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May 28, 2018

Gilles Simon

Paris, France

G. SIMON/N. Basilashvili

6-4, 6-0, 6-7, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. You played very well in Lyon. Now a big match. How do you feel mentally and physically? Because you spent a lot of energy last week already.
GILLES SIMON: Mentally I feel very good, because it's always good to win a match. Physically, well, yes, I tried to manage properly, because it's important and the matches are hard. It's tiring, you have to run a lot because he hits hard.

I arrived in great shape. I had recovered well. I will have to continue in two days. So you have to find the right mix between continuing to practice properly, staying in shape, recovering well, curing the small pains properly and continuing.

Q. You were saying you had to run a lot. It was rather difficult, especially in the third and fourth sets? How do you analyze the match?
GILLES SIMON: Well, even the first one, apart from the second one, which was a bit quieter. It was very difficult. I had to play well, to break from the start, and then I managed to keep my serve.

Then there were several games where I was in trouble on my serve. I had two, three opportunities on his serve which I didn't manage. But yes, the first one was a long one, almost an hour of playing.

And then in the second set, at one point he relaxed a little bit, and I managed. It's a pity. In the third set I had two or three break points, 2-All or 3-All. The first forehand he hit so hard. But I didn't have any opportunities on his serve. He didn't have any -- especially at 6-5, he played a better tiebreak than I did. But we will have to continue.

Q. Was it difficult to digest your loss in the finals in Lyon?
GILLES SIMON: No, I'm still upset, but the match is over and lost. But it was a good week.

There was this first round, playing a player who beat me last year.

But it's tennis. You lose every week almost; so if you can't overcome that, you have to change sports.

I managed to play well, and I managed to be in the second round and I'm happy about that.

Q. You're the first Frenchman to win on the court No. 18, which is a novelty here. What do you think about this court?
GILLES SIMON: It's much better than the others. Much better than No. 1.

No, I'm saying this, because I was supposed to be on Court No. 1. As I lost to Basilashvili last year on No. 1, I said, Could you put me on another one? No, I'm joking. But it's a good court. I was certain it was going to be a good court so I didn't have any doubts about that.

Q. After a rather difficult season on hard surface, you have a good season on clay. Is it due to your shape, or due to the surface?
GILLES SIMON: No, it's just being in good shape. When I play badly, I lose everywhere; and when I play well, I manage to win a few matches on all surfaces.

No, things are doing well, and it's always close from what I see. The matches are very difficult, and sometimes you win from very little. And on hard courts, I lost a few -- I lost because of a few points where the level is close. Everybody plays well. This is confirmed every day, unfortunately.

You have to enjoy it when it goes well.

Q. There is the discussion about the importance of playing a tournament before the Grand Slam. A year ago you lost after coming back from another tournament. In this case, you played well. Do you think it depends on the players? It depends on the tournament? What do you think?
GILLES SIMON: I'm not in a position to pick my tournaments. I played last week and I took it. If I had won last week and lost here, but I would have had to take it. Anything is possible, really. For example, Dominic likes to play the week before, and every time he plays well here.

So anything is feasible, really. Sometimes I played -- when it was in Nice I felt like playing in Nice obviously. Sometimes I didn't play before, and it went well. I didn't see any specific impact. It's true that in the past I preferred not to play before when I was seeded, but now I honestly don't care.

Q. Coming back to the atmosphere on court No. 18, Grégoire Barrère yesterday said it was like a small arena. Today it was nice. We saw an ola. The whole public was with you. How did you find the atmosphere?
GILLES SIMON: The atmosphere was great, but on No. 1, it was great, as well. It's cool really. It's pleasant.

Because once again, the matches are very difficult, and there are moments especially when your opponent is like this one. It's rather frustrating, because you can't get him to move because either I play very slowly and he gets a winner right away or I miss. So it's not a pleasant feeling and you get the impression he does everything, the points and the faults, even though it's not the case.

But in the rallies, when it doesn't go well, when you have trouble and you say, oh, this one is nice and this one, as well, it always helps you to have people encouraging you, supporting you for the least point, and people who are there all the way to the end.

Q. What are you going to say about this match in your book, the book you're writing about the analysis on tennis? And what is the objective of this book which is not out yet?
GILLES SIMON: I won't tell you. I don't talk about. But good try. Nice try (smiling).

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