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post #61 of 912 (permalink) Old 08-12-2008, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Articles & interviews

Here are screenshots of the TM interview, but I don't know if it's readable:
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post #62 of 912 (permalink) Old 08-16-2008, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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You’re getting ready to play the Olympic Games for the first time. But let’s begin with your recent achievements: your title in Indianapolis, and your win over the world number 1 Roger Federer in Toronto…
These two weeks have been quite unforgettable. I am obviously happy to have gotten such results in both tournaments. I wasn’t playing very well when I arrived in Indianapolis. But I wasn’t putting too much pressure on myself. I won the first matches just by hanging on there, not playing incredible tennis. Then, little by little, my shots came back and with the confidence, it made a nice mixture.

You had been verging on something big for a while, did you have a feeling it was going to happen now?
I’ve been having a good feeling for a little while, yes. But one has to materialize it. Why here and now? I don’t know if it’s a coincidence. My progress has always been consistent. It is a new step in my development, in my game. It also opens up new perspectives. It’s interesting. It shows that my limits might be higher.

What means the most to you: to win a 4th title or to beat the world number 1?
(He thinks about it.) I'll say the win over Federer, but in that particular context. Because I had just won a tournament: when I arrived in Toronto, I was able to get back into the swing of things immediately because I had the opportunity to play Federer. And because I reached the semi-finals in Toronto: if I had lost straight after to Acasuso, it wouldn't have been the same. I beat Acasuso, Cilic and I played a good semi despite the loss to Kiefer. For all these reasons, I will retain Toronto more than Indianapolis. In spite of the disappointment, I’ve discovered new qualities in myself, the ability to string together matches, to push my limits. And above all, I’ve experienced so many completely new feelings. I'm getting used to play big matches, big tournaments. But I had unknown and really unforgettable emotions. It will always be a highlight of my career.

We were talking about the Olympic Games: what does that mean to you?
First and foremost, it’s a great experience. We can’t tell exactly what it is worth in our sport compared to a Slam. The best players haven’t always been keen on playing at the Olympics. But the event is gaining in importance in my opinion because it is now an important goal for Federer and Nadal, precisely. For me, there’s something mythical about the Games, but not so much in tennis until now. The Slams still seem more important to me. On the other hand, I didn’t want to miss it. It was one of my goals. I wanted to take part in it. I think it’s a special event and being able to experience it from the inside might be quite incredible. I really wanted to join the party.

Let’s look back at your path. You were born in Nice, but your family moved to the suburbs of Paris when you were still very young…
Yes, my father moved to Fontenay-sous-Bois because of his job. He was in finance, he was reinsurer. My mother is a doctor, she works in Paris. I grew up near Paris. But I still have a strong attachment to Nice, my whole family lives there, my cousins, my aunts, my uncles and my grandparents… One of my grandparents lives in the Old Nice, the other one on the “Promenade des Anglais”. Now that I’m playing at a pro level, I don’t go back there very often anymore, but when I was a kid, I spent all my holidays in Nice. I have a lot of memories there.

So you started playing tennis in Fontenay-sous-Bois?
Yes, I was a member of the US Fontenay until I was ranked –30. I trained there until the age of 14. Then I entered the federal system. My first professional coach in Fontenay was a woman, Céline Duvérée. She was “B.E.3”, which is quite uncommon.

Did your parents want you to play tennis?
Yes. They played tennis, but they were not very good. I had no tennis coach in the family, nobody in contact with the tennis world. I have a brother who is two years older than me, but he hates tennis! He's more into golf.

What strikes us when we follow your progress at that time is that you’ve never been among the best of the 1984 generation…
I’ve always been in the top 10, but hardly ever in the top 3, except when I was picked for the Winter Cup just before entering the federal sports school. Not many players born in 1984 are still playing now. I was with Clément Morel, Marc Auradou... We were quite a lot, but none of us really was standing out. There were like 10 boys ranked 15/4, 10 ranked 15/2, 8 ranked 5/6… I often was in the group with the best ranking, but rather at the back of the pack. I got a few good results, though, I was quarter-finalist at the Petits As and in Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois. Things became tougher when I was 14-18 years old, in the sports school. I regressed a little bit. It’s the time when my small build became a problem. The others were growing, I was still small. I was ranked –15 at the age of 18, which isn’t so great. The best Juniors often are “1st serie” already.

However, your progress has always been steady…
Yes, I’ve always improved in the rankings. It’s the first time this year I stepped back a little bit at one time in the French rankings, even though my ATP ranking was still improving.

You’ve passed the “baccalauréat S”*, which is not very common…
Yes, I took the exam when I was at the INSEP. It's never easy. But we were getting along very well with Clément Morel and we helped each other during the last two years of the secondary school.
(* “baccalauréat” is the French school leaving certificate, S means sciences. It is not so usual for tennis pros indeed, Gasquet, Tsonga, Monfils… don’t have it. Not sure about PHM?)

Did your parents want you to have the “bac”?
Yes. I wasn't too keen on studying, but I was lucky to have aptitudes. It's a sort of tradition in the family. My brother passed the “bac S” with distinction and is an engineer now . My mother studied medicine and my father has a Masters in maths. The only thing imposed to me was to pass at least the “baccalauréat”. Until the age of 14 I was a in a very strict private school, I was training two hours a day, I had homework every night. It was a nightmare.

Have your parents ever talked you out of becoming a pro?
No, on the contrary. As soon as I showed some abilities for tennis, they wanted me to see it through to the end and have success. They were supporting me. They just wanted me to do what they considered to be the minimum at school.

Have you always been confident?
I am now. I wasn't always at the time, when I was 16-18 years old and started to regress, when I was seeing Jo (Tsonga) who was 1,80 m and hitting big serves at 200 km/h I couldn't even return. I was having doubts. I was not among the best of my generation in France, so imagine at international level... I also had to prepare the “baccalauréat”. I was having doubts during a few years. I gave myself two years and when I finally started growing, I improved very fast.

You still have quite a modest build. One of your models is Chang, is that true?
Yes, I loved him! He was short, clever, but he was successful and it fitted my style of play as a teenager. My size has been a big handicap during these years, but it finally turned into an advantage because it develops the sense for the game. When you’re tall, you work on your serve, not on your sense of the game. I was forced to think to win and it helped me. I’m still not on the large side, but I’m 1,80 m and I’m now developing this game forwards I couldn’t develop when I was too short: rely on a good first serve, finish off points, volley. It helped me a lot to be a fighter and now that I’m having the required physical assets, I’m trying to fill the gaps to be able to reach the top. I was still playing far behind my baseline two years ago. I have to develop a different style of game now.

Let’s say a less defensive style…
Exactly. I will always have my vision of the game and my court coverage. But I need to develop other things to be a better player, that is a better serve and faster, more powerful groundstrokes. All this with the idea of reaching my maximum potential. I don’t know yet what my maximum potential is, but it’s my goal in tennis; to get as close as possible to my maximum level and to be able to say one day: ‘there, that’s as far as I can go’.

Last edited by Truc; 08-20-2008 at 12:59 PM.
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post #63 of 912 (permalink) Old 08-16-2008, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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You mentioned your first trainer Cťline Duvťrťe. Have other coaches played a big part in your career?
All my coaches have been important. It’s not easy to mention one more than another one, it’s difficult to assess their respective importance. Cťline sure shaped my game for a big part because she coached me during 6 years at a time I worked a lot on my technique. I was lucky to always feel well with my coaches. There was Dominique Poey who had a big role in Poitiers. Even though I stayed one year only, he was the first one to trust me, to say I had a lot of potential. He fought to make me enter the INSEP although I didn’t completely meet the requirements. Same for Luigi Borfiga. I was far from the best of my generation and he also insisted to keep me in the federal system. Then Alois Beust in Roland-Garros, that’s the time when I improved the most. I was 19 years old and made a jump of about 1000 spots in the ATP rankings in one year (2003-2004). Unfortunately, he had to leave and became a coach at the INSEP. Then I worked two years with JťrŰme Potier who brought me into the top 50. And now everything is great too with Thierry Tulasne.

Something surprising happened with Thierry: you won your first ATP tournament one week after the start of your collaboration at the beginning of 2007. With the benefit of hindsight, would you say it was a coincidence or did it trigger off something?
I was playing well, but I was having big confidence issues. I went through a period when I didn’t win a lot of matches. So I had to change something. Credit is due to both: Thierry and also JťrŰme Potier and Rodolphe Gilbert, my two former coaches. Thierry didn’t teach me new shots in one week. But he managed to make me feel confident. Once I had my confidence, everything else followed!

How is your relationship?
I’m not a very annoying player, I don’t need to discuss for hours, I don’t question everything after a defeat. He knows when I feel like talking and when I feel like being alone. So in that sense we have a very good relationship. He has a real talent for making me feel confident, that’s the reason why I asked to work with him - or to come back to him because he had already taken care of me a little bit at a time when I was working with JťrŰme Potier. He has very positive words and I thought that it might do me good. It seemed important to me when I decided to part ways with JťrŰme who had brought so much to my game, but the relationship with him was tougher. I had a feeling that I was playing very well, but not always entering the tournaments in the best conditions.

You have the reputation of not being very fond of work. Is that true and if it’s true, have you changed?
It was true, but I wasn’t doing ‘nothing’ either! I was much more interested by the matches than by the training, so I was playing a lot of matches, with a different intensity than in training. I wanted to play points. It was impossible for me to practise ‘scales’ with targets for half an hour. I loved competition and people often said about me: “he’s a fighter, too bad he doesn’t train more”. But I was improving a lot by playing so many matches. It harmed me at a time, when I was 16-18 years old and we had to train 4 hours a day. It was tough, but that’s over now. Nobody can say anymore that I’m a dilettante in training. We all know the first impression matters and it was not easy to get rid of that ‘label’ which had been stuck on me. But I'm now working as much as any other player in terms of quantity and intensity, that's absolutely certain.

People also say you don't work a lot on your condition and you don't do anything in that regard during tournaments?
It's true I don't like to work on my physique during tournaments. But it doesn't in any way detract from my ability to practice and from the amount of work I've accomplished so far. I think I have gone jogging much more than most players on the tour. I’ve been jogging since I was very young, I even did cross-country running and I think I'm quite tough to beat at running. That's also the reason why I have a lot of stamina on the court. During my time at the INSEP we put a lot of emphasis on the condition with Nicolas Perrotte. I did an enormous amount of work. But it's true I don't like doing this during tournaments! It seems to harm my tennis. It's a choice, maybe I'm right, maybe I'm wrong, but I’ve learnt a lot about myself and my tennis and I think that the best thing for me is to relax during tournaments and to work as much as possible the rest of the time, especially during the winter break.

It looks like you could gain more muscles...
I did a lot of muscle-development exercises for the upper body, very few for the lower body because I had knee issues at the time when I was supposed to do it, that is during my years at the INSEP. I'm rather strong and powerful in the top part of the body, looks can be decieving. But it's true that I have deficiencies in the lower part of the body and it shows in my game. I'm trying to make up for it now.

All physical criteria taken into account, do you think you're a physically strong player?
I think I'm quite strong. It seems to me I very rarely lose because I'm tired. On the contrary, I think I win a lot more matches that way than I lose matches!

To be continued, it's just the first part (I think the second part was more interesting). Thanks to Tutu for the help!

Last edited by Truc; 08-17-2008 at 06:14 AM.
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post #64 of 912 (permalink) Old 08-16-2008, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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Since my screeshots of the French interview are difficult to read, you can find the whole interview here too:
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post #65 of 912 (permalink) Old 08-16-2008, 06:15 PM
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Fran you may be the web editor of the official gillu site

you deserve it!

why don't you try?
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post #66 of 912 (permalink) Old 08-17-2008, 06:10 AM Thread Starter
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Because I'd be totally incapable of running a website, to begin with!

People also regularly say that you have an unusual game. Do you agree with that and if so, what is the reason?
If everybody agrees on this, there must be some truth about it (he smiles)… But my game was much more unusual when people saw me play for the first time a few years ago. I think I’m playing much better tennis now! I’m relying more on my strength than on the weakness of my opponents. I used to compose every match depending on the opponent, I was clinging to any chance I got on the court. Now I’m trying to impose my game and I only change my tactics when they're not working. I’m now strong enough, in my opinion, to win most of my matches without having to "tamper" with my game (he smiles)….

So that “tampering”, like you say, gave you the reputation of an unusual player?
Yes, exactly. When I decide to go for a shot, it can be very, very fast. But I sometimes play shots which are slower than those of club players! (he smiles) I remember a victory which was very important for me against Tomas Berdych at the Australian Open in 2006. I drove him round the bend playing shots at 2 km/h and much faster ones alternately. Everybody was having a good laugh. But I played like that because I had no other option at the time. I had zero chance against Berdych playing at a normal pace from the baseline. If I play him again today, it won’t be the same. I will try to win playing my game.

The other thing which reinforces this “atypical” feeling is that sometimes you look like you’re just walking on the court.
It’s funny because people have been saying that since I’m a little kid! But people also say it’s very hard to hit a winner against me on the court. Both things contradict each other, don’t they? (He smiles.) I don’t know why people have that impression, but it’s not intentional. It’s true I’ve sometimes tried to unsettle the opponent on the court, but as far as the footwork is concerned, I always feel at top speed!

You have established yourself as one of the best French tennis players for one year and a half now, you’re the current French number 2 and the only French player with 4 titles in that timeframe. But you’ve always remained a little bit in the background. It might change now…
Mediatization is a strange thing which mostly stems from results in junior events. That’s the first point. The other possibility is doing something big in a major tournament or in the Davis Cup. That’s what I managed to do for the first time and my results were covered by the media in France; it came very naturally. Now, the media exposure is not the reason why I’m playing, even if it’s been a bit frustrating sometimes, I admit it. Trying to explain that I was better-ranked than Gaël Monfils, for example, was a waste of time at some point…

You seemed affected last year by the fact that you were not picked for the Davis Cup. Has it bothered you sometimes?
Yes, that’s true. I was frustrated, especially for the match against Russia last year. I wasn’t on the team despite being the French number 2 in the Race and ATP rankings. But I’ve moved on a little bit in that regard too. I know better how things work. We talked with Guy Forget and I understand his point of view better now. He gave me two or three reasons why he thought it was a bit too early for me to debut in the Davis Cup. I won’t repeat his reasons, it would be a tad awkward to talk about them. But I understand him much better now than I did at the time. Of course, I’ll do everything to be on the team. But if I’m not, I know there isn’t any problem. He trusts me. At one time, I was afraid he didn’t and I would never be on the team.

Can you tell us more about your first Davis Cup experience in Romania?
Frankly, it was awesome. It was the first selection for me and also for Jo-Wilfried. We’ve been together since our time in Poitiers and it was great for us both to suddenly be in the Davis Cup a few years later. It really was a great experience which gave me the opportunity to see how it works, to meet all the staff, to discuss things with everybody. I’ve completely subscribed to the spirit in the group. And I hope to be part of it again as soon as possible.

And what about the hazing of the new teammates?
That was Mika’s job (Llodra). He turned everything upside down in our rooms, the sofa, the bed was in the bathroom, our stuff was all over the place. It took us some time to tidy up, but it was soft!

In more private matters, you’ve been in a long-term relationship with Carine.
Carine has a very important role, like all the people around me, that’s true. She has structured my life a little bit. Since I’m very stay-at-home, I used to spend the whole weekend at home before I met her, not doing anything except watching TV. She prevents me from settling into a sort of routine. I admit it, I’m a lazybone, I love doing nothing. I feel like I’m making such a great effort on the court that when I come back home… I don’t feel like moving at all anymore! (He laughs.) Doing nothing has never been a problem for me!

Carine says about you that you’re very easy-going, very "cool". You’re never stressed before a match?
No, never. Or very rarely. It’s not a good sign when I start thinking hard before a match! Of course, there is always a bit more tension when you play on a big court, against a big player, before a big crowd. But the stronger I feel, the less pressure I feel. Because I’m more confident in my game level now and I believe in my chances to win even if I’m having a bad day. I used to think before certain matches that, unless I was having a very, very good day, I was going to get a beatdown. It puts one under pressure, you know.

If you’re ‘stay-at-home’, don’t you have a problem with the life on the tour and all the travelling?
No, because it counterbalances each other. I have my life on the tour and my other life the rest of the time.

And are there French players you feel closer to on the tour?
I feel closer to the players of my generation, naturally enough. The players I get along with the best are Jo and Gaël. We've been together at the INSEP, the CNE... And we've played video games together for hours all these years! It creates bonds of friendship, that's normal.

Proofreading: Zahirah ("jitterbug") this time, thanks a lot!

Last edited by Truc; 08-20-2008 at 09:57 AM.
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post #67 of 912 (permalink) Old 08-17-2008, 07:30 AM
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No worries, you were the one who did all the hard work!

novakdjokovic marioancic andymurray ernestsgulbis richardgasquet stanislaswawrinka

The importance of being Ernests Riga Mortis

Ernests Gulbis on seeing HEAD racquets being made by hand:
I felt so bad. I didnít break a racquet for like one month. They are putting so much effort to make the racquets and an idiot like me goes and breaks them
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post #68 of 912 (permalink) Old 08-20-2008, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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And the last part, but it's not very interesting - thanks to Zahirah again for her help:

Letís come back to your career. Out of all the happy times youíve had, which are the other ones you remember in particular?
My first title in Marseille. I've had other great moments of course, like the 3rd round in Australia in 2006, but it felt more like part of a progress. Marseille triggered something off. Winning my first title, in France, beating players like Hewitt, BjŲrkman, SŲderling or Baghdatis, without losing a set, made me aware that maybe I wasnít that limited. So for now, thatís the title I will remember. Because it was the first one, because itís been the most beautiful one so far, and because it was an incredible week.

Something is still lacking in your career, though: youíve never made it past the 3rd round of a Slam. How do you explain it?

It used to be just a matter of level and ranking. But things have been different lately. If you take a look at my last defeats in Grand Slams, youíll see that I only lost to very strong players. This year, it was Gasquet in the 3rd round of Wimbledon, Stepanek in the 1st round of Roland-Garros, Nadal in the 3rd round in Australia. Nothing to be ashamed of. Iíve played up to (the level of) my rank in Slams for a while now, I just havenít achieved the little feat which will bring me further. Itís the first season that Iím seeded in Slams, but always between 24 and 32, which means that I play top 8 players in the 3rd round. They are the toughest ones to beat, even though I was not far against Richard in Wimbledon. The time will come when my draw will open up, especially now.

People used to say that you might have a little mental block, especially in Roland-Garros. It isnít true anymore?
Iím feeling much better. This year I was unlucky to play an excellent Stepanek. Too bad for me, because I think clay is my best surface. At least thatís the surface where I feel the best. Itís harder to hit a winner against me on clay. I can play pretty far behind my baseline, which I like, I have enough time to settle into my game and my ability to speed up the ball still allows me to hit winners, which many players canít. So Iím quite confident, all the more since Iím feeling well from the baseline against most players.

You play a lot from the baseline indeed, and you often play very long matches too. Donít you think itís a disadvantage in Slams, when you have to play several matches in 5 sets?
Yes, it used to be a disadvantage. I realized that last year, when I lost matches because my strength started to fail me after the first rounds, like in Wimbledon where I beat Cilic in five sets before losing to Youzhny in five sets. My goal at the end of last year was, therefore, to go forward more. Iím better at it this year. When I lost against Nadal in the 3rd round in Australia and against Gasquet in the 3rd round in Wimbledon, I wasnít feeling tired. So I have to keep going.

Did you watch the Wimbledon final between Federer and Nadal?
I watched the 3rd and the 4th sets, I couldnít watch the last one. Nadal was much better, from what Iíve seen. But I found interesting that even Nadal, when he had to close it out, failed. As we said with Thierry, heís been ďa nice palĒ and returned the favour, for a change. Itís always the opposite with him, he always is the one who turns things around. We saw him in a different light this time. Winning Wimbledon was extremely important for him. He felt he had the title in the bag and from then on, he got tight. If they had played in Roland-Garros, it would have been over in 3 little sets, the way they were playing. But the outstanding thing is to be able to win the match in the end, while many players would have had a tough 5th setÖ

Federer, Nadal and Djokovic all are eager to play a role in the players council. Would you like to have a say in this kind of governing bodies too?

Why not? When things are not working, it has to be said. I did, when the Round Robin system was launched, for example. I made no bones about saying it was a big mistake. Concerning the schedule, itís been like that for a while and I, for one, am used to it. To be honest, I donít mind it that much. Itís going to be hard with the Olympic Games, thatís true. Going to China after Toronto and Cincinnati and then back to the US, itís gonna be tough! Nevertheless: they complain itís too tightly packed, too long, but on the other hand, I have the impression that the reason why theyíre better than the others is their ability to stay the course better. Itís somewhat illogical. Personally, as things stand at present, I donít really feel like changing anything.

The other big affair in the news is the betting scandal, of course. What do you mean, is it exaggerated?
Not particularly, but it makes me smile to see people panic because of a problem which has been going on for years. When Arnaud Clťment made disclosures about his personal experience, for example, he was told he had to appear for a hearing as soon as possible because of the story. His reaction, and I can understand him, was to say: ďWait, youíre telling me that now, but when I talked about it at the time, more than a year and a half ago, nobody cared!Ē Since somebody has outed the problem, it has reached considerable proportions.

And have you ever been approached?
No, never. Nothing. I think itís not very widespread. But the problem is that huge amounts of money are involved. Last year in Bercy we were told that there were up to seven million euros laid on one single match. Seven million on one match! Itís completely crazy! All we players ask is to be left in peace. If a guy enters a tournament venue and proposes this kind of ďarrangementsĒ, he must be banned for life indeed. And make sure we will never see him again. In France, weíre well protected, but we donít know exactly what is happening in countries like Russia. If a guy comes to me and asks me to ďfixĒ a match, I will refuse. But how to be sure he wonít be behind me again at the airport? Players should never be put in that position. Because they can be tempted to give in and once one is caught up in the system, itís hard to come out of it. It is necessary to pull out all the stops to eradicate the problem and thatís what is being done. I think the governing bodies really are fighting against the problem.

On a more cheerful note, what can we wish you for the rest of the year?

To win the Olympic Games, the US Open and the Masters! No, my goal for this season was to get close to the top 15. Iím there now and if you look at my recent results, I have reasons to try to reach the top 10 and, why not, to stay there.
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post #69 of 912 (permalink) Old 08-20-2008, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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You can find his reaction to the RR system here, for example:
Gilles Simon's Chat Thread #1
He made it quite clear he didn't like it indeed.
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post #70 of 912 (permalink) Old 08-20-2008, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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And I just made a real translation of the first part of the interview, I edited the first post. If a native speaker has some time on his/her hands, you can send me a revised version per PM and I'll edit my post.

You can check the ITF website for the international equivalents of the French ranking he's often talking about (15/4, -4/6, 1st série, etc. - the French system is quite complicated!):

I didn't translate the intro and the footnotes, but we already know everything, I think. His gf is a bit older than him (27). And his nickname is... Poussin.

Last edited by Truc; 08-20-2008 at 12:53 PM.
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post #71 of 912 (permalink) Old 08-21-2008, 02:56 PM
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hi guys!
my name is Yavor and i'm new here................

so thats my first post here and i'm very happy

i find this old article of Gilles in
Indian Wells and is a quite interesting i think..... so enjoy:

Interview from Indian Wells with Gilles Simon
3/18/08 11:18 AM | James Munoz
Even though Gilles Simon didn't win more than one match in the tournament he was kind enough be interviewed by our reporter.

I am with Gilles Simon who is ranked #33 in the world and from Nice, France.
Gilles, how do you like the tournament?
- I like it, I come here every year. Itís really nice here, itís a change from Europe. I am very happy to play this tournament.

How are the courts? Do they suit your game, are they too slow, too fast?
- Nah, I mean, its okay. I have time to make my game on these courts. So it should be okay. We never know before the match if we going to win or not. I mean its okay.

Do you feel you have had enough time to get used to the hot weather, the wind and surface conditions?
- Itís not easy but it was the same in Australian, just some months ago. I have a good sensation for the moment because I played all the tournaments in Australia in January. It is not so burning (hot) here, so it is nice.

What are your expectations for this year? Can we expect to see you climb a little higher in the rankings, for the 6th consecutive year in a row?
- Yeah, I hope. I hope actually, I finished the year 29th in the ATP rankings. I hope its going to be better next year. I try to improve my game. I am not too old so, I am just 23. So yes I hope I will improve my game, to be like maybe in the top 15 at the end of the year. Thatís my goal for this year.

Is there anything in particular in your game that you would like to improve in to help you reach your goal?
- Yes, my game to the net, because actually I play every time from the baseline and I try to be a little bit more aggressive. Because every time I play against a player, he can be the best player or not. Itís always long because when you play from the baseline, itís always a hard match. You have to run right, left, right, left every time, so when you play a match like 2 hours, 2 hours and thirty. You have to play one more match the day after. Itís very hard, so thatís why I mean I have to improve my game and be a little bit more aggressive so it will be shorter to help me go as far as possible in the tournament.

You also play a lot of doubles, although you are not entered in doubles in this event. You are one of the few top 30 players competing regularly in both singles and doubles.
- Yeah, I try to play because itís a good way to try and improve my game to the net to play the doubles. But here I am 33rd in the world and not seeded, because it is only the top 32 players so I have one more match to win and I cannot put all my force into doubles. I mean I must try to put all my focus on the singles this tournament. Itís going to be very hard with seven matches to reach the finals so I mean its enough.

What would you say are the best aspects to your game?
- Best aspects, I donít know

I think you have one of the best returns in the game, easily among the top ten returners in the game.
- I like to play this way, what I like to do is to run everywhere. To always be on the ball, to play very long points like 20 or 30 hits for each player. Those are the points I like to win, but afterwards you win you are so tired from a match like this. It gets harder and harder but thatís the way I am at my best in one match when I play like this. But now I must start to think like the rest of the tournament.

Tennis is obviously a very physical and demanding sport that can be draining, especially with your game. You are looking to shorten the points now, but how satisfied are you with your game and fitness at the moment. And where do you see yourself at the end of the year attacking the net more early in the points or when the opportunity arisesÖserve and volley?

- Yeah serve and volley (laughingly)Ösometimes. I try to improve my game, every part of my game. Maybe I am closer to the top of my game from the baseline so thatís why I am not improving that much from the baseline. To the net there is really hard work to do. So that is where I am improving my game there. Yeah I have good sensation, I feel good. I am never injured, I am in good shape. I hope to continue like this, I work very hard in November and December. I try to run everyday, I try to escalate every day, work on fitness. I am stretching every day so I hope itís going to be okay for the year.

This is an Olympic year, you have Davis Cup next month, the Grand Slams, do you have a primary goal? And we can expect to see you at the Olympics correct?
- Yeah, but itís very hard because itís only the 4 top players from France when we go to the Olympics. I am #4 in France and there is very good players just before and just after me. For the ranking it will be the ranking after Roland Garros for the Olympic Games. So thatís the first goal to be among the four best players to go to the Olympic Games. After the Davis Cup itís harder with Gasquet and Tsonga to play. Maybe if they are injured I am going to play and it would be a great pleasure for me to play for the French. My first goal is Roland Garros especially as a French player, its on clay, for me itís the surface I prefer.

Looking ahead to the American Davis Cup tie, how do you expect that to go?
- The match against the United States is going to be very hard. It is a really good team, Roddick, Blake and the Bryans. It will not be easy to win, but we have good players and we have nothing to lose in a match like this. I hope the players do their best and I hope we win for sure.

One thing thatís definitely looking up for our team is the success all the French doubles teams have had against the Bryan brothers this year. I think Llodra has beaten them with two different partners.
- Llodra is a very good player, in doubles definitely one of the best in the world. That is why we have a chance, in every match we will not be the favorite. But Gasquet can defeat Roddick, its going to be hard, but he can do it, the same with Blake. Llodra with Clement or with somebody else he can defeat the Bryans. If we play this match, 80% of the time we are going to lose, but there is a chance for us. Everyone can have success against the players so that is why we are confident.

You definitely should feel confident. Richard Gasquet has never lost to James Blake and both matches were on hard courts.
- Yes thatís right, I can tell you at the ranking you (the US) are the best for sure, but in tennis there is still a chance to win.

One final tidbit on Davis Cup, there are pictures floating around of Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfred Tsonga enjoying themselves at a nightclub in Romania. It seems they didnít invite the rest of the team, since you are slightly older shouldnít you have told them you get first dance with some of the ladies. It seems impolite to not include the rest of the team, no?
- Nah itís okay (laughing) because they are single and I have a girlfriend that I never go to a place like this without her.

There is an up and coming young woman from your hometown. Alize Cornet, it would be very nice if you played mixed doubles with her and bring a grand slam to your hometown.
- Yes, but I never play the mixed doubles, I would only play in Roland Garros. I donít know with who I am going to play at the moment. Maybe I am going to play with her (laughing) I mean it would be nice. It would be funny for some of the Nicoise people. I didnít think about it

I am glad I could surprise you with a question and I thank you so much for your time, Gilles Simon.
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post #72 of 912 (permalink) Old 08-21-2008, 03:40 PM
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I like his answer on the nightclub in Romania episode Thanks Yavor and welcome!

novakdjokovic marioancic andymurray ernestsgulbis richardgasquet stanislaswawrinka

The importance of being Ernests Riga Mortis

Ernests Gulbis on seeing HEAD racquets being made by hand:
I felt so bad. I didnít break a racquet for like one month. They are putting so much effort to make the racquets and an idiot like me goes and breaks them
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post #73 of 912 (permalink) Old 08-21-2008, 04:06 PM
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the nightclub story is my favorite to........
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post #74 of 912 (permalink) Old 08-21-2008, 05:31 PM
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this interview is from toronto after victory over Roger/ youtube /...................enjoy

Gilles Simon Interview - Toronto, July 23
Q. Do you think that you have what it takes to fill the void of Federer and win the tournament?
GILLES SIMON: I don't know. I just wanted to play my match. I'm so confident actually because I won the tournament last week, and I just wanted to not miss this match. I just wanted to fight and play a nice game and play a nice match.
That's what I did tonight, so I'm so proud of it.
Q. As the match went on, you seemed to be more and more confident going forehand to forehand with Federer. Was that part of the strategy coming in, or something as time went on you thought, This is where I need to attack?
GILLES SIMON: No. Actually, I was just too tired to think. I just saw the ball and I hit the ball. Federer played a nice game in the four first games with so many aces and so many winners on forehand.
And then I had to play my best tennis and I have to hit the ball as hard as him. When he's playing forehand on forehand, I mean, you don't have any choice to play cross because it's so hard. The ball is coming so fast and it's so hard to control the ball to play down of the line.
So I just played the ball like it comes.
Q. Was there a certain part of his game that you were able to take advantage of tonight? I just asked because I saw him use his dropshot backhand a lot and it seemed to give you not much problem.
GILLES SIMON: Yes, it is one of his best shot, the crosscourt shot in backhand. Every time he's playing a player with a two-hands backhand he's trying to play this shot.
But, I mean, I think it was playing too fast tonight to try some shots like this. I don't know. You have to ask him why he did this. But we saw him every time playing this kind of shot, so it was not a surprise.
Q. For so long he has been the dominate player in the sport except on clay. With some of the results he's had this year, are players like yourself starting to say, Maybe he's beatable on some of these surfaces for the first time in a while?
GILLES SIMON: I don't know. I mean, maybe some player are used to his game, but it was not my case because it was the first time I played against him. It's so impressive when you enter into the central court against Federer. It's, Come on. Where am I? I look, and, yeah, there is my parents, here my coach.
No, I don't know. I mean, I just -- for me it was the first time. I didn't know what to expect. I know he's playing so fast.
But like I say, I just wanted to play my game and to know what would be the result if I was just playing my game. I don't know if he played a great match tonight. You have to ask him.
Even if it was not a good match for him he's is hard to defeat. That's just unbelievable for me to win against him.
Q. And if you look at your career, I mean, is it too early to rank this as maybe the best win of your career? You have some titles under your belt.
GILLES SIMON: Yes, for sure this is my best victory. I don't think that you win so many times against the No. 1 in the world. Happen maybe, I don't know, in the career of a player maybe two, three times if you are lucky.
For sure this is my best victory even if he's not the No. 1 next week. But actually he's No. 1, so it's good for me.
Q. For a lot of players, the big battle against Federer is believing they can beat him in their heart. At what point tonight did you start to believe that you could win this match?
GILLES SIMON: In the second set when it was four games all, because I played a nice game to broke him when it was 3-2 with nice passing shots. But I was playing far from my baseline.
Then I was playing so slow and he came back 4-3, 4-All. Then the first point I play a shot really slow in the middle of the court and he played a winner, Love-15.
Then I start to think, I say, Come on, you have to play faster than that and hit the ball. You have to play as fast as possible, too.
I played a nice game to win this one, and that's why -- I mean, I played so nice tennis until the end.
Q. Were you surprised that he kept on attacking to your backhand, because you were hitting passing shot after passing shot and it seemed that he kept on making the same kind of tactical approach.
GILLES SIMON: Yes, because Roger always play forehand on forehand. So when he wants to come to the net he has to come down of the line, and then he's coming on the backhand.
He's a very good player when he's on the net. It's so hard to play some passing shots, because he seems to be everywhere. Fortunately for me he missed some forehand and I played some nice shots with my backhand. Maybe destabilize him a little bit.
Q. What did your parents say after the match?
GILLES SIMON: I don't know.
Q. Did you get a chance to call home or anything like that?
GILLES SIMON: Right now, no. I just wanted to come as soon as possible because I have to rest for tomorrow. I'm so tired. I play five match last week with four match in a row in three sets. Then I travel on Monday, played the match yesterday and then tonight, so I try to rest as soon as possible.
Q. How does it feel to you personally to have beaten Roger? What does it mean to you to beat a world No. 1?
GILLES SIMON: I mean, it's a nice sensation. Like I said, maybe I would not defeat him until the end of his career, so I just have to enjoy it.
What is hard in tennis is I can't just stay on this match because I have one more match tomorrow, and I have to think about it right now. I don't have to stop on this match.
It was the same for my victory in Indianapolis. I didn't have the time to enjoy it yet, but it's a good thing for me. If I lose this week, then I think I'll make a big party for all these reasons.
Q. In the third set, it was obvious that Roger was starting to get frustrated. We very rarely see that from him. How were you able to stay so focused and so calm throughout the third set?
GILLES SIMON: I mean, just because I was tired. Like I said, I didn't have the time to think. I played a nice set, even if he broke me twice in the set.
I remember the point. It was 3-All, 30-All, and we played an unbelievable point with, I don't know, maybe we hit the ball 15 times each and he finish with a passing shot.
But there was no frustration. I just kept playing like this. I was playing my best tennis. I had no reason to change. I tried to play this type of game until the end.
Finally I broke him twice in a row and I finished to win this match.
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post #75 of 912 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 01:01 PM
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This is an interview of Gilles after the match with Marin Cilic:


July 25, 2008

Q. Who's your conditioning coach, and are you paying him enough?
GILLES SIMON: It's Paul Quťtin. He works with the French Federation. Yeah, we did a great job. I always be a good runner, so...

Q. You've had to do a lot of running in the last two weeks.
GILLES SIMON: Yeah, but I run more the next few weeks again.

Q. He started out hitting some very big shots and was giving you some trouble. Seemed like at a certain point you started just keeping the ball in and letting him make mistakes. Was that part of what you were looking at?
GILLES SIMON: Yes, because Marin is a very good player. He has a huge serve and a good return. Then when you play fast he just play on the baseline. He's hitting the ball so hard also.
But when you play slowly we could say that he missed some easy shots because he just doesn't manage to finish the point himself. He need the speed of the opponent. That's why he had a very good start. He played three very nice game.
Then I just wanted, yeah, to put the ball inside on the backhand five, six, seven, ten times. But I didn't want to change that, because sometimes he's a little bit impatient and he's trying some shots he shouldn't try and giving some points.

Q. Is that part of what happens when you're a younger player in terms of impatience and in terms of not quite having your shots down?
GILLES SIMON: No. I don't think it's because he's young. I mean, maybe he can do something to change this. He will never have a big forehand like GonzŠlez or Andreev. He's going to keep the same forehand.
But maybe if he comes more often to the net, if he's coming - not every time - but, yes, one point he come and one point he stay, then for the opponent it's harder.
But he's just playing from the baseline and he never comes to the net. Even when you're far from the ball you just put the ball inside and you run, you run until he miss.

Q. I know you have you've been playing a lot of tennis over the past two weeks, but have you been able to sit and reflect about what's it's been like to be on the greatest run of your career?
GILLES SIMON: I mean, I didn't realize yet what is happening. I'm just so confident I want to win every match, even if I'm tired. I know I'm playing very good at the moment, so I want to try to win the more match I can to have the better ranking at the end of the week.
Because you know, when you play tennis, sometimes after you can be injured or something like this and the confidence just go away like this.
So I'm just trying to play with this and to win all the match I can.

Q. James Blake has just lost. You'll be playing Nicolas Kiefer. What do you know about him?
GILLES SIMON: Nicolas is a good player. Can be a surprise, but not a big surprise that he won today, because was maybe No.4 in the world. He was injured, but he played some good tournaments this year. He played semi in Hamburg, so it will a hard match like usual.
But, yeah, I just give -- I just hope that we are going to play a great match with a great fight. Even if I died on the court, yeah, I just give the maximum tomorrow.

Q. What does it say about the men's tour right now that in this tournament, which is a very tough field, that it's two unseeded players on one side of the semifinal?
GILLES SIMON: That mean that finally the level between all the player is very close. The last two years it was always Roger and Rafa. Last year is Djokovic, and every time the three same players in semifinal and final.
But this year it's starting to change a little bit. That mean that they are very good players still. Yeah, I mean, they're the champions. But if they are not playing their best tennis they can lose the match. That's only what I mean.

Q. Has the wind been much of a factor in the play the last two or three days or so?
GILLES SIMON: Yeah, I think.

Q. Has it affected the forehand or the backhand side more or the serves?
GILLES SIMON: I don't know. All the game. I mean, everything is better, so...
There is not one shot.

Q. I meant the wind.
GILLES SIMON: Yeah, yeah, I know.

Q. Just the same?
GILLES SIMON: No, just the same. I don't even feel the wind. Never. I know there is some but it's not too much, so doesn't affect my game for the moment.

Q. How tired are you right now, or how tired were you when you started the match? What kind of a night did you have last night?
GILLES SIMON: Right now it's difficult to walk. But like usual, with a good massage and some stretching and a good rest, tomorrow I'll be a new guy.

Q. When do you feel the fatigue? You seem to get on the court and you find another gear. When do you feel the fatigue: before and after or just after?
GILLES SIMON: Every time. I am playing with this every time. But like I said, when you are tired, that mean that you won some match. Or if you are tired at the first match, that's not good for you.
But if you win nine match in a row like this, even if you are tired you play with the confidence. The confidence is more important than to be exhausted at the end of the point.

Q. When is the last time you felt this tired, or have you ever felt this tired?
GILLES SIMON: Yeah, I remember, of course. The last time it was my first match in the Australian Open against Massu. I won 6-4 in the fifth. First time I play fifth set. Yeah, they have to carry me to the locker room. I couldn't walk.

Q. What do you do to rest? Watch TV, a movie, read a book, just go straight to sleep and wake up when you have to?
GILLES SIMON: Yeah, I try to sleep a little bit when I'm back at the hotel. Every time I'm playing first match, so I have to wake up early.
Then there is nothing to do. I mean, I finish the match, with the press, the massage, the stretching, everything. When I'm finally done with this it's already 8:00, so just have dinner.
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