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MONTE-CARLO ROLEX MASTERS


April 19, 2012


Gilles Simon


MONTE CARLO, MONACO

G. SIMON/J. Tipsarevic
6‑0, 4‑6, 6‑1


THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions in French for Gilles.テつ I.

Q.テつ It was a tactical and physical match.テつ Did you like that match?
GILLES SIMON:テつ I believe it was more physical than tactical.テつ I liked the conditions.テつ They were heavy and slow.テつ I hadn't anticipated that he would play the way he did, playing long rallies, being patient.テつ In fact, it suited me.テつ I like playing like that.
But it was a tough match. テつIt's easy to get to the ball.テつ You don't miss.テつ Whatever you do, the ball stays in the court.テつ So it's difficult to win a point.

Q.テつ It was 6‑Love and 6‑1, but in between there was that second set.テつ What happened?
GILLES SIMON:テつ Well, after 6‑Love, 1‑Love, he served with new balls and he took more risks with his serve.テつ He made three aces in one game.テつ I was able to come back in the third set ‑ also with new balls.テつ I tried to have him play my game with long rallies.

Q.テつ Did it help knowing you could stay on the court longer than he could?
GILLES SIMON:テつ Yes.テつ He was annoyed after the first set.テつ He had many reasons to be because we had very long rallies, very tight games, and the score was 6‑Love.テつ I understand he was frustrated.
But I know if he plays that type of game, I am better than him.

Q.テつ Physically you seemed to play relaxed and freely.テつ Can we say your back problems are over?
GILLES SIMON:テつ The problem is never over.テつ For the time being, everything is fine.テつ I'm taking advantage of it.
As I always said, if I'm able to play several tournaments in a row and practice without having a pain in my back, then I immediately feel my game is improving.テつ I serve better, and my shots are better.テつ But I need to be able to practice the week before I get to a tournament, et cetera.
My last losses against Isner in Indian Wells and here in Davis Cup were losses where I had no excuses, apart from feeling the pain in my back.テつ If I'm playing and I can't even turn my head around, there's nothing I can draw from the match.

Q.テつ You seemed to have struck the right balance between aggressiveness and playing defensively during that match.
GILLES SIMON:テつ Yes, I did.テつ I played well.テつ We had long rallies.テつ When this is the case, I feel I can relax.テつ I know he's not going to out‑run me, so I'm not panicking, and this is when I play best.

Q.テつ The next match will be against Tsonga.テつ You beat him in Rome the last time you played.
GILLES SIMON:テつ Rome was tough.テつ He saved three match points.テつ He said one, but I think he forgot the other two.
It was a good match.テつ I was able to be ahead in the score all the time.テつ So, again, I expect a tough match against Jo because he plays very well on clay, despite what he always says.
In Davis Cup we practiced a lot together, and I know his game can be extremely bothersome on clay, like on any other surface, for that matter.テつ I will have to hang in there, show him I'm always there, and that he can't have a letdown at any moment because then I will be back.

Q.テつ There were two serious injuries here.テつ Is there a problem with the courts?
GILLES SIMON:テつ Well, I believe the center court is better than the other courts.テつ I don't remember any problem on that one.テつ However, I played on No.9 or No.11, I don't remember which, and there there was a problem.テつ Maybe it was just bad luck.テつ Sometimes there are those catastrophic tournaments, like in the US Open one year.
I heard there were problems because of the frost here this year.テつ I believe it's a bit early in the year to play here because when it rains it starts getting cold.テつ But we did play with wonderful weather in the Davis Cup here, so it's just bad luck.

Q.テつ There will be two French players in the quarterfinals here.テつ This is rare, isn't it?テつ Is it because you were here for the Davis Cup; it felt like home?
GILLES SIMON:テつ Davis Cup helped.テつ Davis Cup helped me, but also the fact that I played on clay in February.テつ So when I came back to this surface, I was able to move very well from the start.
Another reason that we have two French players in the quarterfinals is that one of the four is missing.テつ Usually you have to beat one of those four to get to the quarterfinals.テつ So it was a bit easier this year.
But I would have preferred to play someone else.

Q.テつ This means there will be at least one French player in the semifinal.
GILLES SIMON:テつ Yes, and also I think I prefer to play Jo than one of the other three.テつ But everything is relative.

Q.テつ Would you rate Jo on clay at the same level as Soderling, Berdych, those types of players?
GILLES SIMON:テつ I believe so.テつ It's just that he plays less on clay.テつ He only plays the clay court season, which is six weeks.テつ It is easy to have bad luck in one match or something.テつ But if he played more clay court tournaments, I'm sure he would be able to win one.テつ I prefer to play him here than in the French Open.テつ I also prefer to play Isner here than in the U.S., and still I lost that match here.
Tsonga can play very well on clay.テつ He beat Monaco on clay at the French Open in very fair conditions.

Q.テつ Did you practice a lot together during the Davis Cup?
GILLES SIMON:テつ Well, we played five games, or maybe even a set.テつ I can't remember.テつ I think he won.テつ But I had arrived Monday, and this was Tuesday.

Q.テつ Jo and you have had a record in this region.テつ In 2004 you won the doubles in Grasse.
GILLES SIMON:テつ Well, if I want to win the doubles, it has to be with Jo.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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