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June 23, 2019

Gilles Simon

London, England

F. LOPEZ/G. Simon

6-2, 6-7, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What's your overriding emotion after that? Tired or disappointed or what?
GILLES SIMON: Well, I don't really know. I wanted to win, obviously. It was a great effort on my side, because it was hard in the beginning of the match to find any rhythm, to be clear about what I wanted to play, what I was able to play, also.

With the fatigue from the other match, it took very long to get any rhythm, you know, from baseline. I was first afraid to just miss it completely and just not playing the final I wanted to play.

So after that, I found a good rhythm, much better rhythm, especially from baseline. And one point I was really dominant from the baseline. Was winning almost every rally in the third set, but the tough part is it's still hard to break him.

Yeah, I had this tough game where I was not serving well, come back just before the tiebreak, I think it was not helping, giving him more reason, because till then he was not winning any points from baseline anymore in the third. And then suddenly it's hard. I have to fight on every point again. This first point of the tiebreak, that is not helping also.

But it's close. I mean, the match is close. Sometimes I was really good; sometimes not that good. Same on his side. It was long. (Smiling.)

Q. Obviously, as you just mentioned, as the match went on you were able to win more rallies from the baseline, but were you surprised by the fact that the first part of the match he was holding from the baseline so good?
GILLES SIMON: No, I was not surprised, because I know him for long. So I really know what to expect, and I know what I have to bring on the court. I was just not able to do it.

I was giving him too many occasion to play his game, to bring me in this in the wrong rhythm for me. And then suddenly he's coming at the net. You have to play a tough and precise shot, and I was not good enough to play it.

Yeah, so it took me long. I knew what I wanted to play from the start, but it just, yeah, just taking a lot of time to put it in place. In general, that's what happen when you are also tired. It's hard. You play one long rally, it's hard to rest. You are not really clear in your head with what you want to play after that. And then I found a good rhythm after.

Q. It looked like you had a good exchange with Feliciano at the net after the match, and it looked like you said something funny to him. Can you tell us what you said or just normal stuff?
GILLES SIMON: No, I was just wishing him good luck for the doubles after that and that's the only thing (smiling).

I think it's a pretty amazing effort to play singles and doubles. I played longer than him in singles, and with my game it's more demanding. It's quite a performance. It's quite impressive for him also. He played very long match, singles, doubles, going again on the court and you have to go after. It's just impressive. That was my way to say it.

Q. Looking back at the last six months on the tour, how would you assess your level now compared to how it was six months ago?
GILLES SIMON: My level? My level is up and down, as everyone, I would say. The level in general on the tour is much higher. So you are winning -- you are basically never winning a match when you are not 100% anymore on the tour.

And I think that's the reason why you can also perform and beat everyone in one week, but if you look at the match I had to win, if you look at the match Feli had to win to win this tournament, we can start the tournament again and you will have a complete different final and, like, winners on every match. The match are so close.

So my level is good, but I cannot always bring it on the court for many reasons. If I'm not able to do it, then the results are not good (smiling). The nice part is if I'm able to play what I want to play, I'm still competitive with the other guys.

Q. When you say that the tour is better now, do you mean like compared to like when you were in the top 10? Like, it's better now?
GILLES SIMON: Yeah. It's more players. The players, the density is completely different. That's what we said back in that time, like, even still six, seven years ago it was, you were seeded in the slams, you were feeling protected, you know, in the way that you felt it's very few players that are not seeded that are really dangerous in the five-set format, and you were confident you will, if you were preparing well, reaching the third round and see how it goes after that.

I mean, now, I just see the list in Wimbledon, I feel there are 20 or 30 players who are not favorite before the match. I can go there, I can play Tsonga, Dimitrov, Lopez, Mahut, like all these guys you just saw there, they are not seeded but maybe won a tournament last week. All the French guys are performing well on grass. You don't see anyone that you really want to play. So, yeah, that's why it's much harder.

Q. Speaking of French guys, unfortunately no happy ending this week, but would you consider this week one of your best on grass in your career? Does it give you a different perspective in the future for grass tournaments?
GILLES SIMON: Yes, it was a great week. It was not one of the best in the way that I was not happy with my game. Only the semifinal for me on the game I was really playing what I wanted to play and the second part of the final today. That's after one set and a half.

For the rest, I was happy because it was tough and I was good on the key points and in the key moments I won, like, two matches 7-6 in the third. Every match was difficult to win. And even today, the performance was good to come back in the tiebreak, 4-2 down, coming back, 7-4, I tried my best every time.

It looks easy because it's simple, you know, what you have to do on the court, just focus and play the next point. It's simple but it's really hard to do it, and this week I was able to do it, and, yeah, on the high level. That's what I like the most about the week.

Q. Do you plan on staying in Eastbourne next week, or are you going to rest for Wimbledon?
GILLES SIMON: I'm going to go there tonight. I don't know yet. I'm really tired. Depends, of course, of pain. Right now I have pain in every single part of my body. So if you ask me now I don't want to play Eastbourne in the next ten years. But let's see. It's going to be different. I will just have a good night rest. Tomorrow, see how I wake up on Tuesday.

Q. Do you hope Feliciano wins the doubles, also?
GILLES SIMON: I mean, I wish him good luck. It's tough. I like the other guys also on the other side of the net. I don't have any preference here.

But, yeah, I think it's a good week right now for him. Let's see. If he can win singles and doubles would be a pretty amazing performance in Queen's.

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