The English-speaking journalists are starting to appreciate him - for his Maurice Chevalier accent
and because he is always ready to comment on everything.
Did he finally run out of gas in the semi-final?
The journalist means he was collapsing on his legs during the rallies, Gilles answers he was still able to reach the dropshot at the end, so he wasn't 'dead'. But it certainly wasn't a good thing for him to have to play again a 3 hours match. He's the one who made it last so long, though, it was his tactics. Since it was not enough to get rid of Kiwi, he started to speed things up at the end of the match, but too late. Tulasne: "I have a little regret: he didn't use the 'plan B', ie. vary the pace." Gilles agrees: "I wasn't enterprising enough in the last 2 service games of Kiefer."
Going on with Cincinnati
"It's the first time I managed to play two good tournaments in a row. I hope it wasn't just luck". About the fact he plays Kiwi again: "The one who wants the most to win will win. We'll be in the same situation, bouncing back after a good tournament, except that I will have a dogged determination to win that one."
A new step in his career?
He stresses he isn't coming from nowhere and had already won 2 titles last year, even if most people are discovering him now. He had the reputation to do well in small tournaments only, but means he often lost to good players in Masters Series and in Grand Slams. He's learnt from Toronto that he is able to win matches even when he's tired. Tulasne: the main improvement was mental. He used to have lapses of concentration during a match. Now he plays every single point. And his opponents know it.
Can he dream of qualifying for the Masters?
Gilles: "Let's not get carried away." He's not far from the top 10 at the Race, but it's only July. Tulasne: "Of course he's thinking of the Masters. He doesn't make any statement about it to be sure people won't blame him for it if he doesn't make it. But we talk about it." (Why does Tulasne say that to journalists then??) "No pressure, though. He hopes to make it, but he won't be disappointed if he doesn't." One thing is sure: Simon is the French number 1 in the Race atm. Tulasne: "It's very motivating for him. There is a great competitive spirit between him and his friends Tsonga, Monfils and Gasquet."
When will he throw a big party to celebrate his great run?
"Not yet because I'm a pro. But as soon as I lose in Cincy, I'll go to the next McDo. They have a dessert I love there, I can eat 12 of them." First error of taste of the fortnight. (Indeed!)