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November 15, 2008

Gilles Simon


4-6, 6-3, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Before Novak called the injury time-out, did you realize he had some injury problem? How serious did you think it was?
GILLES SIMON: Well, I saw he touch his left leg at the end of the point. I only knew that he could play, so I was just waiting. But I knew it's gonna be very hard.
We saw that he was running everywhere until the end, so I think it was not a big injury.

Q. Was it difficult to prepare for this match, given that you, I guess, got back to the hotel and found out very late that you were into the semifinals?
GILLES SIMON: Yeah, that was not easy to watch the match. But finally I had a chance to play, and now after it was easy to prepare the match.
Like usual, when you play these kind of player, you have to play your best tennis. So it's really easy to think about what you're gonna do on the court. I just did my best during three sets, but finally I lost. And, yeah, it's tough.

Q. How would you rate your performance today, especially in the first set with your play being particularly high?
GILLES SIMON: Well, I think today I played a good match, but I just played my safe tennis. I was, from the beginning until the end, just three meters behind my baseline, running everywhere, and I was not very aggressive.
That's what I wanted to do today, because we saw in the first set that he was doing many unforced errors, and I hoped it's going to be like this for two sets (smiling).
But finally this match was so long, so there is so many things to say. But the only thing is he was very aggressive - more than me. He was a little bit lucky sometimes, touching many lines, and finally he won the match.
But when you play three hours like this, of course you have so many opportunities to win. So that's why it's very hard to lose.

Q. You did much better than Novak when he was in his first Masters Cup. What are your best memories here in Shanghai? Based on Novak's performance today, do you think he has a better chance to win this Masters Cup?
GILLES SIMON: Well, for the second question, of course. He play the final, so there is only one more match to win. He's No. 3 in the world and No. 1 in the competition. Yeah, of course he can win the match of tomorrow.
Best memories? I think it was the victory against Federer because it was not easy for me to come as the No. 9. When I get into the court, I really wanted to do something great. The first match against Federer, I managed to win this one, and it was really important for me.

Q. Your country always has so many talented players. Before this year not so many people talked about you. Now you're the French No. 1.
GILLES SIMON: No (laughter).

Q. Maybe before the Australian Open. Before this year did you think you could go this far? Compared to other top French players, what is your biggest talent, do you think?
GILLES SIMON: Too many questions again (laughter).
Well, I didn't think I would be No. 7 at the end of the year. I was in the top 30 in January, and I really wanted to be in the top 15. But there is a big difference being 15 or 7 at the end of the year. That's good for me. It's okay.
But I think that people were waiting for other players, like you said, like Jo Tsonga and Richard Gasquet. They didn't focus on my tennis, but I showed to everybody that I was a good player - even here in the Masters Cup. I defeated the No. 2. I played three sets in three hours against the No. 3. So it give me confidence for next year. And, yeah, I wait 2009 right now.
The most talented player? I don't know. Everybody (laughter).

Q. So how you're gonna celebrate this great, great tournament for you after you finish the Masters Cup, and how are you going to prepare for next year?
GILLES SIMON: For next year my goals, yeah, is to stay in the top 10 and to play better in the slams, because I lost every time in the third round this year. I really want to play some semifinals, finals, because every time I play on the center court, like this, I play my best tennis.
It's easier for me because it's what I wanted to do when I was kid. I hope to play great match next year.

Q. Could you tell me what you think about the Davis Cup final next week in Argentina.
GILLES SIMON: Well, the last time we asked me this I said Spain because Nadal was playing, but right now I think Argentina (laughter).

Q. It seems you were injured during the match. What happened at that time?
GILLES SIMON: No, I just felt something in the neck. It was 5-4 on my serve, 30-All. I gave everything on the serve, and then I just felt pain right here (pointing to his neck). But it disappear right after, so it wasn't important.

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