match, and many things happened. At 5-4, a lot of work was done to reach that stage. I was not as calm as I had to be. My shots were not as precise. Things changed.

It was a tough moment. But when you play a match like that, sometimes one is up and the other one is down, and it changes. I played two bad points in a row, and the end came quickly.

Of course, I would have preferred to do better at 5-4.

Q. It's not the first time you've been pushing him a lot. Did you find a special way to play him, or is it him?
GILLES SIMON: I didn't find his performance any less. For me it's tough to play without pressure against him. I had to work a lot in the first set to reach that stage. I was a bit late on every point because my legs were not following. Finally I was able to stay calm. I was even calmer than he was. He was getting nervous.

I think I should be able to stay calm until the end.

Q. Sometimes you even played shorter points, to have him approach the net. Did you have special tactics?
GILLES SIMON: I didn't have very precise tactics. It's often that way. He hits a bit better than I do. He takes the ball earlier. It's difficult for me to dominate the rally.

But he still has a tough time passing me. He doesn't have any options to finish off the point. It comes down to that against him every time. Sometimes I'm able to rise above him.

In Australia, before the match, everybody told me if I won three games, it would be a miracle. It was an extremely long and tough match. So when I'm able to be very precise with my shots, it's good for me. When I'm not as precise, he is able to play better shots.

It's very subtle, but that's how it happens against him.

Q. The fact that you played that match in Australia, did it change something?
GILLES SIMON: No, it didn't change much. The fact of playing on clay maybe changed it a little. But it was the same type of match.

Q. You were talking about being extremely fit physically. Indeed you were able to sustain long rallies. Of course, you are now frustrated. But it is encouraging, right?
GILLES SIMON: When he missed the opportunity of having an easy match in the middle of the second set, I was not able to find my rhythm. Finally I was able to have a better pace.

He lost his serve and had an opportunity to break back, but he didn't take it. I started running better, moving better. I was more precise then. It was better for me.

In the first set, I felt tired. In the second set, I felt I could run for five hours. As I said, against Novak, I don't have many other possibilities. When I attack him and play long, I get a return 20 centimeters from the baseline. So I don't really try to dominate the rally. I just try to counter his game the best I can.

Q. Even his coach says he's not at his best. You seem to say it's not the case.
GILLES SIMON: Well, I found him the same as in Australia. Maybe now you are paying more attention to things you did in Australia. In Australia you thought it was a mistake on his part. If you just watch the matches as they were, as they happened, you'll see he's the same player.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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