He was teasing Gaël a lot in training when Gaël was trying to slide on the Taraflex ("ah, it's not Acapulco here!") and is looking really cool and not stressed at all. Not his style to be inhibited because it is his DC debut. People say he's also having big discussions with Forget about the strategy in 5 sets matches. That's how he is, he won't change and his last joke (to be number 1 for his first nomination in DC) is more a problem for the others than for him. Number 1 or number 2, that's trivial for him in Davis Cup, there is no leader in the team and they don't need any either. Everybody has his own way to deal with the situation and they all lack experience in a way. "Nobody should be giving lessons to the others."
He stresses one has to leave his ego in the locker rooms in Davis Cup, which is quite unusual for him since he's very proud and self-centred, the journalist stresses that a lot. The 2001 final France-Australia is the perfect illustration of DC in his opinion. The Aussies had two of the best players in the world (Rafter and Hewitt), but committed the sin of pride against a team which was sticking together. Playing in a team requires a lot of honesty towards everybody. The rule is simple in DC: the best ones have to play. He's not the kind of guy who wants to play at all costs. Unlike Berdych and Stepanek, who have to play, they have the choice in the French team. "The one who has a good feeling should take responsibility and go out there. Otherwise, don't."
And his fans don't need to worry: Simon has a good feeling. He was grouching about his game lately, but the week of training has reassured him. "But I knew it. I just needed 3 or 4 days of training. I just needed to find the time to do it." Which was not possible as long as he was playing tournaments. "It was kind of a vicious circle."
Tough to play such a tricky away tie for his debut in DC, but he says he loves it when there is a special atmosphere. He makes again a comparison with football :-/ and says that a great atmosphere can save matches wich are very boring in other respects. "Even if I have the whole country against me, I don't care, as long as it isn't disrespectful."
Forget says the real problem in DC is that players feel guilty when they don't play well. And Gilles has no experience of that. "That's the only thing I don't know yet and I will experience now: how it feels not to play for oneself".
But he is a fast learner and Tulasne isn't worried. DC can be tricky, though, in Thierry's opinion as you're with the group during the whole week and when the match starts, you're completely alone again. He also says the staff has to be careful not to overdo it by cheering for Gilles because he doesn't like it when people stand up after every point.
(Monsieur has his desiderata, as usual, Tulasne must be briefing everybody right now!)