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May 30, 2018

Gilles Simon

Paris, France

G. SIMON/S. Querrey

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

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French, please.

Q. Congratulations. This victory was not that difficult, even though after quarter of an hour it seemed that it wasn't that easy.
GILLES SIMON: Yes, indeed. It was hard to have a victory, because it's hard to find the right pace and to return a match when someone else dictates the rallies at first.

After 20 minutes of game, you need to change the situation. We need to deploy a lot of efforts. And I tried to balance. I finally found my balance at the end of the set. Because, otherwise, two sets down would be difficult. It hurts. Then, the end of the match, we could think that everything went fine.

But to reach that point it was actually quite hard.

Q. What happened during these first 20 minutes? Was he the one dictating? You didn't manage?
GILLES SIMON: It's always the same thing. Maybe he was playing well. Maybe I wasn't playing well. He's, obviously, strong.

I couldn't find my pace. My legs were actually quite heavy. I didn't play well. He played well, and he prevented me from having the right pace. He was aggressive on every serve, and he was making sure that I couldn't find the right pace.

And this is what was the hardest for me is that I was 6-1 down. I couldn't go further, and I wasn't further than a quarter of an hour earlier. I didn't know how to make -- to have points. I didn't know how to change my serve.

And that's one of his strengths is that he actually hits the ball quite hard from the outset. He's very efficient. And this is how he managed to get stress on my side.

Q. What about the medical time?
GILLES SIMON: I don't like to talk about it. There have been a lot of matches and quite a few issues, and I have to deal with that.

Q. It's the seventh match in ten days. I guess it must hurt a little bit now. When one plays a week before the French Open, you were in Lyon, things were moving forward, did you think, Oh, maybe I'm actually hampering myself for the French Open because you actually leave some energy out from this?
GILLES SIMON: This depends on -- how shall I put it -- the feeling that one can have.

To be honest, if I'm not in the final in Lyon, nothing happens in the French Open because it's clay. If I don't play Lyon and I go to the French Open, then I would lose during the first round. I need to build confidence to win matches.

And I'm not actually hampering myself. I'm not saying to myself, Well, I have to prepare myself. I'm not seeded. I could actually play against Nadal, take three sets in a row, three straight sets, and lose and go back home.

So we have to take into account the previous results. My ranking before Lyon is 75, among the top 75. Why? Because I haven't won more matches than this. Not because I was wounded, just because the other players played better. So one has to keep that in mind.

And this is why Lyon is a very important tournament. I have to go up in the tournament, and I have to win points and I have to try and find them any way I can.

So I had great tournament. I hoped actually that I would win Lyon. And it's not a problem to play the first round in the French Open afterwards in my position as it is now.

Q. Are you living on a week-by-week, match-per-match approach or do you have mid-term approach? What is your state of mind?
GILLES SIMON: I'm just trying to think about the next opponent who is going to be in front of me, basically. I don't have any energy to think further than that.

Q. On that match, your main satisfaction is what? Is it a specific point? Is it a specific highlight?
GILLES SIMON: It's just to have managed to get to the match till the end, especially when he gets to the extreme like this from the start.

I get onto the court. I always think, Okay, it could last three hours, four hours. I'm rather more ready to play three or four hours than one hour. And for this, it actually went very fast. And I thought, Oh, my God, after half an hour, if nothing happens, it's going to be over for me.

So it was not easy. I couldn't be cool as a cucumber. And so I managed to keep calm, and I don't know how I found a U-turn, but I managed to break back, to play on my serve. It was 4-3. I was up. I was leading. And I thought, Okay, I'm ready to change the situation, which was not easy to do, to dictate rallies when you're not dictating the rallies at first.

Q. As you said before, when you go down in the ranking, are you afraid not to find the right momentum anymore? Do you think, okay, when are things going to change for me?
GILLES SIMON: I'm ready for everything, you know, at my age. If at one point it's the end, then it's the end. That's not the matter.

I don't know how I should put it, but the results are just -- the conclusion of ranking is just what is going on. What bothers me is not to manage to play as well as I would like to play.

If I play well and I lose because I have a better player in front of me, then congrats to the winner. I've been here for quite a while. This is going to happen anyway. That's not a problem.

But the most important thing is to try to do what I would like to do, to play my matches and take pleasure from it, and this is a source of satisfaction. When we manage this and we have the results as well, then it is a source of encouragement, but this is what matters most to me.

Q. You could see actually that you still are very popular among children.
GILLES SIMON: Yeah, that's cool. The atmosphere is good, but there's so much noise. I heard everything that was said during the match. Everything in the center court, in the Lenglen, the ambulances.

So I was quite happy that children were there, I have to say.

Q. You have Nishikori for the next round. He's here actually in the next room. What do you think about that? It's going to be an important match on an important court.
GILLES SIMON: I don't know. I never played against him. It's quite surprising, but there are two or three players I never played against. I avoided them, if I may say.

So we'll see. I'll try to prepare that calmly. I'll try to see the match that he has done against Benoit. I'm sure that Benoit has done 360 drop balls, and I'm sure that I won't be able to do it. I don't know how to do it.

We'll see.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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