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July 10, 2018

Gilles Simon

Wimbledon, London, England


7-6, 7-6, 5-7, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Never easy to have a match that goes overnight. How did you deal with the challenge of coming back again after last night?
GILLES SIMON: Well, I think we both agreed to stop for different reason. Juan Martin said it was too dark. I don't like to start a set knowing that we're going to play 20 minutes. When you get to four games all, starts to be slippery, dark, you feel a lot of pressure to finish the set. I don't like that.

We both preferred to come back today. It was then a bit easier. The only problem is the recovery because it's a very long match we played already, 3 hours 15 minutes. So it was tough fight. The time is short. You finish, it's 9, back on court at 1. So you have a short night, few treatment, then go again.

But in the end, I was in a good shape again.

Q. Statistically you're one of the best returners. How did you find his serve?
GILLES SIMON: I always had some good stat on the return, but it's obviously not a shot where you feel good. He's two meters tall. He's serving from the sky. He's serving a lot of aces. I'm able to return when I can reach the ball, but it's very often that I'm not reaching the ball. I think he served 20 aces.

Q. He has a chance against Rafa?
GILLES SIMON: Yeah, he always has a chance. He already beat him. He was able to beat all the top guys. That's why also many people likes to watch him play, because you feel something can happen. He has a lot of strengths in his game.

I'm a bit sad because I was often on top of him in the beginning of the set. Every time I had the break up, I was not able to hold it. You cannot have a thousand occasions against a player like him. I had enough and I didn't make it.

Q. When you're returning serve against someone like him to stay in the match, what things are going through your mind? Is it tough mentally knowing you have to break serve in order to stay in?
GILLES SIMON: Well, it's not the best moment of the match. Few games before I'm break up. One more time I let him a little bit come back. I have occasion to be 4-1. An easy volley I play on him, he plays a reflex volley.

I had a lot of occasion. You feel it's going to be over soon. It was 40-15. He played two bad points, frame with the forehand, double-fault. I had a chance to push.

That's what is hard also with him. He's playing three bad points in a row, then on the breakpoint I make a good return on his forehand, it's so hard to play, he plays it low, hits an unbelievable forehand winner. It's a bit up and down. I just felt, Okay, just push, it's the only thing you have to do. Got a bit lucky, had a few more chances, but didn't make it.

Q. Who is most likely to stop Federer or Nadal in this tournament?
GILLES SIMON: I feel you have a lot of good players. One more time, you play Milos on grass, you play John, the serves are good. Nobody can feel good against these guys. Even if, let's say, Federer has a good record against Milos, he lost also already. Milos is still going to serve 240 on every point, and nobody feels safe against that.

It's going to be close, of course. They did it very often in the past. You feel it's obvious they're going to make it again. Trust me, it's not that easy on the court.

Q. 5-4 when you broke back, you hit a couple of enormous returns. When you hit those shots, had you already decided you were going to hit it hard or instinct?
GILLES SIMON: With a player like him, it's useless to make him play. That's something, for example, I did in the tiebreak. One point I just pushed the return in. With the forehand he has, it's like a penalty for him. You are getting nowhere with that.

That's why I was more guessing on one side and really trying to go for it, even then if he was serving a lot of aces. But, yeah, that's the plan. I go, I hit. You have to give him something or the point is over.

Q. What positives will you take away from this tournament?
GILLES SIMON: The result. I'm happy also to come back a little bit in the ranking because I started really far. I had a couple great result this season, so I feel competitive again. Problem is I still have the same problem than before, meaning I need to believe a bit more that I will win this match. It's too often that I lost to a player like him, even if he's super good. I always feel I have a chance.

But when I'm on top of him, I feel, Oh, I'm leading, is it normal? I start to play a little bit bad, he's coming back. We saw it two or three times in the match today.

I have to believe a bit more, like, in myself. Beat him in Lyon in a final, same kind of match, 6-3, 4-2, just finish it.

The more often you play these kind of matches, the more often you play against these guys, it's normal, then you believe it. But, yeah, you have to make it in one point.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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