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


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



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.


Jannik Sinner beats Norbert Gombos to set up second round clash against Danil Medvedev in Marseille



Last year’s Next Gen Finals champion and world number 68 Jannik Sinner beat Slovakia’s Norbert Gombos 6-4 7-6 (7-5) at the Open 13 Provence in Marseille.


Sinner went down 1-4 in the tie-break of the second set. The Italian player saved all six break points he faced and did not face any break points in the 2-hour and nine-minute match.

Last week Sinner scored his first top 10 win against David Goffin in Rotterdam to reach his maiden ATP 500 quarter final.

The first set went on serve until the 10th game, when Sinner earned three consecutive set points with a backhand lob and sealed the opening set 6-4 with a break at love.

Sinner saved a break point in the first game of the second set with an ace. He saved another break point with an ace. Gombos earned two two more break points, but Sinner saved them with a forehand and and an ace. Sinner saved two break points to force to set up a tie-break. Gombos went up a 4-1 lead in the tie-break, but Sinner came back by winning six of the next seven games to win the tie-break 7-5.

Sinner set up a second round match against 2019 US Open finalist Danil Medvedev, who reached the quarter finals on his tournament debut in 2017.

Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz cruised past France’s Antoine Hoang 6-4 6-1 in just 64 minutes. Hurkacz dropped just points on his first serve to set up a second round match against Canada’s Vasek Pospisil.

Continue Reading


Mikael Ymer overcomes Richard Gasquet to advance to the second round in Marseille



Swedish 21-year-old Next Gen player Mikael Ymer edged past Richard Gasquet 6-3 3-6 7-5 after 2 hours and 22 minutes to reach the second round at the Open 13 in Marseille.


Ymer fended off 7 of the 10  break points he faced and broke serve in the third match point in a marathon third game setting up a second round clash against Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Ymer raced out to a 4-0 lead with two consecutive breaks. Gasquet pulled back one break in the seventh game to close the gap to 2-5, but Ymer served out the first set in the ninth game with an ace.

Ymer saved three break points in the sixth game, but Gasquet earned the break on his third chance in the eighth game to win the second set 6-3.

Ymer got an early break in the second game of the third set to open up a 3-0 lead. Gasquet broke back in the ninth game and held serve to draw level to 5-5. Ymer converted his third break point at deuce to seal the third set 7-5 in the 12th game.

Benoit Paire beat Gregoire Barrere 6-4 7-6 (7-1) in the all-French match. Paire earned his only break of the match in the third game of the opening set. He saved two break points in the fourth game of the second set. Both players went on serve en route to the tie-break, where Paire cruised through to a 7-1 win.

Ilya Ivashka overcame Alexei Popyrin 6-1 3-6 6-4. Ivashka broke twice in the second and sixth games to win the first set 6-1. Popyrin earned one break in the fourth game to clinch the second set 6-3. Popyrin got an early break at deuce in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Ivashka broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Both players went on serve until the 10th game when Ivashka sealed the win with a break.

Continue Reading


Alexander Zverev Going In The Right Direction, Says Becker

The German tennis legend gives his verdict on Zverev’s current form following his grand slam breakthrough.



Former world No.1 Boris Becker believes Alexander Zverev’s recent run at the Australian Open was confirmation that he belongs at the top of men’s tennis.


Last month the 22-year-old achieved his best ever grand slam performance by reaching the semi-finals in Melbourne Park before losing to Dominic Thiem. At the tournament he scored wins over Andrey Rublev, who won two consecutive titles prior to the event, and former champion Stan Wawrinka. Zverev has been tipped as a future world No.1 in recent years and remains the only active player outside of the Big Four to have won three or more Masters trophies. Although he has previously struggled to shine in the biggest events of the sport.

“Alexander Zverev has made a great step forward with his first participation in a grand slam semi-final.” Becker told reporters in Berlin on Sunday. “Although he had difficult weeks before, for which there were reasons.”

At the start of the year it looked as if the world No.7 was in trouble. At the ATP Cup he lost all three of his matches played. A performance Becker blames on his off-season training. During November and December Zverev played a series of exhibition matches with Roger Federer across South America and China.

“He didn’t train enough during the winter break and came to Brisbane unprepared.” He said.
“We exchanged some serious words off the court and he took them to heart.’
“Of course I’m happy he had such success. This is also a confirmation for him that he belongs at the top of the world (in tennis).”
“But the competitors never sleep, that’s a never ending story. He has to confirm this again and again.”

So far in his career, Zverev has won 11 ATP titles and has been ranked as high as third in the world. His biggest triumph occurred towards the end of 2018 when he won the ATP Finals in London.

Reflecting on his Melbourne run last month, Zverev believes he managed to achieve the milestone thanks to a new approach he took to the event. Instead of looking at the whole tournament, he narrowed his focus to match-by-match.

“I went here in a different way. I went match by match. Didn’t look very far. I just knew I had opponents in front of me. I had to play well to beat them. That was it.” He said last month. “Whenever I won, I’d sit down in the locker room and somebody told me who I’m playing next.’
“I went step by step, match by match. Usually I [haven’t done] that in Grand Slams.”

Zverev will return to action next week at the Mexican Open in Acapulco. A tournament where he finished runner-up 12 months ago. Becker believes his compatriot could do some damage on the hard courts over the coming weeks with two prestigious North American events taking place next month in Indian Wells and Miami.

“The next tournaments are on hard courts in America. He will play there as well. There he can take a lot of points.” Becker concluded.

Continue Reading