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February 24, 2009

Gilles Simon


G. SIMON/M. Ghareeb
5-7, 6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Do you feel a little bit lucky to get out of that match?
GILLES SIMON: Lucky, I don't think, because he didn't have any chance to break me; a break up in the second and in the serve.
No, but I'm pretty happy to win, of course.

Q. That was hard work, wasn't it? I suppose you were not expecting such a test from someone ranked so low.
GILLES SIMON: Well, I don't know him really much. I just saw his match against Berdych two years ago, and I saw he was playing very good. So that's why I expected a hard match, but not that hard.

Q. Why was it so tough today?
GILLES SIMON: First, because I have a very bad sensation on the court. And I just arrived from Marseilles. Yesterday was the first time I played outside, and it's so different.
So at the beginning of the match, I was really playing bad. I had a lot of problems in my game, with my forehand, and finally it was a better game after game, but after he was confident and he just played an amazing match.
So that's why it was so hard.

Q. With the likes of, say, Federer and Nadal not here this week, obviously it gives you a great opportunity of perhaps winning a big tournament like Dubai, does that put any added pressure on you when you go out on the court?
GILLES SIMON: No, because I have too many problems with my game to focus on the finals. I know that I have to improve my level and to be more consistent from the baseline.
If I don't fix this, I have no chance to win this tournament. So I just take match after match. I know that I will play every day, so I just hope that every day is going to be better.

Q. Can it help you to have a long match, because you've got plenty of practice in the conditions?
GILLES SIMON: That's the good point of the match of today. I just played more than two hours and I am still okay.
So even with the heat, I was moving well. I think maybe it's the match I needed to be ready. Sometimes you have a very hard match in the first round and then you are playing really better after. So I hope it's going to be like this.

Q. How do you see Razzano's performance here in Dubai?
GILLES SIMON: Well, I just saw one match against Zvonareva. She played very good.
I mean, to see her reach the final here, it's good, because she has a wonderful game I think, and only it's a matter of confidence when she's playing.
And what we can see is when you are confident, you can defeat everyone, everybody. And even if she lost the final, she needs experience and she played a great level and I hope to do the same.

Q. What can you do to do the same or more?
GILLES SIMON: Well, we don't have the same game, so it won't be easy.

Q. What were you most pleased about in the big improvement that you made last year?
GILLES SIMON: I was just more consistent, and even this year, at the moment, there is not one match when I was feeling very good on the court, but finally, even with bad sensation, I reached the semi final last week, and here I win the first match and you don't know if I can go -- if I can win more match.
So what I did the best was to win when I'm playing bad.

Q. Was it mental or what was it?
GILLES SIMON: Yes, I think. Because when you are playing a match like this, it's really not easy. The guy has a strange ranking, 400, with his game, it's just unbelievable.
But you know that you are playing against the wildcard, and you are losing; so you have to -- you just have to fight, but it's hard to say, come on, this year, I am the top ten and I play a guy 400-and-I-don't-know, and I have to give everything to win, because if I may not giving everything, I will lose. So it's not really easy when you are on the court.
Finally, that's what I did well last year and this year, too. It was the same in the first one in Marseilles against Dimitrov. Just to accept that there is no easy match, never, never. And every match can be really hard to win, even if you don't expect that.

Q. So was that something from growing older, or was it some psychology which you learnt deliberately?
GILLES SIMON: Yeah, that's what I learned, because when I was younger, I lost too many matches because I had the impression that I didn't have to lose this one; I was playing a guy with a different ranking, I know that it was better than him, and finally, on the match, I was losing and I was just too nervous because I didn't accept to lose against someone.
And finally, I had to change this. Because I just saw that when I'm defeating a better guy than me, I know that I can do it, so I know that I can lose against a different player.

Q. Do you have to work at getting that Tudor does it just happen without you realizing?
GILLES SIMON: No, you have to work it I think. You have to work because --

Q. How do you see the French tennis for the game nowadays?
GILLES SIMON: It's good. I mean, we are playing good. Some guys are playing very good, actually. And we have an important match next week for the Davis Cup, and I hope that all of the confidence we have will just allow us to go further in the Davis Cup to go through this match, because it won't be easy. Stefanik is playing very good at the moment, also.
And I think what is nice for us is to be all together, playing the Davis Cup, and maybe to have a chance to win. So we have to take match after match, but we are pretty happy to play together.

End of FastScripts

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