Gilles Simon: “Three times I have lost in five‑set matches against three good players” - UBITENNIS
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Gilles Simon: “Three times I have lost in five‑set matches against three good players”

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TENNIS 2014 ROLAND GARROS – 30th of May 2014. M. Raonic d. G. Simon 4-6, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2, 7-5. An interview with Gilles Simon

 

Q. Good evening. After Wawrinka, Federer, Raonic in five sets, now are you cursed here on the courts?

GILLES SIMON: I love your questions so much. Are we talking about the five sets I won? No? Yeah?

I don’t think I have lost more matches in five sets than I have won here. But that’s true, three times I have lost in five set matches against three good players, Wawrinka, Federer, and Raonic.

So this is a bitter loss, a tough loss, a five set defeat. You know, it was easier to be defeated, what was it, in 2010 against Soderling in three sets? You know, it was the round of 16. He defeated me strongly. It’s easier to swallow.

But now, you know, I like this thing, you know, being cursed. A five setter match is a curse.

No, I have won several five set matches. I don’t feel I’m cursed here.

 

Q. Now, on this match this evening you’re bitter probably because during the five sets you came back at the last moment, and then you fell down again. This is when it really turned around.

GILLES SIMON: Well, yeah. For a five set match, you know, the lessons you remember are the games, the points at the end of the match. But maybe if there is something I did wrong it was not during the fifth set, it was before.

The fifth set was tougher for me because the more you play against these players and the less you play, the more you play badly; therefore the more difficult it is for you to give the good shots.

Therefore, when I had two positive dynamics in the match, then he came back into the match and it was silly of me.

The first time my serve game was not good; I broke back against him. I thought, It’s going to be okay, but then in the fourth I had just finished really well and then I was like a phantom. I gave him a break game.

Each time I couldn’t really bother him. He was having no doubts. During the fifth set I think he was taking control. He was playing a lot better. If I regret something, it’s not during the fifth set. If I have one regret, it’s to finish when it’s nighttime.

You won’t see anything. You always have this impression that it’s a bad thing, a bad moment. Should you stop the moment and it’s 5 5, during the fifth set? You don’t want to stop if it’s 5 All.

Or should I continue? I was thinking about this. We couldn’t see anything. It’s 9:30. You can’t play at 9:30 at night.

So that’s true. At the end of the match it was difficult. I don’t think though that this was the turnaround point. This is not when I made silly things today.

 

Q. There was a big match against Nadal in Rome; a big match again today. So are you very satisfied because you’re now back on the right tracks, or would you say you’re more frustrated today because you couldn’t open this door, which is only slightly open?

GILLES SIMON: No, I’m very disappointed. You know, and today I’d say this match has nothing to do with the match against Nadal. Sorry.

But today, well, you know, again, we’re not in tennistic geniuses. It’s two or three points. It’s either out or just in, in the corner, not enough rhythm, and you always have the impression that it’s    well, but it never reaches hilltops, if I can say.

It’s a different intensity, different atmosphere. And then the public was incredible, because there were moments when they feel it’s almost there. But then you feel it’s, you know, this thing, this moment.

And then when you play against Rafa it’s all the time, all the time. It’s each point. It’s, Wow. It’s going to be tense. That’s it.

Well, for me, on the court, and even though the atmosphere is incredible in terms of, you know, my pleasure, enjoying it, and so far from Rome.

Well, we know it, and that’s what’s good about this sport, that we have different profiles, we have different players to play against.

And therefore you have to use other skills and other qualities, as well. Today I’m a bit disappointed, because I thought I could have done better than that again.

I could have made this easier for me. But each time I was up, he managed to come back. During the second one, the fourth one, as well, immediately he didn’t have to think too much.

Therefore, at the end of the day, it wasn’t a good management of the match as far as I’m concerned from A to Z.

 

Q. Would you say that Milos has improved from the baseline? Would you say you felt this and that the other players feel this way as well?

GILLES SIMON: Personally, I don’t know anything about the other players. I can’t say anything about them or what they think. But for me, no, not really. Not frankly, no.

No. You know, well, he’s got his own game patterns. He knows what he wants to do. A few shots he does really well. You know, his strengths, his strength is that he brings you into his game pattern.

But then when he tries things, sometimes it’s so odd, so strange. You know, a dropshot that bounces into the net, that’s strange.

You know, well, again, you can’t ask a player like Milos, given his size, to have the touch, the timing of a smaller, a tinier player. That’s his strength. His strength is his serve. You know, 15 degrees and it’s always 220, 220 all the time. Five hours, 220 always. On you. Ceaselessly.

You know his strength, which is incredible, which is at the end of the day, with the tennis, which is so random sometimes, he has the strength in him to play the right shot at the right moment.

You know, most players you play against on the tour, they can win eight times out of ten. But Milos is the contrary. Look at his backhand. Not many good shots, and when it’s very important it’s a passing shot after running. Oh, shit, you know.

This is quite puzzling. You don’t know how to react, because this is what he does. It’s his habit. I look at the match in a more general way. I have the impression I have to win, you know, to have more points.

But he is seizing each opportunity at the moment. If there is a break point, he hits it and he wins it. And then afterwards, he can have ten points out. He doesn’t care, because he managed to do the break point at the right moment.

I’d like to have this strength. That’s his game style, and that’s why he’s very dangerous.

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Auger Aliassime overcomes slow start to beat Seppi in Washington

The Canadian looked down and out early in the match but bounced back to avenge a loss he suffered at the French Open in June.

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Second seed Felix Auger Aliassime survived a huge scare in his opening match at the Citi Open in Washington.

The Canadian was on the verge of being upset by the Italian Andreas Seppi but battled back to beat him 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 in one hour and 59 minutes. Blasting a total of 25 winners and nine aces in the win.

 

“In my mind, I wanted to find a way to come back. To get that early break in the second really helped me a lot and I think I served a little bit better and I put more volume and height on my shot,” said Auger-Aliassime. “I was more patient and in the first set I was missing too quickly in the rallies so digging deep physically and mentally allowed me to come back nicely in the match and to finish strong in the third set. I am happy with the way things turned around for me today”.

It was the world number 88 with the better start to the match and after both players held their opening service games he had two chances to get the early break and took a 2-1 lead. After consolidating the break, the Italian set up another breakpoint with a stunning forehand winner, broke again for a 4-1 lead, and served out the first set.

Auger-Aliassime was keen on getting back into the match and wanted to avoid a second straight upset loss to the Italian. After holding serve in the first game of the second set he had two chances to take an early lead and broke for the 2-0 lead with a forehand up the line of his very own on breakpoint. That was enough for him to serve out the second set and send the match into a decisive third set to decide the winner.

It was the Canadian who repeated what he did in the second set holding the opening service game and breaking Seppi’s serve with a sublime passing shot. The Italian responded the next game by breaking right back but failed to consolidate the break as the world number 15 broke again with his powerful backhand winner.

At 5-2, the Auger-Aliassime found himself at match point and it took him five attempts before being able to convert and seal the match. Avenging a loss he suffered at Roland Garros.

After the match in his post-match press conference, the Canadian was asked if he had the loss to Seppi at the French Open in the back of his mind during the match.

” In a way yes of course because we played once and he beat me and as a player, you never want to go down twice in a row against a player but it happens but in my case, I really wanted to find a way to win that match and get revenge just for myself to try and get the win”. he said.

Auger Aliassime will now face the winner of the second-round match between Jenson Brooksby or Frances Tiafoe in the third round.

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Vasek Pospisil survives scare at Citi Open

The Canadian battled back from a set down in what was a tricky opening encounter.

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Vasek Pospisil was pushed to limits by qualifier Emilio Gomez in his opening match at the Citi Open.

The Canadian required three sets to beat the Ecuadorian qualifier 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 after two hours and 11 minutes of play. He hit a total of 10 aces en route to the second round.

 

” It’s always good to get through a tough one and I felt dialed in during the second set,” said Pospisil. “I was a little bit distracted during the first set but I am glad to get match play and getting the win is important so I am happy I got it done”.

The first three games of the opener went on serve and at 2-1 the Canadian had three chances to take an early break but the world number 165 saved all three and held serve. At 3-3, Pospisil played a poor service game and Gomez took full advantage by breaking him at love. That one break of serve was enough for him to serve out the first set.

The Canadian was determined to stay alive in the second and broke the Ecuadorian early to take a 2-0 lead and managed to turn it into a double break for a commanding 4-0 lead. Gomez got one of the breaks back but it wasn’t enough as the world number 61 would serve out the second set to force a decider.

The third set started with three breaks of serve but it was the Canadian that was finally able to hold serve and consolidate a break. That break was enough for him to serve out the match and complete the comeback.

Pospisil will next face the young American Sebastien Korda in the third round who is the 12th seed this week in the American capital.

” It’s going to be a tough one because he is playing some great tennis this year and he is an up and comer and a great player,” he said of Korda. “I will have to play really well to win that one because he is a dangerous player so I will have to serve well and return well”.

Other results

It was a busy day one at the Citi Open being held at Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC with some thrilling matches. Kei Nishikori beat Sam Querrey in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 and Marcus Giron pulled a three-set comeback against Ilya Marchenko 4-6, 6-4, 7-6.

In the battle of the Belorussians, Ilya Ivashka beat Egor Gerasimov in straight sets 7-5, 6-4. Meanwhile, Jenson Brooksby avenged a loss to the South African Kevin Anderson by beating him in straight sets 7-5, 6-3.

Andreas Seppi needed three sets to dispatch Yasutka Uchiyama of Japan 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, Ricardas Berankis beat the American qualifier Mitchell Kreuger in straight sets 7-6, 6-2, and Daniel Elahi Galan beat another American Tommy Paul in straight sets 6-4, 6-3.

Finally, in the last match of the day an American favourite, Jack Sock advanced to round two after his Japanese opponent Yoshito Nishioka was forced to retire due to injury during their match.

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John Isner Wins 16th ATP Title In Atlanta

The 6ft 10 American got revenge on his American opponent for the loss he suffered last week in Los Cabos.

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John Isner has continued his love affair with the Atlanta Open by ousting Brandon Nakashima to win the tournament for a record sixth time.

 

The sixth seed beat the American teenager 7-6, 7-5 in one hour and 57 minutes. Firing a total of 21 aces and winning 81% of his first-serve points en route to the victory.

“I think if you count the last two weeks playing singles and doubles I played 12 matches in about 10 or 11 days so I have played a lot which is exactly what I need,” Isner said following his win. “Hopefully I can take this and go forward and build some momentum for tournaments ahead.’
This tournament has meant everything to my career it’s amazing”. He added.

The first set was extremely tight and neither player gave an inch in their respective service games. The opener was decided by a tiebreaker which Isner is accustomed to. Whilst the first set was tight, the tiebreaker was an even tighter affair Isner squeezing out a 10-8 win to take the first set 7-6.

Again the second set was competitive and again neither player got an edge on their return game. It was only at 5-4 that the Dallas, Texas native found himself at triple match point but the world number 115 saved all three.

Nakashima would save a fourth before holding serve and at 6-5, the world number 35 earned a fifth match point. That’s where he closed out the match and sealed the win and the title.

After the match, Isner was asked about his history of playing numerous tiebreakers throughout his career.

” I play a lot of those and it’s a situation I am comfortable in since I have been on tour forever,” he explained. “Honestly I think today (Sunday) I was just a little bit luckier and that’s what It really came down to. It’s amazing to be out here again playing on a Sunday and it was awesome”.

Isner confirmed that he will not be making the trip to Washington, DC for the Citi Open and instead he will take a week off after playing back-to-back tournaments in Los Cabos and Atlanta. He is next scheduled to be in Toronto for the National Bank Open.

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