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January 24, 2009

Gilles Simon


G. SIMON/M. Ancic
7-6, 6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How did you find the conditions today? Was it hard down there to serve with the wind?
GILLES SIMON: Yes, it was harder to serve. I mean, that's why I didn't serve any aces today. I just wanted to put the first serve in the court. That was great for me because Mario can be really boring when he's serving good. Finally it was very easy for me to return today. So that was a good point for me.

Q. Did you find one end was better to serve from than the other?
GILLES SIMON: No, not really. I was just confident from the baseline. So I wanted to play a maximum of points from here.
That's what I did during the whole match.

Q. In the third set you managed to get a double break. His body language, throwing racquets, towels, when he got to his chair, did that give you an advantage thinking that you had him?
GILLES SIMON: Well, I had the advantage before, after the first set. But, of course, I saw he was really tired. I mean, he won in the fifth, the last match. That's why I was pretty happy to win the first set 7-6 after more than one hour of game. It was really good for me.
Yes, it was great in the third. But it was better in the first set (smiling).

Q. Your next round is against Gaël Monfils. How do you feel about coming up against him?
GILLES SIMON: Well, he's really hard to defeat because he doesn't do any mistakes. Also he can have a huge serve, too.
So it won't be easy. But I know him very well. So it will be a special match for both of us, I mean. It's the first time we are meeting each other on the tour. I don't know what to expect. I mean, I'm pretty happy to play this match because he's really a good friend of mine. So I hope we're gonna enjoy this match.

Q. Have you got any little subtle tricks that you might pull out to try and unsettle him?
GILLES SIMON: Maybe, but I won't tell you (smiling). I know exactly what I'm going to do on the court, but I don't want to say it. I mean, all the players have to find their solution when they are playing against a player. It's like my job to give some advice to play against him. So I know what I'm going to do, but you will have to watch.

Q. As friends, have you practiced a lot with Gaël? Did you play against each other in juniors?
GILLES SIMON: Yes, the first time we played against each other, we were maybe 12 years old. So I know him very well. We practiced a long time together. We played many match during our practice. That's why I know it's going to be very hard.
But he knows, too, that it won't be easy. Really it's funny for us to play in a Slam. When we were child, we were practicing together, but we didn't expect to play the last 16 rounds in a Slam. So it's very nice for us. I hope we play a very good party.

Q. Can you remember the match when you were 12, where it was and who won?
GILLES SIMON: Well, we played 20 times, so 10-All (laughter).

Q. How important is it for you to have made this stage of a Grand Slam just for your profile, that you can perform at the highest level?
GILLES SIMON: It's very nice for me. It's the first time I reach this round, you know. All these peoples, the French journalists, they will ask me the questions, because they're waiting for this for too long (smiling).
Well, I just think I did my job today. I did a great job. It's never easy to defeat Mario, because he's a very good player. But I have to win this match now if I still want to improve. So I'm very happy because, of course, to win a match is very good for the confidence.
But it's not party yet. I mean, there is a lot of job to do. I am still focused on the tournament.

Q. It's been a good day for French men today. Do you think one of the French men will win the Australian Open?
GILLES SIMON: Yes, I think. I hope. At the moment we just play against player we know we can defeat. It was hard, but, well, we just did our job. Finally, the next ones will be the tough ones. So, I think every day maybe we can all lose, yeah, the same day.
But for the moment, we are still here.

Q. How can you explain there are four players in the same generation in France so strong - so different, but so strong? Why all now?
GILLES SIMON: Because it's time for us (laughter). If it's not now, it's never for us.
Well, I don't know. I think Jo reached the final last year, and it was really good for all of us because, as I say just before, we are all practicing together. I know it's the same for Gaël and for Richard. We know that we are all very good player, but there is not one better than the others. And to see him reach the Final, it was really, really good for us and for our confidence.
Finally, we just saw that we were able to do it. Finally, that's why I think we had a great year last year.

Q. Are you surprised that Tsonga was the first one to go to the final of a Grand Slam? Did you maybe believe that Gasquet had more talent and could be first or not?
GILLES SIMON: No, I'm not surprise, because Jo is the more confident always. He is never scared. Even if I am confident, too - and Gaël also - it's not the same for us. It was easier to see him. No, it was not a surprise to see that it was him, the first to reach the Finals.

Q. In Rome the surface was different, but you were a completely different player. What happened from there to now?
GILLES SIMON: In Rome? Which match?

Q. You know which match. I'm Italian.
GILLES SIMON: Yeah, it was a bad match for me. I was tired.
What happened? I just improved. I mean, I was already a good player. Not as good as now, but I was able to win some matches already. But finally, yeah, then I was more consistent in my game after that. I think finally this kind of match I lost, maybe now I'm able to win it more often. I defeated Jo just before 7-6 in the third.
Finally, I played against Bolelli right after and I was tired. I didn't know yet, I was able to play two good match in a row.
Well, it's just experience, I think.

End of FastScripts

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