The summary of the Valencia 2006 articles
("Simon is asserting himself"):
He's still ranked out of the top 80 and strung a couple of good wins together to reach his first ATP final (over Sanguinetti (52), Seppi (54) and Verdasco in the semi (34)).
He still means at that time that hardcourt is his best surface, but says he hasn't any mental block on clay either [now he says clay is his best surface in interviews].
He's a bit disappointed since he wanted to play Safin in the final [he often says in interviews Safin was his favourite player when he was young], but will play Almagro.
Against Verdasco, he took the advantage in the tiebreak by playing serve & volley out of the blue. Potier: "He's as sly as a fox! Now he just needs to add the power of the bison."
Of course, the journalist takes up again this fox & bison metapher to comment on his loss to Almagro in the final. Gilles describes it himself as a "slaughter". "At the beginning, I was just trying to play the ball back in order to find my marks. I should have realized sooner that it was no use to try to slow down the pace."