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April 13, 2011

Gilles Simon


G. SIMON/A. Montanes
6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French, please.

Q. The end of the match was very tight. Were you relieved you pulled it out? It was a good fight.
GILLES SIMON: It's better that I was able to win in two sets because it was becoming very difficult in the end. He was playing better and better. He was hitting hard. I wasn't able to do that anymore.
It was a big struggle. I'm happy I didn't have to go to 5-All.

Q. What happened at 4-1, double break? Were you tense?
GILLES SIMON: I was not tense. On the contrary, I was too relaxed. After that big fight for the first set, I thought I would win. In the beginning of the second set, I was hitting hard. At 6-3, 4-1 I overdid it. I played a loose game. He came back to 4-2. I felt angry at myself. He was being more relaxed.
I missed some opportunities of going ahead 5-2. At 4-All, I was able to save some game points. After that, it was 50/50.

Q. How can you compare this match with the first one?
GILLES SIMON: I did more things. I felt better today than the first match. I am very sorry I played that loose game. Because of this, the end of the match was tough.

Q. What can you still improve in your game on clay?
GILLES SIMON: Well, I feel good. In the beginning of the second set, I felt fully confident. I was hitting the lines with my backhand, my forehand. However, at the end of the match, I wasn't making those points anymore. He was very consistent.
Winning in two sets showed I played very solid today.

Q. Your next opponent will not be a clay court specialist.
GILLES SIMON: Well, I've seen both of them beating clay court specialists many times. They are better players, better ranked than the players I've had to play until now. I know they have different styles, but playing them on clay is not going to be easy. They certainly don't play worse than my first two opponents.
Stepanek gave me a lesson that I remember. He also had major wins on clay. He was in the quarterfinals of the French Open.

Q. Are you happy your ranking has improved? You wanted to be top 20. I think it's almost done now with this victory.
GILLES SIMON: Yes, that is important because if you're better ranked, the draw becomes easier and opens up. If I had the same ranking as Gaël, with my two victories here I would be a lot further in the draw. So the ranking protects you and helps you to guarantee a better result in each tournament. This is the reason why I want to have a higher ranking.
However, in the end, you need to beat the best players at one stage or another. But it's easier to play them later in the tournament rather than in the first rounds. This will also be important for the French Open.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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