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July 23, 2008

Gilles Simon


G. SIMON/R. Federer
2-6, 7-5, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Do you think that you have what it takes to fill the void of Federer and win the tournament?
GILLES SIMON: I don't know. I just wanted to play my match. I'm so confident actually because I won the tournament last week, and I just wanted to not miss this match. I just wanted to fight and play a nice game and play a nice match.
That's what I did tonight, so I'm so proud of it.

Q. As the match went on, you seemed to be more and more confident going forehand to forehand with Federer. Was that part of the strategy coming in, or something as time went on you thought, This is where I need to attack?
GILLES SIMON: No. Actually, I was just too tired to think. I just saw the ball and I hit the ball. Federer played a nice game in the four first games with so many aces and so many winners on forehand.
And then I had to play my best tennis and I have to hit the ball as hard as him. When he's playing forehand on forehand, I mean, you don't have any choice to play cross because it's so hard. The ball is coming so fast and it's so hard to control the ball to play down of the line.
So I just played the ball like it comes.

Q. Was there a certain part of his game that you were able to take advantage of tonight? I just asked because I saw him use his dropshot backhand a lot and it seemed to give you not much problem.
GILLES SIMON: Yes, it is one of his best shot, the crosscourt shot in backhand. Every time he's playing a player with a two-hands backhand he's trying to play this shot.
But, I mean, I think it was playing too fast tonight to try some shots like this. I don't know. You have to ask him why he did this. But we saw him every time playing this kind of shot, so it was not a surprise.

Q. For so long he has been the dominate player in the sport except on clay. With some of the results he's had this year, are players like yourself starting to say, Maybe he's beatable on some of these surfaces for the first time in a while?
GILLES SIMON: I don't know. I mean, maybe some player are used to his game, but it was not my case because it was the first time I played against him. It's so impressive when you enter into the central court against Federer. It's, Come on. Where am I? I look, and, yeah, there is my parents, here my coach.
No, I don't know. I mean, I just -- for me it was the first time. I didn't know what to expect. I know he's playing so fast.
But like I say, I just wanted to play my game and to know what would be the result if I was just playing my game. I don't know if he played a great match tonight. You have to ask him.
Even if it was not a good match for him he's is hard to defeat. That's just unbelievable for me to win against him.

Q. And if you look at your career, I mean, is it too early to rank this as maybe the best win of your career? You have some titles under your belt.
GILLES SIMON: Yes, for sure this is my best victory. I don't think that you win so many times against the No. 1 in the world. Happen maybe, I don't know, in the career of a player maybe two, three times if you are lucky.
For sure this is my best victory even if he's not the No. 1 next week. But actually he's No. 1, so it's good for me.

Q. For a lot of players, the big battle against Federer is believing they can beat him in their heart. At what point tonight did you start to believe that you could win this match?
GILLES SIMON: In the second set when it was four games all, because I played a nice game to broke him when it was 3-2 with nice passing shots. But I was playing far from my baseline.
Then I was playing so slow and he came back 4-3, 4-All. Then the first point I play a shot really slow in the middle of the court and he played a winner, Love-15.
Then I start to think, I say, Come on, you have to play faster than that and hit the ball. You have to play as fast as possible, too.
I played a nice game to win this one, and that's why -- I mean, I played so nice tennis until the end.

Q. Were you surprised that he kept on attacking to your backhand, because you were hitting passing shot after passing shot and it seemed that he kept on making the same kind of tactical approach.
GILLES SIMON: Yes, because Roger always play forehand on forehand. So when he wants to come to the net he has to come down of the line, and then he's coming on the backhand.
He's a very good player when he's on the net. It's so hard to play some passing shots, because he seems to be everywhere. Fortunately for me he missed some forehand and I played some nice shots with my backhand. Maybe destabilize him a little bit.

Q. What did your parents say after the match?
GILLES SIMON: I don't know.

Q. Did you get a chance to call home or anything like that?
GILLES SIMON: Right now, no. I just wanted to come as soon as possible because I have to rest for tomorrow. I'm so tired. I play five match last week with four match in a row in three sets. Then I travel on Monday, played the match yesterday and then tonight, so I try to rest as soon as possible.

Q. How does it feel to you personally to have beaten Roger? What does it mean to you to beat a world No. 1?
GILLES SIMON: I mean, it's a nice sensation. Like I said, maybe I would not defeat him until the end of his career, so I just have to enjoy it.
What is hard in tennis is I can't just stay on this match because I have one more match tomorrow, and I have to think about it right now. I don't have to stop on this match.
It was the same for my victory in Indianapolis. I didn't have the time to enjoy it yet, but it's a good thing for me. If I lose this week, then I think I'll make a big party for all these reasons.

Q. In the third set, it was obvious that Roger was starting to get frustrated. We very rarely see that from him. How were you able to stay so focused and so calm throughout the third set?
GILLES SIMON: I mean, just because I was tired. Like I said, I didn't have the time to think. I played a nice set, even if he broke me twice in the set.
I remember the point. It was 3-All, 30-All, and we played an unbelievable point with, I don't know, maybe we hit the ball 15 times each and he finish with a passing shot.
But there was no frustration. I just kept playing like this. I was playing my best tennis. I had no reason to change. I tried to play this type of game until the end.
Finally I broke him twice in a row and I finished to win this match.

End of FastScripts

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