Articles & interviews [Archive] -

Articles & interviews

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04-19-2008, 09:12 AM
Here's the translation of what we were talking about with Brego in the pics thread. There are bits of post-match interviews during the Australian Open 2006 here ( it was pretty much his first "coup" on the tour when he beat Massu and Berdych, people didn't know him yet, so he was asked to describe his game in interviews, that's why I find it funny to read a few years later:
Gilles Simon (à propos de son jeu) : "Mon jeu est bizarre"
"- Qui est Gilles Simon?
- Ça, j'en sais rien! (Rire) Personne n'a jamais trouvé. Même pas moi!
Je pense être un joueur un peu atypique. Je suis capable, comme tout le monde, mais un peu plus dans les extrêmes, de faire le meilleur et le pire sur un terrain de tennis.
- Guy Forget dit de vous que vous êtes un génie.
- (Rire) C'est gentil, ça me touche! Maintenant, j'en suis pas sûr! C'est quand même le premier tournoi où il me voit jouer. Si c'est ce qu'il pense, tant mieux, mais je suis pas sûr quand même.
J'aime bien faire des changements de rythme. J'ai un bon timing quand je frappe la balle, ce qui me permet de frapper assez fort sans dépenser trop d'énergie. Maintenant, c'est vrai que j'ai un jeu un peu bizarre, pour les adversaires qui ne me connaissent pas, parce que je joue très doucement la plupart du temps et quand je décide d'en accélérer une, ça va assez vite. C'est dedans ou dehors, mais souvent ça termine le point. Donc je comprends ce que vivent les adversaires. Moi, j'ai horreur de ça quand je joue quelqu'un comme moi, qui joue sans timing, sans forcer – c'est peut-être pour ça que je joue comme ça, d'ailleurs."
- Who is Gilles Simon?
- I have no idea! (laughes) Nobody has found out yet. Not even me! I think I'm a bit atypical. I'm capable of the worst as well as the best on a tennis court, like everybody else, but it's more extreme with me.
- Guy Forget said you're a genious. [That part still cracks me up!]
- (laughes) It's nice from him, I'm touched! Now, I'm not sure about that! It must be the first time he watches me play in a tournament. If he thinks so, that's great, but I'm not so sure.
I like varying the pace. I have a good timing in striking the ball, that's why I can get so much force on the ball without expanding too much energy. Now, it's true my game is a bit strange for players who don't know me because I play very softly most of the time and when I decide to speed up the ball, it goes pretty fast. It's in or out, but most of the time, it's deciding. So I understand what my opponents go through. I hate playing guys who play like I do, without much pace, without hitting hard - maybe that's the reason why I play like that.

And Potier (his coach at the time) says he's very talented with fundamental qualities - able to hold out very long, very fast, great returner, amazing backhand and a real competitor. He is very stubborn, which has disavantadges, but the advantage is that he doesn't give up in matches. (The journalist says his game reminds of Santoro's - I don't see it :shrug: ): It's different from Santoro. Gilles' shots are not heavy because he weighs 60 kg, but the ball goes very fast. "He didn't really amaze me against Berdych because the other guy was playing like an idiot, so I was sure Gilles was going to hammer him. It was hilarious."

04-19-2008, 09:25 AM
And one of his few interviews in English, the article on after his win in Marseille:How does it feel to win your first ATP title without dropping a set? Did you ever think you would do that having to beat Top 20 players Hewitt and Baghdatis along the way?
Winning the tournament without dropping a set is a little extra. It was great to be players like Hewitt and Baghdatis. I didn't really expect to win five matches in a row.

After you won the last point in the tie-break what was going through your mind?
I wasn't really aware of what I just did. You focus on the match and then suddenly everything is over. That's very nice. All of a sudden the match is over and that's a very special feeling.

You are the first Frenchman to win an ATP title this year and there is so much depth in French tennis with 12 or 13 players in the Top 100. What do you think about the state of French tennis?
I think that the French tennis has been improving during the last two years. Five years ago we only had one player in the top 50 and everybody was a bit worried. Now we are many, but I think that there should be more French players in the Top 20. Right now we have more than ten players in the top 50 and I hope that some of us will move to the top level.

You lost your first ATP final last year in Valencia and did you do anything different going into the Marseille final?
Not really. I was just having more fun on the court because it was in Marseille. Almagro was playing very well in Valencia. It was impressive. He deserved the victory more than I did. This time I played well, I felt good on the court and told myself to keep on playing like that. There was no reason why I couldn't win and I finally did it.

You play well on several surfaces and what do you consider your favorite one?
My game changes a lot depending on my confidence. Last year I did my best results on clay. This time I played well on indoor hardcourt, which I already did before. In 2006 I played well in Australia. So far only grass is missing. But I still did a quarterfinal at one event, which shows that I can play everywhere when I'm playing well.

Do you have any ranking goals or other personal goals in 2007?
I would like to get closer to the Top 20. I would like to maintain that level during the whole year.

What do you consider the best part (strength) of your game?
I think it's my game from the baseline. I play well on both sides. Usually I try to be solid and cover the court well. I want to show the opponent that it will be hard to beat me, my game is very physical.

Growing up did you look up to any player(s) and who were your favorite ones?
When I was a child my favourite player was Marat Safin. I've always liked him and I wanted to play like him. I loved his game, his technique and his coolness on the court. But besides him I never really had an idol.

If you weren't playing pro tennis what would be the thing you would like to be doing? And why?
I like music a lot. If I had to chose I would try to do that.

Like Yannick Noah?
Not really. I wouldn't sing, but I like to play instruments like the piano or the guitar. I've been playing the piano for ten years. But I had to stop when I was 17 years old because I started practicing a lot more. I also like the guitar and I'll try to play again later.

Who helped you get your start in tennis and when you were younger did you ever think about winning an ATP title one day in your home country?
Until the age of 14 I was playing in small club near Paris, US Fontenay. I had a female coach during seven years, her name is Celine Duveree. Later I joined the French team and started practicing at the Federation.
The family helped me a lot, first of all my parents. Also several people at the Federation such as Dominique Poey helped me a lot, since they believed in from the beginning. Also Louis Borfiga was important for me as well as my coaches Alois Beust and Jerome Potier and now Thierry Tulasne.

04-19-2008, 01:29 PM
[The journalist says his game reminds of Santoro's - I don't see it :shrug: ):"

I don't see it either except that Gilles thinks out there like Santoro he doesn't just bash the ball.

Santoro, however, has great net play which alas we can't say about Gilles.

Thanks for the interviews. :D

04-23-2008, 10:46 AM
Here's the "translation/summary" of the interview he gave to "Nice Premium" before his first round match in Monte-Carlo. It's not so interesting, it's just a local newspaper, but never mind. It's most of all a review of the first part of the season in his perspective.
(He already gave a long interview to the same newspaper in Monte-Carlo last year, btw: Gilles Simon : "J'ose plus aller vers l'avant" (
Gilles Simon: "I'm eager to play against Federer"

"2007 was a good year. It was encouraging because I also played well in some important matches, even though I lost them. So my goals for 2008 were clear, I wanted to keep going. But my start in the new season is not good. The Australian tournaments were tough, despite of a good Australian Open. After that, I made a quarter of final in Marseille, a semi-final in Rotterdam, I thought it would be enough to be seeded in IW and Miami. But in both tournaments I just missed a seeding (33rd). I also had some bad luck for the Challenger of Sunrise between Indian Wells and Miami. I needed to confirm my entry until 18:00. My match against Youzhny finished at 18:03 and I had to wait one more week without playing matches.

The match against Nadal in Australia:
I was tense and nervous. In the first round, I had beaten Reynolds in 4 hours, I'm very happy about that match. [:shrug:] In the 2nd round I beat Schüttler, but I was not playing very well and wasn't feeling my shots at all. Then the 3rd round against Nadal. I have no pressure, I find back to my game. I get a 5-2 lead in the first set and I get tight. I can't take my chances. 5-2, 5-3, 5-4, I end up losing this first set 7-5 after two games which feel extremely long. In no time, he's leading 4-0 in the 2nd set. I get myself back into the match, I lose that set 6-2, and then, at 3-3 in the 3rd set, I collapse and lose 6-3. It was close, a good match and a great experience.

Marseille and Rotterdam:
The first tournament was a plus. I finished the match against Djokovic with a terrible abdominal spasm (he smiles). The next round against Paulo was very tough. In Holland I played two very good matches against Lopez and Tipsarevic and won without too many problems against Gabashvili. The problem is that I collided with a bus in the semi-final! (he laughes) I played against an ultra-powerful Söderling. I've rarely felt dominated that way (6-2 6-1). I felt like he was only playing aces and winners during the entire match. It's the kind of matches I have no regrets about because the other guy is just too strong.

Indian Wells and Miami:
I was starting to feel well. I was ranked 29th before IW, but other players made some good results so I wasn't seeded. It was also due to a poor performance in Zagreb, I should have rather played Dubai. I lose in the 2nd round of IW, which means I can prepare properly for Miami. unfortunately I get a tough draw there and lose to Ancic in the first round.

This time, I had an open draw, but I got injured against Cipolla. It's annoying, all the more since the pain reappeared on Sunday in training with Marat.

About Monte-Carlo:
Playing a qualifier always is annoying, especially in a Masters Series. They all have a good ranking, between 50 and 70 [not exactly!] and can play tennis. It's not a walk-over. But it's very motivating to know I can play against Federer. I hope I'll be able to play at full capacity against him like I did against Nadal in Australia.
He's the only top 10 player (with Blake) I've never played against. It's all the more motivating that he's the actual number 1. I'm eager to play against him. I've never played against Agassi, there were a few occasions, but everytime either he or I lost in the round just before. It's one of my regrets, like not having played Hewitt, Safin or Henman in tournaments [when they were at the top, I guess]. I played Gaudio or former number 1 like Moya or Ferrero, that's great."

Then some general stuff:
It was a good experience to be on the DC team in Romania, to see how it works. It was nice, the atmosphere was good. He doesn't know what happened in the States and doesn't want to comment on it.
The French Open remains a big goal for him and he hopes he won't be injured. If he's seeded, great. If he's not, it's not that important.
His goal is to go to the Olympics. It will depend on the clay season since the 4 best French players after RG will qualify, so he hopes his back won't bother him too much. So far, he's in.

The goals for 2008:
"I want to climb in the rankings. If I'm #30 at the end of the year like I am now, it will be decent, but I'm supposed to be in an ascending phase and the real goal is to reach the top 20 and to win one title."

04-23-2008, 11:29 AM
The goals for 2008:
"I want to climb in the rankings. If I'm #30 at the end of the year like I am now, it will be decent, but I'm supposed to be in an ascending phase and the real goal is to reach the top 20 and to win one title."

Amen to that

04-24-2008, 01:40 AM
Well Truc I wanted to Good Rep you for translating this and most of the other articles here but I have to spread my reputation around more before giving it to you again.

Thanks. :worship:

Edit: I tried to Good Rep you too Scott but the same thing. I don't know how much reputation I have to spread around but I've done about 10 good reps in the past couple days. :shrug:

04-24-2008, 09:48 PM
I love you Fran :kiss:

You have to spread the reps around a lot, Brego. This board likes you to be a whore.

04-26-2008, 12:20 PM
De rien, Scott. :kiss:
Lee explained last time that we have to rep 20 different posters before we can rep the same poster again, Brego! I find 20 a bit much.

It's not so interesting for you because it's all in French, but I added a few older articles to the "blog" where I used to put my Gillou articles, interviews and videos (Marseille 2005, Australia 2006, Valencia 2006...):
Of course, it's a bit repetitive since every article mentions the late growth issue, etc. But some parts are funny to read now - well, especially for me since I'm a new fan and I wasn't following him yet at that time, maybe you already know all that stuff.

04-26-2008, 12:26 PM
I can summarize at least a few bits.

The article about Marseille 2005 ( says he got an ovation from the crowd for his victory over Tojo, but hardly celebrated his win on the court. "It's not my style", he says in his first press conference ever. But he also says that he has always dreamed as a kid of playing one day in a beautiful stadium in front of a big crowd.
He says about himself he knows "he isn't much to look at" ("il ne paie pas de mine", I don't know the exact translation). He looks at first "out of line" on the tour with his legs which look more like the legs of an old woman. :lol:
But the players of the Challenger tour have learned at their expense that he's tireless and a formidable opponent (he is the player who played the most on the circuit in 2004 - 107 matches).
He's already working with Tulasne at that time who is quite laudatory: "He's a brilliant guy in real life [the article stresses he passed his "baccalauréat S", which is pretty good compared to the others] and perfectly knows how to adjust on the court, he proved it again against Tojo. He has a big potential." Gilles: "I know that my wait-and-see game won't be enough anymore at one point. But until I get 'real beatdowns', I'm sticking to my beliefs."

04-26-2008, 12:31 PM
A few bits from the first AO 2006 articles (

The journalist describes him as "a 21-year-old 'lightweight' who looks like a sitcom actor and whose both thighs together are slimmer than one leg of Serena". ^^
After his first round, he called his coach Potier from the infirmary and told him to come because he wasn't feeling well at all. When Potier arrives, he laughes because Gilles is sleeping like a baby. "Gilles isn't a nutritional genius. His natural stamina is exceptional, but he doesn't really keep himself fit. And since he isn't used to play 5 sets matches, it leads to odd situations... Luckily, he's a great competitor. And when he doesn't whine on the court, he can do really great things."
After the Massu match, Forget was explaining to Clément with great enthusiasm: "This guy is a genius! I wish you would have seen how he bluffed his way through against Massu!"
His "off-beat" game reminds a little bit of Mecir or Mutis, with faster shots than Mecir and more doggedness than Mutis beneath his nonchalant attitude.
Gilles: "Everything is based on the physical aspect and it's obvious there's still a lot to do for me in that regard. I mean I have a good natural endurance, but 5 sets matches are another story. I'll need to develop my lower body. The problem is that I have to start from the scratch... It will be long, it will be hard, but I'll have to do it."

04-26-2008, 05:11 PM
And the last one about the Berdych match in Australia (An unindentified tennistic object (

Berdych was completely mad after the match because it's impossible to find one's rhythm against Gilles. "He's a bit like those Frenchies who look ... [he makes a nonchalant gesture, with arms dangling]. He serves big three times in a row and then he serves as if he was throwing the ball with the hand. He looks like he's exhausted and then hits winners out of the blue..."
But this time, it wasn't just bluff. Gilles' tactics was to play without any intensity and to drive Berdych crazy.
Gilles isn't easy to coach with his mix of casualness off the court, stubborness and tenacity during the matches. "I know Jérôme (Potier) thinks I behave 'amateurishly' when it comes to the physical part of the training. It's not totally normal not to be able to walk after a first round match, that's true. He'd want me to work more. But I go through phases and sometimes it annoys me! I don't manage to keep the same intensity in training and in matches. If I miss a backhand in training, no big deal, I have 30 more tries."
Potier: "He has so many natural qualities that he isn't used to work. It's too bad because he has a better weight-power ratio than Ascione (whose nickname is "the Beef")! He's talented, clever and tenacious. And most of all, he doesn't whine anymore. He's much better since he has stopped telling his life story on the court during the matches." [I didn't know Gilles used to be a kind of Gaudio on the court! He's pretty impassive now.]
And the conclusion:
"Priceless in his devastating outspokenness, Gilles Simon can look forward to a radiant future: 'If I'm setting limits to myself? Right now, I would say no.'"

04-26-2008, 10:26 PM
"If I miss a backhand in training, no big deal, I have 30 more tries."


Merci Fran :hug:

04-27-2008, 06:52 AM
That quote made me laugh too!

I found the articles quite interesting because he was already 21 years old at that time and they're really talking of him as if he had to start everything from the scratch (start working properly on his stamina, etc.) He really is a latebloomer.
I'm sure Potier exaggerates too, he's like that a lot, judging by his interviews, but still, there must be elements of truth in what he says.
I prefer the Tulasne style, though.

04-27-2008, 06:57 AM
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."

04-28-2008, 11:28 PM
Thanks so much Truc for translating those early articles.

I love how Gilles is never afraid to speak his mind.

Some interesting insights about him in your translations.

06-03-2008, 12:03 PM
Thanks to Ome for the heads up, a portrait of Gilles page 24:

Or just the article, if you don't want to download the whole pdf-file:

06-06-2008, 07:27 PM
I tried to translate the article during the match, but the style is too difficult for me, my English isn't good enough. It must sound quite :silly: in English, but it also does in French! In fact, I don't always understand what he's trying to say in French either.

The fluid mechanisms
He’s only 23 years old and lives on the ATP tour in a certain anonymity despite two titles and a 34th spot in the ranking (at the beginning of May). Let’s make the acquaintance of Gilles Simon, an atypical and endearing player.

Fluid. It’s one of his favourite adjectives. His vocabulary is as rich as the range of his shots. Fluidity of the body. He’s the hybrid animal of the ATP tour, as if the qualities of the octopus and the spider were amalgamated with the tonus of the kangaroo. The fluidity of a mind in permanent contortions too. Gilles Simon does everything at the same time, asks the questions, answers them and analyzes himself with many traits of humour, according to his inspiration. Maybe he will one day agree to flex the legs when he plays from the baseline, but we don’t really care, actually. Because he already plays divinely well and because we find him even funnier the way he is.
The childhood of a puny boy
Whatever happens from now on, the first part of his life has already been a success: “I’ve always dreamed of being strong and play all these big tournaments, so my dream has already come true. On the tour, we all have wondered one day: ’But what am I heading for? What am I going to do with my life?’”
It was far from certain he would succeed in it, though: he was ranked only –15 at the age of 18; at the same age, Hewitt and Safin were on the edge to win their first Slam. “But I knew from the beginning that it would take more time for me because of a growth retardation which had made me lose 3 years. I had to cling to other things. Like the fact that many guys, especially in France, had a late breakthrough. Forget and Pioline probably reached their best ranking at the age of 26.” With two titles already (Marseille and Bucharest in 2007), Simon is rather ahead of them: “I’ve never stagnated, my progress has been quite smooth/fluid so far.”
Laser or pusher?
He made a name for himself at the beginning of 2006 with his tennis made of spineless shots which prevented many of his opponents, especially the Czech Tomas Berdych, from playing their game. “But I’m hardly doing that anymore. The guys must have thought I was an idiot. But they’re not stupid, they got the idea quickly and things became much tougher for me. Now I’m relying on my trumps to win, and not on the weaknesses of the opponent. Even though I’m sometimes forced to use these tricks again when I’m not feeling well.”
But we prefer him when he shows all his potential of speed and creativity. “I like my game when I dare to play it. People will say again that I’m conceited, but I couldn’t stand being laborious. I’m too playful in life. I always feel like cracking a forehand winner which will go much faster than most other guys’.”
Je m’aime, moi non plus (I love myself, me neither)
Sure, he could improve his game forward and at the net too: “But I’ve seen Agassi win Grand Slams without hitting a volley, so…” Sure, his 65 kg don’t really impress the heavyweights of the tour: “But when I beat Canas and Robredo, they were completely exhausted at the end, while I was still able to run.” The mind is his real area of turbulence in everyday life. With a rare honesty in an environment where people often prefer to fool themselves a little bit, he says: “I’m not afraid anymore to take a beatdown against the best players because I’m convinced that I play as well as they do. But I have trouble closing out matches. As if I was thinking: ‘OK, I can win, but it would suit me to lose…’”
It reminds of one of his already cult statements, after his defeat to Youzhny in Indian Wells in March: “I sometimes wonder if I’m not afraid to be too strong…” Explanations: “It occurred to me during the match, just like that. I was playing well and I said to myself: ‘It’s too easy…’ It’s ultra arrogant and out of place because I was playing against a guy who has already made semi-finals in Grand Slams. But all the same, that’s what I felt. Same against Nadal at the Australian Open: I have a setpoint at 5-2, but I don’t close it out. As if I was afraid it would disturb if I won 6-2 6-2 against Nadal. I shouldn’t care about it. I guess I need to sort out my motivation, ambition and pride issues.”
Is it serious, doctor?
What about a little preparation with a mental assistant to find some avenues? “We have enough problems like that without adding new ones. I have the feeling that even if everything is OK, a mental assistant will find some problem. Like with the podiatrist: even if you have perfect feet, you can be sure you will come out of his office with insoles.” A psychoanalyst would possibly need a therapy himself after having met Gilles Simon…
He goes on with his inner trip out loud: “As long as people don’t think I’m able of great things, I feel like I’m not allowed to do it. In fact, I probably don’t like being judged… “ The need to be loved, maybe? “It would suck not to be loved, yes. I want people to be happy to come and watch me play. I’m probably not immune enough to public opinion. We all need to work on ourselves, and I’m in the middle of it.”
He’s finally found a source of inspiration just next to him: his old buddy from the Insep Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. “He has always thought he was stronger than everybody else. When he plays Feliciano Lopez in Wimbledon, he says: ‘Wait, what has he done except a quarter of final in Wimbledon?’ Jo doesn’t fool himself, he feels it. When he plays Nadal, he’s sure he will win, unlike me.”
Philippe Chassepot

06-06-2008, 11:18 PM
Thanks Fran, you're always the best :hug:

06-08-2008, 03:39 AM
Thanks Fran for the translation of the article. :worship:

I appreciate Gilles honesty. His interviews are always interesting and unique. :)

06-10-2008, 02:59 PM
Tennis Magazine has an article about Gilles. :eek: They never talk about him!
They followed him during 3 days in Roland-Garros. I haven't even read it yet, I just made a screenshot, I'll try to "translate" it later: ( (

OK, I've read it now and I guess a summary will do ^^ - unless you want to know the detail of all his meals during these 3 days and if Gillou snores?!
The part about his reaction after the match isn't uninteresting, but they could have spared us some of the private stuff... :o

06-10-2008, 06:28 PM
It's an article about his daily schedule during the first 3 days in Roland, commented by Carine.
They've been together for 3 years. She's working in Roland-Garros and lives next to the tournament venue, so he doesn't have to stay all day in Roland when it's raining.
It's full of uninteresting private stuff, he eats chocolate cereals for breakfast by watching a sports news channel, she's mad at him because he's untidy, he eats a lot of chocolate, but doesn't put on weight anyway (he just needs to be careful in that regard when he is injured and can't play tennis), he watches "Sex and the City" on DVD. Etc. Etc. Etc. ^^
They seem to find remarkable he goes to the supermarket with her the day before his match and Carine means other players wouldn't do that indeed, but Gilles remains a very normal guy and it's important for him to do that kind of things. (I didn't get what is so special about it, TBH.)

The tennis related parts:
The day before his match, he practices with Santoro and Tulasne. Gilles never wants to do physical training during the tournaments, just a few physiotherapist sessions at best. His physical trainer Paul Quétin is not too happy about it, but means: "Gilles has won 3 tournaments in 15 months, he's the only French player to have achieved that, so we have to trust him!"
He sleeps well, while he couldn't sleep at all before his first round match in Roland 3 years ago. Now he is as cool as he is in everyday life. During the rain breaks, he plays video games, of course. It doesn't bother him a lot anyway, he's very patient. He doesn't mind having to play at 8:00 in the morning or at 22:00, he's always ready to play.
He doesn't like the court 1 and is very relieved his match is scheduled on the Lenglen.
The day of his match, he trains one more time with Tulasne at 10:00 on the Lenglen (his match is scheduled at 11:00).
30 minutes before his match, he completely cuts himself off from the others and gets ready for the match. Just before he enters the court, the last pieces of advice from Thierry: "Hang on out there, take advantage of the crowd!"
After his match, Thierry immediately tells him that Stepanek was just too good on that day and that he is happy Gilles really put up a fight.
The first thing he says to Carine: "I lost, I'm crap". She answers it was more a question of his opponent playing a great match. Sometimes he needs a lot of time after a defeat to come out of his silence, she says, but this time he starts joking again pretty soon and she knows he is going to get over it quite quickly.
Then the press conference, "not always pleasant after a defeat". He says again to the journalists that Stepanek was too good.
When Carine comes back home pretty late, he's lying in the dark, looking pretty downcast and watching a sports news channel, which isn't the best way to get over his own defeat since they're constantly showing the players who won. So she forces him to watch something else (a sort of "Pop Idol" show, I think ^^) and helps him to put things into perspective.

Voilà - there are even more details about what he eats, what he watches on TV, what time he goes to bed and stands up...

06-10-2008, 06:31 PM
Give me some paragraphs to sum up and translate for Gillou's forum, from time to time, or you'll end up exhausted :wavey:

I just love the snores part :lol: c'mon, it's funny.

I HAVE ONE MORE common point with Gillou : I could eat cereals all day long as well :lol:

06-10-2008, 07:04 PM
thanks for the two articles !

06-10-2008, 09:12 PM
Thanks for the translation Fran. The personal stuff was, well a little too personal. It's sound like Carine is good for Gilles. Maybe she can cheer him up after his 1st round Warsaw loss.

06-11-2008, 06:52 AM
The personal stuff was, well a little too personal.Yes, it is, but it also sounds worse in my summary. The point is not to give personal informations about his relationship, etc., but to give his exact schedule. But it ends up giving tons of personal informations we didn't want to know.
And well, his schedule isn't very interesting either, he's really just hanging around most of the time. He has this thing for the environmental program of the FFT on the first day, one short interview for Eurosport, one practice session at 15:00 on Monday, one at 16:00 on Tuesday - and that's it.

I often wonder what they do all day long when I see them at tournaments and why tennis players always complain in interviews they have no time to do anything else during their tennis career. And I'm still wondering. I know it was raining, but still...

06-11-2008, 07:32 AM
I think they don't want to walk all around the city because they want to save energy.

07-15-2008, 12:38 PM
Slow road to stardom
At long last, No. 2 seed Gilles Simon of France is making a name for himself

Gilles Simon is ranked No. 25 in the world and is the No. 2 seed in this week's Indianapolis Tennis Championships, but you probably don't know much about the 23-year-old Frenchman.
That's OK. Few Americans do.
Simon said fans recognize him in France, but he's never been recognized on the streets in the U.S.

With that in mind, here are five things you should know about a rising star with three career singles titles.

1. It's See-MOHN, not Simon.
He said most Americans get that wrong, instead pronouncing his name like the English first name.
Simon's first name is pronounced "JEEL" and rhymes with eel, but no two people seem to say that the same way.
"The first name, it's impossible," Simon said. "You say it and then he'll say it and say it after you, and you'll hear the difference for sure."

2. He's on the rise.
In 2002, Simon finished his first season on tour tied for No. 1,345 in the world.
He cracked the top 500 the next year, the top 200 in 2004 and the top 150 the year after.
He jumped to No. 45 in 2006 and finished in the top 30 last year.
Simon reached the third round of Wimbledon last month and saw his ranking reach a career-high of No. 25 this week.
"My goal in tennis is to be the best ranking I can have with my game, and I just want to (keep improving)," Simon said. "I don't know which ranking I can reach, but for the moment, I have my best ranking every week, so I hope it can continue like this."

3. As his backhand goes, so goes his game.
Simon's two-handed backhand shined in his first set against Nicolas Mahut on Monday, including a rocket down the left side to break Mahut's serve and take a 5-2 lead.
When he dropped the second set 2-6, it was because his backhand kept finding the net. He found it again in the third set to win the match 6-3, 2-6, 6-3, and he said he was confident it will be consistent later in the week.
"My backhand is my best shot for sure," Simon said. "I can hit it across. I can play fast, I can play slow. I can change. It's easier for me than the forehand. For sure, the backhand will come."

4. He's adjusting to America.
Simon lives in Switzerland and plays in Europe as much as he can because it's an easier travel schedule.
But he can't prepare for the U.S. Open back home because Europeans play on slower, indoor hardcourts than what he'll see in New York later this summer.
"For me, it's hard to play here because of the heat," Simon said. "That's why I came here to play a tournament before the two Masters Series because it's important for me to play good there, so I need to be on top."

5. His English is a work in progress.
Simon said most people in France speak only French, so he didn't pick up English until he joined the ATP Tour.
He can carry on conversations in English with a thick French accent, but he said he's still trying to improve.
"It's not easy for me to speak English," he said. "I try. I try. It's really not easy.
"I try to speak better, but it will come for sure -- like the backhand."

Matt Baker

07-15-2008, 03:08 PM
Thanks for the article Fran. It was very interesting and informative. :)

"It's not easy for me to speak English," he said. "I try. I try. It's really not easy.
"I try to speak better, but it will come for sure -- like the backhand."

I think his English is quite good. Much better then some of the other French players.

07-16-2008, 11:31 AM
I don't think I ever heard him speaking English...

07-16-2008, 09:28 PM
I don't think I ever heard him speaking English...Here for example:
(go to 3'00)

07-16-2008, 09:33 PM
great article, i thought his english was pretty good when i saw him at the PLO, but i only heard a few sentences.

07-16-2008, 09:33 PM
thank you :D

07-17-2008, 11:46 AM
What does PLO mean, Bobble?

Yes, his English sounds OK to me too, that's really not a thing I would mention in an article "5 things you should know about Gilles Simon if you've never heard of him".
I would rather mention his lack of muscles and how he needs to make up for it on the court, that seems more characteristic!

07-17-2008, 12:44 PM
Pacific Life Open, I think.

07-17-2008, 01:31 PM
^^^Sorry about that, yes, PLO means Pacific Life Open. Altough he obviously stuck mostly to french when I saw him with fellow Frenchmen, he seemed very comfortable when saying a few words to my friend and I, maybe he was just trying extra hard because we were the only ones watching him practice! :scratch: But that is funny you mention his smaller body-type because I didnt realize he was about a foot behind me when I asked my friend what "Poussin" meant in French...whoops!

07-26-2008, 07:13 AM
In l'Equipe today:La méthode Simon

EN VOILÀ un qui a du chien et du chat. Un caractère bien trempé et une fausse nonchalance qui rappelle un certain Miroslav Mecir. À la fin des années 80, ce Tchèque au tennis soyeux pouvait emberlificoter les plus puissants au point de se hisser dans le top 10 à la souplesse de son poignet. Aujourd’hui, Gilles Simon marche sur ses pas. Hier, après avoir encaissé la puissance supérieure de Marin Cilic (1,96 m) dans les trois premiers jeux du tout premier quart de finale de sa vie dans un grand tournoi, le Français entreprit son travail de sape. Le même qui avait vu Roger Federer vaciller sur son trône il y a trois jours. Avec une variante de taille, toutefois. Autant le Suisse avait accéléré les échanges, autant le jeune Croate (19 ans) choisit de s’installer dans ces interminables diagonales où Simon excelle par sa vista, sa vitesse de déplacement et sa capacité à changer de rythme. Dès lors, son destin semblait scellé, même s’il fut sur le point de mettre Simon dans les cordes, au début du deuxième set après avoir empoché le premier. Mais deux jeux étouffants (34 points à eux deux) pompèrent beaucoup d’énergie à Cilic. La méthode Simon fit le reste (3-6, 6-2, 6-3 en 2 h 21’) même si la tactique d’usure appliquée par le Français en fit un vainqueur éreinté : « Je n’arrive plus à marcher. Mais, demain, je serai un autre homme et je suis prêt à mourir sur le court. » Contre Nicolas Kiefer, tombeur express de James Blake (6-1, 6-2), il faudra en effet rejouer la partition : « Il aime bien finir en trois frappes, je vais donc lui en proposer beaucoup plus. »
L’espièglerie est l’un des traits de caractère de Gilles Simon, personnage qui ne laisse pas indifférent. « Un OVNI, s’exclame Aloys Beust, l’un de ses anciens entraîneurs. Il est très atypique, très intelligent. » « Un mec passionnant, renchérit son coach actuel, Thierry Tulasne. Je n’en ai jamais entraîné d’aussi intéressants à son âge. Il dit ce qu’il pense. C’est un risque. Il me rappelle Noah. Yannick disait un peu tout et son contraire, mais il avait cette force de spontanéité que je retrouve chez Gilles. Dans le microcosme du tennis, il est anormal par sa normalité. »
Simon, on peut aussi l’avoir dans le pif. « Je ne sais pas qui c’est », répondait l’année dernière Jérôme Potier, l’un des entraîneurs clé de sa carrière, avec lequel la communication était devenue impossible avant une rupture brutale. Si le personnage intrigue, le joueur n’est pas en reste. Son jeu attentiste et opportuniste en a déstabilisé plus d’un. Il avait déjà cueilli en mars 2007 les premiers fruits de sa méthode bien personnelle, se hissant à la 38e place à l’ATP. C’est maintenant le top 20 qui va l’accueillir dès lundi avec en prime un statut de numéro 2 français devant Jo Tsonga et Paul-Henri Mathieu.
Jeune, rien ne semblait prédisposer ce fils d’un assureur et d’une doctoresse à jouer les premiers rôles dans un sport qu’il n’avait abordé que par une volonté parentale de le faire toucher à tout. Conservatoire de piano, golf, natation, tennis et études, les parents Simon avaient décidé de ratisser large pour qu’il trouve la bonne voie. Le jeune Gilles fit tout bien ou presque. « Les études, c’était pas ce qui me passionnait le plus, se souvient-il. J’ai assuré le minimum exigé. » Un mini qui vaut plus qu’un maxi pour la plupart des joueurs : Bac S à 18 ans, alors qu’il était – 15. Il en bavé pour arriver là : « En 4e, j’étais dans une école stricte. Une année de cauchemar pour concilier études et entraînement. L’année suivante, le sport études de Poitiers m’a paru le paradis. »
Puis, à nouveau le « bagne », à l’INSEP, avec aucune échappatoire entre les cours et les courts. Natation, piano et golf avaient été sacrifiés sur l’autel de la balle jaune. « J’étais handicap 15 à douze ans. Mais je n’aurais jamais pu percer. Rester concentré quatre heures : un truc de fou ! » Il fut un prometteur nageur, en dos particulièrement, jusqu’au jour où il se cassa les deux dents de devant en glissant à la piscine. Quant au piano (« J’aurais préféré la guitare »), ses mains agiles se sont arrêtées de parcourir les claviers après huit ans de conservatoire. « Pas facile de trouver un piano sur le circuit. » Question études, une tentative de DEUG éco-gestion par correspondance à la fac de Grenoble ne résista pas aux impératifs du tennis pro.
Voilà comment le touche-à-tout n’a plus fait vibrer qu’une seule corde. Il compensa cet éclectisme perdu par une boulimie de tennis. Fin 2004, alors qu’il venait d’avoir vingt ans, son nom apparut pour la première fois. Avec 107 matches sur le circuit ATP, dans des tournois Futures ou Challengers, c’était lui le joueur le plus prolifique de l’année. Une curiosité pour les observateurs, une banalité pour lui. « Impossible de l’arrêter, se souvient Beust qui, entre juin 2003 et novembre 2004, le fit grimper des environs de la 1000e place mondiale à la 174e. Si je l’avais écouté, il se serait inscrit dans plusieurs tournois en même temps pour être sûr de pouvoir jouer quelque part. »
Ce stakhanovisme des courts ne portait pas forcément la promesse d’une belle carrière. D’autant que la fringale de tournois consommait le temps d’entraînement. D’où, très tôt, une réputation de dilettante dans ce domaine. « Je tiens à prévenir que ça, c’est du passé, corrigeait-il l’an dernier. C’est vrai qu’il y a des trucs qui me gonflent. Courir, par exemple. Pourtant, je suis super bon. Une heure à 11 km/h, c’est de la rigolade pour moi, mais aussi un vrai challenge mental. »
Bien que d’aspect fluet, et longtemps pénalisé par un développement tardif, Simon a un coffre incroyable. Tulasne : « Il a une vitesse de jambes exceptionnelles. Une année, à Rome, avant un match contre Cañas, il m’avait dit qu’il allait le prendre au physique. J’ai laissé dire, un peu inquiet, mais c’est pourtant ce qui s’est passé. En développé- couché, il soulève 10 à 15 % de plus que son poids de corps. » Mais Gilles Simon, c’est d’abord une tête. Dure. Celle-là même qui s’est heurtée à Jérôme Potier et qui lui a longtemps valu une image de marginal dans le milieu. « Comme je ne suis pas faux-cul, j’en prends quelques fois plein la gueule. »
« Moi, raconte Tulasne, je lui ai conseillé de continuer à être honnête, mais d’éviter de blesser les autres. » Tête dure, mais pas langue de bois. Il ne s’épargne pas : « J’avoue que je suis feignant. C’est mon problème. » « Il a une énorme confiance en lui, mais n’a pas pour autant le cigare », poursuit Tulasne. « Le problème avec Gilles, c’est qu’il est dur à convaincre, analyse Beust. S’il n’a pas pris le mur lui-même, il n’y croit pas. On peut lui parler des heures de bonne alimentation, tant qu’il n’aura pas bien crampé en match, il n’écoutera pas. Il est comme ça, Gilles. Des idées fixes, mais une fois qu’il accepte, c’est du sucre. »
« Il a des tas de croyances, reprend Tulasne. Qu’il ne peut pas jouer les balles basses, les amorties et que Roland-Garros, c’est pas son truc. » Ça, ce n’est pas une croyance : l’intéressé n’a gagné qu’un match en quatre participations dans le grand tableau sur la terre parisienne.
Comment voit-il son avenir ? Tulasne, encore : « Il est très ambitieux. Mais comme il est sincère, il sait que personne ne peut annoncer trop tôt la couleur. Pour y arriver, il faudra qu’il soit meilleur dans les mauvais jours. » « Il y a de la place pour arriver dans le top 10, confiait le joueur il y a un an.Quand je vois mon niveau de tennis, je n’ai pas peur. Mais tous ces mecs sont vachement costauds dans leur tête. » Hier, il ajoutait : « Je n’ai pas changé d’avis. Tout se passe dans la tête. Le top 10, j’y pense plus que jamais. »
Sorti du court, Simon n’est pas à court d’idées non plus. Fondu de consoles vidéo, de cinéma et de musique, il s’est fait une culture sur le monde qui l’entoure. « Pas dans les livres, prévient son coach, mais en discutant avec tout le monde. » C’est vrai qu’il est bavard. Comme une pie. « Et très drôle », se souvient Beust. Quand la page tennis sera tournée, il aura l’embarras du choix : golf, natation, piano, études. Ou le résumé de tout ça, la politique : « Bien sûr que ça me branche, la politique ! » Ses électeurs attendront qu’il ait été au bout d’une carrière désormais bien lancée par cette quinzaine prodigieuse.

07-26-2008, 07:45 AM
I saw the word 'cat' and 'dog' and I started giggling :o

07-26-2008, 08:30 AM
It reminds me of that article I translated during the French Open - the one which started describing him as an "hybrid animal" and a mix of an octopus, a spider and a kangaroo. That was more exotic.
But "avoir du chien" has a different meaning in French. It's more a pun here. "Il a du chien" means something like "he has personality, he has a certain something".

07-26-2008, 08:58 AM
Merci Fran pour l'article :hug:
Au fait, je te répondrai sur fb plus tard, I have to go shopping for my mom :scared: she needs packs of water and other heavy stuff she can't lift up :scared:

By the way, I didn't know about poussin's former coach, who couldn't communicate with him.. Amazing how we human beings can sometimes talk without actually communicating :scared:

07-26-2008, 09:15 AM
Octopus, spider and... kangaroo? :spit: These French journalists sure have a lot of imagination.

07-26-2008, 06:53 PM
And his nickname is "Little Chicken" - he is a walking zoo.
I liked the octopus-spider-kangaroo thing, I can't explain why, but I totally see it.

So, here's the summary of the first part of "The Simon method". I don't know how to translate the pun with the dog and the cat, I hope you got the idea. A big personality with a deceiving nonchalance which reminds of Mecir.
Then follows a description of yesterday's memorable match, I'll skip that part. :angel: The Simon method got the job done, but he was completely exhausted at the end of the match: "I can not walk anymore. But I'll be a new man tomorrow and I'm ready to die on the court." He's also ready to play the same game against Kiefer: "He likes to finish rallies in 3 shots, so I will make sure to make him play many more."
The mischievousness is one of the traits of G. Simon, a character one can't remain indifferent to. Aloys Beust, one of his former coaches, says: "He's an UFO! He's very atypical, very smart." "A fascinating guy, Tulasne confirms. He's smarter than any other guy of his age I know. He says what he thinks. It's a risk. He reminds me of Noah. Yannick used to say everything and the opposite of everything, but he had the same kind of spontaneity. His normality makes him abnormal in the tennis world."
Simon also has his haters. "I don't know who you're talking about", Potier answered last year when he was asked about Gilles (Potier was his trainer in 2005-2006 and played a key role in his career). The communication between them had become impossible and the clash was brutal.
The character is puzzling and so is his opportunist wait-and-see game which will earn him the French number 2 spot in the rankings on Monday.
His parents (his father is insurance agent, his mother doctor) wanted him to try out everything when he was young: piano, golf, swimming, tennis, school... Young Gilles was good at everything. "But I didn't like studying much. I just did the minimum at school." A minimum which is more than the maximum of most players: "bac S" (maths/physics) at the age of 18. He had a rough time to reconcile tennis and school and was forced to give up on swimming, piano and golf. "My handicap was 15 at the age of 12. But I could never have made it far in golf. It's crazy to remain concentrated during four hours!" He was a promising swimmer, especially in backstroke, but stopped after slipping at the swimming-pool and breaking two teeth. As for the piano ("I would have preferred to learn the guitarre"), he gave up after 8 years at the Conservatoire. "Not easy to find a piano to practice when you're on the tour." He tried to study economics by correspondence at the Grenoble university while playing on the tour, but it was too complicated.
That's how, after having been into everything, he decided to focus on just one thing and became a compulsive tennis player.


07-26-2008, 07:47 PM
End of 2004: he is 20 years old and his name is in talk for the first time for having played the most tennis matches on the tour during that year (107 matches in Futures and Challengers). Odd for the specialists, completely normal for him. "It was impossible to make him stop, Beust remembers. If I had listened to him, he would have entered several tournaments at the same time to be sure to be able to play at least one."
It wasn't necessarily a good sign for his career. The craving for matches led him to neglect the training. Hence his reputation of being amateurish in that regard. "But not anymore. It's true, some things bore me. Jogging, for example. And yet, I'm really good at it. To run one hour at 11 km/h is a joke for me. But also a real mental challenge."

Ted is translating the rest. :cool:

07-26-2008, 07:56 PM
I'll carry on:

Even if he looks skinny, Simon could run for days. Tulasnes : "He runs so fast. I remember when he had told me, in Rome, he was willing to defeat Canas, making him run out of gas. I was quite worried, but this is exactly what happened". Simon is quite stubborn and most frank. "I am sometimes too straighforward and I get the backlash for that"
Tulasnes : "I told him to stay this way, but that he should try to avoid hurting people's feelings". Simon is hard to handle "I'm lazy, I know that". Beust : "He's hard to convince. You can talk about healthy nutrition for hours, as long as he didn't get a good cramp on court, he won't listen to you. he has to face things on his own. However, once he accepts things, he's soo easy to handle"
Tulasnes : "Gilles believes too many wrong things, like he can't manage lower ballsn drop shots or that Roland Garros is not for him" We culd think the latter point is not wrong : Gilles won one single match out of 4 participations in RG.

How does he picture his future ? Tulasnes: "He's very ambitious, but very pragmatic at the same time, he knows he cannot say he'll make it unless he improves considerably his level when he's going through a hard time on the court"
Simon : "There's room inside the top 10. The only thing is that these players are mentally the toughest, but I didn't change my mind, everything is a mental fight. The top 10 ? oh yeah, more than ever".

Off court, Simon is still a passionate person, keen on video games, movies, music. Moreover he's very open and learns things out of talking to so many different people. He's talkative. Beust: "and funny". When he calls it a career, he will be able to switch to golf, swimming, piano or even resume his studies, even politics. "Of course I'm into politics!" You'll have to wait for him to be done with his tennis career, and it's not going to be soon, considering the incredible fortnight he's having.


07-26-2008, 09:51 PM
Merci Fran et Ted :hug: it was a good read.

07-27-2008, 01:45 AM
Simon is versatile!!!

07-27-2008, 02:48 AM
Thanks for the translation Fran and Ted. :worship:

07-27-2008, 10:02 AM
You're welcome.

I'm still a bit frustrated at his loss, I didn't overcome that yet :lol:

07-27-2008, 09:12 PM
Here's another interview ("I feel like playing at the Olympics"):

When did he feel he had a chance to win that match against Federer? In the 2nd set he started to feel that he was able to win one set, but was still afraid of having to close out the match at that time. But at 5-4 in the 3rd set, everything went so fast that he wasn't even thinking about the fact that he had MP.
Indianapolis had been only a preparation tournament for him. He arrived 2 days before the start of the tournament, wasn't playing well, but had no pressure at all.
It's most of all a mental thing. He hasn't to draw on his physical reserves too much because he's more relaxed on the court.
The Olympics are important to him. One is still alone on the court, but it's not often that one plays for his country in a career, so it's special. He knows the Olympics only from TV and is eager to be part of it.
He's asked about Gasquet's decision to skip Beijing and says it's not for him to judge. Richard doesn't want to make a long trip to China in order to be well-rested for the USO. If he does a huge thing in NY, everybody will say he made the right choice.
The French team will leave for China on the 5th of August (= Tuesday after the Cincy final). If he loses early in Cincy, he will go back home in Switzerland in the meantime to rest.
All this boycott talk around Olympia is too bad in his opinion, sports and politics are two different things. They play other events in China every year and nobody says anything then. But he isn't afraid things will turn badly.
Four years ago, he was 20 years old, but ranked #200 in the world. Everybody tells him he will be able to play the next OG, but he doesn't know where he will be in 4 years, so he wants to enjoy Beijing as much as he can.

07-28-2008, 06:40 AM
And another article in L’Equipe today:
Quel horizon pour Simon ?
Battu samedi par Kiefer après un combat de trois heures (6-7, 6-3, 7-6), Gilles Simon, avec ses neuf victoires d’affilée, possède désormais un nouveau standing.

LA PRESSE ANGLOPHONE commence à l’apprécier. Il y a son accent à la Maurice Chevalier, mais surtout cette volonté de raconter, qui est une aubaine. Après son marathon contre Nicolas Kiefer, le nouveau numéro 2 français a tout décortiqué. À commencer par ce dernier coup de reins manqué alors qu’à 5-5 dans le tie-break du troisième set, il n’était plus qu’à deux points de la première grande finale de sa carrière. Il y a aussi son nouveau statut et des ambitions qu’il prend soin de mesurer. Son entraîneur, Thierry Tulasne, prend moins de précautions. L’un et l’autre savent que la démonstration de Toronto ouvre de nouveaux horizons.
Dix matches en treize jours, c’est beaucoup. Samedi, on le vit s’affaisser sur ses appuis en fin de course. « J’ai pu aller chercher l’amortie sur le dernier point du match, donc j’en avais encore un peu sous le pied, mais ce n’était pas l’idéal d’avoir à jouer un match aussi long (2 heures 59). » C’est pourtant lui qui imposa cette tactique à rallonge. Comme la filière longue ne venait pas à bout de l’Allemand, pimpant malgré ses trente et un ans, il fallait accélérer. Il le fit en fin de match, mais trop tard. « J’ai un petit regret, avouait Thierry Tulasne, c’est qu’il n’ait pas utilisé le plan B, qui consistait à varier le rythme. » « Sur les deux derniers jeux de service de Kiefer, je ne suis pas assez entreprenant », confirmait l’intéressé. Ça s’est joué à trois fois rien, mais pas sur le physique de « marathon man ».
Après avoir réussi la liaison entre son titre à Indianapolis et Toronto, peut-il faire la passe de trois cette semaine et aller encore loin dans le tableau ? « Avant, j’avais tendance à décompresser après une bonne semaine. C’est la première fois que j’enchaîne deux bons tournois. J’espère que ce n’est pas un coup de bol. » Un destin malin a remis Kiefer sur sa route d’entrée à Cincinnati. « C’est à celui qui en aura le plus envie. On va être dans le même “trip”, dans une vague de décompression, sauf que moi, j’aurai la rage. » Dur quand même d’enchaîner une troisième semaine au top.
« Je ne viens pas de nulle part, corrige-t- il pour ceux qui le découvrent. L’an passé, j’avais gagné deux titres et fini l’année 29e. » Pas facile de se sortir de l’ombre des Gasquet, Tsonga, Monfils et compagnie. Mais les spécialistes connaissaient déjà sa valeur. Lui ne découvre pas son potentiel. « J’avais l’étiquette d’un joueur de petit tournoi. C’est vrai qu’avant d’arriver ici, je n’avais jamais été au-delà d’un troisième tour en Grand Chelem ou en Masters Series. Mais, la plupart du temps, je n’avais pas été éliminé par des truffes. Ce que je retiens de cette quinzaine, c’est que je suis capable de gagner des matches où je suis fatigué. » « C’est sur le plan mental qu’il a franchi un cap, précise son coach. Avant, il avait des absences pendant un match. Maintenant, il joue tous les points. Ses adversaires le savent désormais. »
« Il ne faut pas s’emballer, modère Simon. Je sais que je suis proche de la dixième place à la “Race” et qu’au mois de juillet, ce classement commence à vouloir dire quelque chose. Mais il reste beaucoup de points à distribuer. » « Bien sûr qu’il pense au “Masters”, corrige Tulasne. Il fait gaffe à ne pas faire de déclaration pour éviter que ça lui revienne dans la figure. Mais on en parle. » Attention à ne pas se mettre une pression inutile… « Pas de danger, répond “Tutu”. Il espère y aller, mais ne sera pas déçu s’il échoue. » Une certitude, aujourd’hui, Simon est numéro 1 français à la « Race ». « C’est très motivant pour lui, reprend Tulasne. Il y a une grosse émulation entre lui et ses potes Tsonga, Monfils ou Gasquet. »
« Pas maintenant, car je suis un pro, répond-il avec un sourire malicieux. Mais dès que je suis éliminé à Cincinnati, direction le “McDo” le plus proche. Ils font un dessert dont je raffole, je peux en manger douze. » Première faute de goût depuis quinze jours. – P. Co.

07-28-2008, 06:41 AM
The English-speaking journalists are starting to appreciate him - for his Maurice Chevalier accent :lol: 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!)

07-28-2008, 01:41 PM
^^^ OMG Gilles not McDonalds. :eek:

Thanks for the translation Fran.

07-28-2008, 02:17 PM
What McDonalds dessert? :eek: :lol:

I love their softserve :o

07-28-2008, 02:36 PM
His coaches often mention he isn't a "nutritional genius", like Potier said.
In the article "3 days in the life of a player at RG" he seemed to eat quite a lot sweet stuff too, ice cream, chocapics, the author noticed he was adding M&M's to his desserts... When I saw him watching Jo's match in Hamburg, he was also eating ice cream.

Everybody makes fun of Nalby, but Gilles might be worse in that regard!

07-28-2008, 04:07 PM
At least Gilles is not fat like Nalbandian ;)

07-28-2008, 05:52 PM
'Not fat' is probably an understatement :o I'd kill to have that kind of metabolism - to eat a garbage truckload of junk food and still be skinny :lol:

07-28-2008, 07:38 PM
'Not fat' is probably an understatement :o I'd kill to have that kind of metabolism - to eat a garbage truckload of junk food and still be skinny :lol:

Me too. :lol: Still getting over the lost to Kiefer, not that I am mad at Gilles, just that you know, I wished he would have been able to make the finals. Just so the announcers on ESPN could stfu, and give Gilles some credit.

08-07-2008, 01:41 PM
Gilles is on cover of the next Tennis Magazine which is not yet available. But there is some extracts of the interview on their website

08-07-2008, 02:41 PM
The cover: "Tout sur ce Français que 'personne' ne connaît" ("Everything about the French player nobody knows")
They could have picked a better pic for the cover...

08-08-2008, 01:07 AM
From ESPN:

Gilles Simon: Simon's win over Roger Federer in the second round in Toronto was noteworthy enough. Even though the Swiss had a poor outing -- which is becoming more and more frequent -- the Frenchman hung in there and didn't lose his cool.

Simon -- a popular figure in Toronto due to his humor and honesty, and a resilient baseliner who can change the pace -- went on to reach the semifinals of that tournament to extend his winning streak to nine matches.

A week earlier, he had captured his first hard-court title at the Indianapolis Tennis Championships.

Losing in the second round in Cincinnati to James Blake might have been a blessing in disguise heading into Beijing -- Simon, up to a career-high 13th in the rankings, was running on fumes the final weekend in Toronto.

08-08-2008, 10:34 AM
I wouldn't mind translating the article, but what's new that we don't know about already ? :shrug:

08-12-2008, 08:39 PM
Here are screenshots of the TM interview, but I don't know if it's readable:

08-16-2008, 11:01 AM
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’.

08-16-2008, 11:02 AM
You mentioned your first trainer Céline Duvérée. 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. Céline 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 Jérôme 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 Jérôme 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 Jérôme 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 Jérôme 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!

08-16-2008, 06:00 PM
Since my screeshots of the French interview are difficult to read, you can find the whole interview here too:

08-16-2008, 06:15 PM
Fran you may be the web editor of the official gillu site :hug:

you deserve it! :angel:

why don't you try? :D

08-17-2008, 06:10 AM
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!

08-17-2008, 07:30 AM
No worries, you were the one who did all the hard work! :hatoff:

08-20-2008, 09:31 AM
And the last part, but it's not very interesting - thanks to Zahirah again for her help:

Let’s come back to your career. Out of all the happy times you’ve 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, Björkman, Söderling or Baghdatis, without losing a set, made me aware that maybe I wasn’t that limited. So for now, that’s the title I will remember. Because it was the first one, because it’s been the most beautiful one so far, and because it was an incredible week.

Something is still lacking in your career, though: you’ve 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, you’ll 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. I’ve played up to (the level of) my rank in Slams for a while now, I just haven’t achieved the little feat which will bring me further. It’s the first season that I’m 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 isn’t true anymore?
I’m 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 that’s the surface where I feel the best. It’s 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 can’t. So I’m quite confident, all the more since I’m feeling well from the baseline against most players.

You play a lot from the baseline indeed, and you often play very long matches too. Don’t you think it’s 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. I’m 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 wasn’t 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 couldn’t watch the last one. Nadal was much better, from what I’ve seen. But I found interesting that even Nadal, when he had to close it out, failed. As we said with Thierry, he’s been “a nice pal” and returned the favour, for a change. It’s 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 set…

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, it’s been like that for a while and I, for one, am used to it. To be honest, I don’t mind it that much. It’s going to be hard with the Olympic Games, that’s true. Going to China after Toronto and Cincinnati and then back to the US, it’s gonna be tough! Nevertheless: they complain it’s too tightly packed, too long, but on the other hand, I have the impression that the reason why they’re better than the others is their ability to stay the course better. It’s somewhat illogical. Personally, as things stand at present, I don’t 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 Clément 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: “Wait, you’re telling me that now, but when I talked about it at the time, more than a year and a half ago, nobody cared!” Since somebody has outed the problem, it has reached considerable proportions.

And have you ever been approached?
No, never. Nothing. I think it’s 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! It’s completely crazy! All we players ask is to be left in peace. If a guy enters a tournament venue and proposes this kind of “arrangements”, he must be banned for life indeed. And make sure we will never see him again. In France, we’re well protected, but we don’t know exactly what is happening in countries like Russia. If a guy comes to me and asks me to “fix” a match, I will refuse. But how to be sure he won’t 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, it’s hard to come out of it. It is necessary to pull out all the stops to eradicate the problem and that’s 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. I’m 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.

08-20-2008, 09:31 AM
You can find his reaction to the RR system here, for example:
He made it quite clear he didn't like it indeed.

08-20-2008, 10:26 AM
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.

08-21-2008, 02:56 PM
hi guys!
my name is Yavor and i'm new here................:wavey:

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. It’s really nice here, it’s 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?
- It’s 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. That’s 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. It’s always long because when you play from the baseline, it’s 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. It’s very hard, so that’s 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 it’s 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. It’s 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 don’t 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 that’s 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 arises…serve and volley?

- Yeah serve and volley (laughingly)…sometimes. 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 that’s 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 it’s 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 it’s very hard because it’s 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 that’s the first goal to be among the four best players to go to the Olympic Games. After the Davis Cup it’s 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 it’s 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 that’s 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 that’s 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 didn’t invite the rest of the team, since you are slightly older shouldn’t 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 it’s 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 don’t 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 didn’t think about it

I am glad I could surprise you with a question and I thank you so much for your time, Gilles Simon (

08-21-2008, 03:40 PM
I like his answer on the nightclub in Romania episode :lol: Thanks Yavor and welcome! :)

08-21-2008, 04:06 PM

the nightclub story is my favorite to........:timebomb:

08-21-2008, 05:31 PM
this interview is from toronto after victory over Roger/ youtube /...................enjoy:aparty:

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.

08-22-2008, 01:01 PM
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 Quétin. 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 González 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.

09-03-2008, 08:57 AM
When he calls it a career, he will be able to switch to golf, swimming, piano or even resume his studies, even politics. "Of course I'm into politics!" You'll have to wait for him to be done with his tennis career, and it's not going to be soon, considering the incredible fortnight he's having.I came again across the old article of l'Equipe about the tennis players and the French presidential elections the other day, btw, I had already read it at the time, but I probably wasn't a diehard Poussinette yet back then because I didn't remember Gilles also was quoted in it a few times.

He is pro-Sarkozy. Very, very clearly. :devil:

I said last time I prefer not to know!

(I see Marine posted parts of the article here: )

09-03-2008, 01:05 PM
Hi everybody. :wavey: I'm finally back from my holidays. I really haven't been here since the middle of the Olympics so missed this great article from Tennis Magazine. :D Thanks Fran, as usual, for the translation :worship: and Tutu and jitterbug for editing!

Trying to explain that I was better-ranked than Gaël Monfils,for example, was a waste of time at some point… :lol:

Thanks again for the article.

hi guys!
my name is Yavor and i'm new here................:wavey:

Hi Yavor. :wavey: Thanks for all the great articles. :)

09-17-2008, 09:18 AM
An interview of Tulasne:
Summary comes later, I don't have much time right now, sorry.

09-17-2008, 03:03 PM
Thanks,really interresting how gilles managed to improve like he did this year.

09-18-2008, 08:16 AM
Here's a summary:
The goal for this year was to back up the good results of last year and, why not, improve even more. He has done better than they expected. "He really is very surprising." Since Tulasne started working with him, Gilles has played 5 ATP finals and won all of them.

"Gilles was aware that he needed to be strong physically to be able to play a full season. It was one of our priorities: to work on his condition during the winter break, and he did it well. He worked with a lot of profesionalism and was very courageous. He has managed to 'maintain' this condition for the rest of the season. He really got down to work, which he used to dislike in the past. Gilles is a player who likes playing matches rather than training and working on his condition. He became aware of that. He hasn't had any big injury this year. He also realized that he needed to take his game forward in order to be able to win matches against good players. So he set himself goals to improve his attacking game. He now is able to attack, depending on his tactics and on the opponent, and he's able to finish the points at the net."

"He surprises me because he isn't afraid of anybody. His natural confidence is increased by the fact that he's very strong physically on the court, fast and tough, and also by the fact that he has an all-round game, he has no real flaw his opponents could use. That's why he can dream of going even higher."

Then the inevitable question about the fact that he has never gone far in Grand Slams though.
Tutu is defending Gilles big time on that point - but saying wrong things in the process, so I know it's well-meant, but it looks a bit ridiculous! I hope something got lost in transcription, I can not believe he says Gilles beat "two very good players" to reach the 3rd round against Nadal at the Australian Open (he beat Bobby Reynolds - last direct entry in the MD - in 5 sets and a half-tanking Rainer Schüttler!) Then he says Gilles beat two "very good players" in Wimbledon again (Olejniczak!! and Calleri) and lost to Ritchie in a 4'30 match (not true either). ^^ And JMDP was ranked #10 after the USO, so Gilles has always lost to players better than him in GS. (OK, that's true.)

Since he has already done better than expected for this year, the new goal is to come as close as possible to the top 10. And, why not, get the last spot in Shanghai, but he'll need to play extremely well for that and achieve a feat. He's now taking 2 weeks off and they will start training again 4-5 days before Metz because he will play 5 tournaments in a row.

09-18-2008, 11:27 AM
He's now taking 2 weeks off and they will start training again 4-5 days before Metz because he will play 5 tournaments in a row.
I read Grand Chelem Mag and it seems that's he will play the Open de la Baie Somme 23-28 september. Last year Jo won this open where there is no points to win..

Gilles is annonced on the website as Paulo and Gicquel.

09-18-2008, 04:27 PM
he needs to rest cause he will fight hard for a qualification to the TMC and this pass with winning points.Many points.
There will be huge competition between many players such as wawrinka,blake,del potro...

09-18-2008, 05:47 PM
That thing is like training, it's just an exhibition.
But I don't see the point in playing Metz. He'd need to reach the semi-final there to add just a few points, it's not really worth the hassle.

09-20-2008, 03:08 PM
Hi Yavor. :wavey: Thanks for all the great articles. :)

u welcome........:hug:

09-21-2008, 01:12 PM
That thing is like training, it's just an exhibition.
But I don't see the point in playing Metz. He'd need to reach the semi-final there to add just a few points, it's not really worth the hassle.

I think it's just for confidence, because he probably does not want to arrive in Madrid or Paris with no games in a month!

09-21-2008, 01:30 PM
It's in France, it's important for him to play in his homecountry and it's not far from Switzerland I think !

09-21-2008, 04:49 PM
He has entered Vienna too, Manu. His schedule is Metz-Vienna-Madrid-Lyon-Bercy. And if he wants to scratch out one, it should be Metz.

I like he planned on playing Metz, but playing in his homecountry is not the priority for him right now. This time he's allowed to turn into a "ranking points whore". I don't think he has much of a chance to qualify, but he has to try.
And Metz is hardly interesting for him rankingwise unless he reaches the final. It won't be so easy to go far there, Metz brings few points, but the "cut" is quite high!

But well, if he feels well rested enough (he said in Bucharest he was very tired), he can play to get used to the surface and try to get some confidence for Madrid indeed.

He often makes me eat my words, so watch him do well in Metz and qualify thanks to these points. :p

09-25-2008, 07:23 AM
An interview in the local newspaper of Metz today (Républicain Lorrain), so I guess he will really play:Simon : « J'adore jouer les finales »
Vainqueur de trois tournois cette année et de Roger Federer, Gilles Simon est devenu l'homme fort du tennis français. Et l'un des grands favoris de l'Open de Moselle. Tour d'horizon avec ce champion plein d'aplomb et pas langue de bois.

• Une belle année ? « Oui, ça, c'est sûr ! »
• Au choix, que préférez-vous : le classement (17e mondial), les trois tournois gagnés ou le succès contre Federer ? « Sans hésitation, le classement, qui veut dire beaucoup de choses. C'est mon plus gros objectif. »
• Battre le n°1 ou enlever des tournois, tout de même... « Les exploits, les grosses victoires, sur un seul match, restent plus faciles que de se maintenir à un bon niveau de jeu tout au long de l'année. Un exploit peut être sans lendemain. »
• Vous dites "plus faciles" ? « Transpercer un tournoi pendant une semaine, ça arrive. On peut être dans un état de grâce. Je ne parle même pas d'un match où il suffit d'être en forme pendant 1h30 ou 2 h. Donc, c'est plus facile ! »
• Il ne faudrait pas minimiser votre performance : vous êtes seulement le cinquième joueur français de l'histoire à gagner cinq tournois. « Bien sûr, mais on raisonne souvent avec ce qui nous manque... A l'inverse, je n'ai pas réussi à percer dans les tableaux des tournois du Grand chelem. »
• Peut-on vous considérer comme le n°1 de l'Hexagone cette saison ? « C'est une chose compliquée. Je n'ai pas gagné d'épreuves importantes. Evidemment, je suis devant à la Race (classement de l'année) mais sans avoir une énorme marge d'avance. »
• Simon ou Gasquet ? « Je ne joue pas pour me retrouver devant Richard. Je vis d'abord ma performance personnelle. Trois Français dans le top 10 mondial, ça ne changerait rien pour moi. Mon but a toujours été d'arriver le plus haut possible dans le classement. Je comprends qu'il soit important, pour vous, de dire : le n°1, c'est lui. Mais je ne joue pas en rapport avec ça. »
• Cette vive concurrence nationale a-t-elle des côtés positifs ? « Quand les autres sont bons, ils vous aident. Parce que vous avez battu ces joueurs qui dominent eux-mêmes d'excellents adversaires. Alors, vous vous rendez compte, dans la tête, que vous pouvez les imiter. J'ai mes repères avec Jo (Tsonga) et Gaël (Monfils). L'un a fait finale en Australie, le deuxième demi-finale à Roland-Garros. Je me dis : pourquoi pas moi ? Les autres Français vous désinhibent en quelque sorte ! »
• Avez-vous conscience, malgré la richesse de votre palmarès, d'être plus en retrait sur le plan médiatique que ce duo ? « Je n'ai jamais eu de problème par rapport à ça car je n'ai jamais cherché à avoir mon nom à la une des journaux. Je ne crains pas d'ailleurs que cela ne vienne pas. Chacun apporte au tennis ce qu'il peut. Je me rends compte de la différence. Gaël (Monfils) est un showman. A l'US Open, il était à peine tête de série et on l'a fait jouer sur le court Armstrong (le principal) contre un qualifié (joueur modeste donc) ».
• En causez-vous avec Monfils ? « Oui, on en rigole. Je lui balance : comment veux-tu que j'explique aux gens que je suis mieux classé que toi ? Ce qui me gêne davantage, c'est quand on confond potentiel, talent, niveau de jeu et notoriété. »
• Êtes-vous confiant pour l'Open de Moselle ? « Sur surface indoor, j'ai remporté mon premier titre à Marseille et c'était plus rapide que le greenset de Metz. Mon jeu à plat peut se révéler gênant... »
• Vous venez de gagner vos cinq dernières finales. Gilles Simon, nerfs d'acier ? « Déjà tout petit, j'adorais jouer les finales. C'est encore vrai. Simplement parce que pour y parvenir, il faut souvent gagner. Et quand on gagne, on emmagasine de la confiance. Aujourd'hui, c'est pareil : pourquoi tout d'un coup je perdrais mon niveau en un jour ? Bon, dans ces finales, je n'ai pas non plus battu Nadal ou Federer ! »

I'll translate later.

09-25-2008, 07:52 AM
Simon ou Gasquet ? « Je ne joue pas pour me retrouver devant Richard. Je vis d'abord ma performance personnelle. Trois Français dans le top 10 mondial, ça ne changerait rien pour moi. Mon but a toujours été d'arriver le plus haut possible dans le classement. Je comprends qu'il soit important, pour vous, de dire : le n°1, c'est lui. Mais je ne joue pas en rapport avec ça. »

Why should it be important for the journaliste?

:topic: I have also a language question on this, in teh corresponding thread.

09-25-2008, 10:03 AM
Of course it is a story for the French journalists. It's not like they will talk about it in the news either! But the French tennis websites will point out that kind of things, of course, they've always published the ranking of the French players every Monday and will comment on possible changes, it has nothing to do with Richard.

Here's the "translation":

• A beautiful year? "Yes, for sure!"
• If you have to choose, what do you prefer: your ranking (#17), the 3 titles or the win over Federer? "The ranking, without a doubt, because it means a lot. It's my biggest goal."
• But to beat the world number 1 or to win tournaments... "The big wins, the feats in one match are easier to obtain than maintaining a good level during the whole year. They can be just a fluke."
• Easier? "It happens to have a great run in a tournament. Sometimes you are particularly inspired for one week. And you just need to be in great form for 90 minutes or 2 hours to score a big win. So it's easier!"
• But you shouldn't play down your own performance, you're only the 5th French player to have won 5 titles... "Yes, but one tends to see what is still lacking... I haven't managed to go far in Slams yet."
• Can we say you're the French number 1 for this year? "It's complicated. I haven't won any big title. I'm the number one in the Race, of course, but not with a big margin."
• Simon or Gasquet? "I don't play to be ahead of Richard, but for my own achievements only. Having 3 French players in the top 10 wouldn't change anything for me. My goal has always been to reach the highest possible ranking. I understand it's important for you to say: he's the number 1. But that's not why I'm playing."
• Has the competition with the other French players positive impacts? "It helps when the other guys are good. Because you used to beat these players who now are beating excellent players. So you realize in your mind that you can do the same. Jo and Gaël are points of reference for me. One made the final in Australia, the other one the semi-final in Roland-Garros. I say to myself: why not me? The results of the others help to get rid of one's inhibitions, so to say!"
• Are you aware that you're in the background in the media compared to those two in spite of your titles record? "I've never had a problem with that because I've never tried to make the headlines. And I'm not afraid it might not happen. Each of us is bringing his own thing to tennis. I'm aware of the difference. Gaël is a showman. He was hardly seeded at the US Open and he was scheduled on Armstrong for a match against a qualifier."
• Do you talk about it with Monfils? "Yes, we joke about it. I tell him: but how will I explain to people that I'm better-ranked than you then? It bothers me more when people mix up potential, talent, level and fame."
• Are you confident for the Metz tournament? "I won my first title indoors in Marseille and the surface was faster than the greenset of Metz. My flat shots can be a trouble on that surface..."
• You won your 5 last finals. Do you have nerves of steel? "I loved to play finals as a kid already. I still do. Because to reach the final, one has to win a lot. And winning gives one confidence. I still feel the same today: why would my game disappear over night? But I didn't beat Nadal or Federer in these finals either!"

09-25-2008, 10:12 AM
Of course it is a story for the French journalists. It's not like they will talk about it in the news either! But the French tennis websites will point out that kind of things, of course, they've always published the ranking of the French players every Monday and will comment on possible changes, it has nothing to do with Richard.

I hope you did not misunderstand me. For once, I was not sensitive or hyper-reacting on Richie...But for me this question is crystal-clear. Gilles is nr 1 in the race and Richard still is in the ranking. There is no story for me on this. It is maths. That's why I was so surprised about his comment.

09-25-2008, 11:31 AM
It's the same for all the ranking stories then and for the talk about the world number 1 spot too, on a different scale. I for myself am bored by all the stories about it, but people obviously looooooove it.

Gilles doesn't play that "Open de Baie de Somme" exhibition, btw, he's replaced by Jérémy Chardy.

09-25-2008, 11:38 AM
It's the same for all the ranking stories then ............. I for myself am bored by all the stories about it


09-25-2008, 12:02 PM
Gilles Simon:
"But I haven't beaten Nadal or Federer in these finals either!"

there is time for everything................:devil:

09-27-2008, 07:01 AM
There is another article today in the local newspaper, it's not about him, he's asked to assess the other title contenders in Metz:Simon face au danger
Tête de série n°2, le Français jette un coup d'œil sur ses principaux adversaires.

Mario Ancic (Cro, n°8). «Il est toujours dangereux, capable d'avoir un très bon niveau pendant toute une semaine. Après une longue absence, il a réussi un retour performant, jouant notamment la finale de Marseille en début d'année. Il vient de reprendre après un petit ennui et n'est pas du genre à reprendre pour rien. Comme Jo (Tsonga)... S'il vient, c'est qu'il se sent en forme.»
Marcos Baghdatis (Chy, n°12). «Idem. Il a été blessé et le revoilà. Même en manque de matches, il peut faire mal. Parce qu'il n'a rien à perdre, Marcos arrivera relâché, détendu, délivré d'une grosse attente. Il sera d'autant plus menaçant. Il suffit que le début de match soit rassurant pour lui. Et puis quand on s'arrête, on a le temps de travailler, on revient avec une énorme envie, on prend du plaisir, ça peut faire un beau mélange tout ça.»
Ernests Gulbis (Let, n°17). «Il faudra avoir un œil sur lui, mais je pense qu'il est un peu tôt pour s'enflammer. Possède une qualité de frappe incroyable. On dirait que ça sort de sa raquette tout seul, sans forcer. Côté négatif : sa nervosité, il n'est pas non plus dingue de tennis. Cela se ressent parfois. Peut se montrer brillant sur quelques matches, comme à Roland-Garros. Quatre succès de suite est son maximum pour l'instant. D'où son nombre de défaites important. Si Gulbis peut battre un grand à n'importe quel moment, créer un exploit un jour, le lendemain il est capable de ne pas confirmer.»
Ivo Karlovic (Cro, n°1). «A énormément progressé du fond du court. Avec lui, les matches sont toujours pareils. C'est serré et dangereux. On sait que la décision peut se faire dans les jeux décisifs. A partir de là, la rencontre se joue sur un ou deux coups. Il bat ou inquiète les meilleurs mondiaux, perd aussi face à moins fort que lui.»
Mickaël Llodra (Fra, n°9). «Il a ses chances dans un tel tournoi, plus que Gulbis ! Micka l'a déjà prouvé par le passé en allant loin dans plusieurs tournois. Un grand serveur, dur à breaker. Faire la différence est donc difficile.»
Dimitry Tursunov (Rus, n°5). «Puissant, inégal...»
Ivan Ljubicic (Cro, n°15). «Sa carrière paraît plus derrière lui que devant ! Néanmoins, il faut se méfier de ces anciens pouvant sur une semaine retrouver un énorme niveau. Tel Sébastien (Grosjean) l'an dernier à Lyon. Lui aussi, quand il se met à servir, c'est dur... Vigilance donc.»
Nicolas Almagro (n°3). «Ce n'est pas tout à fait sa surface comme pour Moya.»
Paul-Henri Mathieu (n°4).«S'il n'a pas d'ennuis physiques, il fait partie des vainqueurs potentiels.»Ancic: always very dangerous, able to play at a very good level during a whole week. When he comes back, he means business. Like Jo. If he plays in Metz, that means he feels ready.
Baggy: also coming back from an injury break. Because he has nothing to lose, he will play relax and be all the more dangerous. He just needs to take a good start. Coming back from an injury break also means one had time to work and really is eager to play, enjoys again being on the court, it can be a great 'cocktail'.
Gulbis: a player to watch, but I think it's a bit early to get all fired up. He has an incredible way to hit the ball. It looks so effortless, the ball flies out of his racquet. The minus points: his nervosity and he's not crazy of tennis, which sometimes shows. He can be brilliant on a couple of matches like in RG. But he has never strung together more than 4 wins so far. Which means a lot of defeats too. He can beat anybody on a good day, but can also have trouble backing up a good win the next day.
Karlovic: has made huge improvements in his baseline game. All the matches look the same with him. Close and dangerous. One or two shots can be deciding. He can give a hard time to the very best, can also lose to players who are weaker than him.
Llodra: he has his chance in such a tournament, more than Gulbis! He has proved it in the past. Big serve, hard to break.
Tursunov: powerful, inconsistent...
Ljubicic: it seems his best times are behind him. But one has to be careful with these older players who can find back to their best level for one week. Like Seb last year in Lyon. When Ljubo starts serving well, it's tough... One has to be very vigilant.
Almagro: not exactly his surface, same for Moya.
Mathieu: if he's fine physically, he's one of the potential winners.

I "translated" it since he talks quite a lot about Ernie and we have some Gulbistards here.

09-27-2008, 12:22 PM
Fran, I'm sending you a PM

10-10-2008, 07:39 PM
Maybe you have already talked of his interview on Bercy website ? Not very interesting and again question about Shanghai

Simon : ''Ça peut être assez magique''

Déjà victorieux de trois titres en 2008 (Casablanca, Indianapolis et Bucarest), Gilles Simon est né aux yeux du grand public en juillet dernier, en dominant Roger Federer – alors numéro un mondial – à Toronto. Une grande performance au BNP Paribas Masters pourrait lui ouvrir, à 23 ans, les portes de la Masters Cup de Shanghai. Rencontre.

Vous avez – pour l’instant – remporté trois titres cette année, vous frappez aux portes du Top 10… Même si la saison n’est pas finie, peut-on dire qu’elle est déjà très réussie ?
Oui, puisque que mon objectif était de finir l’année aux alentours de la quinzième place mondiale. A priori, cela devrait être le cas. Tout ce qui va se passer à partir de maintenant sera du bonus, comme par exemple le fait d’être en course pour le Masters de Shanghai, car ce n'était pas un objectif en début de saison. Il me reste deux tournois Masters Series à jouer, et notamment le BNP Paribas Masters, cela va être intéressant.

"Je n’ai pas commencé le tennis hier matin !"

Avez-vous ressenti un déclic à un moment donné cette saison ?
C’est venu petit à petit. J’ai ressenti beaucoup plus d’assurance lors des matchs à ma portée et dans ma façon de les gérer. J’ai joué un peu moins tendu dès les premiers tours, ce qui m’a permis d’économiser de l’énergie pour les suivants. Avant, je jouais à 200 % dès le premier match et j’étais un peu "cramé" dès que j’atteignais le troisième tour. Cette année, même si je n’ai pas dépassé ce stade de la compétition en Grand Chelem, j’ai fait de bons matchs et j’étais frais physiquement. Dans la gestion des événements, j’étais bien meilleur que les saisons précédentes. Paradoxalement, j’avais battu plus de joueurs du Top 10 ces deux dernières saisons que cette année. En revanche, j’ai énormément progressé au classement en 2008. J’ai été plus régulier, plus serein face à des joueurs un peu moins bien classé. J’ai subi très peu de défaites contre des joueurs classés au-delà de la 30e place mondiale. C’est vraiment cette constance tout au long de la saison qui m’a permis d’atteindre le classement qui est le mien aujourd’hui.

Avez-vous été surpris de vous retrouver aussi rapidement à ce niveau ?
Pour moi, c’est une suite logique car je n’ai pas connu une progression fulgurante. J’ai fini l’année 2006 à la 45e place, l’an passé à la 30e. Cette année, je vais terminer autour de la 15e place. Je ne suis pas passé de la 80e à la 10e place. Je pense que l’on peut vraiment parler d’une progression régulière. En revanche, c’est au niveau médiatique qu’il y a eu un changement radical. L’an dernier en finissant la saison à la 3e place française et dans les trente meilleurs mondiaux, j’étais dans l’ombre des meilleurs joueurs, et même de joueurs derrière moi au classement. Depuis ma victoire sur Federer au deuxième tour à Toronto, et la demi-finale qui a suivi, les gens essaient de me découvrir un petit peu plus. Ils ont l’impression que j’ai explosé d’un seul coup, alors que ce n’est pas du tout le cas. Je n’ai pas commencé le tennis hier matin ! Cela fait maintenant deux, trois ans que je joue tous les Grands Chelems et les Masters Series. Pour moi, c’est tout sauf une surprise. Pour le grand public, c'en est peut-être une. Mais au vu de ma progression et de ma constance, je ne peux pas parler de surprise.

Comment vivez-vous cette médiatisation ?
Je ne recherche pas la notoriété, mais je ne la fuis pas non plus. C’est comme tout, cela a ses avantages et ses inconvénients. C’est quelque chose qu’il faut arriver à gérer. Cela demande plus de contraintes au niveau du temps. Hors des courts, je suis quelqu’un qui aime bien être tranquille. Cela me demande de faire un peu plus d’efforts, mais c’est une partie du métier qu’il faut accepter de faire.

"La Masters Cup est un objectif tout nouveau"

Vous disiez précédemment que « tout ce qui allait arriver maintenant serait du bonus », mais est-ce que vous n’avez pas envie d’être un peu plus gourmand avec une possible qualification pour la Masters Cup ?
Pour la course au Masters, je suis encore loin car il reste très peu de tournois…

Mais vous n’en êtes pas loin…
Il faudra très bien jouer dans l’un des deux Masters Series restants à jouer (Madrid et Paris) pour y aller. Au vu de la saison, que ce soit en Grand Chelem ou en Masters Series, on retrouve souvent les trois mêmes en demi-finales ! Du coup, il ne reste pas tant de places que ça. Il faudrait sans doute que je gagne un Masters Series pour pouvoir décrocher une place à la Masters Cup.

Vous n’avez pas été très loin de le faire cette année…
J'étais à deux points de la finale à Toronto. Si je m'étais qualifié, cela aurait été sûrement compliqué en finale vu mon état de fatigue… et la forme de Rafael Nadal. Mais je vais essayer de recommencer. De toute façon, quand je rentre sur le terrain, c’est pour gagner quel que soit l’adversaire. Le Masters de Shanghai est un objectif tout nouveau. C’est bien car cela donne une motivation supplémentaire mais sans pression.

"Pour le dernier tournoi de l'année, on a envie de tout donner"

Dans cette optique, le BNP Paribas Masters est un tournoi très important pour vous. Vous allez y prendre part pour la 3e fois, est-ce un tournoi que vous appréciez particulièrement ?
C’est un tournoi où j’ai pris beaucoup de plaisir à jouer, notamment l’année dernière, car cela avait été un peu plus compliqué en 2006. L’an passé, j’ai eu l’opportunité de commencer le tournoi à l’occasion du "Sunday Start" avec une salle déjà bien remplie. Cela m’a bien aidé. Même si j’ai ensuite perdu au deuxième tour contre Robredo, j'avais livré un beau combat où je m’étais vraiment fait plaisir. J’ai eu de bonnes sensations avec le public. En plus, comme c’est le dernier tournoi de l’année et qu'il a lieu en France, on a envie de tout donner et finalement, on se met peut-être un peu plus de pression. Mais si on arrive à avoir de bonnes sensations sur le terrain, ce tournoi peut être assez magique.

L’an passé, Richard Gasquet avait décroché sa qualification pour Shanghai à Bercy justement. Cela peut donner des idées…
C’est sûr. Si le dernier tournoi avait été Madrid, avec les mêmes joueurs en face, cela n’aurait peut-être pas été la même chose pour lui. C’est un avantage de jouer en France le dernier Masters Series. Etre en course pour le Masters de Shanghai est positif. Je vais puiser de l’énergie grâce au public. Cela en fait vraiment un tournoi que l’on a envie de jouer. Les tournois de Vienne et Lyon me permettront de me préparer pour me sentir le mieux possible lors des deux Masters Series.

10-11-2008, 08:56 AM
Thanks, soulage! Nice pic of him.

He says he has already achieved his goal which was to end the season around the 15th spot in the rankings, so everything from now on will come as a free gift on top of that.
When he's asked if it "suddenly clicked" at one point of the season, he answers everything came little by little, actually. He was feeling more self-assured during matches he was supposed to win and handled them better. He was less tense in the first rounds of the tournaments and spared energy for the next rounds, unlike the last seasons when he was playing at 200% in the first round already and was burnt out in the 3rd round. Even if he didn't make it past the 3rd round in Slams this year, he was feeling fresh at that stage of the tournament. Paradoxically he beat more top 10 players in the past 2 years than in 2008, but he's been more consistent, more serene against players who are lower ranked than him. He had very few defeats against players ranked outside the top 30. That consistency explains his current ranking.

He isn't surprised since his progress has always been regular: #45 at the end of 2006, #30 at the end of 2007 and he will be ranked around #15 at the end of 2008. No big jump from #80 to #10. The main change has been in the media exposure since his win over Fed in Toronto, people are now trying to know more about him. Even when he was ranked #30, he was completely in the background compared to the others. So people who had never heard of him before think his rise is very sudden and surprising. But for him there is nothing surprising about it.

He isn't trying to be in the media, but he doesn't avoid it either. He's a guy who likes having a very quiet life off the court, but that's part of the job. There are good and negative sides.

Then the inevitable Masters Cup question. He answers he's still far from it because there are few tournaments left. He'll need to do very well in the Masters Series and when you take a look at the last quarter of the big events this year, you always see the same three names, which means there isn't much room left for the others. He'd need to win a Masters Series to have a chance to qualify.
The Masters Cup gives an extra push of motivation, but there is no pressure.
He was 2 points away from the final in Toronto, but it would have been tough if he had made it considering his exhaustion... and Nadal's form.

He always enjoyed playing in Bercy [it's an interview for the Bercy website]. Last year it helped a lot to play his first round match in front of a big crowd for the first "Sunday start" and even if he lost to Robredo in the 2nd round then, he put up a nice fight and had a good feeling with the crowd. Since it's the last event of the year and it takes place in France, they really put their heart and soul into it. There is a little bit more pressure, but it can be quite magic too.
Last year Richard got his Shanghai ticket in Bercy, maybe the result would have been different if he had played the last Masters Series in Madrid. It's a plus for them to play the last event of the season in France.

10-11-2008, 10:10 AM
tanx Soulage, tanx Fran (once again):worship:
great article!

10-13-2008, 08:23 PM
I found this in L'EQUIPE:
/but it's on french/

that's the URL:

13/10/2008 16:51
Tennis - ATP - Madrid - Simon au forceps

Gilles Simon, qui joue une bonne partie d'une éventuelle qualification pour le Masters cette semaine à Madrid, a su franchir un premier obstacle en écartant le Russe Igor Andreev (4-6, 6-1, 7-6[7]) au premier tour en sauvant quatre balles de match. La confiance accumulée cette saison avec trois titres décrochés (Casablanca, Indianapolis et Bucarest) n'a donc pas été entamée par ces deux sorties précoces à Metz et Vienne. Le Tricolore en a encore sous le pied pour tenter de finir la saison en beauté même si la route s'annonce longue.

Dans un Masters Series, il n'y a pas de tour de chauffe et Simon a pu le vérifier en devant arracher sa qualification face à un Igor Andreev dont le grand coup droit lifté fait toujours aussi mal. Mais le Russe n'est pas en grande confiance ces derniers temps et c'est peut-être là que s'est jouée la rencontre. Dans la première manche, le coup droit du Russe a fait le métier, promenant le Français dans tous les coins du court. Un break à 1-1 allait être suffisant pour Andreev dont le service était également parfaitement réglé. A ce moment-là, Simon ne semble pas en mesure de trouver la clé en prenant l'initiative à l'échange pour contrer la puissance adverse.

Le Masters reste en vue
Mais la force de Gilles Simon version 2008 c'est de croire en ses chances du début à la fin et de ne jamais livrer une balle ou un jeu facile à l'adversaire jusqu'à ce que celui-ci, éventuellement, s'use. Et bien encore une fois, le pari a été gagnant même si le Tricolore a eu énormément de mal à forcer la décision. Il a suffi d'une légère baisse de concentration du Russe dès son premier jeu de service pour que ce rusé de Simon en profite (2-0) et entame un cavalier seul (6-1) face à un adversaire débordé par sa frustration. Coulant à pic, le Russe a multiplié les fautes directes face à un adversaire dont le revers croisé fusant ne cessait de le mettre à trois mètres de la balle ou, au choix, de dérégler complètement ce coup droit dont dépend sa réussite. Mais l'ancien quart de finaliste de Roland-Garros a retrouvé sa lucidité en milieu de troisième set et il a fallu un Gilles Simon très fort mentalement pour effacer quatre balles de match à 4-5 avant d'arracher le tie-break.

Son match du prochain tour face à James Blake prend déjà une importance capitale face à un adversaire directe pour la qualification au Masters. Le Français risque de vivre un autre mano a mano délicat, puisqu'il reste sur deux défaites en autant de rencontres face à l'Américain (JO et Cincinnati) sans avoir jamais réussi à lui prendre un set. Mais Blake n'a plus joué depuis l'US Open et une défaite au troisième tour. Nul doute de toute manière que le Français vendra chèrement sa peau. Andreev peut en témoigner !

10-13-2008, 08:57 PM
So, you expect Fran (or me) to translate it ? :lol:

10-13-2008, 09:00 PM
only if you want to.......

10-13-2008, 09:07 PM
this article is not for me but for everyone who came here..if you are pleased to translated it, so be it!!

10-14-2008, 08:15 AM
It's just a summary of the match. is useless at least 95% of the time, the real articles are in the printed issue of L'Equipe.

There is a short portrait of him in the Lyon supplement of the new Tennis Magazine, but it's just the usual stuff. (I can't believe how bad Tennis Magazine has become - and that I'm still paying for that crap. ^^)
Nothing new. People often say about him that he tends to overestimate himself, but he's been so underestimated in the past that he needed to make up for it and use self-persuasion. He doesn't need to anymore, this time everybody has gotten the message.
He had a very rough start on the tour, hardly won a single match when he was 18-20 years old.

10-14-2008, 07:02 PM
Nice article, too bad people don't speak French :lol:

10-19-2008, 02:32 PM
There is a nice portrait of him today in Le Progrès (the Lyon newspaper, so they asked the players and trainers who are in Lyon atm):

Nothing really new for us. Everybody is a bit puzzled, Dominguez (in charge of the FFT) says he would never have expected that, but Hagelauer means that if Davydenko and Ferrer were able to stay in the top 10, why not him?
Ascione says he's not very fast, and yet, it's almost impossible to hit a winner against him. He seems to attract the ball.
Morel who was with him at the INSEP says he wasn't very professional, used to spend his time playing video games.
Ascione means he's very clever ("il a oublié d'être con") and has always been a little bit on the sidelines, in his own world.
Dominguez calls him "attachant et mariolle" (endearing and crafty).

10-20-2008, 10:16 AM
I found this article: "Gilles Simon: an inspiration"

I like the conclusion...

10-20-2008, 10:49 AM
I found this article: "Gilles Simon: an inspiration"

I like the conclusion...

"............Simon’s flawless return of serve, screaming two-handed backhand down the line, world-class speed, nerves of steel, and heart of a champion!"

oh yeah.............i like the conclusion too!!!

10-21-2008, 06:18 AM
The 2nd part of his audio interview is about Rafa and really nice, if you speak French:
As I said last time, it's not so common to hear French players being that much in love with Rafa.
He says they're getting along with Rafa (hence the friendly handshake at the Australian Open).
Rafa is such a nice, unaffected guy in the locker room, not arrogant at all. It's normal for Gilles to respect Rafa, but he finds it quite amazing when Rafa seems to respect him too. :lol: It cracked him up for example when Rafa congratulated him for his Indianapolis title in Toronto since Rafa had just won RG, Wimbledon, etc. ("if you're congratulating me, what am I supposed to say?")

He just says very simple things, but it's nice (he has a really cute way sometimes to talk about his fellow players, I also remember his audio interview in Marseille in 2007 when he sounded sincerely disappointed for Nieminen - "he's so 'adorable', don't you think so?")

10-21-2008, 06:22 AM
And the article in L'Equipe about what the other players in Lyon think of him:Simon les fait parler
Entraîneurs et joueurs français présents à Lyon commentent la trajectoire du finaliste de Madrid. Avis contrastés.

JOUERA ? JOUERA PAS ? Gilles Simon est attendu comme le Mecir au palais des sports de Gerland, où il est censé lancer son tournoi de Lyon demain par un premier tour accessible face à Juan Monaco (44e, blessé cet été et loin de sa meilleure forme). Mais Simon, c’est dix-sept manches et 13 h 18’ d’efforts intenses à Madrid la semaine dernière, dont 3 h 22’ consacrées exclusivement à écoeurer Nadal en demi-finales. Simon, c’est désormais un dossard de numéro 10mondial. C’est aussi la perspective d’une qualification au Masters qui passerait plus par un « coup » à Bercy qu’à Lyon, où tout résultat moins flatteur qu’une demi-finale ne rapporterait pas le moindre kopeck ATP. La tentation de la semaine off doit être forte.
En attendant Simon, hier, dans les travées de Gerland, joueurs et entraîneurs avaient évidemment tous un avis à proposer sur le phénomène. Tous sauf un. Jérôme Potier, ex-entraîneur du Niçois, sérieusement fâché depuis la rupture, ne veut plus parler de lui. Eh oui, ne jamais oublier que Gilles Simon ne fait pas l’unanimité. Son jeu, son caractère : tout chez lui peut prêter à la divergence des points de vue. C’est l’atypique qui pique. « Franchement, il y a encore pas longtemps, je ne pensais pas qu’il intégrerait un jour le top 10, avoue Sébastien Grosjean. Pourtant, battre Nadal, chez lui, en Masters Series, c’est très, très fort. Cela dit, son parcours m’impressionne, mais son jeu, non. J’ai du mal à imaginer qu’il puisse aller très loin en Grand Chelem s’il ne s’économise pas davantage dans les premiers tours. »
Champion : « Ça me rappelle Becker »
« L’essentiel, c’est qu’il a toujours cru en lui, souligne Thierry Champion, qui fut « opposé » deux fois à Simon dans son costume d’entraîneur de Paul-Henri Mathieu l’an dernier. Son truc, c’est qu’il n’a jamais peur. À la fois en dehors du terrain (c’est d’ailleurs ce qui énerve les autres, qui estiment qu’il a le “melon”) et sur le court. » « Comme par hasard, les deux Français qui ont réussi à battre Nadal cette année (Simon et Tsonga) sont les deux qui ont le plus confiance en eux, relève Fabrice Santoro. Gilles, je ne le trouve pas du tout prétentieux, même si c’est vrai qu’il est un peu en marge. »
« Parfois, cette confiance peut ressembler à de l’arrogance, ressent Grosjean. Surtout quand il dit : “Lui, je sais comment le jouer” et qu’ensuite il prend 6-1, 6-1. »
« Ça ne date pas d’hier, ce sentiment profond d’être “au-dessus” de l’adversaire, se souvient Olivier Malcor, coach du duo Benneteau-Llodra. Il y a quelques années, j’étais sur la chaise du capitaine avec lui comme joueur en interclubs avec le Racing. Au changement de côtés, c’est lui qui m’expliquait comment il allait continuer son match tactiquement. Sa capacité d’analyse était déjà là. Ilme fait penser à Santoro. Il a une idée très précise sur ce qu’il doit faire et il est prêt à mourir avec cette idée. » « Il a toujours beaucoup joué (de matches par saison), ce qui lui a permis très vite de se jauger par rapport aux autres, rappelle Éric Winogradsky, l’entraîneur de Tsonga. C’est un “matcheur”. Il ne se pose même pas la question de savoir s’il a sa chance. Comme Jo (Tsonga), comme Gaël (Monfils). » « C’est vrai qu’il est comme eux, confirme Champion. Ça me rappelle Becker quand il était jeune et qu’il disait qu’il n’avait pas peur des anciens. Ce truc, ça me bluffe. »
Grosjean : « Gilles 10e, c’est rassurant pour les autres joueurs »
Et son jeu ? « Gilles 10e, quelque part, c’est rassurant pour les autres joueurs, lance Grosjean. Ça montre qu’on peut être dans le top 10 sans avoir un grand coup. Aller plus haut, je ne sais pas, mais je le lui souhaite. Dommage qu’il n’ait encore rien fait en Grand Chelem. Ce sera sa prochaine étape s’il entend s’installer là. »« Il bloque en Grand Chelem ? Il bloquait aussi en Masters Series jusqu’à cet été, rappelle Guillaume Peyre, coach de Richard Gasquet. S’il est capable de battre Federer et Nadal, alors je ne lui vois pas de limites. » « Je ne l’imaginais pas aussi haut, aussi vite, reconnaît Santoro. Samedi, face à Nadal, (silence admiratif) pffff... Dire qu’il n’a pas de coup est un non-sens. Il a un timing exceptionnel. Mais ça n’empêche qu’il est aujourd’hui dans le top 10 alors qu’il a encore des lacunes. Plutôt bon signe pour la suite, non ? » « Gilles est aussi la preuve que le tennis est un sport pour tout le monde, remarque Tsonga. Pas besoin d’être une montagne de muscles pour faire avancer la balle. Pour moi, ce qu’il a réussi à Madrid est la suite logique de sa saison. » Plus fort encore, son exploit d’il y a trois jours contre Nadal avait presque été annoncé : « Je suis rentré de Cincinnati par le même avion que Gilles cet été, raconte Malcor. Dans le salon d’embarquement, il m’a scotché en me disant : “Je ne comprends pas comment les autres jouent Nadal tactiquement. Ils le jouent mal.” Mon premier réflexe a été de me dire : “Quand même, quel melon !...” Sauf que deux mois après, il tape Nadal en demi-finales à Madrid... » Gilles Simon, ou comment mettre autant de poids dans les mots que dans la balle.

10-21-2008, 06:50 AM
I find it hilarious because they're very honest about him and you can feel he annoys a good bunch of them. :devil:
(The translation must be poor, sorry.)

Everybody was talking about him yesterday in Lyon. Everybody but Potier, his former coach who doesn't want to talk about him anymore. Gilles Simon is not consensual. Not everybody is appealed by his game and his personality.
Grosjean: "Honestly, I didn't think he would make it to the top 10. To beat Nadal at home, in a Masters Series, that's very, very big. That said, his run impresses me, but not his game. I have trouble seeing him go far in Grand Slams if he doesn't save his strength better in the first rounds."
Champion (former coach of PHM, Monfils...): "The key is that he has always believed in himself. He is never scared. Off court (which annoys the other ones who mean he is bigheaded) and on court".
Santoro: "What a coincidence - the two French players who have beaten Nadal this year (Simon and Tsonga) are the ones with the biggest self-confidence. I don't find Gilles conceited at all, even though he's a bit on the sidelines, that's true."
Grosjean: "His confidence sometimes looks like arrogance. Especially when he says: 'I know how to play against him' and loses 6-1 6-1 then." :lol:
Malcor (coach of Llodra-Benneteau): "This feeling to be above the opponent is not new with him. A few years ago, I was coaching him for an Interclub match. During the change over, he was the one explaining to me how he needed to play tacticwise. [:rolls: This is not going to work with Forget!] He already had that analytic mind. He reminds me of Santoro. He has a very clear idea of what he needs to do and he's ready to die out there to put it into practice."
Winogradski (Tsonga's coach): "He used to play a lot of matches, which has allowed him to evaluate himself in relation to the others. He loves the competition. He doesn't even ask himself if he has a chance to win. Like Jo, like Gaël."
Champion: "That's true, he's a lot like them. He reminds me of the young Becker who used to say he wasn't afraid of the older players. I find that stunning."
And his game?
Grosjean: "Knowing that Gilles is top 10 is somehow comforting for the other players. It shows one can enter the top 10 without having a great weapon. Going further? I don't know, I hope for him he will. Too bad he hasn't done anything yet in Slams. That will be the next step if he wants to stay there."
Peyre (Gasquet's coach): "A block in Slams? He also had a block in Masters Series until this summer. If he's able to beat Federer and Nadal, I don't see any limits."
Santoro admits: "I wasn't thinking he would go that high so soon. This match against Nadal on Saturday, pffff (admiring pause)... It's a non-sense to say he hasn't a weapon. His timing is exceptional. But it's true he has made it to the top 10 despite having deficiencies in his game. Which is rather a good sign, isn't it?"
Tsonga: "Gilles also is the proof that everybody can play tennis. No need to have huge muscles to speed up the ball. For me, his achievement in Madrid is the logical consequence of his season."
Malcor: "When I came back from Cincy this summer, we were on the same plane with Gilles. I was flabbergasted when he told me in the boarding lounge: 'I don't understand the tactic of the other players against Nadal. They play him the wrong way.' My first thought was: 'Boy, it has really gone to his head!' Two months later, he beats Nadal in the semi-final of Madrid..."
Gilles Simon, or how to put as much weight into the words as into the ball.

I often like Fabrice's statements about the younger generation, how he talks about Richard, Jo or here Gilles, he often is spot on.

10-21-2008, 07:19 AM
Grosjean: "Sometimes, that confidence looks like arrogance. Especially when he says: 'I know how to play against him' and loses 6-1 6-1 then."

Is he referring to a specific match? That brilliant Monte Carlo defeat against Ramirez-Hidalgo which I have witnessed? :p

Grosjean: "Knowing that Gilles is top 10 is somehow comforting for the other players. It shows one can enter the top 10 without having a great weapon. Going further? I don't know, but I hope for him he will. Too bad he hasn't done anything yet in Slams. That will be the next step if he wants to stay there."

Séb and some others just sound like sour grapes. :D

10-21-2008, 07:45 AM
Is he referring to a specific match? That brilliant Monte Carlo defeat against Ramirez-Hidalgo which I have witnessed? :pNo! I'm sure he was injured and in pain for that match, Puschkin, even if he apparently didn't show it. He said it very clearly before and after the match and I believe him.
[Here is the summary of THE match:]

Seb is rather hinting at statements like the ones before the matches against your Ritchie imo! Haven't you heard what Gilles said before their match at the USO 2006? It was "intense"! And Ritchie gave him such a beatdown then. ^^
Or before the Nadal match at the AO this year, he also said he knew how to beat him and he lost in straight sets.
He's very much like that, they're not just being sour grapes. I find the parts about his game being "blah" more annoying, that's why I like what Fabrice says.

10-21-2008, 08:24 AM
Seb is rather hinting at statements like the ones before the matches against your Ritchie imo! Haven't you heard what Gilles said before their match at the USO 2006? It was "intense"! And Ritchie gave him such a beatdown then.
:eek: What did I miss?

Fabrice is always intelligent, when it comes to tennis I feel.

10-21-2008, 10:06 AM
Thanks Truc, interesting reading !

10-21-2008, 10:57 AM
:eek: What did I miss? I can't tell you, it will ruin all my hard work to promote G. Simon!

No, seriously, he didn't say anything bad about Richard, but he stressed a bit too much how close it was going to be since they're both so talented and Richard fears him too and this kind of things. His audio interview for the FFT doesn't seem to be available anymore, but there were a few bits here too:

10-21-2008, 11:06 AM
I can't tell you, it will ruin all my hard work to promote G. Simon!
Two years ago, it did sound a bit stupid, but now?

10-21-2008, 02:28 PM
It really was too much before that match with Richard (that's also why I was wondering about their relationship, btw, I found it a bit shocking towards Ritchie, but I now think they're fine), I don't think he would talk like that anymore.

10-21-2008, 02:30 PM
Another interview of the "chatterbox" :lol::
- « Gilles, quel est votre état d’esprit après votre fabuleux parcours au Masters Series de Madrid ?
- C’est sûr que cela a été un moment mémorable. Maintenant, là tout de suite, j’ai la pression qui disparaît. J’ai donc simplement un gros coup de barre au lendemain de cette finale. J’ai également des regrets qui arrivent par rapport au tie-break de la deuxième manche (NDLR : Simon s’est procuré deux balles de deuxième manche, à 6 points à 4 au jeu décisif). Mais il va falloir se remobiliser tout de suite pour être très performant dès cette semaine à Lyon.

- Avec ce résultat à Madrid, vous avez changé de statut, notamment grâce à votre victoire sur Nadal. C’était vraiment un énorme match de votre part…
- Ça fait plusieurs fois qu’on me dit que je change de statut ! Cette saison, j’ai déjà changé trois ou quatre fois de statut ! Vraiment, je ne le vois pas comme ça. J’ai fait de très bons matches cette année, comme contre Federer à Toronto. Là, j’ai encore réussi à me prouver que j’étais capable de battre un numéro 1 mondial. Ça a été une très bonne chose pour moi. C’est très bon pour la confiance aussi. Maintenant à moi d’essayer d’appliquer tout le temps le tennis que j’ai réussi à pratiquer contre ces joueurs-là. Pas seulement quand il faut jouer les tout meilleurs justement, mais de façon plus régulière afin d’essayer de s’économiser un peu au physique et de jouer une finale dans de meilleures conditions qu’à Madrid !


- Cette victoire face à Nadal, devant son public, est-elle la plus belle de votre carrière ?
- Je pourrais dire que c’était la plus belle parce que c’est sûrement celle où j’ai pris le plus de plaisir. Dès le début du deuxième set, toute la pression a disparu, j’avais juste envie de faire un très grand match contre le plus grand joueur de la saison, chez lui, dans une ambiance vraiment particulière. J’ai éprouvé des sensations que je n’avais pas connues sur les autres matches de la saison.
Mais il y a eu aussi la victoire face à Federer qui était un peu particulière, dans un contexte différent. J’avais joué plus tendu pendant tout le match, parce que c’était une rencontre que je voulais vraiment gagner. Et je pense que sans la victoire sur Federer, il n’y aurait pas eu la victoire contre Nadal. En gagnant contre Federer, je me suis vraiment prouvé que je pouvais gagner un match comme ça. Il était encore numéro 1 à ce moment-là et c’est là que je me suis dit : « Voilà, si tu es capable de le battre, lui, tu es capable de battre tous les autres. » Cela m’a forcément aidé à ne pas me poser de questions quand j’ai joué « Rafa » samedi.

- On a parfois tendance à dire que les Français sont talentueux mais un peu friables mentalement. Or, à Madrid, vous avez sauvé six balles de match lors de votre parcours et avez gagné quatre matches au tie-break du troisième set ! C’est exceptionnel.
- Oui, ça a été assez fort. Et malgré ça, je m’en veux de ne pas avoir au moins gagné le deuxième set contre Murray en finale, en laissant passer deux balles de set. On a beau se dire qu’on aurait pu passer à la trappe dès le début, qu’il aurait suffi d’un coup droit gagnant d’Andreev sur l’une de ses balles de match (NDLR : contre Andreev au premier tour, Simon effaça quatre balles de match avant de s’imposer) pour qu’il n’y ait pas toute cette semaine incroyable… Malgré ça, ces points-là me restent en travers de la gorge. C’est un défi sans fin, on peut toujours s’améliorer. Même le joueur le plus fort mentalement et physiquement qu’est Rafael Nadal peut, lui aussi, encore s’améliorer pour essayer de gagner le match qu’il a perdu samedi. Il n’y a pas de problème. Ce n’est pas parce qu’on est Français qu’on n’a pas de mental, c’est vraiment des idées préconçues.

Moi, ma philosophie sur le terrain, c’est que j’ai le droit de mal jouer au tennis. J’ai le droit de ne pas sentir mes coups, de pousser la balle, de jouer huit mètres derrière, de faire un match pas très beau, parce qu’on ne peut pas bien jouer tous les jours. Il y a forcément des moments où l’on joue un peu moins bien, où l’on a de moins bonnes sensations, ça c’est normal. En revanche, je pense qu’on se doit de faire le maximum au niveau de la tête, au niveau des jambes. Et même si, en finale, ça a été plus dur au niveau des jambes, même si ça s’est sûrement senti, j’ai essayé de faire le match le plus parfait possible au niveau de l’attitude, parce qu’à ce niveau là, j’estime qu’on doit être irréprochable. Et surtout, on se rend compte que les joueurs qui sont devant au classement, sont eux irréprochables à ce niveau là.

- La vie d’un joueur de tennis est un éternel recommencement. On se remet en cause toutes les semaines. Mais là, vous avez peut-être le temps de vous poser un peu et de réaliser ce que vous avez fait, parce que vous êtes dans le Top 10 pour la première fois de votre carrière…
- Non, au contraire, je pense que je n’ai pas du tout le temps d’en profiter ! J’aimerais bien, mais je pense que j’aurai le temps d’en profiter quand la saison sera finie. Mais quand Nadal fait une saison aussi fabuleuse que celle qu’il accomplit cette année, il n’a pas vraiment le temps d’en profiter non plus ! Il gagne « Roland » et doit se remettre tout de suite en question pour Wimbledon. Il remporte Wimbledon et doit se reconcentrer sur les deux Masters Series qui se profilent. Il s’impose aux Jeux Olympiques et il y a l’US Open qui arrive. Il y a toujours quelque chose derrière. On ne doit s’arrêter qu’à la fin de la saison. Il n’y a qu’en novembre que l’on peut se poser, tirer un bilan, se faire plaisir pendant deux ou trois semaines en levant vraiment le pied.

- Ça ne vous a donc rien fait de voir votre nom à la dixième place du classement ?
- Si, c’est vrai que je suis très content. Souvent on dit d’un joueur : « Il sera un jour dans le Top 10. » Et puis, on n’y est jamais ! Au moins, je peux imprimer le classement et le garder au-dessus de mon lit. C’est vrai que ce serait encore mieux pour moi de finir l’année dans ce Top 10, et de me dire que sur cette saison, j’ai été dans les dix meilleurs joueurs du monde. Cela représenterait plus pour moi qu’une semaine comme ça en milieu d’année, même si on n’est plus en milieu d’année.

- Le BNP Paribas Masters vous attend avec un super défi : celui de décrocher une place pour la Masters Cup de Shanghai…
- Oui, c’est un super défi à relever. Mais d’abord, il va y avoir un tournoi très important à Lyon. Dans l’optique de la Masters Cup, je pense que ceux qui seront devant au classement à Bercy auront vraiment un gros avantage. Surtout si les tout meilleurs participent au tournoi car on se rend compte qu’à chaque fois qu’ils sont là, il y en a toujours trois sur quatre en demi-finales, ce qui laisse très peu de place à l’exploit. Ce serait bien évidemment plus facile d’aborder le BNPPM en étant déjà huitième à la Race ! Maintenant, si ce n’est pas le cas, il faudra essayer de profiter de l’avantage de jouer à la maison avec le public. Je me rends compte de l’importance que cela peut avoir, surtout quand je joue un Nadal chez lui. Toutes proportions gardées bien sûr, car à Madrid c’était vraiment de la folie !
Ça peut avoir son importance, surtout sur des matches décisifs, ou dans le cas où il y aurait des adversaires directs à affronter.


- Qu’est-ce que cela représenterait pour vous de participer à la Masters Cup de Shanghai ?
- Ce n’est pas un rêve, je n’ai jamais rêvé de jouer le Masters. Je pense que c’est un tournoi très prestigieux, qui récompense les huit meilleurs joueurs de la saison. Dans tous les cas, ce serait vraiment une très bonne expérience à vivre que d’aller là-bas. Après, ça n’a pas l’importance que peut avoir un Grand Chelem. Ça n’a pas non plus l’importance que peut avoir un tournoi comme le BNP Paribas Masters qui n’est qu’un Masters Series, mais qui se joue en France.

Mais c’est vrai que ça donne envie de se dire qu’on va aller là-bas avec les meilleurs joueurs, des joueurs du calibre de Federer, Nadal. On ne peut qu’avoir envie de les jouer. Je suis un peu dans la même optique que pour les Jeux Olympiques. Pour moi, ce n’était pas un rêve de gamin, c’était juste une super expérience à vivre, un événement que je ne voulais absolument pas rater. J’ai été très heureux d’y participer et je pense que j’irais à la Masters Cup un peu dans le même état d’esprit si je devais y aller.

- Vous devez votre belle progression à vous-même, bien sûr, mais aussi au travail que vous faites avec Thierry Tulasne. On imagine qu’il a partagé avec vous ces moments forts de Madrid…
- Oui, comme je l’ai dit, et je l’ai d’ailleurs remercié sur le court, je pense qu’on a fait du super bon boulot ces deux dernières années. Quand j’ai décidé de travailler avec Thierry, j’ai senti que c’était lui qui pouvait m’apporter les derniers éléments pour continuer de progresser. Et ça se passe très bien. Il arrive vraiment à me mettre en confiance avant les matches. Je pense que c’est ce qui fait la différence pour les dernières marches du classement. Le fait d’arriver en étant conquérant, en étant guerrier, en n’étant pas battu d’avance, même si on joue des joueurs très forts. On a souvent tendance à être impressionné et c’est normal.

Mais au niveau des émotions, Thierry arrive assez bien à ressentir ce que je ressens et il arrive aussi bien à me faire sentir ce qu’il faut que j’arrive à garder, ce qu’il faut que j’arrive à oublier. Car tout se joue à 60-70 % au mental sur ces matches là, voire même à 80-90 % quand on voit les fins de matches qu’il y a eu à Madrid. On se rend compte que c’est hyper important d’arriver dans de bonnes dispositions.

- Thierry Tulasne a la réputation d’être un entraîneur exigeant, alors que l’on a souvent dit que vous n’aimiez pas trop travailler le physique…
- Moi je trouve que pour un joueur qui était soi-disant fragile, j’ai souvent été fort physiquement ! C’est plutôt à l’entraînement que j’avais du mal à travailler. Je suis vraiment un « matcheur » dans l’âme. J’aime jouer des points et, au début, faire des gammes n’était clairement pas mon truc. Je jouais énormément de matches à cette période là, j’étais beaucoup moins rigoureux à l’entraînement. Mais c’est comme tout, ça évolue. Il y en a pour qui ça marche dans l’autre sens : c’était des pros de l’entraînement et pas forcément des compétiteurs et ils se sont découvert des qualités de « matcheur » et de gagneur aussi. On a tous un domaine où l’on est un peu plus faible à un moment donné, où l’on a moins envie. C’est pareil pour tous les joueurs. Il n’y a peut-être que Nadal qui adore jouer des matches et s’entraîner, mais sinon on a tous des choses que l’on préfère faire à d’autres.

Avec Thierry, on a beaucoup mis l’accent là-dessus, sur ce que j’aimais le moins faire (rires). Aujourd’hui, on voit bien que physiquement, je suis capable de tenir la distance. Et moi ce que je me suis prouvé, c’est qu’au-delà du fait d’avoir été capable de jouer un Rafael Nadal pendant trois heures et demi, le lendemain, même fatigué, même avec de moins bonnes sensations, j’ai été capable de faire quasiment jeu égal avec Andy Murray. Et même s’il a été plus fort sur l’ensemble du match et qu’il méritait sa victoire, j’ai eu des occasions de revenir à un set partout. Ça me prouve que même fatigué, il y a toujours d’autres moyens de gagner sur un terrain.

- Vous êtes-vous surpris au cours de cette semaine madrilène ou est-ce la suite logique du travail accompli depuis des mois ?
- C’est vraiment une continuité. Ça fait un moment que je m’applique. En plus, c’est vraiment lui rendre hommage que d’avoir fait un super match face à Nadal parce que c’est vraiment le joueur qui m’inspire le plus au niveau de l’attitude. Il y a des tonnes de matches que j’ai regardés, avec des situations où n’importe quel joueur aurait lâché, aurait pris un coup derrière la tête. Lui, il rebondit de sa chaise, il part en sprintant sur sa ligne de fond comme si de rien n’était. Souvent en le voyant faire, je me suis dit que c’était un monstre prêt à tout pour gagner. C’est un joueur dont je me suis beaucoup inspiré. Quand j’ai été mené contre lui, quand j’ai perdu le premier set sévèrement (6-3), où il était clairement au-dessus, quand au début du deuxième, j’avais très peu d’occasions et que j’étais malmené sur mes mises en jeu, je me suis dit : « Continue de te battre, donne tout ce que tu as, bats toi. » Je me suis dit ça sur ce match là, mais aussi sur ceux d’avant.

S’il y a une chose que j’ai bien compris cette saison, c’est qu’en gagnant des matches à l’arrachée, souvent, on pouvait aller très loin dans un tournoi. Ce qui m’a fait prendre conscience de ça, ce sont ces joueurs là. Souvent des Federer, des Nadal, qui ne jouent pas forcément bien au premier tour, qui sont souvent malmenés contre des soi-disant inconnus, finissent par gagner et par jouer leur meilleur niveau en fin de semaine. Alors maintenant, je me dis : « Sur chaque match, tant que tu as les moyens de passer, bien jouer n’est pas forcément le plus important. Le plus important c’est de passer, parce qu’après, les sensations reviennent forcément à un moment. »


- A force de sauver des balles de match, comme ce fut votre cas la semaine dernière, ne finit-on pas par se sentir presque invincible ?
- Non, je ne me sentais pas invincible, parce que malgré le courage et l’envie, ce n’était pas vraiment ça au niveau des sensations pendant le tournoi. Je suis vraiment retombé dans mes travers. Je jouais loin derrière ma ligne, j’avais du mal à être offensif, j’avais du mal à abréger les échanges. J’ai été obligé de gagner comme ça, à la bagarre, au mental, en deux heures ou deux heures et demie de match à chaque fois. Il m’était impossible de produire mieux sur le terrain. Ça a été frustrant pendant une bonne partie du tournoi. Et contre Nadal au premier set, c’était encore ça. Des coups retenus alors qu’il n’y a pas de raison de les retenir lorsque l’on joue un joueur de la classe de Nadal.

Et il y a eu un déclic dans ce match là. A un moment, quand j’ai sauvé ma mise en jeu au deuxième set, à 2-1, je me suis dit : « Vas-y, sinon tu vas prendre 3 et 3 en jouant comme ça, si tu retiens tes coups. Quitte à prendre 3 et 3, joue, fais toi plaisir. Frappe la balle, tente de le mettre à deux mètres comme tu l’avais fait pendant un set en Australie. » Ce qui a été formidable pour moi durant ce match, c’est que les bonnes sensations sont revenues, en jouant vers l’avant, des points gagnants. J’ai pris énormément de plaisir dans le jeu, dans le fait de tenter des points gagnants, de faire de longs échanges.

Mais j’ai pris énormément de plaisir aussi dans la bagarre, au physique, au mental. C’est pour cela que ça a été certainement mon meilleur match de la saison, pas forcément en qualité de jeu, mais tout a été réuni dans ce match. Je suis passé par le moment où je n’étais pas bien en début de match, un peu timide, et par le moment où je me suis libéré, où il y a eu de la bagarre physique et mentale. A l’arrivée, je gagne ce match au physique et au mental face au joueur qui est le plus physique et le plus mental de la planète tennis ! C’est pour ça que ce match contre Nadal est la plus belle victoire de ma carrière.

- Tout cela est très encourageant. Sans pratiquer votre meilleur tennis en début de tournoi, vous avez quand même battu des joueurs comme Blake ou Karlovic. En jouant bien, on se dit que vous pouvez aller très haut…
- Oui, mais j’en suis persuadé depuis un moment. Quand je joue bien, ça peut aller très, très haut. Des Top 10, j’ai commencé à en battre il y a très longtemps. J’avais battu Gaston Gaudio sur terre à Hambourg (NDLR : en 2006) quand il jouait très bien à l’époque. Je l’avais écoeuré ce jour là. J’avais joué un tennis incroyable. Simplement, j’avais été incapable de reproduire ce niveau de jeu. L’autre chose qui me nuit un peu, c’est que je suis un joueur qui adore et qui a besoin de prendre du plaisir sur un court, de tenter des points gagnants, de faire de belles choses, de faire se lever un stade même quand ce stade est contre lui.

Et aujourd’hui, je suis encore dans cette optique là, où pendant les premiers tours, je ne m’assume pas complètement quand je joue trois mètres derrière, parce que je sais qu’en jouant comme ça, il ne doit pas y avoir grand monde qui prend du plaisir en regardant le match. Ça, ça me pose énormément de problèmes. Le jour où j’entendrai : « J’ai regardé jouer Gilles Simon et je me suis ennuyé », ça va me faire vraiment mal. Pourtant, je suis obligé de constater que certains jours, c’est un passage obligé. Face à Andreev ou face à Ginepri, si j’avais été dans le public à Madrid, je me serais sans doute un peu emm… Mais j’ai du mal à m’assumer quand je fais ça. Je sais que je suis capable de gagner et aujourd’hui je me raccroche un peu à l’idée que ce n’est pas grave, qu’il faut passer par deux ou trois matches parfois moyens comme ça pour pouvoir ensuite faire rêver le public dans un match comme contre Nadal.

En fait, c’est plus facile de se dire qu’on va essayer de jouer des beaux coups. Mais finalement, on va perdre ces matches là, et derrière, il n’y aura pas le match magique ! C’est un combat un peu difficile à mener, mais à l’arrivée, le public est plus content quand on arrive à gagner. Et au-delà de ça, quand tennistiquement c’est un peu pauvre sur le terrain, on peut aussi faire plaisir au public en montrant des qualités de bagarreur, des qualités mentales…
Et personnellement, c’est rassurant de se dire que, sur le terrain, bonnes sensations ou pas, je suis capable de battre de très bons joueurs comme Andreev, Blake ou Ginepri, sans jouer un tennis incroyable.

- Votre meilleure performance en Grand Chelem se limite pour l’instant à un troisième tour. Que vous manque-t-il pour passer ce cap ?
- En Grand Chelem, je n’ai aucun problème. C’est la première année que j’ai été tête de série. Mais j’étais dans les dernières, ce qui impliquait d’affronter un joueur très fort dès le troisième tour, des joueurs qui sont tout le temps là au troisième tour en Grand Chelem. Ça a commencé par Nadal à l’Open d’Australie. J’ai fait un bon match, avec des balles de set au premier, mais sans pouvoir faire plus. C’est là que la victoire contre Federer à Toronto a été très importante. Elle m’a permis de me débloquer contre ce type de joueur et de réussir à ne pas avoir de complexe pour le battre, alors que ça avait été le cas en Australie. J’avais eu un niveau de jeu impressionnant. Moi-même, je ne pense pas avoir joué aussi bien de l’année après ça. Mais mon niveau de jeu n’avait fait que baisser au fil du match parce que je n’étais pas convaincu que je pouvais gagner. Je n’ai pas à rougir de cette défaite face à Nadal au troisième tour.

A Roland-Garros, je tombe d’entrée sur un très bon Stepanek. Je sors d’une victoire à Casablanca qui m’a un peu émoussé physiquement. Voilà, mais je n’ai jamais perdu contre des joueurs moins forts que moi.

A Wimbledon, je passe deux tours, j’arrive dans de bonnes dispositions contre Richard (Gasquet). On fait un très bon match, j’ai des occasions de le pousser au cinquième set, Mais je ne le fais pas. Il a très bien joué, il était très en forme, il aurait certainement dû battre Murray ensuite. C’était sans doute le moment de sa saison où il a le mieux joué, sur une surface qui lui convient bien. Encore une fois, rien à dire.
Enfin, à l’US Open, je passe deux tours sans trop de problèmes et pour une fois que je suis tête de série de 1 à 16, je joue contre Del Potro dès le troisième tour. On fait un super match. On en a d’ailleurs reparlé à Madrid quand on s’est croisés dans les couloirs. C’était un match vraiment incroyable, avec une intensité rare. Beaucoup de journalistes ont dit que ça avait peut-être été le plus beau match de cet US Open. Et l’arbitre de la rencontre a estimé que c’était le plus beau match qu’il avait arbitré depuis une bonne dizaine d’années. Voilà, c’était encore un match plein perdu au cinquième set. Del Potro a été plus fort que moi, surtout physiquement ce jour là.
Malheureusement, on retient souvent le stade de la compétition que l’on atteint en Grand Chelem et pas les matches. Tant que je n’aurai pas été plus loin, on me dira que je n’ai pas dépassé le troisième tour. Mais tant que ce sont des défaites comme celles là, je ne me pose pas plus de questions que cela par rapport à la deuxième semaine de Grand Chelem.


- A l’issue de votre demi-finale à Madrid, Rafael Nadal a semblé très chaleureux à votre encontre, alors qu’il avait pourtant perdu…
- Il faut savoir qu’avec « Rafa », on s’entend vraiment super bien depuis un bon moment. Déjà, on avait parlé de notre poignée de mains à l’Open d’Australie, où il s’était montré bien plus démonstratif qu’avec la plupart des autres joueurs. C’est vrai que l’on s’entend bien. Il y a un grand respect entre nous. Et c’est ça que je trouve fort de la part d’un champion comme lui. C’est plus évident de ma part de le respecter, vu tout ce qu’il produit sur un terrain et tout ce qu’il apporte à notre sport. On est obligé, en tant que tennisman professionnel, d’être respectueux envers des joueurs qui font autant pour le tennis. C’est grâce à des joueurs comme lui que les stades sont pleins.

C’est grâce à des joueurs comme lui que les jeunes ont envie de jouer au tennis. C’est grâce à des joueurs comme lui que l’on voit des petits gauchers mettre un bandeau et faire des lifts pendant des heures. Quand je vois ça, ça me fait super plaisir. Je suis obligé d’avoir un grand respect pour lui. Et lui, c’est vrai que c’est un joueur très simple. On a souvent pensé qu’il était arrogant par rapport à son attitude sur le terrain, son attitude de bagarreur. Moi je pense qu’il a besoin d’être comme ça pour jouer son meilleur tennis, et ça ne me pose aucun problème.
C’est un joueur très simple et qui rend hommage à beaucoup de joueurs. J’ai toujours l’impression qu’il se fout de ma gueule quand il me félicite ! Comme avant Toronto, parce que je venais de gagner à Indianapolis, alors que lui venait de s’enfiler en quelques semaines Hambourg, Roland-Garros, le Queen’s et Wimbledon ! Je lui dis : « Tu te fous de moi ou quoi ? Si toi tu me félicites, moi je fais quoi ? »

On s’entend très bien, sur le court comme en dehors. Je pense être un joueur qu’il respecte. Il avait déjà apprécié le combat que l’on avait livré pendant une partie de notre match à l’Open d’Australie. De tous, ce doit être lui le moins surpris de ce qui s’est passé sur le court à Madrid, parce qu’il sait que je suis bagarreur, que je peux très bien jouer au tennis et être dangereux les jours où je me lâche complètement. C’est pour ça qu’à aucun moment il n’a été arrogant, ni n’a semblé vraiment énervé ou agacé. Il a plus semblé désemparé quand ça tournait mal, mais il n’a pas eu de réaction d’orgueil ou de fierté mal placée vis-à-vis de moi. Il est au dessus de tout ça.

- Et que vous a-t-il dit ?
- Il m’a simplement dit : « Bravo, tu le mérites. Tu as été très fort aujourd’hui. » J’y repenserai quand je ne serai pas bien sur le terrain une prochaine fois ! Je me dirai : « Nadal a dit que j’étais très fort ! »

Cette interview a été réalisée par le Service Information fédérale & Roland-Garros.I hope the machine translation makes sense because that's a tad too long to translate!

10-21-2008, 03:05 PM
He really insists a lot on the fact that Rafa was respectful with him, not acting superior - I wonder if he's a bit hurt because Fed has said many, many times since Toronto that the loss against Gilles has annoyed him the most, that he really shouldn't have lost to him, etc.
Last week-end again there was an interview of Fed in L'Equipe and he said the same thing, also that Richard and Jo are the best French hopes, etc. Gilles used to be very laudatory about Fed, but not so much lately imo. :p

10-22-2008, 10:09 AM
Here are a few more points I found interesting in the never-ending interview:

The victory over Nadal is his most beautiful one ever because it's the match he enjoyed the most. The match against Fed in Toronto was different because he really wanted to win that one, so he was tense during the whole match. But the win over Fed is the reason why he was able to beat Nadal, so it also was essential for him.

He wasn't feeling invincible at all last week in Madrid after having saved so many MP. On the contrary, as he had no feel for his shots. "It was impossible for me to produce better tennis on the court. It's been frustrating during a good part of the tournament. Same during the 1st set against Nadal" when he was "restraining" his shots while there is no reason to play like that against Nadal. And then he managed to free himself and to enjoy it.

The interviewer says it's encouraging to win those matches playing badly and it means he can go far if he plays well. Gilles answers he's been sure of that for a while now. When he plays well, he can go very, very far. He started beating top 10 players a while ago already. He played awesome tennis against Gaudio in Hamburg in 2006, for example, when Gaudio was still a top player. But he wasn't able to keep it up afterwards.
He loves playing beautiful points which will look amazing for the people watching and he has trouble accepting to play poorly in the first rounds of an event. It really bothers him a lot people might say they were bored watching Gilles Simon.
And yet, it's a prerequisite for him to win matches playing like that too. He knows he would have been a bit bored if he had watched his matches against Andreev and Ginepri in Madrid. It's easier to try beautiful shots, but he'll end up losing these matches and won't get the chance to play a magic match like the one against Nadal then! It's a fight with himself, not easy, but in the end, the crowd will prefer the player who manages to win the match. Even when the level of tennis is poor, one can also please the crowd showing mental toughness. And all in all, it's very comforting to know he can beat players like Andreev and Blake without playing out of his mind.

"My philosophy on the court is that I'm allowed to play poorly, I'm allowed to have no feel for my shots, just push the ball, play 8 meters behind the baseline. Because one can't play pretty tennis every day. But I mean one has to give the maximum mentally and physically. Even though it was a bit difficult to get my legs moving in the final, I tried to show the best possible attitude because I mean that one has to be beyond reproach at that level."

10-22-2008, 11:48 AM
The guy develops into a talking machine. :p

10-22-2008, 12:27 PM
Instead of giving interviews everywhere, he apparently gave one long interview to the FFT and it was sent everywhere so all the media can pick parts of it. I posted the "raw" version, that's why it is so freaking long.
But yes, Gilles Simon "s'écoute parler" (I don't know how to say that in English, he savours his own words?), that's nothing new, he's not just "developing" into it.

10-27-2008, 07:37 AM
L'Equipe has an article "The New Musketeers?" today, I posted it in Ritchie's forum:

10-27-2008, 07:59 AM
His game:
Some people say he reminds of Mecir (the timing, the eye, the felineness) and Escudé :eek: (the BH, the skinny build - but without the volleying skills!). He moves very well along his baseline, has an extreme staying power and can speed up the ball with the wrist from everywhere on the court. He can play on all surfaces, is very confident ("no, it is not a fault" :lol: ) and has a great tactical sense.

His record:
If you ask people who beat Fed and Nadal this year, they will answer Murray, which is true, but Gilles also did it. 5 titles in his career, like Ritchie, which is 1 more than Seb, PHM, Arnaud, Escudé - and 4 more than Jo and Gaël.

His shortcomings:
He's been attacking more in the past few months (incited by Tulasne) and needs to do it even more. He's working on his serve, too slow, and his netgame still is a liability.

His personality:
Simon is a chatterbox. After his press conferences, the journalists need a new notebook for the next interviews. Tulasne says they sometimes spend the whole dinner talking about his game. Simon is clever and mischievous. Some people think he is bigheaded because he's very confident as a player and not afraid to say it.

His hobbies:
Very talented for the piano, good student, he is the world number 1 on the tour for video games. He doesn't have time for sightseeing when he's playing tournaments, but when he comes back to Neuchâtel, they've launched an operation "One day one city" with Karine. His favorite dessert: McFlurry.

What he thinks of the other 3:
Gaël is getting more and more consistent, he seems to have found his way. They were sharing a room during the Olympic Games and it was crazy, the restaurant was like 5 minutes away only, but Gaël was talking to everybody on the way so it took them one hour! That's Gaël for you. Very endearing guy. Jo is the strongest of all 4 mentally. Richard is a "very, very big player" who just needs to blossom. He thinks it will do him good they're now up there with him. People haven't acknowledged Richard's achievements enough last year. They expect him to be the new Federer, "but I don't think he will". Richard should have told them: "I'm doing my job and to hell with you".

What he knows about the "real" Musketeers:
They're the reason why there are so many tennis schools in France. They did an awesome job to promote the sport.

10-27-2008, 08:12 AM
And what the other guys say about him:

Jo: "Richard is Ronaldinho, Gaël Adebayor, Gilles Chris Waddle and I'm Drogba." :shrug: I only know Ronaldinho from that list! Who is this Chris Waddle guy, is that flattering? :p
His personal message to Gilles: 'Hey, Gilou, do you still sometimes wake up in the morning fully dressed with the PlayStation gamepad in your hand?'

Richard: he's obviously closer to Jo and Gaël, but he's not surprised at all by Gilles' rise in the rankings. He has a big potential, a feel for the game, never makes UE. "The first word which comes to my mind is 'smart'." Very clever, friendly, polite, not moody. He has always played a lot of tournaments and that's a strength.

Gaël: Gilles is a very smart guy, a crafty one. They were together at the INSEP "and I love him!" He's a genious at video games. If you're stuck in a game, ask Gilou, he will know the solution.

10-27-2008, 08:19 AM
Chris Waddle was my fav player as a youngster, he was the number 8 in the Marseille team that won the Champion's league. He was the tactician with brilliant technique, it's very flattering actually! He was real fun to see playing with a very laid back attitude (that's probably Tsonga's point)

10-27-2008, 03:37 PM

An article in Le Monde today:
Gilles Simon : balles neuves

Il ne s'est pourtant jamais caché, Gilles Simon. Ce jeune homme de 23 ans est du genre disponible et causant. A l'aise. Clair, futé. Ce que les journalistes appellent un "bon client" : un garçon capable de faire les questions et les réponses, avec un vrai sens de l'analyse et des formules qui font mouche.

Mais c'est ainsi. L'ombre de ses camarades de promotion du tennis français l'a longtemps éclipsé. Au sein d'une génération foisonnante en talents plus ou moins confirmés (Richard Gasquet, 22 ans, Gaël Monfils, 22 ans, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 23 ans), le chemin vers le devant de la scène est un sentier interminable.

Gilles Simon est, aujourd'hui, le numéro un français, et c'est comme s'il s'était glissé là par effraction. Souvent, constatait-il récemment, des personnes rencontrées au hasard lui demandent ce qu'il fait dans la vie. Et, lorsqu'elles apprennent que le tennis est sa profession, elles veulent savoir s'il connaît Gaël Monfils...

Depuis le 20 octobre, Gilles Simon est classé parmi les dix meilleurs joueurs du monde. Il a battu, cette année, les trois ténors du circuit, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, et, récemment, Rafael Nadal, chez lui, à Madrid. L'exploit, cette fois, n'est pas passé inaperçu. "Ça fait plusieurs fois qu'on me dit que je change de statut ! Cette saison, j'ai déjà changé trois ou quatre fois de statut...", relativise-t-il.

A Bucarest, en septembre, il a gagné son cinquième tournoi. Seuls Yannick Noah, Guy Forget, Henri Leconte et Fabrice Santoro, en France, ont fait mieux depuis le début de l'ère professionnelle. Il reste en course pour se qualifier pour les Masters, la compétition prestigieuse qui réunit chaque année les huit meilleurs joueurs à la fin de la saison (du 9 au 16 novembre, à Shanghaï). Le tournoi de Paris-Bercy (du 25 octobre au 2 novembre) s'annonce décisif pour lui.

Est-ce parce qu'il a pris son temps qu'il commence à peine à attirer les projecteurs ? Alors que Richard Gasquet était à la "une" de Tennis Magazine à 9 ans, Gilles Simon n'a jamais été considéré comme un petit Mozart. Il était un enfant doué, souvent dans les dix meilleurs espoirs nationaux de sa classe d'âge, mais jamais le premier. L'affaire s'est encore compliquée à 13-14 ans, quand les autres ont pris des centimètres et des épaules. Un retard de croissance de deux-trois ans lui fut diagnostiqué.

A 15 ans, il a tout de même rejoint, alors qu'il ne mesurait que 1,53 mètre, l'Institut national des sports et de l'éducation physique (Insep). En attendant son heure, il a servi de faire-valoir aux costauds pensionnaires de la pépinière à champions.

A sa majorité, le cap où les meilleures jeunes pousses quittent l'Insep pour rejoindre le Centre national d'entraînement de Roland-Garros, il ne suit pas le mouvement. Pas mûr. Un entraîneur, Luigi Borfiga, décide cependant exceptionnellement de le garder un an de plus à ses côtés, et de ne pas le renvoyer à la maison. "Il perdait beaucoup de matches. Mais je me disais que son goût du jeu et son esprit vif pouvaient faire de lui un bon", se rappelle Luigi Borfiga. Il précise : "Gilles Simon n'a jamais été très intéressé par la technique, mais c'était un vrai "matcheur", un joueur qui ne lâche rien. Cependant, honnêtement, alors que j'étais un des rares qui croyaient en lui, je n'aurais jamais pensé qu'il puisse se classer parmi les dix meilleurs mondiaux."

Gilles Simon s'est servi de cette période difficile pour poser les fondements de son jeu. "Je ne pouvais pas lutter à armes égales. J'ai donc développé mon sens tactique", explique-t-il. Le jeune homme a obtenu ses premiers succès sur le circuit professionnel en déboussolant ses adversaires, à défaut de les déborder. Depuis, son arsenal s'est étoffé. "Je suis capable d'accélérer. Si je joue encore parfois lentement, c'est pour créer des différences de rythme, pour mieux surprendre", explique-t-il.

A 20 ans, alors qu'il pesait 60 kg pour 1,81 m - la balance affiche aujourd'hui 69 kg - Gilles Simon traînait aussi une réputation de dilettante. Sa biographie officielle fournie par l'ATP, l'organisme qui gère le tennis professionnel, explique qu'il aime la préparation physique. Cette précision est une blague de l'entraîneur de ses débuts sur le circuit, Jérôme Potier, qui a rempli la fiche de renseignements à sa place. Il lui reprochait son manque d'assiduité à la salle de musculation.

"A l'époque, on disait que j'étais talentueux et fainéant. Aujourd'hui, on dit que je suis un laborieux parce je cours dans tous les sens", balaie Gilles Simon. Pas possible d'en finir avec le scepticisme. "Certains n'ont pas compris que son corps ne permettait pas, à une époque, qu'il s'entraîne autant que les autres", explique Luigi Borfiga.

Lorsqu'il était suivi par Jérôme Potier, Gilles Simon a également été catalogué rétif à l'autorité. Lassé "d'être à l'école", il a changé de coach en 2007, une semaine avant de gagner son premier tournoi, à Marseille. Depuis, son association avec Thierry Tulasne tient : "Il explique les choses. Si on me dit juste "mets le coup droit là", je le balance où je veux. Passé un certain niveau, il ne va pas de soi que la compétence d'un entraîneur est supérieure à celle de son élève."

D'origine niçoise, Gilles Simon, qui a grandi à Fontenay-sous-Bois (Val-de-Marne), a l'aisance d'un fils de bonne famille. Son père est réassureur, sa mère médecin, son frère ingénieur. Il aime le piano, étudié au Conservatoire, et le golf. Il a passé son bac scientifique à 18 ans, comme il se doit.

Dans la vie de tous les jours, il dit goûter la solitude. Ou les balades à deux, avec son amie, rencontrée il y a trois ans. "Pendant un temps, elle m'a accompagné sur le circuit. Mais elle a trouvé que ce monde n'était pas très enrichissant. Je ne peux pas la blâmer..."

Avec son côté réfléchi, bien dans sa peau, peut-être n'est-il pas assez décapant pour faire une star. Lorsque ses gains sont devenus rondelets, il a acheté une maison et a déménagé en Suisse. Il roule dans une discrète Audi A3. Il se dit attentif à la marche du monde et "de droite, même si la droite et la gauche, ça ne veut pas dire grand-chose".

Pour accéder à une plus grande reconnaissance, il doit aussi mieux réussir dans les tournois du Grand Chelem, où il n'a jamais dépassé le 3e tour. Il le sait. Pour autant, il dit ne pas rechercher la notoriété. "Je ne la fuis pas, non plus. Ça peut servir et desservir. Je pense que Richard Gasquet serait mieux classé s'il n'avait pas dû vivre depuis son plus jeune âge avec la pression. Il serait probablement plus heureux, aussi. Mais il a signé de beaux contrats."

Les résultats de Gilles Simon, bien sûr, ne passent pas inaperçus chez les sponsors. Cependant, il n'a pas l'intention de changer d'équipementier. "Mon contrat actuel prévoit des gains qui évoluent en fonction des résultats." Tactique, toujours.
Pierre Jaxel-Truer

10-27-2008, 07:01 PM
It's a nice article, the Simontards already know most of the stuff, of course, but there are a few new things too. Here's a summary:

The media should like him, as he is alert, talkative, with a flare for words. And still, nobody was paying attention to him until last week. It looks as if he had sneaked into the French number 1 spot like a thief.
Unlike Richard Gasquet, he never was called a "little Mozart" and never was the best in his age group. The growth retardation issue of 2-3 years became a problem by the age of 13-14 years. He was behind the others of his generation and was lucky Borfiga decided to make an exception and to keep him in the system because of his fighting attitude on the court. "But even if I was one of the very few people who believed in him, I would never have thought he would enter the top 10 one day, to be honest", Borfiga says.
Since he couldn't fight on equal terms with the others, he developped his tactical mind. His game was all about disorientating the opponent at that time. "Now I'm able to speed up the game. If I still play slowly sometimes, it's to better vary the pace and surprise the opponent."
By the age of 20, he weighed 60 kg for 1,81 m - they say he weighs 69 kg now!! - and had a reputation of being a dilettante. The "Hobbies include PlayStation, Game Boy and fitness training" in his ATP profile is a joke from his former coach Potier who filled in the form for him. :lol: He hated that, on the contrary.
Gilles: "People were saying at that time that I was talented and lazy. Now they say I'm laborious because I run so much on the court." Borfiga means that people didn't understand that his build didn't allow him to train as much as the others.
He felt like "at school" with Potier (too domineering) and that's why he changed at the beginning of 2007 and started working with Tulasne who explains things instead of telling him to do this, to play his FH there, etc. Gilles means that at one point, the coach isn't necessarily more competent than the player.
He likes being alone or spending his time with Carine. She travelled with him for a while on the tour, but didn't find that environment very rewarding. "I can't blame her for that..."
He has an Audi A3, follows what is going on in the world and says he's from "the right wing, even if right and left doesn't mean much."
He isn't looking for fame, but he isn't avoiding it either. There are good and negative sides. "I think Richard Gasquet would be higher ranked if he hadn't lived with the pressure since he's a kid. He would probably be happier too. But it brought him nice contracts." ^^
Some sponsors have noticed him lately, but he will stay with Adidas because he says his earnings are linked to his results with his current contract. Another tactical move.

10-28-2008, 11:52 AM
there is an interesting article for Gilles this morning on


To be recognised as your country's best tennis player in a land with form and history in the sport is one thing - and Gilles Simon will be delighted to take a bow before a home crowd in Paris this week as the season draws to a close.
But the French number one singles player is surely due a little recognition from beyond the borders of 'La Grande Nation' after vaulting into the world top ten.
Memories can be short in sport - though where the women are concerned Amelie Mauresmo's Australian Open and Wimbledon double is hardly sepia-tinged having been achieved in 2006.
Among the men, however, French fans hardly need reminding that Yannick Noah's 1983 Roland Garros triumph gave his compatriots their only singles Grand Slam title in the Open Era.
That's not quite as bad as a British drought going back to Fred Perry in 1936 - but it's food for thought for Simon as he comes to terms with being thrust into the spotlight following his exciting run earlier this month to the Madrid Masters final, where Andy Murray proved a bridge too far.
With the Paris Masters the final week of regular season play, Simon is on course for a place in the season-ending masters Cup in Shanghai - something the 23-year-old from Nice would hardly have dreamed of back in January.
"There is pressure, all the more so when you're playing in France," he conceded, after winning a hard-fought doubles match on Monday alongside Gael Monfils in a prelude to a Tuesday singles meeting with Russian Igor Andreev, against whom he has a 2-0 record.
"But it's not the kind of pressure which makes you afraid and which will make me mess up my game. I'm going to go about things exactly the same way as I always do - I'm not changing anything," he asserted.
In the latest ATP world rankings released on Monday, Simon had racked up 1740 points.
That's a long way behind the 7100 of top-ranked Rafael Nadal but a fine haul for a new name keen to stay ahead amid healthy domestic competition from Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Richard Gasquet (absent this week through injury) and Monfils, who are 14th, 15th and 16th in the standings.
Going into the event at the Bercy Stadium in eastern Paris, Simon held the precious eighth and final berth for Shanghai, which starts on November 9.
His chief rivals are Spaniard David Ferrer, American James Blake and up-and-coming Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka.
Simon has the slimmest of leads over those immediately below him - although one of them, Argentine David Nalbandian, says he wants to focus on the Davis Cup final against Spain after Shanghai and hence intends to bypass that event anyway.
With China swimming into focus Simon says he is aware he must watch out he doesn't "fall into the trap of wanting to play too well" against fans who will demand more of the same after watching him dump Nadal in his own backyard of Madrid.
"You want to pull off some fancy tricks when you feel people are expecting something from you - you can want to play it too fancy and forget why you're out there.
"I'll try not to lose sight of what I'm aiming at," he insisted, adding that he had risen up the rankings by being willing "at difficult moments to stay behind the line for three hours and only chip when I needed to to win" the point.
Asked if the doubles was not overdoing things Simon insisted: "It's not more tiring than training (and) I was out there drinking in a little of the centre court atmosphere."
Simon will also feel he owes the home supporters, given he crashed out in the opening Round at Roland Garros while making round four of the other Slams this year.

10-29-2008, 07:43 AM
:topic: I so hate the expression "La Grande Nation", that's how they call France in Germany too, on the news, etc., so people here think that we arrogant pricks call ourselves like that. Which is completely wrong! Nobody uses or even knows this expression in France.

Back on topic, here's the article in "Le Parisien" today, they asked Gilles' mother about him (she's a doctor).
"As a kid he was... small." 67 kg now, she wishes he would bulk up a bit, but he makes the best use out of his few muscles.
Nobody believed in him when he was younger because he was so small, and all these "slaps in the face" helped him to build up quite a character, she says. "He had to fight so much!"
She admires him for his ability to always keep his distance from what is happening to him. She doesn't understand why some players are saying he is arrogant. Maybe they are annoyed by his "methodical progress".
Gilles isn't a nasty or a violent person at all. He's just too honest when he's asked a question, especially about tennis. He loves talking about tennis so much, it's like chess for him, he thinks a lot about it. "Sometimes he stuns us, for example when he explained to us point by point how he had beaten Federer."
She means that being famouse will annoy him. He already is annoyed by his current overexposure. Until last week, nobody knew about him, people around them didn't even know their son was a tennis pro.

10-29-2008, 08:06 AM
And the Tulasne article in L'Equipe, he's really going over the top sometimes, I hope he doesn't harm Gilles' image with this kind of statements. I sometimes say Gilles used to talk big, but it is peanuts compared to Tulasne!

Tulasne says that when he reached the top 10 for one week, it really was the maximum he could do and he was already starting to have physical problems. Gilles' situation is very different. He can still improve on so many little things. Time management, nutrition, conditioning. He already does all this pretty well, but he could do it even better. Tulasne also means he's able to make life even harder for his opponents.
According to Tulasne, only 2 players are way above the others. Gilles is able to be better than Muzza and Nole. :tape:
But he'll obviously have to change a few things for that, and the first thing will be to adjust his scheduling. He needs to play less. That way:
1. he will protect/preserve his body, which Tulasne wasn't able to do as a player (he started having hip problems when he reached the top level)
2. it's important for Gilles not to have any inferiority complex towards the best players (= I think he means "not to have to play a lot to build up confidence", he wants Gilles to naturally feel confident about his abilities). Not that he really has a complex, but Tulasne has even less.
Gilles obviously isn't consensual in French tennis. And the more famouse he will be, the more people will dissect every word he will say. When Tulasne was 17 years old, he gave an interview to L'Equipe and answered, when he was asked about his goal: "To enter one day the top 10 and to become the French number 1". The journalist's reaction: "You're crazy to say that, people will kill you!" The problem was not to say he wanted to enter the top 10, but that he wanted to be better than Noah...
He has read or heard lately that some French players were not too keen on Gilles, but he wants to stress that they're really getting along very well with Jo, Richard and Gaël.
As for the work on the court, he doesn't have a lot to do with Gilles - just help him to not get too frustrated by an error, to get over an unlucky action. But Gilles is well aware of the situation and doesn't need to be "refocused" a lot during matches.
He's not worried for him in Slams, he has never made it past the R3 indeed, but Tulasne means he played very well in Slams in 2008. In 2009 he'll just need to be more aggressive during the first 3 rounds. There is no reason he can't go far in this kind of events too.

10-29-2008, 08:08 AM
:topic: I so hate the expression "La Grande Nation" , that's how they call France in Germany too, on the news, etc., so people here think that we arrogant pricks call ourselves like that. Which is completely wrong! Nobody uses or even knows this expression in France.

:rolls:............................ha ha said that to the americans!!!!!!!!!!:ras:

(scotty - nothing personal buddy:hug:)

10-29-2008, 09:11 AM
Thanks so much Truc for the articles, I agree with you on "la grande Nation", only Le Pen would say that in France, we're not Americans, we don't need to hear our politicians constantly say we are the best in the World in everything. They actually wisely refer to better models like Nordic countries for improvements of our society (rtgy indeed maybe the Americans should admit that as well).

10-29-2008, 11:07 AM
"La grande Nation":haha::haha:

I like gilles personnality more and more.He looks very smart and simple.
Hope the best for him in bercy and so on. ;)

10-29-2008, 12:26 PM
:topic: I so hate the expression "La Grande Nation", that's how they call France in Germany too, on the news, etc., so people here think that we arrogant pricks call ourselves like that.

:topic: :rolls: There is indeed a huge gap between perception and reality. "Normal" French people are not arrogant at all, quite the contrary, I often felt, they were masochistically in love with a loser image (and that is not limited to sports), however, French officials can occasionally be quite bullying.

She means that being famouse will annoy him. He already is annoyed by his current overexposure. Until last week, nobody knew about him, people around them didn't even know their son was a tennis pro.

Now the tough times begin...........

10-29-2008, 04:35 PM
guys please lets stop with this :topic: things. i don't know why the journalist from Eurospot posted this "La Grande......" thing but i really start to feel guilty for posting this article here/ i wish i never did/.
this is not a place for policy...........................tanx

with respect to u all: Yavor

11-06-2008, 10:43 PM
I gotta share this with you guys. This article in chinese is talking about the onslaught of the French at the TMC with Tsonga and Simon. I just translated the part about Gilles. One part is particular funny (but it isn't false). I left China when I was ten so if I translated anything wrong, please forgive me.

Because of the Nadal's withdraw from the TMC, Simon, who has had extradinary results towards seasons end, was able to participate the Tennis Master Cup. When mentioned his status as a substitute, Simon showed his regret for Nadal. "This to him and the tournament is a disaster. However, I am the benefector of this disaster."

Simon also discussed his potential to battle against Federer, Roddick and Murray: "I beat Nadal in Madrid, that says everything."

More importantly, Simon is not foreign to China. This August, he represented France in the Olympic games. He called attention to himself because of his handsome looks. At that time, a Chinese website ranked him as one of the ten handsomest Olympic athletes. :rolls: "I never thought that in China, in Shanghai, I would have that many fans. This makes me excite about the tournament and I will work harder to achieve good results." Simon said bashfully.

In 2005, Nalbandian won the Tennis Master Cup as a substitute. For Simon to reproduce the Argentine's miracle, it is not impossible. "I don't wish for a miracle. I believe in my own strength."

11-06-2008, 11:08 PM
Could you please translate the tsonga part ? (here or in his subforum if you prefer, or if Fran prefer I should say :) ).

11-07-2008, 06:38 AM
:spit: He is handsome, but that's stretching it a bit. ^^ We need to find that website, I want to see the top 10.
"I will work harder to achieve good results", Simon said bashfully. :rolls: Whatever works as a motivation for you, Gillou.

Thank you so much for sharing that great find, HDC, I had no idea that the Simon forum was full of people who speak Chinese - and that he had fans in China.

11-07-2008, 07:27 AM
I gotta share this with you guys. This article in chinese is talking about the onslaught of the French at the TMC with Tsonga and Simon. I just translated the part about Gilles. One part is particular funny (but it isn't false). I left China when I was ten so if I translated anything wrong, please forgive me.

:worship: :worship: thanx u are unbelievable.................:hug:

"He called attention to himself because of his handsome looks. At that time, a Chinese website ranked him as one of the ten handsomest Olympic athletes. "

oh yeah........Gillou baby!!!!

and btw i want to see that site too.............please:)

11-07-2008, 07:56 AM
Could you please translate the tsonga part ? (here or in his subforum if you prefer, or if Fran prefer I should say :) ).
I just got out of class/work. I am so tire right now. I will try to translate it and post it in Jo's forum tomorrow.

:spit: He is handsome, but that's stretching it a bit. ^^ We need to find that website, I want to see the top 10.

and btw i want to see that site too.............please:)

It was mentioned in the article. It didn't give a name to the site. I'll try to find it.

11-08-2008, 10:23 PM
Here's another summary of another article.

It talks about Gilles and Roddick doing the press conference together. The reporter asked how did Gilles win over the top three. He said since he didn't have any pressure to win, he played the best he could. (Then they asked who Roddick voted for, Andy responded: "are you kidding me?":lol:)

Another question for Gilles: This year almost every time you play the third set, you win. Is dragging the match longer advantageous to you?

Gilles: That's not right. I have lost in 5th set too. But this year indeed I have won many third set matches, 5 times in a row. I hope to win with only two sets against my opponents.

Q for Gilles: Are you surprise that so many people know you in Shanghai? Did you receive any gifts? What do you do with these gifts?

Gilles: I have received three gifts so far. Federer said he has never received any gifts in Shanghai. (:lol: these might be indecent gifts :aplot: and Mirka probably discarded them before they got to Roger.) It seems like I am very lucky. I met a lot of friends here and they will come to the matches to cheer me on.

11-08-2008, 10:53 PM
Another article summary from the perspective of the chinese press about the french press.

From the perspective of the Chinese media, it seems that the French pair are getting more media attention than Djokovic and Roddick. The only other players that are getting more media attention than them are Federer and Murray.

In the press conference, the French media turned out in full force, surrounding and hogging these two. When they start asking questions, it would not end for half a hour. Finally, with the help of the ATP officers, we (the Chinese press) got five minutes to ask questions.

They asked 5 identical questions for both of them. Nothing interesting really.

Last part of the article: After the end of the interview, Tsonga and Simon, under the intense demand of the French press, posed for about 5 minutes in the lobby. The cameras didn't stop flashing for 5 minutes.

Now I really hope Gilles does well. France has high hopes for him and Tsonga. :scared:

11-09-2008, 06:39 AM
wow thanx a lot HDC/i don't know your name/ this reports and videos/in the video thread/ are great.........thanx once again :worship:

11-09-2008, 07:10 AM
Wow, thank you so much Marisa for all the stories and videos, that's awesome for us!
I don't think France is having high hopes for *Gilles*. But I'm not surprised the French media and their obsession with the French players are making quite an impression. :lol:

11-09-2008, 07:10 AM
I like the press in that they pass (sometimes) useful information to us.

But some of the stuff they say and do... some of the questions they ask. You really have to wonder about them. :confused:

In the Nole thread, someone posted that a reporter asked him who he would save if Sharapova, Ivanovic, and Jankovic all fell in the water. :scratch: Seriously, wtf?!

11-09-2008, 07:13 AM
There is a great article today in L'Equipe about Jo and Gilles as kids and during their CNE time, there are some funny stories that are new to me:
I'll translate it during the off season when I have more time.

Even as a kid, Gilles liked finishing the match on a volley although he was 25 cm shorter than all the others and never came to the net the rest of the time! :lol: That's why he still does it on BP.

11-09-2008, 07:27 AM
In the Nole thread, someone posted that a reporter asked him who he would save if Sharapova, Ivanovic, and Jankovic all fell in the water. :scratch: Seriously, wtf?!

:haha: :rolls:
for me the answer of that question is simple............Ana ofcours!!! :lol:
i've always likes her :cool:

btw, great new avi Scotty :yeah:

11-09-2008, 02:25 PM
Thanks HoistDaColors (Marisa) for all your work in translating the articles. :)

11-09-2008, 06:53 PM
:haha: :rolls:
for me the answer of that question is simple............Ana ofcours!!! :lol:
i've always likes her :cool:

btw, great new avi Scotty :yeah:

I would have just said "I hope they can swim."

And thanks. ;) He's so :hearts: in it.

11-11-2008, 05:34 AM
I would have just said "I hope they can swim."

actually, the person that asked the question said if all of them couldn't swim. :) I saw the interview but the video was cut off right after the question. :ras:

here's another article. some interesting points but most of the information you guys already know. I skipped the first paragraph because it is just a recap of the game.
Simon Who? Before the masters cup very few websites with information on Gilles Simon even existed. The media didn't make much fuzz about this "master" that took the last train to get there--even when Federer warned everyone about this little Frenchman.

The rise of a tennis supertar usually has a few prerequisites: born out of a family with sporting traditions, young and blessed with physical attributes. The man, however, that produced the upset yesterday technically doesn't meet any of these requirements.

Simon, 23 of age, in a sport that sees most players become superstars at a young age, is not considered young. His height, 180cm, in a tour that averages 187cm, is easily glanced over. His results, after debuting 6 years ago, are unknown to the public. The 2008 season is the year he sparkled.

Simon, born in Nice, to a father who is an insurance agent and to a mother who is a doctor. His ordinary family has no connection to sports. When Simon picked up a raquet at 6 years of age, he acquired the nickname Poussin, meaning "little guy".

In French tennis, never has anyone put expectation on this "little guy" to produce any miracles. Everyone's attention was fixed on the so-called talented youngsters of Gasquet,
Monfils and Tsonga. "Nobody has ever paid much attention to me" Simon said a little begrudgingly. "But because they didn't concentrate on me, I was able to achieve my current results."

Yesterday, this "little guy" showed his own powerful performance to silence everyone. After yesterday's match, Federer walked into the conference room with his head hanging low. He shook his head and said: "This match was a replica of the match in Toronto." Three sets, same result." Federer didn't use his back injury as an excuse but instead, praised Simon.

Many people said the first time Simon beat Federer was an accident. What do you call it this time?

"Maybe it was a second accident?!" Simon said self-confidently with a smile. It's clear that he doesn't believe it was an accident.

Another article that's written slightly different.
When you beat Federer the first time, people called it an accident. Now that you have beaten him twice, what do you call that?

Facing this question, Simon stared blankly followed by a silly laugh and said "A second accident?!" The whole conference room burst into a laugh. Even the tournament director standing in the back couldn't resist laughing.

Truthfully, to get Simon, this "darling boy" to said anything alarming is a difficult task. Even though he is young, but Simon, no matter he is playing tennis or answering questions, he treats them earnestly. And it is this kind of seriousness and concentration that allowed him to beat Federer yesterday.

"During the match, I don't think about anything. I just think about how to play well. I don't have any distractive thoughts. I don't ask myself questions. I tell myself: just play your best and that's enough."

11-11-2008, 06:20 AM
Oh thank you, I love the When you beat Federer the first time, people called it an accident. Now that you have beaten him twice, what do you call that?

Facing this question, Simon stared blankly followed by a silly laugh and said "A second accident?!" The whole conference room burst into a laugh. Even the tournament director standing in the back couldn't resist laughing.It's not in the French interviews and articles. It's priceless!

11-11-2008, 06:52 AM
Fran, I wrote that before I found the video to his press conference. Now that I saw it, I think that was more mischievous than silly. :angel::devil:

11-11-2008, 10:36 AM
Many thanks Marisa! For some reasons, I find foreign articles more interesting than French ones (too much overreaction in both ways I guess).

11-11-2008, 11:43 AM
The foreign press likes the "second accident":Gilles Simon serves warning to Andy Murray

Gilles Simon had an enchanting way of describing his victory over Roger Federer, the world No2 and tournament's top seed, that set alight the Masters Cup yesterday. “It was a second accident,” said the Frenchman, having been told that he holds a 2-0 win-loss record against Federer. Not many people can bring that to a dinner-table conversation.
Simon is a slighter, shorter, less expressive (occasionally) version of Murray. Both players think their way through matches, play this sport as if it is advanced calculus, with theories to be solved, angles to be projected - tennis by slide rules and dividers. Both can do their opponents to death not through the force of personality or games, but because they know the court and its parameters better. Federer, in Simon's case, and Roddick, in Murray's, were outfoxed and reduced to thrashing ineptitude. Both matches were wonders to behold. (...)

11-11-2008, 03:00 PM
Georges Deniau grades his game in the last issue of Tennis Magazine (giving marks out of 10):

11-11-2008, 06:41 PM
Georges Deniau grades his game in the last issue of Tennis Magazine (giving marks out of 10):

I'm translating this. Coming right up.

11-11-2008, 07:08 PM
Serve 7.5/10
A wonderful weapon, his first serve is quite unpredictible, and it can get even more powerful. His second serve could be gain speed and be riskier. The combination Serve and Volley isn't used enough

Return of serve 8.5/10
Excellent returner, Gilles can even change his position behing the baseline during a match, according to his opponent's serve. A good technique that can help him return the best serves, enabling him to change a match.

Forehand 8.5
A shot that reflects his hame : technically and tactically simple. He hits flat but with a slight top spin, creating damages when changing rhythms and length. Gilles takes often the upper hand with this aggressive shot.

Backhand 8.5/10
Hitting the ball with the middle of the racket's head, and flat, gives Gilles a good speed and a good length. He can vary directions as well, the opponent cannot predict the rhythm changes. Down the line or cross court, it's a beautiful and efficient shot

Volley 7/10
Hard to say if he's good at it as he doesn't come to the net so often. However when it happens, he knows how the finish the point with a neat technique. With his attacks and his vision of the game he rarely misses them, even if sometimes he makes the difficult choice instead of the easy one.

Footwork and physical strength 8.5/10
Overall excellent. Gilles is slim with no useless weight, he's fast on court. He could even be faster and more powerful. However, an excellent coordination of his movements could enable him to attack more.

Mental strength 9/10
His biggest asset. No feigning, no overacting, should it be for the crowd or his opponent. His determination, his energy and intelligence go alongside with very clear objectives. That's the most difficult thing. Congratulations.

Tactics 8.5/10
Overall very good. His patience, his rhythm and length changes makes it very hard for his opponent. He's very hard to get him far from the ball. It's a pity that he doesn't go even faster because he could finish the point more often.

11-11-2008, 07:41 PM
Thanx BIG bow for u :worship:

11-11-2008, 08:30 PM
I wouldn't rate his forehand as good as his backhand. The Federer match was an exception but most of the time, his forehand isn't as damaging as his backhand.

11-12-2008, 01:51 AM
I don't really agree with the breakdown. I wouldn't rate his serve that high.

Also, though I agree he's well rounded, some of the other scores should be lower just because there are definitely aspects of his game that are far superior to other parts, even if the other parts are solid. IMO, his tactics and mental strength should be higher than the others by a bit.

11-12-2008, 08:40 AM
A portrait of him in "Le Matin" (a Swiss newspaper). Nothing new, but I found it quite nice - sorry, no time for a translation right now:
Gilles Simon, moineau rapace
Un mètre huitante, moins de 70 kilos, le Niçois n'a rien d'un épouvantail. Pourtant il fait trembler les meilleurs joueurs du monde.

Gilles Simon n'aime pas les costumes. Pas plus celui, pourtant sur mesure, que lui a confectionné le tailleur de l'hôtel Hilton de Shanghai que celui dans lequel la presse, y compris celle de l'Hexagone, l'avait enfermé au moment de son départ de Paris, direction le tournoi des Maîtres. Du premier, il dit qu'il n'a «pas l'habitude de porter ce genre de choses» et que «c'est bien pour faire comme les autres que je me suis ainsi déguisé en homme d'affaires».

Du second, il dénonce «une image de moi qui est fausse. Je ne suis pas un besogneux et, même invité de dernière minute, je ne suis pas venu là pour faire de la figuration, encore moins pour prendre des leçons!» Au moins le discours est-il clair. Et d'autant plus cohérent qu'à 24 ans pas même sonnés le jeune homme s'est déjà largement donné le temps d'apprendre. Né à Nice, mais grandi à Fontenay-sous-Bois, en région parisienne, il intègre l'Institut national du sport et de l'éducation physique (INSEP) à l'âge de 14 ans. Filiforme - ses copains de l'époque le surnommaient «Poussin» -, un brin effacé et «sans aucune confiance en soi (moi)», le gamin est un bûcheur. Il adore les maths, la géographie - «Elle me servira plus tard, quand je voyagerai» - et surtout... le piano. A ceux qui alors le moquent, il réplique que «cela vaut mieux que de passer quatre heures par jour à taper dans une balle».

Gilles Simon, pourtant, possède une qualité naturelle rare: il est endurant. «Je pouvais courir pendant des heures, je n'étais jamais essoufflé», se souvient-il. Et comme il ne joue «pas trop mal» au tennis...

«J'ai cru que Nadal se foutait de ma g...!»
A 18 ans, bac S avec mention en poche, et alors qu'il ne pèse toujours «pas plus lourd qu'une cacahuète», il décide de tenter sa chance chez les professionnels. Quelques résultats «passables sans plus» sur le front des juniors, l'amitié qui le lie à Jo-Wilfried Tsonga - même âge à quatre mois près, même parcours - l'ont persuadé qu'«il y avait peut-être quelque chose à faire»... Tournois futures, chambres doubles - «Le plus souvent avec Jo, on se marrait bien!» -, Gilles Simon apprend le métier. «Mais plus la musique, rigole-t-il aujourd'hui, un piano, ça ne tient pas dans les bagages.» Fin 2004, il est classé... 1331e joueur du monde. «Cela en faisait beaucoup devant moi, dit-il maintenant qu'il est... neuvième mondial. Mais, bon, j'ai croché. J'ai commencé à jouer avec mes qualités et mes défauts, en prenant exemple sur... Michael Chang. De lui j'avais la résistance, le sens du jeu, une patience à toute épreuve... et des épaules de moineau.»

Thierry Tulasne, qui lui sert de coach depuis deux ans, dit de lui qu'«il n'aime pas soulever de la fonte», mais qu'«il y passe s'il entend rivaliser à longueur d'année avec les gros bras du circuit». «Son truc à lui, poursuit Tulasne, c'est le jeu. Gilles est un compétiteur-né, il ne renonce jamais!»

La preuve: mi-octobre dernier, à Madrid, il sauve quatre balles de match face au Russe Igor Andreev, six contre l'Américain Robby Ginepri avant d'épingler Rafael Nadal en personne et au terme d'un combat long de trois heures et vingt-deux minutes. La presse espagnole le surnomme «el Superviviente» - le survivant - et Nadal lui-même le désigne comme «un costaud». Lui dit simplement que «quand Rafa a dit cela, j'ai cru qu'il se foutait de ma g...»!

11-12-2008, 03:30 PM
Thanks Marisa and Fran for the articles,Ted, the translation - awesome;)

11-12-2008, 10:38 PM
Thanks Marisa and Fran for the articles,Ted, the translation - awesome;)

I translate like 1 time a month, even less, and people notice it :lol: Fran translates all the time, you should worship her :worship: not me

11-15-2008, 06:51 PM

This article is a short summary of Djokovic's on court interview. Novak said had Gilles won, he would have totally deserved the spot in the finals as well. When the interviewer asked the second question, Gilles was just leaving. The fans applauded and roared for him. Novak couldn't answer the question until the sound subsided.

Shanghai won't forget you, Gilles.

11-16-2008, 07:04 AM
An interview today in L'Equipe:SIMON : « Battre Federer m’a décomplexé »
Très déçu par sa courte défaite contre Novak Djokovic, Gilles Simon trouve pourtant la forcede se glisser dans un sofa du salon des joueurs pour revenir sur sa saison 2008. Et c’est un flot de paroles raisonnées, où l’on sent son énorme envie de se remettre rapidement au boulot pour continuer à progresser. Pour lui, stagner, c’est régresser. Après quinze jours de vacances, son esprit se tournera vers 2009, où il devra défendre son nouveau statut de membre du top 10.

« QUAND CETTE DEMI-FINALE a-t-elle tourné ?
– Il y a des jeux que je perds et que je dois gagner.Comme ceux après 4-2 au troisième set. Il a eu aussi pas mal de réussite. Après trois heures (2 h 52’), ça fait un peu péter les plombs. Je n’ai pas réussi à être irréprochable au niveau de l’attitude. C’est peut-être pour ça que je perds le match. Même dans le premier set, je me frustre tout seul en ne parvenant pas à conclure sur les premières balles de set. J’ai perdu le fil... Il était un peu à la rue et ces jeux ont lancé le match. J’ai raté trop d’occases pendant ces trois heures.
– Vous en avez aussi bavé au service...
– Je crois surtout que je n’ai pas été bon dans le jeu vers l’avant. J’avais du mal à réavancer et à gagner les points. J’ai plutôt bien retourné. Ça donne donc l’impression qu’il y a juste eu un combat du fond. Or, j’ai horreur de perdre un combat du fond. Normalement, c’est là où je suis le meilleur.
– Quel bilan tirez-vous de ce Masters ?
– Que j’ai de quoi tenir la distance face aux meilleurs. Et que je peux faire beaucoup mieux. Perdre 7-5 au troisième contre le no3 mondial, il y a plus pessimiste comme horizon. Plus que jamais, j’ai le sentiment d’avoir le niveau contre ces mecs-là.
– Si vous deviez résumer votre saison 2008 en trois mots ?
– Belle... Pleine... Et encourageante.
– Quelle est la première image qui vous vient à l’esprit ?
– Le moment le plus important, je n’en ai encore jamais parlé... Ç’a été un gros déclic. Ce sont les jours qui ont suivi ma défaite contre Youzhny, au deuxième tour d’Indian Wells. Tout lemonde s’en fout, mais ce match, je l’ai perdu parce que je n’avais pas envie de le gagner. C’est extrêmement rare chez moi. J’ai souvent avancé comme ça, en me retrouvant tout seul et en me posant des questions. Je sentais que j’avais pas mal de choses dans la raquette, mais je crois que je perdais ces matches parce que j’avais peut-être peur d’être trop fort. Je ne me donnais pas le droit d’être fort tant que l’opinion générale ne le pensait pas aussi. J’ai toujours eu besoin du consentement général pour avancer et me sentir à ma place. Quand je sens que j’y suis, je joue mon meilleur tennis. Là, ç’a été un moment très difficile. Pendant dix jours, je n’ai quasiment pas joué. Je restais tout seul à réfléchir, à me demander si j’étais content d’être juste 30e ou si j’avais envie d’aller plus haut.
– Ça s’est débloqué après Indian Wells ?
– Ç’a été encore dur à Miami. Ensuite, et ce n’est pas un hasard, je me suis blessé pour la seule fois de la saison, à Estoril. Après, j’ai pris le temps de me poser, de réfléchir et de me réentraîner en étant persuadé que je voulais être très fort.
– C’est le moment clé de toute votre année ?
– … Voire de toute ma carrière. Des périodes comme ça, je n’en ai pas connues beaucoup, mais, chaque fois, elles ont été décisives. La première fois, j’avais 17-18 ans, j’étais – 15, je jouais le tournoi de Reims, je faisais mes premières perfs à – 30. Tout le monde me félicitait. Et je me suis demandé : " Qu’est-ce que je vais faire de ma vie ? Est-ce que je vais y arriver ? " Y réfléchir m’a boosté. Une autre fois, c’était en Jamaïque, où je jouais un Futures. Pareil, j’étais resté trois ou quatre heures sur un transat, tout seul, juste à réfléchir... Une fois que c’est clair dans ma tête, je me donne les moyens de progresser. En fait, c’est une longue réflexion, en solitaire...
– Vous avez encore ce sentiment de ne pas être à votre place ?
– Parfois... Là, à Shanghai, quand je sors du terrain et que les gens scandent mon nom, je n’ai jamais l’impression de mériter ça. La manière dont on est traité au Masters, c’est-à-dire comme des rois, ça me fait super bizarre. Mais j’ai retrouvé la raison qui fait que je joue au tennis : c’est pour jouer sur des grands courts contre de grands joueurs.
– Le vrai déclic, c’est quand ?
–Quand je décide d’aller jouer les qualifs à Casablanca. J’étais 30e mondial, j’aurais pu être tête de série, mais je m’inscris trop tard, j’attends en vain une wild card pour Pörtschach et là, je fonce. Sur la route qui me mène à Roissy, mon seul embouteillage de l’année ! J’ai roulé comme un fou, je suis arrivé cinq minutes après l’enregistrement mais l’hôtesse a été sympa. Je suis entré dans l’avion ric-rac. Et si je gagne le tournoi, là encore, ce n’est pas un hasard.
– Cette envie ne vous a plus quitté ?
– Je ne jouais plus pour rester 30e. Ce qui était bon signe, c’est que j’avais inversé la tendance : là , j’avais peur de ne pas pouvoir monter plus haut. Tout le reste de la saison n’est que la conséquence de ce déblocage.
– Et vous battez Federer(à Toronto) puis Nadal (à Madrid).
– Battre Federer m’a décomplexé. À Madrid, je suis passé par tous les états. Quand j’arrive, je "crapote", je gagne mes matches à l’arrache au tiebreak du 3e set. Je renverse des montagnes pour finalement battre Nadal après un match incroyable, en prenant un plaisir de dingue. Il y a tout eu, dans ce tournoi. J’ai perdu en finale mais Madrid est un tournoi lourd de sens pour moi.
– Pourquoi ?
– Parce qu’il résume à lui seul tous les progrès que j’ai faits cette saison. 1. Gagner en jouant mal. 2. Gagner plusieurs de ces matches à la suite. 3. Être agressif sur les points importants. Alors que je jouais huit mètres derrière sans parvenir à frapper une seule balle...
– Quand avez-vous décidé de faire évoluer votre jeu ?
– La décision s’est imposée d’elle même. Ça ne s’est pas débloqué d’un coup. Ça fait quatre ou cinq ans que je bosse dessus. C’est un processus à long terme. Quand j’ai fait mes premières perfs, je ne faisais que défendre. Mais il faut bien faire la différence entre défendre et contrer. Pour moi, il y en a autant qu’entre contrer et attaquer. Contrer, c’est faire des points gagnants en partant long de ligne et en utilisant la puissance adverse. Quand j’ai réalisé que défendre ne suffisait plus pour gagner, j’ai décidé d’utiliser les coups de fusil, à plat, qui font aussi partie de mon jeu. En 2006, j’ai vécu six mois difficiles parce que je ne faisais pas un point gagnant. Donc, je me suis dit : " Ça ne va pas suffire de défendre, va falloir faire mieux. " C’est comme ça que je suis passé d’un jeu de défense à un jeu de contre. Là, j’essaye de passer d’un jeu de contre à un jeu d’attaque. Il faut que je m’attelle au jeu au filet.
– C’est dur ?
– Il faut savoir que je n’ai aucune force pour effectuer une volée à une main. Quand je m’y suis mis, j’ai commencé à zéro. Comme un vrai débutant. On me lançait les balles à la main ! Moi qui étais 30e mondial... C’est ridicule, mais c’était la seule manière d’y arriver. Ça s’améliore et ça va continuer de s’améliorer l’an prochain. Un mec comme Murray me fait progresser énormément. Parce qu’il me montre clairement ce qui manque encore à mon jeu.
– L’objectif numéro 1 en 2009, ce sont les Grands Chelems ?
– Les gens ne percutent peut-être pas, mais j’ai déjà évolué en Grand Chelem en 2008. Si je fais péter quelque chose l’an prochain, ce ne sera pas un déclic. Mes premiers Grands Chelems, je les ai joués liquéfié. Je ne parvenais pas à gérer le côté émotif. D’année en année, j’ai progressé. Y compris en 2008, où je ne perds que contre Nadal, Stepanek, Gasquet et Del Potro. Pas des quiches, tout de même ! Avec mon nouveau statut de tête de série, j’espère aller beaucoup plus loin. »
VINCENT CORNETA summary is coming... It's a bit romanticized at times for my liking! But there are interesting things.

11-16-2008, 08:02 AM
In spite of his huge disappointment after yesterday's defeat, he takes the time just after the match to reflect on his season.

The turning point of the match?
I lost some games I should have won. Like after 4-2 in the 3rd set. He also was quite lucky at times. After 3 hours of play, it was driving me crazy. I didn't manage to be beyond reproach in my attitude. Maybe that's the reason why I lost the match. Even in the 1st set, I got frustrated because I wasn't able to take my first SP. I lost the thread... He was a bit lost out there and these games (the last games of the 1st set) got him launched. I wasted too many opportunities during these 3 hours.

You also were having trouble with your serve...
I mean my biggest problem was my game forward. I had a hard time moving forward to win the points. I returned pretty well today. It looked like there was a battle from the baseline. And I hate losing baseline battles. That's usually my strength.

Your assessment of the Masters?
I'm able to stay the course against the very best players. And I can do much better than that. More than ever, I have the feeling I can compete with these guys.

Your season in 3 words?
Beautiful... Full... Encouraging.

The first image which comes to your mind?
I've never talked about the most important moment of the year yet: the days after my defeat against Youzhny in the 2nd round of Indian Wells. Nobody cares about it, but I lost the match because I didn't feel like winning it. Which is extremely unusual for me. I cut myself off to think about it. I felt I was having the shots, but I was losing these matches because I was maybe afraid to be strong. I wasn't allowing myself to be strong as long as the other people didn't think I was. I've always needed the consent of the others to improve and to not feel out of place. I play my best tennis when I think I belong up there. It was a very difficult time. I hardly played during 10 days. I was spending my time alone, thinking, wondering if I was happy to be #30 in the world or if I wanted to improve.

And things started to get moving again after Indian Wells?
Miami was very tough too. Then, and it isn't a coincidence, I injured myself in Estoril for the only time of the season. I took the time to regroup, to think about everything and to practice with the firm belief that I wanted to be very strong.

It was the key moment of your season?
Of my whole career, maybe. I haven't been through a lot of moments like this one, but they've always been decisive. The first time, I was 17-18 years old and playing a tournament in Reims. Everybody was congratulating me and I was wondering: 'What am I going to do with my life?' Another time during a Future in Jamaica. Same there, I spent 3-4 hours on a deckchair, alone, thinking... Once things are clear in my mind, I find for myself the ways to improve. It's a long lonely reflection...

Do you still have this feeling to be out of place?
Sometimes... Here in Shanghai, when I leave the court and people are chanting my name, I feel like I don't deserve it. The way we are treated during the Masters (like kings) feels really weird. But I know the reason why I'm playing tennis: to play on big courts against big players.

The real triggering moment of the year?
When I decided to play the qualies in Casablanca. I was ranked #30, I could have been seeded, but I entered the list too late. After having waited in vain for a WC in Pörtschach, I rushed out, I drove like crazy on the road to the Roissy airport, got caught in my only traffic jam of the year, I reached the airport 5 minutes after the gates had closed, but the stewardess was nice and I got on the aircraft on the very last minute. It's not a coincidence if I won the title there.

And you've never lost that desire again for the rest of the year?
I wasn't playing anymore to remain ranked #30 in the world. I had reversed the trend. The whole season was the consequence of that triggering moment.

I'll translate the rest later since it's quite long.

11-16-2008, 11:41 AM
I've never talked about the most important moment of the year yet: the days after my defeat against Youzhny in the 2nd round of Indian Wells. Nobody cares about it, but I lost the match because I didn't feel like winning it.

This is the kind of thing that makes me really love this guy. I mean, it's a pretty minor statement, to be sure, but just the way he says things. How many top 10 players would ever word something like that? Could you imagine Federer or Nadal admitting to that? At most, I would think the majority of players would say something like "I was just lacking motivation." Sure, it mostly means the same thing, but it has a far less negative connotation, and they usually use it as an excuse for a loss because they have trouble admitting/thinking that someone could really beat them. Gilles seems completely honest about himself, and that's something so rare among famous athletes, actors, musicians, whatever. They usually don't even think negative things about themselves, let alone say them. Despite the fact that he's not just a normal guy, he gives the illusion that he is quite well. ;) If his success continues, I hope it doesn't change him.

I'll translate the rest later since it's quite long.

We appreciate both your devotion to us whom are linguistically challenged and your diligence to the cause of Le Poussin. Be sure that if that diligence ever leads you to a prison cell for stalking, we shall promptly be along to bust you out. :kiss: ;)

11-16-2008, 01:02 PM
Despite the fact that he's not just a normal guy, he gives the illusion that he is quite well. ;)

I take it you mean mentally? Its interesting that you've said that, I've seen a touch of the madman - genius about him :)
And it is a known fact (ask anyone in Inverness lol) that I am only ever interested in "mentally interesting" men :devil:

11-16-2008, 01:50 PM
Here's the end of the interview, but keep your expectations low as it's about the last part of the season and he has already given 476 interviews about it:

And you beat Federer (in Toronto) and Nadal (in Madrid).
The win over Federer rid me of my hang-ups. In Madrid I started struggling, winning all my matches in the 3rd set TB, turning matches around, and I ended up beating Nadal in an incredible match and taking a crazy pleasure on the court. There was everything in that tournament. I lost in the final, but Madrid means a lot to me because it's the summary of all my improvements during the season. 1. Being able to win when I'm playing poorly. 2. Being able to win a couple of matches like that in a row. 3. Being aggressive on the big points, even when I'm playing 8 meters behind the baseline, unable to let one single shot go...

When did you decide to make your game evolve?
The decision came very naturally. It wasn't a sudden change. I've been working on it for 4-5 years now. It's a long-term process. I had my first big results playing purely defensive tennis. But I make a distinction between defensive tennis and counter tennis. For me, it's as big a difference as between defending and attacking tennis. Countering means hitting winners down the line using the power of the opponent's shots. When I realized that defending only wasn't enough to win, I decided to use the flat "rifle shots" which are also part of my game. I had 6 very difficult months in 2006 because I wasn't able to hit a winner. That's how I decided to change from a defensive game to a counterpunching game. Now I'm trying to change from a counterpunching game to an attacking game. I need to get down to the netgame.

Is it tough?
The problem is that I don't have the necessary strength to play one-handed volleys. I had to start from the scratch (at the beginning of 2008). Like a real beginner. With somebody throwing the ball to me with the hand! I was ranked #30 in the world... It was ridiculous, but it was the only way. It's getting better now and it will keep getting better next year. A guy like Murray helps me tremendously to improve my game. Because he clearly shows me what I'm still lacking in my game.

The number 1 goal for 2009 will be the Slams?
People might have not realized, but I've already improved in Slams in 2008. If I have a big result in a Slam next year, it won't come out of the blue. I was petrified when I played my first Slams. I was unable to control my emotions. Year after year, I've improved. This year I've lost to Nadal, Stepanek, Gasquet and Del Potro. They're no mugs! With my new seeding, I hope to be able to go much further.

11-16-2008, 02:28 PM
A guy like Murray helps me tremendously to improve my game. Because he clearly shows me what I'm still lacking in my game.

He's where Murray was a season ago, all the elements of a fantastic thinking game but with inconsistent weapons - but with enough of a game to win against anyone! Then there's so many areas of his game he's identified himself that he needs to improve on - and you can't imagine that he deludes himself as to any given performance. There's only himself stopping himself from becoming number 1 some day (that last sentence might only make sense if you're mad:devil:)

And to get back to the mental thing for a bit, (nice link Les;)) my theory is that in order to be so lucid and mentally "together" as Gilles seems to be then you have to have been at least to the edge of madness, or had a very honest encounter with yourself - so it's really interesting to read about his moment of clarity. It was one thing that drew me to Andy Murray too (as well as the fact that's he's the first decent player Scotland has ever produced :worship:) as you don't live through a massacre where your fellow schoolkids are killed around you without having to stretch your mental resources... I would love to know how he thinks that's affected him but he only ever says he can't remember it when asked by the press.
And what doesn't kill you makes you stronger... :cool:

11-16-2008, 02:49 PM
His Shanghai diary in the Journal du Dimanche today:
"Mon journal du Masters"
Propos recueillis par Damien BURNIER

Gilles Simon, miraculé de la Masters Cup grâce au forfait de dernière minute du numéro un mondial Rafael Nadal, fait le récit pour le JDD des dix jours qui ont changé sa carrière. Des moments intimes dans sa suite luxueuse aux coulisses de son dernier match samedi à Shanghai face au futur vainqueur Novak Djokovic, le Niçois raconte les moments marquants de son aventure...

Mercredi 6 novembre
Le sens de l'accueil
A peine descendu de l'avion, je sens que je suis quelqu'un d'important. Ou plutôt c'est ce qu'on s'attache à me faire sentir. Accueil personnalisé, pas de réelles formalités de douane. A la sortie, une voiture à mon nom avec chauffeur m'attend. Sur le trajet, je découvre Shanghai. Première impression: waouh, c'est grand! Avec Thierry (Tulasne, son coach), on se demande combien de personnes peuvent bien habiter ici. On aura notre réponse: 20 millions! Cinq minutes avant d'arriver, le chauffeur passe un coup de fil à l'hôtel pour que nos bagages soient immédiatement pris en charge et qu'on me guide jusqu'à ma chambre sans passer par la réception. C'est une suite avec tout ce qu'il faut, et même bien plus. Les oreillers et le peignoir sont brodés à mon nom. Je me demande si je vais les ramener à la maison, ça fait un peu mégalo quand même!

Jeudi 7 novembre
Séance repérages
Un moment important, la découverte du stade. Je suis impatient de voir ça, de tester la surface. Deux heures d'échanges avec Jo (Tsonga) plus tard, me voilà rassuré: je me sens super bien sur ce court. Je dispose aussi d'un vestiaire personnel, avec mon canapé, ma télé, mon minibar... Des photos de tous les joueurs tapissent le couloir. Se voir en gros, c'est assez troublant. J'ai l'habitude de voir Roger Federer sur le mur, pas ma tête! Toutes ces attentions, j'ai l'impression que c'est un peu trop. Cela en devient presque gênant.

Samedi 9 novembre
Les conneries de Roddick
La veille, on a tous fait une séance photo, en costume. Tous sauf Andy Roddick, arrivé trop à la bourre. Aujourd'hui, une cérémonie de présentation est organisée. Long mais pas désagréable. A ma grande surprise, les joueurs déconnent bien ensemble. Pas de regards en coin. Je note un certain engouement des médias à mon égard, même si les questions restent assez convenues. Roddick est mon acolyte en conférence de presse et il raconte pas mal de conneries. Sur Obama par exemple: "Ah bon, il y a eu une élection aux Etats-Unis, racontez-moi." Le tournoi commence demain mais comme ça rigole de partout, je ne me sens pas encore dedans. J'aurais bien besoin d'une journée de plus pour me mettre un peu la pression.

Dimanche 10 novembre
Coupure image
J'échauffe Jo, Davydenko et Djokovic. C'est le seul moyen pour moi de jouer sur le Central, et non pas sur le terrain d'entraînement, bien plus proche de l'hôtel mais sur lequel je tape très mal. J'en deviens même persuadé que ce n'est pas la même surface. Je préfère ensuite regagner ma chambre pour regarder le premier match de Jo contre Davydenko. C'est tendu. Troisième set, 5-3 balle de débreak. Davydenko sert, Jo retourne et... plus rien ! La télé chinoise vient de tout couper pour lancer le journal. Terrible, impossible de voir la fin.

Lundi 11 novembre
Première victoire
Fait marquant de la journée, j'ai gagné! Et j'ai bien aimé le public. Sur la fin, je sens qu'il bascule pour moi. Alors que, bien sûr, à l'entrée sur le terrain, le bruit c'était surtout pour Federer. Au moment de finir le match, je n'ai pas peur. Sans doute suis-je décomplexé par le fait d'avoir déjà battu Roger cet été. Je suis soulagé car quand on se retrouve parmi les huit meilleurs joueurs du monde, on se demande si on va réussir à exister. De fait, je me sens beaucoup plus à ma place ici. J'ai un peu plus de messages que d'habitude, un peu plus de groupies devant l'hôtel aussi en rentrant. Il est minuit. Room service de rigueur.

Mercredi 13 novembre
Le mur Murray
Défaite face à Andy Murray en deux sets. Jouer contre lui, c'est comme jouer contre le mur: tu tapes fort, ça revient fort, tu tapes doucement, ça revient doucement. Le mec te fait plus cogiter que les autres. Quand tu as des passages où tu es en réussite, tu te dis "bon, là, je suis en train de bien l'enterrer". Mais à d'autres moments, c'est plutôt: "Ah là, je suis bien en train de lui donner".

Jeudi 14 novembre
Metallica pour se réveiller
Au petit-déjeuner, un membre de l'ATP m'apprend que ma place en demi-finales ne dépend que de la victoire de Murray sur Federer demain. Mon match à venir contre Stepanek reste intéressant et je me mets une petite pression: 100 points ATP sont en jeu et avec eux la perspective de figurer parmi les 8 premières têtes de série à l'Open d'Australie en janvier prochain. Je reste dans ma routine. On a peu de contacts avec l'extérieur et, finalement, je n'ai pas fait de sortie à Shanghai, pas de resto. Les moments où je suis seul dans ma chambre, il n'y en a pas tant que ça. Alors j'en profite. Un peu de jeux vidéos, un peu d'Internet. Musique aussi, avec les grands classiques sur mon iTunes, Muse en priorité. Metallica aussi pour se réveiller le matin, voire Van Halen.

Vendredi 15 novembre
Une longue attente
Après ma victoire sur Stepanek, j'avais décidé dans un premier temps de rester au stade et de regarder d'un oeil Federer-Murray. Jusqu'à 6-4, 2-5, j'étais relax. Les deux sets étaient faciles à suivre car à sens unique. Mais ça a fini par se compliquer. Trop long d'attendre, je préfère partir. Pendant le 3e set, je suis donc dans la voiture. J'arrive à l'hôtel sur les premières balles de match Murray. Ratées. Je ne me suis jamais senti autant pour l'écosse. Mais c'est terrible de souhaiter la défaite de quelqu'un... En prenant l'ascenseur, je croise Djokovic. C'est un de ses amis qui m'apprend que Murray a réussi à conclure. Ouf!

Samedi 16 novembre
Envie de tout casser
Certains matches marquent une saison et cette demi-finale contre Djokovic en fait partie. On joue quand même trois heures et si on change ne serait-ce que deux points, c'est moi qui passe. Il est 23 heures à Shanghai. Même si c'est moins chaud, je n'ai pas encore digéré cette défaite. Elle fait mal. En sortant du court, j'avais envie de tout casser. Le moment est aussi particulier, la saison vient de se finir. J'ai commandé un bon gros hamburger au room service pour marquer le coup. Pas question de sortir. Je suis trop crevé pour songer à autre chose que dormir. A l'année prochaine!

11-16-2008, 03:08 PM
It's not very interesting for us, we already know most of the stuff about the hotel, the training, the matches... A few new points:

He finds it weird to see his poster at the tournament venue, he's used to see posters of Roger, not of him. It's a bit too much. Almost embarrassing.
The ceremonies on Saturday: quite long, but not too boring. He notices the players are really getting along, having fun together and not acting at all like rivals. He's a bit surprised by the interest of the media for him. He gives his press conference together with Roddick who keeps talking BS, for example when he's asked about the elections in the US etc. Everybody is joking, it doesn't feel at all like the tournament is starting on the next day already.
The match against Federer: he says he appreciated the support of the crowd, people were really nice with him at the end of the match, although they were supporting Roger big time at the beginning, of course. He's very relieved, feels less "out of place" now that he has won that match. He notices he has a few more groupies waiting for him in front of the hotel too.
The match against Murray: playing against Andy feels like playing against a wall. Andy also makes one "cogitate" much more than the other players.
Thursday: an ATP guy tells him at breakfast that his qualification only depends on the Fed-Murray match now. But it doesn't change much for him as he wants to be seeded in the top 8 for the AO anyway.
No visit of Shanghai, he doesn't have much time for himself and spends all his time in his hotel room then - playing video games, surfing on the Net, listening to music: Muse and also Metallica or Van Halen to wake up in the morning. ^^
The Djokovic match: although he writes the entry in the evening, he still sounds quite mad, lol. He means that if they changed only 2 points in the whole match maybe, he could have won. It hurts. Too tired to go out or do anything, he just feels like sleeping. "See you next year!"

11-16-2008, 03:46 PM
On his ipod: Muse and also Metallica or Van Halen to wake up in the morning. ^^


that's joke......................

Gillou and Metallica, plus Van way.................

11-16-2008, 04:11 PM

that's joke......................

Gillou and Metallica, plus Van way.................


Me and Gillou have similar taste :rocker2: I was listening to Van Halen too a lot past weeks ,try some Led Zeppelin AC/DC and Guns N' Roses too Gilles ! :lol: :cool:

11-16-2008, 05:23 PM
that was a good read. He always has something insightful to say, not the generic bull crap that I hear from tennis players day in and day out. He's like Shakespeare compare to the rest of them.

well, it has been a fun week scouring through the Chinese websites. (My Chinese has improved drastically. :)) Now that the tournaments will be in mostly English speaking countries, I'll leave the news update to the experts. All of you guys are doing a great job on bringing us the latest scoop. Thank you. :worship:

edit: just a little tidbit. Gilles was the only player in the tournament to have a public autographing session.

11-16-2008, 05:37 PM
Thanks A LOT, Marisa, you've been very, very helpful. I posted the links of all your Chinese videos etc. on the French blog about Gilles (Ayane's blog) and it was very appreciated over there too, some people mentioned that in the comments, so thank you in their name too.
As Natsume said last time, it was refreshing to have another perspective too.

11-20-2008, 08:25 PM
Here is a summary of the "Amicalement vôtre" article I was talking about in the Chat thread. It's an article about Gilles and Jo when they were teenagers. But the style of the article was way too complicated for me, so I just kept a few bits and quotes and it's not very interesting anymore in the end. I definitely recommend the original article if you speak French: (whole pdf) (the part about Gilles)

"Amicalement vôtre" is the French title of the TV series "The Persuaders!"
I only summarized the part about Gilles and then when they talk about each other with Jo:

It's not a coincidence that "Gilou" liked Chang when he was knee-high to a grasshopper. So weedy-looking with his 3 and a half years growth retardation compared to the other guys of his group [it's actually more like 2 1/2 years growth retardation + almost 1 year difference because he was born in December and hence the youngest of the 1984 group].
Making up for these 3 1/2 years has been the big fight of his life.

He never looked the part of the tennis player. His first coach in Roland-Garros explains that Gilles fainted one day in training: "I still remember the feeling when I picked him up from the ground. He was so light. As light as a feather." "One had to see him to believe it." 1,52 m and 38 kg by the age of 14. His mother: "Everybody was criticizing him for being too defensive. But what else could he do?" It's a miracle Gilles survived the "natural selection" of the tennis schools.

Never on the list for the Orange Bowl, unknown in the Juniors events, he also wasn't helping his cause with his half-hearted, amateurish attitude in training.
His mother: "People were casting doubt on him. He was told very hard things at this time. High-level sport is cruel sometimes. With all the harassment he was victim of, I thought that he was going to put down the racquet. He did... for 7 days."
7 days sounds a lot when one knows how Simon was relentlessly scouring the tournaments of the Val-de-Marne, of France and of the world, obsessively trying to find out there a practical answer to his small build issue.

120 matches a year on average. Crazy. Everybody at the FFT was amazed by this "Stakhanovist crank" who was so sure to have the right stategy, though. One of his former trainers at the FFT explains: "We sometimes wondered how Gilles was able to give speed to the ball. But he was appealing. There was something sparkling about his intelligence and his technique. He had something." Soulès: "It's true we were wondering if we should keep him or not at the FFT. But Borfiga and I decided to speak in his favour because we had never seen such a competitive guy."

As a little kid, he loved to finish his matches on a volley, even when he wasn't coming to the net the rest of the time. Rebellious, already. During his time at the INSEP, he was reading books about logic. His mathematics-loving father and his mother (a doctor) always pushed their children to do a lot of things. His brother had a go at golf and played the saxophone before becoming an engineer; Gilles played the piano and passed his "bac S".
A former trainer: "Gillou was a mischievous guy, able to do two things at once. When I would tell him: 'Can you look at me, please?', he would answer: 'No, I'm listening'. He reminds me of Kaa, the python of the Jungle Book who lulls one into sleep. He already needed to be in a difficult situation, he knew that he performed best while at a disadvantage." A miniature of the player who is now playing in Shanghai.

He kept improving, slowly, ready in his mind to thumb his nose at the rest of the world. He never got wild-cards. He was scouring the Futures, and then the Challengers. Never doubting.
Tulasne: "I saw him for the first time in Doha in 2003, when I was coaching Seb Grosjean. He was playing the qualies. He had no body hair at all and he was so frail! But he was very interested in what we were doing and I noticed immediately that his personality was not proportional to his size. For example he displayed a surprising authority when we started playing cards. I said to myself: 'Oh, this guy has something...'"
Gilles already knew that and his mother (the driving force of his spectacular rise) even more so. Is she stunned by what is happening to him? "No. I always told Gilles he would be able to go far, because we knew he was finally going to grow up some day. I've always been more convinced than him. Now there is only one big discussion topic between us: the serve!"

Tsonga: "Gilles was eating only chocolate cereal!"
"We met for the first time when we were about 13 years old, at tennis events. But we did not talk to each other at that time. I was already quite strong and Gilles was so small, we looked like David and Goliath!
We got closer at the end of our time at the CNE (the training center of Roland-Garros). We were in the same situation, about to become pros, playing Futures together. We were just 2-3 guys sleeping at the CNE. We had dinner at 7pm and we spent the whole evening together then. We did everything together. We played video games, sometimes we went to friends together, or threw little parties... The dormitory supervisor was nice to us.
We were not having a normal teenager's life. The only way to have fun was to break the bans and to do all sort of BS...
We soon found out that we had a lot in common because we had had the same life, somehow, from the age of 12-13.
Between 14 and 18, even if I wasn't spending all my time with Gilles, I always knew exactly where he was and what he was doing. We talked a lot. We had long "philosophical" discussions about life, about our future career, about our dreams...
We shared rooms on Future events. We have quite a lot of stories together... I remember one of our first Future events in Grasse, Gilles was already playing quite well... He was sleeping on the sofa and he was eating only chocolate cereal! He always had 3-4 packets in his room, it was his own diet. His vitamins!
One day, before his quarter-final or his semi-final, he took a big salad bowl, poured one litre of milk and the whole package of "Chocapic". I couldn't believe it, but he ate it all! Of course, he was feeling a little bit washed-out afterwards, but he still won the tournament! That day I said to myself: 'This guy has something special... It can't be possible, he has a secret...'"

Simon: "Jo wasn't afraid of anybody!"
"At the beginning of our time in the training center of Poitiers (they were about 14 y. old), I didn't know anybody there and I was not really friends with Jo. We spent our days together, but we did not have any special relationship. Jo was a bit apart from the others, he was already much stronger than everybody else. His improvement in one year in Poitiers was incredible! He not only caught up with everybody else, but he surpassed everybody. He was stronger than us physically. I remember a group picture where he is so much taller than us that he looks like he belongs to the coaching staff!
The guys were competing with each other, but not in a positive way, it was harsh, there was a lot of jealousy. As for me, I was completely aside because I was way too bad!
Jo already had something special, a natural self-confidence. His confidence has never been forced. He was carried away by the occasion and he wasn't afraid of anybody! He was an inspiration for me: I understood that he needed it to play well. It's still his main quality, he's the boss when he steps on the court.
We really got to know each other at the CNE in Roland-Garros. That's where everything started between us. We got quite close. It was a tough time for him, he often was injured, he slipped down in the rankings.
We started sharing a room on Future events so we had to pay only half of the price. Our relationship grew slowly. At one time we were the only ones left at the CNE. We really spent a whole year together. The restaurant closed at 7:30 and since we're both night owls, we had never ending discussions in our room. We shared a lot of really personal things. At least he did, since he's a guy who opens up more than I do.
We were playing video games late in the night. Top Spin, Mario Kart. We were also sometimes getting drunk at the end of the season or at the end of the day. On special occasions because I have to say that for the rest, we haven't had a normal teenager's life.
We have at least one thing in common: we are frank and focused on ourselves, in a positive way. We don't care about the results of the others. Which means there is no room for jealousy. We don't care a damn: to each his own path. There can't be any jealousy between us..."

(Thanks a lot to Lesley for the help!)

11-21-2008, 07:35 AM
thanks a lot Fran and Les :hug:

11-27-2008, 02:06 PM
"Gilles Simon dans le top 10? C'est affreux!"
Simon? Il met juste la balle dans le court.
Que pense X-Man au fait de la révélation de la saison 2008 Gilles Simon, vainqueur de Nadal à Madrid et Federer à Toronto et Shanghai. "Quand je vois que Gilles Simon a réussi à se hisser dans le Top 10 mondial, je me dis que beaucoup de choses sont possibles. C'est affreux ! Il ne joue pas mal, mais ce n'est pas un grand talent. Il garde juste la balle dans le terrain. Il est vrai, cela dit, que c'est déjà un bon début...", conclut-il.

Propos osés
Des propos assez audacieux pour un joueur qui pointe à la 161e position. Malisse ne devrait-il pas plutôt se réjouir que des joueurs au physique plus limité puissent jouer encore un rôle significatif dans l'élite du tennis mondial masculin. La persévérance, le travail et la force de caractère sont aussi des vertus essentielles au tennis de haut niveau. Et Gilles Simon n'a de leçon à recevoir de personne en la matière.

It's about an interview of Malisse for a Belgian newspaper. The title: "Gilles Simon in the top 10? It's awful!" :lol:

"When I see that Gilles Simon managed to enter the top 10, I think that a lot of things are possible. It's awful! He doesn't play poorly, but he isn't a big talent. He just keeps the ball in play. Which is a good start, granted..."
But the journalist stresses that Malisse is in no position to say that. Perseverance, hard work and character strength also are essential in tennis. And Gilles doesn't need any lesson from anybody in that regard.

11-27-2008, 02:39 PM
what an abruti this malisse.:(

If simon is just someone who get all the balls back ,mmm the same comment can also be said about... nadal no?:o
pfff he's pissed cause he never beat federer nor nadal

11-27-2008, 02:42 PM

Actually, it's just one step ahead (the Belgian vs French thingy probably helps) of what Grosjean, PHM & co already said. Jo's answer would beautiffully apply here too. :devil:

I'm not familiar with 7s7 site, but judging from the other articles, it looks pretty much like a popular tabloid-esque media, doesn't it?

11-27-2008, 02:45 PM

It's about an interview of Malisse for a Belgian newspaper. The title: "Gilles Simon in the top 10? It's awful!" :lol:

"When I see that Gilles Simon managed to enter the top 10, I think that a lot of things are possible. It's awful! He doesn't play poorly, but he isn't a big talent. He just keeps the ball in play. Which is a good start, granted..."
But the journalist stresses that Malisse is in no position to say that. Perseverance, hard work and character strength also are essential in tennis. And Gilles doesn't need any lesson from anybody in that regard.

so many haters lately and they all with big complexes................f**k Malisse who cares of him.........................disgusting :fiery:

11-27-2008, 02:48 PM
I'm not familiar with 7s7 site, but judging from the other articles, it looks pretty much like a popular tabloid-esque media, doesn't it?I'm not familiar with Belgian media either, but it's part of an interview he gave to DH which looks quite normal - I only noticed the 7s7 article because of the title (and the reaction of the journalist):

Gilles already kind of answered all these statements in an article lately - he said something like "ben vas-y, fais-le si c'est facile!" (OK, just do it then if it's easy!) I'll try to find the article, I think it was the local newspaper of Nice.

11-27-2008, 02:57 PM
I've got it, it was actually a bit different, he said: "I've always hated the statements à la 'he's only ranked #200 in the world, but he sure has the potential to be top 20' - OK, just do it then! Same as I've never been a fan of the 'he's ranked #10 in the world, but we're really wondering why...' He's ranked #10 because he has won tons of matches, it's simple!"
Tout sauf une Shangai Surprise...

Gilles Simon a battu Federer ? Et alors ? C'est donc qu'il faudrait s'en étonner ? Trouver cela exceptionnel, pardi ! Stupéfiant pourquoi pas. A moins que ce ne soit divin.
Que sais-je encore...

Après tout, ce n'est jamais que la seconde fois, cette saison, que le Frenchie renvoie le Suisse à ses verts pâturages. Et puis, la logique veut qu'un match de tennis soit fait pour être gagné : qu'y a-t-il donc d'inattendu là-dedans ? (...)

Pardonnez-nous d'aborder ce nouvel exploit du Niçois au deuxième degré. Mais pour l'avoir rencontré il y a peu (*), cette perf très " simonesque " - dans la forme autant que l'esprit - ne nous étonne qu'à moitié.
Car ce qui nous a surpris d'emblée chez Simon, au-delà d'une gentillesse et d'une spontanéité qui ne nous parurent pas feintes, c'est la confiance "monstrueuse" - osons le terme - qui l'anime.

« Masters-card » méritée
On l'entend encore nous assener sur le dictaphone : « J'ai toujours eu horreur du "Il est 200e mais il a le potentiel pour être dans les vingt" ben d'accord, fais-le ! Au même titre que j'ai jamais aimé le "Lui il est dixième, ben on se demande comment il fait..." Simplement, il est dixième, il a gagné plein de matchs, voilà ! »

Gagner des matchs.

Battre Federer, Nadal, Djokovic... Simon l'a fait. D'ailleurs, ne nous disait-il pas, aussi : « J'ai compris, il y a un an ou deux, que l'on est tous potentiellement capables, je veux dire parmi les cinquante mondiaux, de battre le n°1, ou le n°2 ou le n°3 sur un jour. Par contre, la saison qu'ils font, la régularité avec laquelle ils se retrouvent chaque quinzaine en demies, en finale, qu'ils jouent bien ou qu'ils jouent mal, ça c'est un truc, une qualité qui est très, très, très rare... »

Cette assurance tous risques, Gilles Simon la met au service d'un jeu obstiné à défaut d'être racoleur. Escorté d'improbables retournements de situations.

Aussi, cette " Masters-card " improvisée que Nadal lui a délivrée par genou tendineux interposé, n'en est que plus méritée. Gilles ne l'a pas volée. Car Simon ne fait pas de cinoche. Même si, hier, pour beaucoup, c'était Shangaï surprise ...

(*) Interview réalisée après son quart de finale au GP de tennis de Lyon.

11-27-2008, 03:03 PM
Jo's answer is lost in the middle of the chat thread, it deserves to be posted here in case somebody missed it: :worship:

- Votre camarade Gilles Simon n'est pas bien vu par certains joueurs français, qui le jugent arrogant...
- Cela m'énerve. Ce n'est pas parce que Gilles est sûr de lui et ambitieux qu'il a la grosse tête. C'est très Français de raisonner de la sorte. Cela relève de la jalousie de mecs qui se cachent derrière leurs petites ambitions et leur petit classement pour critiquer. Ils peuvent toujours parler. En attendant, ce ne sont pas eux qui sont dans le Top 10. On l'ouvre quand on peut l'ouvrir. Sinon, on la ferme...

- Gilles Simon isn't very popular with some French players who find him arrogant...
- It gets on my nerves. Being self-assured and ambitious doesn't mean Gilles is bigheaded. This way of thinking is very French. It's the jealousy of guys who are hiding behind their little ambitions and their little ranking to criticize. They can always talk. In the meantime, they're not the ones in the top 10. People should talk when they can afford it. Otherwise, they should shut up...

11-27-2008, 03:11 PM
I've got it, it was actually a bit different, he said: "I've always hated the statements à la 'he's only ranked #200 in the world, but he sure has the potential to be top 20' - OK, just do it then! Same as I've never been a fan of the 'he's ranked #10 in the world, but we're really wondering why...' He's ranked #10 because he has won tons of matches, it's simple!"

Good for Gilles to say that. I am really tired of people beating him up verbally. If he wasn't any good, he wouldn't have had the results he's had. Nobody ever seems to give him any recognition aswell for the fact that he's not built like Robocop but still manages to beat the really big hitters. Him and Gasquet can't win, if they play well, everybody wants it justified (Gilles) and if they play badly, (Gasquet :rolleyes: but he'll get better) people are too ready to kick someone whose down.

11-27-2008, 03:49 PM

Actually, it's just one step ahead (the Belgian vs French thingy probably helps) of what Grosjean, PHM & co already said. Jo's answer would beautiffully apply here too. :devil:

I'm not familiar with 7s7 site, but judging from the other articles, it looks pretty much like a popular tabloid-esque media, doesn't it?

what did they said?especially jo please?

11-27-2008, 04:01 PM
I just quoted Jo's answer Natsume is referring to.

Here's Seb:
There were similar statements of Benneteau and Paulo.

11-27-2008, 04:04 PM
that's why I like jo, he's so "cash" :lol:

11-27-2008, 05:06 PM
I've got it, it was actually a bit different, he said: "I've always hated the statements à la 'he's only ranked #200 in the world, but he sure has the potential to be top 20' - OK, just do it then! Same as I've never been a fan of the 'he's ranked #10 in the world, but we're really wondering why...' He's ranked #10 because he has won tons of matches, it's simple!"
Thanks Fran,I haven't read that one. Clever guy. Did I ever mention I was first drawn in his matches because of his interviews? :D

For a change, here's a positive quote about Gillou's game, by Steve Tignor from, prior to his match against Nadal in Madrid. I found it poignant and spot on:
What’s interesting about his game is how unlikely it is. He's completely reactive, hits a weird, open, flat forehand, doesn’t get all he could into his serve, and often appears not to be trying. Except that he’s trying harder than anyone.

this quote sums up why he is my favorite player atm.

12-05-2008, 02:05 PM
well I so much hate this lack of news about our sweet beautiful Poussin lately that I've decided to post this article from Shanghai after Gillou's victory over Stepanek ..................enjoy:

12-05-2008, 06:35 PM
Jo's comments are so right:worship:


Yavor,thanks for posting the Shanghai interview;) Gilles is very humble,being in the Worlds Top 10 hasn't changed him a bit,he's an all round nice guy, grateful to be where he is in tennis, and has worked very hard for his status:rocker2:.

12-05-2008, 07:29 PM
Jo's comments are so right:worship:


Yavor,thanks for posting the Shanghai interview;) Gilles is very humble,being in the Worlds Top 10 hasn't changed him a bit,he's an all round nice guy, grateful to be where he is in tennis, and has worked very hard for his status:rocker2:.

what's true is true :rocker2:

12-08-2008, 08:56 AM
An interview of Tulasne (in the first questions he's asked to comment about Gilles' interview after Madrid:
Thierry Tulasne: "Gilles, Jo, Richard, Gaël n'ont qu'un objectif c'est de remporter un Grand Chelem"

Thierry Tulasne, le coach de l’année, celui de Gilles Simon revient pour nous sur le moment où la carrière de son « poulain » a basculé. Il commente point par point l’interview accordée à notre confrère Frédéric Bernes de l’Equipe par celui qui venait de terrasser Rafael Nadal sur ses terres lors d’un match d’anthologie. Décryptages.

«J’ai aussi eu confirmation que ce n’est pas parce que t’es pas beau au début du tournoi que tu ne peux pas aller loin » (NDLR: Cette citation comme celles qui suivront sont tirées de l'interview accordée au journal l'Equipe par Gilles Simon à Madrid à l'issue de sa victoire face à Nadal: )
C'est un point très très important. C'est Henri Cochet qui m'avait dit un jour: «Tu seras très fort quand tu auras compris que la plupart des matchs, on les gagne en jouant mal », et cette devise, j'y crois vachement. La plupart du temps, les joueurs sont beaucoup centrés sur les sensations. Quand ils arrivent sur un tournoi, ils essayent de sentir les balles. Souvent ces sensations ne sont pas bonnes en arrivant sur un tournoi pour différentes raisons d’ailleurs : décalage horaire, adaptation à la surface. C’est pour cela que c’est important de parvenir à passer les premiers tours même en jouant mal.

"Le déclic s’est passé à Indianapolis en juillet"
C’est 100% vrai. Quand je suis avec lui, il s'appuie sur ce que je dis. Avant Indianapolis, on n’avait fait que deux jours d'entraînement. Il n’était pas prêt. Mentalement il y était mais mais pas tennistiquement. Il voulait absolument se préparer pour les Masters Séries qui suivaient car ce sont des échéances très importantes quand on vise le top 10. Son objectif c'était de faire le plus de match possibles. Il est donc arrivé à Indianapolis sans trop de préparation mais avec l’idée forte de se coacher lui-même, de rester positif, de se bagarrer sur chaque point.

"Oui, je peux attaquer et finir les points"
La qualité de base de Gilles Simon c’est le jeu de contre et aussi le fait qu’il soit très dur à déborder. Sachant cela, on a tous les deux bien réfléchi pour progresser dans d’autres registres. On sait aussi que pour battre les meilleurs, il faut jouer juste et donc savoir tout faire : attaquer, volleyer, défendre. Par exemple, il ne savait absolument pas volleyer en revers. C’est pour cela qu’au début de la saison, on a travaillé comme des forcenés. Aujourd’hui il n’a plus d’appréhension.

"Je sais que j’ai une grande endurance"
Gilles Simon a des super tests physiques au niveau de l’endurance et aussi en vivacité. En fait, comme souvent il a été en retard tennistiquement, il restait à l'Insep à s'entraîner. Comme il ratait des tournées à cause de son classement, il faisait beaucoup de courses à pied. Il courait tout le temps. A mon avis, il a développé ces facultés. Moi qui court bien, j'ai du mal à le suivre. C’est le meilleur coureur que j'ai jamais eu.

"Je fais aussi attention à ne pas vouloir tout révolutionner n’importe comment"
C’est un point important, prenons la musculation. Tous les spécialistes m'ont dit qu'il pouvait améliorer sa puissance musculaire d'au moins 10%. On a donc mis en place un plan d’action, mais toujours sans se précipiter. On a fait plutôt du haut du corps car on a peur qu'en faisant du bas du corps, il se fasse mal au genou. Il soulève déjà plus que son poids de corps en développé couché, c’est très bon. On travaille surtout cela pendant l'hiver. On essaye de l'entretenir pendant les tournois mais cela reste compliqué. La surcharge de travail, c’est ce qu'il y a de pire. En plus, comme il fait beaucoup de matchs, c’est compliqué. Maintenant, avec son classement ce sera plus facile.

"Avant, je me sentais comme la gazelle qui doit bouffer le lion. Dans la savane, ça n’arrive jamais ça."
Je trouve ça génial, cela résume parfaitement son état d’esprit. Gilles est un matcheur, un compétiteur. Cette réflexion résume aussi son état d’esprit. Cette réflexion, c’est du pur Made in Simon.

"Quand j'ai gagné à Marseille l’an dernier, en battant Hewitt et Baghdatis, je me disais : « Ah, tiens, là ça va causer ». Et puis pschitt"
Comme tous les joueurs, Gilles a besoin de reconnaissance. A juste titre, il trouvait que son parcours n’était pas assez valorisé dans les médias. Et tout d'un coup, ça s'inverse, il est donc vachement content. De plus, je pense que certains sont un peu jaloux de la qualité de ses répliques, de ses analyses alors qu'il le fait tout à fait naturellement. Mais quel que soit ce qui se passe, Gilles a une vraie force, c'est qu'il accepte qu'il y ait des gens qui l'aiment et qui ne l'aiment pas, alors que dans ce monde on veut souvent être aimé par tout le monde.

"Je pense que j’ai gagné ma place dans l’équipe dans le sens où j’ai montré que je pouvais assurer"
Je connais bien Guy Forget, l’équipe n’est pas une chasse réservée ou gardée. Il n’y a pas plus impartial que Guy. En tant que capitaine, il sait qu’il peut faire tourner un match grâce à son coaching. C’est pour cela qu’à niveau égal, c’est l’expérience qui prime. Tous les joueurs rêvent de participer à cette épreuve mythique, Gilles le premier. Depuis le début je ne lui répète qu’une chose : quand tu seras prêt, tu joueras. Les joueurs ne se rendent pas compte. Jouer la Coupe Davis c’est une lourde responsabilité, cela vous tombe dessus quand vous êtes sur le court, et quelques fois c’est peut-être déjà trop tard. Il faut vraiment être prêt, sinon cela peut avoir des conséquences presque dramatiques sur votre carrière.

Comment expliquez le succès du tennis français
D’abord il y a un super système qui part des clubs avec des professeurs passionnés, bien formés, des formations régulière au niveau qui viennent faire des formations,. Le programme avenir également est bien pensé parler, il y a partout des personnes talentueux qui cherchent les meilleurs jeunes. A tout cela il faut rajouter le sport études, mais aussi le système individualisé, enfin dans le haut niveau il y a une concurrence saine entre le Team Lagardère et la Fédération, et j’ai tendance à dire que c'est un peu grâce à Lagardère qu’il y a eu cette émulation. Enfin, les joueurs s'entendent super bien, se respectent beaucoup, contrairement à mon époque où même si Guy, Yannick, Henri étaient des supers potes , je dois bien avouer que j’étais heureux quand ils perdaient. Aujourd’hui c'est pas le cas, il quand un de leurs potes perd, ils sont déçus pour leur copain. Quand Jo fait sa finale à l'Open d’Australie, Gilles est content mais il dit : "Si Jo l'a fait, je peux le faire, Jo n’est pas plus fort que moi. Jo, je connais ses forces ses faiblesses donc je peux le faire. "

Quelle est l’image de la France sur le circuit ?
On est super respecté pour notre système de formation, on est questionné. Après, c’est vrai qu’en revanche on a un déficit en terme de capacités à être fort dans les grands évènements sauf en Coupe Davis, un succès en tournoi du Grand Chelem.

Est-ce que tu penses que si l’un en rapporte un, cela va enclencher un déclic ?
Oui j'y crois vachement à ça..

Tout ton travail avec Gilles est réalisé pour cet objectif ?
Clairement oui, l’objectif c'est gagner un tournoi du GrandChelem même si en France il ne faut pas s'afficher, il faut aller lentement au niveau des objectifs autrement c’est mal interprété. Forcément je sais que Gaël, Gilles, Jo et même Richard ont au fond d'eux cette croyance, celle de gagner un tournoi du Grand Chelem. Notre préparation 2009 est axée là dessus. Gaël est pas loin à Roland Garros, Jo s'il prend le 4e, il gagne, faut continuer à travailler s'améliorer..

Coacher Gilles, cela doit être intéressant !
Oui, mais je me vois bien aussi coacher Gasquet, le rôle d’un coach s’est de se mettre dans la psychologie du joueur tout en gardant ses idées. Quand j'ai coaché Sébastien Grosjean je suis arrivé à me mettre au niveau, à comprendre son fonctionnement. Et c’est vrai que Simon c'est un cadeau pour un entraineur si tu arrives à rentrer dans sa manière de penser. Après moi j’aime ce métier, et je me régale, chaque joueur amène quelque chose de différent. Plus les joeurs sont «durs», plus on apprend, surtout dans la réussite. Et mon objectif en tant que coach c'est de réaliser ses objectifs et après j'ai des rêves comme ce qui s'est pas,sé à Madrid.

Coach c’est mieux que joueur ?
Joueur tu es dans l'action, là c’est plus cérébral, on est actif surtout dans la préparation.

Avoir été joueur de haut niveau cela aide forcément..
Quand tu as été joueur de tennis, et notamment top 10, tu pars avec la connaissance du milieu, du jeu. C'est un vrai avantage. Après je pars aussi avec un handicap. Un égo très développé, une certaine façon de jouer, de fonctionner. Si je me base là-dessus, je vais dans le mur, trop de coaches oublient que c’est un métier à part, qu’ils ne suffit pas de mettre en place ce qui fonctionne quand on est joueur. C’est vraiment un métier différent, il faut éviter de s'appuyer sur son ressenti de joueur.

Tu joues encore ?
Je ne fais pas fait de tournois, mais je joues tous les jours, je dois jouer -4/6, je suis un très bon sparring pour Gilles. Cela est un vrai avantage sur le circuit en terme de programmation et d’emploi du temps, on ne courre pas partout pour trouver un partenaire. C’est aussi important parce je ressens des trucs quand je fais des points avec lui, cela me permet de savoir ce qu'il fait mal et bien, c’est aussi important pour connaitre les conditions de jeu. Pour le cordage aussi, je teste et on partage, par rapport à ce que je ressens. Je lui dis moi je tendrai un peu plus etc..

Est-ce que tu as des modèles en tant que coach ?
Geoges Deniau, Larri Passos, Bob Drett, Paul Annacone, Brad Gilbert.

Que penses-tu de Patrick Mouratoglou ?
C’est quelqu’un de très passionné, mais qui à beaucoup d'humilité, il prend à droite à gauche, il amène beaucoup, il a soit d’apprendre, de progresser, c'est très positif pour le tennis français...

Coach c’est donc un travail de formation qui est permanent ?
On se nourrit de tout, de discussions, tous les coaches sont comme ça voir, on essaye de voir comment font les autres, de trouver de nouveaux trucs. Je m'arrête jamais, quand j’étais joueur j'étais dans une bulle par rapport aux valeurs humaines, le fait de donner cela m'a enrichit, ma vie sur le circuit est un vrai bonheur.

12-08-2008, 11:15 AM
Just a summary of the first questions as an appetizer (a bit more than an appetizer now). The interview is quite good, especially the first part when Tulasne is asked to comment on a few statements of Gilles after Madrid:

“I had the confirmation that if you're not looking good at the beginning of a tournament, it doesn't mean you won't go far.”
A very important point. Henri Cochet (one of the Musketeers) told me once that the key to be very strong is to realize that a player wins most matches playing poorly. I totally believe it. Most of the time, the players focus on their feel. When they start playing at the tournament venue, they try to get a feel for the balls, and this feel often isn't good at the beginning for different reasons: the jetlag, the new surface. That's why it's important to get past the first rounds even playing poorly.

“The triggering experience happened in Indianapolis in July.” (he was alone there, without Tulasne)
100% true. When I'm with Gilles, he relies on what I say. We had trained only 2 days before Indianapolis. He wasn't ready. He was mentally, but not gamewise. But he absolutely wanted to prepare the Masters Series because they're very important to enter the top 10. His goal was to play as many matches as possible. He arrived in Indianapolis without any real preparation, just with the idea to coach himself, to stay positive, to fight on every point.

“Yes, I can also take the offensive and even finish a point at the net.”
Gilles' main skills are the counterpunching game and also the fact it's very hard to hit a winner against him. Knowing this, we both carefully thought about other possible improvements. It is important to play the right shot to beat the best players, which means he needs to be able to do everything: attack, volley, defend. He was totally unable to volley on the backhand side, for example. That's why we worked like crazy at the beginning of the season. He hasn't any fear anymore.

“I know I have a great staying power.”
Gilles has excellent results in stamina and swiftness tests. Since he wasn't as good as the others as a teenager, he was often staying at the INSEP while they went to tournaments. He was missing entire tours because of his bad ranking and he was running a lot during that time. He spent his time running. I think that's how he developped his staying power. I'm a good runner myself and I have trouble keeping up with him. He's the best runner I've ever coached.

“I also take care not to change everything drastically any old how.”
An important point. Let's take for instance the muscle development exercises. All the experts told me he can improve his muscular strength by 10% at least. So we made out a plan, without rushing anything though. We're focussing more on the upper body because we are afraid he might hurt his knee if he works on his lower body. He already lifts more than his own body weight on the bench press, which is very good. We work on it especially during the winter. We try to maintain it during the tournaments then, but it's tough. There's nothing worse than too much work. And since he plays a lot of matches, it's complicated. It will be easier now with his new ranking.

“I used to feel like a gazelle which has to eat the lion alive. That never happens in the savannah.”
Brilliant. It perfectly sums up Gilles’ frame of mind. He loves the competition. A pure statement "made in Simon".

“When I won Marseille last year beating Hewitt and Baghdatis in the process, I thought: ah, this time, people will talk. And pshiiiittt...”
Like all the players, Gilles needs recognition. He meant, and rightly so, that the media were not paying enough attention to his achievements. And all of a sudden, it's the opposite, so he's very happy. I think some guys also are a bit jealous of the quality of his statements, of his analysis, while it's something very natural for him. But whatever happens, Gilles has a real strength: he accepts the fact that some people don’t love him, while most people in tennis want to be loved by everybody.

“I mean I've earned my spot on the Davis Cup team this time as I've showed I can deliver.”
I know Guy Forget well, the DC team is not an exclusive preserve. Nobody is as unbiased as Guy. :tape: He knows he's able as a captain to turn around a tie with the right coaching. That's why the experience counts the most for him when two players are at the same level. The Davis Cup is a myth, all the players dream of playing in Davis Cup, and Gilles definitely does. I've been saying to him since the beginning: when you're ready for it, you're going to play. The players don't realize that playing in Davis Cup is a huge responsibility, you feel it all of a sudden when you're on the court and it sometimes is too late then already. The players need to be really ready for it, otherwise it can have terrible consequences for the whole career.

The rest later...

12-08-2008, 11:53 AM
Just a summary of the first questions as an appetizer...............

The rest later...

now that's what I called a first class entree..........:lick:
great job Frannie!!! :worship:

12-09-2008, 06:14 AM
Too many articles about Gillou, I haven't finished translating the interview of Tulasne and here come new articles already. In l'Equipe today, a good article about the preparation of Gilles and Jo in Saint-Cyprien:
Trois semaines après le Masters, Tsonga et Simon ont repris le travail dans les Pyrénées. Ensemble. SAINT-CYPRIEN – de notre envoyée spéciale

SI GILLES SIMON a participé à la totalité des activités avec la douzaine d’autres « invités » du stage hivernal organisé par la FFT dans le sud de la France (1er-12 décembre), Jo-Wilfried Tsonga a bénéficié d’un traitement beaucoup plus personnalisé. Arrivé le jeudi 4 au soir, il a raté la sortie VTT, qui a demandé aux participants l’effort le plus « féroce » du stage (dixit Paul Quétin, le maître d’oeuvre), et la nuit passée dans un refuge en montagne. De même, hier, Tsonga a fait ses propres gammes, le matin au step (exercices aérobiques), l’après-midi sur le court rapide en plein air tant le soleil brillait. Après un déjeuner pris en groupe, comme tous les repas, ce fut l’occasion de faire un point avec les deux hommes, 6e et 7e mondiaux, au profil assez différent.
Tsonga est en retard de forme sur les autres, mais il ne voulait surtout pas s’en formaliser : « Je suis le gars qui revient de vacances, qui a repris l’entraînement depuis quelques jours, qui ne se pose pas la question de savoir : “Est-ce que mon tennis est bien en place ?” Tous les jours, j’essaie d’apporter de nouveaux trucs qui vont me faire progresser. » On a envie de savoir quoi : « Ça ne regarde que moi », répond Tsonga d’une voix pourtant très douce. Gilles Simon, lui, avait besoin de se rassurer : « Sur ma condition physique, ma résistance, montrer que je suis encore capable d’enchaîner dix jours d’efforts intensifs. » C’est chose faite : « Je peux continuer à faire de bonnes séances malgré la fatigue. » Tulasne, son coach, est admiratif : « Gilles est passé directement de ses vacances à l’île Maurice dans un cinq étoiles à une randonnée en montagne en raquettes, dormant dans un refuge, dans le froid avec juste une couverture qui pique… Qu’il garde cette simplicité, cette confiance, cet état d’esprit et ça va être super. »
À l’aise avec les autres, Tsonga ne nie pas les vertus du travail en solo : « J’ai eu la chance de bénéficier quand j’étais jeune du contact des meilleurs Français et c’est la moindre des choses que de rendre la pareille. Par ma façon d’être, de m’entraîner, si je peux montrer à certains jeunes comment il faut faire pour être performant, c’est avec plaisir. Mais j’établis des plages personnelles, parce que c’est un sport individuel et que j’ai envie de faire “mes” trucs à moi. On est chacun de notre côté, quand même. J’ai envie de faire une bonne saison l’année prochaine, donc je me prépare un peu dans mon coin pour être au top. » Mais heureusement que Gilles Simon n’était pas toujours isolé à Saint-Cyprien… « Quand on se tape des côtes à vélo, des marches en montagne, c’est mieux d’être tous ensemble que tout seul avec son iPod sur les oreilles. Quand on est là tous ensemble, on est sur un pied d’égalité. Le seul exemple que je puisse donner, c’est celui de l’attitude. Quand je suis sur un vélo, ce n’est plus moi qui tire les autres vers le haut, ce sont eux qui le font. »Arrivé bon dernier, avec une heure de retard sur le premier, le jour de l’ascension du col de l’Ouillat (936 m), Gilles Simon aurait pu être touché dans son ego tant il a souffert. Trois jours après, il en rit : « Je prends le vélo, je me déchire jusqu’au bout, je suis irréprochable, même si je ne suis pas bon. Je n’ai pas besoin d’être Lance Armstrong pour être bon au tennis. »
Pour un peu, Tsonga s’étonnerait qu’on fasse allusion à son parcours jusqu’en finale de l’Open d’Australie : « J’ai eu des fortes sensations avant l’Open d’Australie 2008, mais je ne me dis pas : “On m’attend .” C’est rentré dans mon fonctionnement. La seule limite qu’il puisse y avoir dans un classement, c’est la place de numéro 1. J’ai toujours visé ça pour être le meilleur possible. Tant que je n’y serai pas, j’aurai toujours envie d’y être. » Quant à l’appétit de Gilles Simon, il semblait moins pantagruélique : « Le top 10, c’est une des dernières étapes. Il ne reste plus beaucoup de monde devant. On a continuellement besoin d’avoir de nouvelles ambitions. Mais numéro 1 mondial, non, c’est trop tôt. J’ai pris conscience que je pouvais battre les meilleurs joueurs du monde. Mais ce qui est sûr et certain, c’est que je ne peux pas rivaliser avec eux sur l’ensemble d’une saison. Quand on voit la densité physique qu’il faut, et mentale aussi, je ne me sens pas encore capable d’évoluer à ce niveau-là. Mes objectifs vont être plus “simples” : faire péter un Grand Chelem. Parce qu’un objectif sur une semaine ou deux est à ce jour plus accessible pour moi. »
Tsonga veut bien répondre aux questions mais seulement lorsque la « fenêtre médiatique », chère à Cédric Pioline en son temps, est ouverte. « Quand on a un programme, et que ça débarque, ça nous dit qu’il faut faire une photo, j’ai envie de ne dire qu’une chose : “Laissez-moi faire mon boulot tranquille.” (…) En moucher un ou deux (journalistes), ça me fait quand même plaisir. » Et vous, Gilles Simon, les médias, ça vous saoûle ? Réponse : « Oui ! Ça empiète un peu sur ma tranquillité, mais j’essaie de le gérer au mieux. » Il a pris une attachée de presse, l’ancienne joueuse Sarah Pitkowski. « Ça l’oblige à faire des choix, souligne Tulasne. C’est important qu’avec la presse il se montre tel qu’il est, pas comme quelqu’un qui se protège. »

12-09-2008, 06:16 AM
And it's not just about Gilles, but here's another little article about the idea of this kind of training camps:Un stage pour en baver
L’IDÉE DU SÉJOUR organisé par le staff des entraîneurs de la FFT (une dizaine de personnes) sous la houlette de Paul Quétin, préparateur physique du groupe, et de Gilles Simon en particulier, c’est de retrouver le goût de l’effort intense et de longue durée, ce qui n’est pas possible quand les tournois s’enchaînent. « Il s’agit de se constituer une base physique qui va servir au moins pour les premiers mois de l’année 2009, dit-il. Deux axes sont visés : résistance, pour la capacité à reproduire des efforts, et explosivité, par le renforcement musculaire. » Paul Quétin s’efforce de faire des programmes à la carte au sein d’une vie de groupe : « On a estimé par exemple que la sortie à vélo du vendredi n’était pas appropriée pour Jo. L’année dernière, il avait été impressionnant de puissance, mais cette année il n’était pas prêt à supporter ce type d’effort. À Jo, on a proposé un travail graduel à base de tennis, mais pas à forte intensité. Gilles, lui, a eu recours à des volumes élevés. Comme le travail de jambes, d’abord, avec le renforcement des quadriceps. On ne peut pas le faire travailler là-dessus dans l’année, car il est sans doute le joueur mondial qui court le plus et le plus vite ! Si on lui mettait un compteur, je suis sûr qu’il serait celui qui parcourt le plus grand nombre de kilomètres à l’année. Là, on profite de l’intersaison pour faire du travail en profondeur. » Gilles et Jo ont eu recours à un appareil iso-synétique réglé à une vitesse constante et préformatée pour chaque individu. « Mais la dynamique de groupe, ça fait partie de leur formation, insiste Quetin. C’est l’exception française. Depuis huit ans, ils ont participé à pratiquement tous les stages. Ils ont passé les étapes dans des structures collectives, et ils aiment ça, même si le tennis, c’est un sport individuel. Mais quand il faut se remettre dans le dur, quand il faut marcher dans la neige et dormir dans un refuge ou monter un col en VTT, les valeurs du groupe sont précieuses. » Souffrez, souffrez, il en restera toujours quelque chose. Ils aiment les sports co comme le foot à sept, ils aiment partager leur chambre avec leur pote de jeunesse : Ouanna pour Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Recouderc pour Gilles Simon ; et pour eux, revenir du Grand Stade de St-Cyprien à leur hôtel en faisant neuf kilomètres de footing avant de profiter de la thalasso, c’est que du bonheur. Un bonheur tout à fait complet quand, pour avoir osé un « chambrage » au pied levé, on se retrouve par terre, à faire dix pompes, et pas pour amuser la galerie !

12-09-2008, 07:43 AM
I like Sarah Pitkowski a lot , she's full of energy on her Tv show in Roland Garros, and she's from the North of France, so she can't be bad. It's nice for him to have her as a press agent!

12-09-2008, 08:58 AM
I hadn't even seen that part, I just skimmed through all the articles this morning before posting them. I agree, she seems nice. So you are from the North of France, Manu? :p Didn't you say last time your family lives in Metz?

Here's the summary of the main article about Gilles and Jo in Saint-Cyprien ("Inseparable"):

Gilles takes part in all the activities with the rest of the group, but Jo has a personalized program. He arrived on Thursday evening, skipped the cycling which required the "fiercest" effort from everybody according to Quétin (the physical trainer of the FFT who takes care of Gilles in particular) and also the night in a mountain hut. Yesterday too, Jo had his own program, with special exercises in the morning and tennis in the afternoon. He joined the others for lunch, like every day, and Gilles and Jo meet the journalists after the lunch.

Piano or turbo?
Jo isn't really in shape yet compared to the others, but that's OK, he says he's just coming back from his holiday and not worried about his game atm, he just tries to add every day new things which will help him to improve. Which things? "It's my business", he answers very softly.
Gilles needed to reassure himself: "About my shape, my staying power, to show I'm still able to string together 10 days of intense effort." Tulasne is filled with admiration [as usual!] and stresses Gilles went from a 5 stars hotel in Mauritius to a night in a refuge with just a rough blanket. "If he keeps this simplicity, this confidence, this state of mind, it will be awesome".

Hidden or together?
Jo is feeling well in the group, but stresses the importance of working alone: "I was lucky to be in contact with the best French players when I was young and it's only natural to do the same now. If I can show to some young players with my way to be and to practice what one needs to do to achieve great things, it's a pleasure. But I make out my own time slots because it's an individual sport and I want to do 'my' stuff." Etc. He wants to have a great season in 2009, so he keeps to himself for the preparation.
Gilles, on the other hand, is glad not to be alone and says it's more fun to be with a group than alone with his ipod for things like the cycling, the trekking, etc. "We're on an equal footing here. The only thing I can serve as an example for is the attitude. When I'm on a bike, I'm not the one who helps the others up, they help me." He came in a long way behind the others at the Ouillat pass. He did so poorly (he arrived one hour after the first one) that it could have hurt his ego, but no, he's laughing about it: "I took my bike, I gave my all, I'm beyond reproach, no matter how bad I was. No need to be Lance Armstrong to be good at tennis."

[I]Number one and nothing else?
Jo sounds almost surprised when he's asked about his great run in Australia: "I don't think: 'people are now waiting for me'. It's assimilated now. The only limit in a ranking is the number one spot. It's always been my goal in order to be as good as possible. As long as I won't be it, I will have the desire to become the number one."
Gilles' appetite is less "pantagruelian": "The top 10 is one of the last steps. There aren't many players left ahead of one. One always needs new ambitions. But number one, no, it's too early. I realized I can beat the best players in the world. But one thing is absolutely sure, I can't compete with them on a season as a whole. When you see the physical 'density' it means, mentally too, I don't feel able to play at that level yet. My goals will be more 'simple': a big thing in a Slam. Because a goal on one week or two weeks is more attainable for me". (In the article about Jo I posted in his forum, he also adds the Davis Cup.)

Open or close?
Jo accepts to answer the questions of the journalists, but only during the time slot dedicated to the media, like Pioline used to. It annoys him when he has things to do and journalists arrive and want to take a pic, he feels like telling them: "But let me do my job". "I enjoy putting 1-2 journalists in their place from time to time."
Does Gilles find the media wearing too? "Yes! It encroaches a bit upon my peace, but I try to handle it as well as possible." He took an agent, the former player Sarah Pitkowski. Tulasne says it will force him to make some choices. "It's important he appears the way he is and not like a guy who tries to protect himself."

12-09-2008, 09:17 AM
Well you have a good memory, indeed my parents live in Metz (actually very close to "Les Arenes", the tennis courts) and I mainly lived in the area during my childhood. But all my family roots are in the North of France and I was born in Roubaix, so I consider myself as a ch'ti.

12-09-2008, 11:41 AM
I don't even have a good memory, why the hell do I remember where your parents live indeed. ^^ I'm born in Douai and spent 4 years in Marcq-en-Baroeul, so I know the area pretty well - but I'm not a ch'ti, I consider myself as a "Bretonne".

I completed the summary of the main article.
The other one is a bit too complicated for my English. Quétin explains the idea of the training camp and what they try to develop. He means that if all the players on the tour were wearing an milometer during the whole season, Gilles probably would be the one with the most miles at the end of the year. So he can't work a lot on this kind of things during the year when he plays tournaments and they use the off-season to focus more on his quadriceps, etc.
He also stresses the importance of the group for both Gilles and Jo. He calls that "the French specificity". They've grown up in this kind of structures and they like it, even though tennis is an individual sport. They share rooms in Saint-Cyprien, Jo with Ouanna, Gilles with Recouderc. They really enjoy it, they love jogging together the 9 km back to the hotel before going together to the spa. And when one guy in the group is taking the piss, the sanction is immediate, 10 push-ups.

12-09-2008, 11:55 AM
I don't know how to translate "tirer les autres vers le haut", but I hope you get the idea.
Not a literal translation, but in context I would say :

"Quand je suis sur un vélo, ce n’est plus moi qui tire les autres vers le haut, ce sont eux qui le font."

"On a bike, I simply can't be an inspiration to the other team members to strive harder. It's the other way round, I emulate them."

(je prends des libertés limites quand je traduis, mais je ne sais pas faire autrement et j'évite cet exercice autant que faire se peut ^^ )

12-09-2008, 02:18 PM
(Ah mais pas besoin d'avoir tant de scrupules vu ce que j'écris, moi, en anglais! Merci et hésite surtout pas à corriger, préciser, compléter, je serais pas vexée, au contraire!)

Simon : "Je vise les grands tournois"

Gilles Simon est marqué par une semaine de travail foncier intensive et... une balade en VTT trop vallonnée à son goût dans les Pyrénées. Heureux de retrouver des amis de longue date, le N.7 mondial se rassure physiquement et structure son environnement avant 2009. Les "Grand Chelem" en tête. Lundi 8 décembre, Grand Stade à Saint-Cyprien (Pyrénée-Orientales).

En quoi est-ce intéressant pour toi de participer à un stage collectif comme celui-ci ?

GILLES SIMON : "J'ai besoin du collectif parce que, déjà, dans une simple mesure, c'est plus facile de se faire mal à plusieurs que tout seul avec son iPod sur les oreilles. C'est aussi simplement par ce que j'aime bien ça. J'aime bien travailler tous ensemble, découvrir d'autres joueurs et revoir ceux avec qui j'ai grandi. Je passe très peu de temps à Roland-Garros donc finalement je les vois très peu. Je suis content de partager ces moments avec eux."

"Mon seul objectif personnel, c'est de me rassurer sur ma condition physique. Me dire que je peux encore enchaîner dix jours de physique intensif. Je peux continuer à faire de bonnes séances malgré la fatigue pour pouvoir enchaîner les matches ensuite."

Est-ce que vous regrettez le fait de ne pas être avec Richard Gasquet par exemple du Team Lagardère ?

G.S. : "Non je ne regrette pas parce qu'on est déjà nombreux (14). A 40, cela serait ingérable. Et puis ce ne sont pas les joueurs que je vois toute l'année sur le circuit qui me manquent le plus. Je suis content de voir Jo ou Florent (Serra) mais là je suis plutôt content de revoir Laurent (Recouderc), par exemple avec qui je partageais déjà la chambre à l'INSEP, de savoir où ils en sont. J'ai grandi avec eux. Josselin aussi, on s'est joué de très nombreuses fois. "

Est-ce que la relation a changé avec eux ?

G.S. : "Non, cela ne change pas. C'est vrai que dans l'ensemble ils sont plus demandeurs d'expériences, un ou deux petits conseils, mais qui ne seront jamais vraiment sur le tennis mais sur la progression en elle-même. Sinon, on est sur un pied d'égalité.Quand on me dit "donner l'exemple", je dis que le seul exemple que je peux essayer de donner, c'est l'exemple de l'attitude. On a bien vu sur le vélo que j'étais loin de pouvoir tirer les autres, ce sont plutôt les autres qui m'ont tiré (rires) ! Le vélo, j'ai du mal. Ça travaille l'aspect de mon physique où je suis le moins fort, c'est-à-dire la puissance dans les jambes. Par contre même si je ne suis pas bon, je me déchire jusqu'au bout."

"C'est justement cela qui fait du bien. Quand j'ai commencé les stages physiques, avec des Nicolas Escudé, Paul-Henri Mathieu qui étaient dans les 30, sur le vélo j'étais déjà loin - forcément, mais sur les courts je courrais déjà aussi bien qu'eux. J'étais content de voir qu'il n'y avait pas un monde entre eux et moi. C'est hyper motivant de découvrir ça. "

Est-ce que la pression médiatique vous pèse ?

G.S. : "Oui (rires en regardant les journalistes). Je savais que cela allait arriver. Cela empiète sur ma tranquillité. Comme tout est arrivé très vite, c'était un peu n'importe quoi. Je vais donc essayer de structurer ça un maximum. J'ai besoin d'être seul de temps en temps. Sur le court, cela ne me gêne pas. J'y évacue souvent mes problèmes extérieurs (sourires). Avec Thierry (Tulasne, ndlr), on est en train de mettre cela en place. J'aurai une Attaché de presse (Sarah Pitkowski, ancienne joueuse professionnelle, de l'Agence 15love, et un agent à déterminer dans les semaines à venir, ndlr)."

Quels sont vos objectifs pour 2009 ?

G.S. : "Réaliser la même saison qu'en 2008 mais il faut que je réussisse en Grand Chelem. Cela ne sert à rien de gagner dix tournois si je ne fais pas mieux en Grand Chelem. Il donc y atteindre les derniers carrés. Un objectif qui me tient à coeur, mais qui ne dépend pas que de moi, c'est la Coupe Davis. On a un effectif capable de briller sur toutes les surfaces, contre toutes les équipes. On sera jamais favoris parce qu'il y a des équipes plus fortes mais on a un potentiel pour réaliser de belles choses. Avec quel entraîneur ? Ça, il faut demander au capitaine..."

Roland-Garros, est-ce inaccessible ?

G.S. : "Rien n'est inaccessible. Là, on a une "bonne" référence sur terre en la personne de Nadal. C'est donc difficile de gagner. Mais tout est possible, cela dépend du tournoi. Le plus difficile, c'est de bien s'exprimer lors des premiers tours. Si on en passe deux ou trois, et que l'on a de bons repères, on peut ensuite profiter du public. Je n'en ai pas parlé avec Gaël (Monfils, demi-finaliste en 2008, ndlr) car j'ai vécu moi-même des moments similaires."

Être dans le top 10, c'est digéré ?

G.S. : "Moi à chaque dizaine j'ai voulu progresser (sourires). Numéro 1 mondial, c'est vraiment trop tôt. Battre les meilleurs, je sais que je peux le faire. Ce qui est certain, c'est que je ne peux pas rivaliser sur l'ensemble d'une saison. Pour l'instant, je ne me sens pas capable de le faire quand on voit la densité physique et mentale, être toujours en demi-finale, finale de Masters Series et Grand Chelem. On ne peut pas prétendre être numéro 1 mondial sans gagner un Grand Chelem. Je n'aurai pas d'objectif de classement l'année prochaine, mais de réussite lors des grands tournois."

12-09-2008, 02:55 PM
It's pretty much the same. A few new points:

He means he likes to spend time with the players he doesn't see a lot the rest of the year. Not so much Jo or Florent (Serra), but guys like Recouderc or Josselin Ouanna who are playing on the Challenger tour. He was already sharing a room with Recouderc during his time at the INSEP.
The relationship hasn't changed much. The other guys sometimes ask for a few tips, but not so much about tennis, more about the way to progress. They're on an equal footing here - etc., the jokes about the cycling and the fact that they were helping him and not the other way around.
"That's the positive thing. When I took part in the first training camps, with players like Escudé or Mathieu who were in the top 30, I was lagging behind in cycling, obviously, but on the court, I was running as well as they were. I was happy to see there wasn't a 'gulf' between them and me. It's very motivating to see."
The media buzz: it's annoying, but he expected it. Since everything went so fast, it was a bit of a mess, so he will try to structure it the best he can with a press agent (Pitkowski) and also an agent, he doesn't know yet who it will be.
His goals for 2009: to do as well as in 2008, but with good results in Slams. There's no point winning 10 tournaments if he doesn't improve in Slams. Another goal, which is important to him, but doesn't depend only on him, will be the Davis Cup because they have a great team. They will never be the favourites because there are better teams, but they can do great things. As for knowing who will be the team leader, that's the job of the captain.
RG is not unattainable, nothing is unattainable. The most difficult thing is to do well in the first rounds. If they manage to get past the first rounds, they can benefit from the crowd support then.
He has no special goal ranking wise for next year, the goal is to do well in big events.

12-13-2008, 08:32 AM
A summary of the end of the Tulasne interview ( (first part here ( Just normal questions this time, he isn't commenting on Gilles' statements anymore.

The reasons for the success of the French tennis in his opinion:
The whole system of clubs with enthusiastic, qualified tennis teachers, the effective scouting, the "sport-études" (= special schools for kids who want to do both - tennis+school - at the same time), also the rivalry between Team Lagardère and FFT for the top level, he means that Lagardère brought a spirit of competition.
"And last but not least, the players are getting along very well, they respect each other, unlike at my time. Even if Guy (Forget), Yannick (Noah), Henri (Leconte) were good friends of mine, I have to admit that I was happy when they lost. It's different now. When one of their friends lose, they're disappointed for him. When Jo reached the final in Melbourne, Gilles was happy. But he also said: 'If Jo can do it, I can do it too, Jo isn't better than me. I know what he does well and not so well, I can do it too.'"

The image of France on the tour:
They are respected for the whole system, the others often ask questions about it. But it's true they have the reputation of not being able to deliver in big events, apart in Davis Cup.
He firmly believes that there will be a triggering effect after the first French Slam title.

"And that's the goal of your work with Gilles too?"
Clearly, yes, the goal is to win a Slam, even if one can't carry it on openly in France. One has to have very gradual targets, or people don't understand it. But Gaël, Gilles, Jo "and even Richard" (I love the "even"!) all have deep inside this belief - the idea is to win a Slam. Gaël wasn't far in Roland-G., and if Jo had won the 4th set in Melbourne, he would have won. They have to keep working, improving...

Gilles must be an interesting player to coach:
Yes, but he could imagine coaching Gasquet too. The job of a coach is to understand the way of thinking of his player. That's what he managed to do with Seb. Simon also is a gift for a coach then. But he loves his job in general, every player brings something different, the "tougher" a player is, the more he learns as a coach. The point is to achieve his aims as a coach and then dreams happen, like in Madrid.

Having been a top player himself has to be helpful in this job...
As a former top 10 player, he knows all the background and the game, it's a real advantage. But it also is a disadvantage as it means he has himself an overdeloped ego and a certain way to play and to think. And the biggest mistake for a coach would be to rely on how *he* felt as a player.

Does he still play tennis?
He doesn't play tournaments, but he practices every day and he still is a very good sparring partner for Gilles. It's another advantage because there's no stress having to find other players to practice with all the time. He can also feel certain things better when they play points together, he can see what Gilles does well and not so well. And he can give his advice on things like the string tension, tell him when he should ask to adjust it, etc.

His models as a coach:
Geoges Deniau, Larri Passos, Bob Brett, Paul Annacone, Brad Gilbert.

His opinion on Mouratoglou? (He has an academy in France, Baggy in particular used to work with them.)
Very enthusiastic guy who tries to learn from everybody, very good for the French tennis, etc.
Tulasne also is like that a lot, he's always eager to see how the others work, to learn new things. When he was a player, he was in a 'bubble' on a human level. Now it's all about giving and his life on the tour is pure happiness.

12-13-2008, 11:19 AM
Thank you,Truc:)

12-13-2008, 01:40 PM
yes big thank you's

12-13-2008, 03:31 PM
He's on cover of Pleine Ligne and there are many things about him in last Tennis Mag which sum up 2008 even the pic in Shangai in his bathrobe lol

12-13-2008, 10:44 PM
Oh, that's a nice first post on MTF! :lol: Bienvenue dans le poulailler, Alli.

I think the "rapacious sparrow" story already was posted, actually, but not translated. It is a nice portrait of him indeed, I like it too - not sure my English is good enough to render the style and the humour, though.
(Another animal to add to his collection, btw, journalists love to compare him with all sorts of animals.)

Never in doubt, soulage, the bathrobe pic had Tennis Magazine written all over it! I can't wait. ^^ The good thing with Tennis Magazine is that there is nothing worth translating most of the time, apart from the interview (and it was his turn this summer, so it won't happen again until a couple of years now).

12-14-2008, 09:35 AM
Welcome Alli

@Fran --> all sorts of animals?
baby chicken, cat.. I can't remember the rest =(
I love the cat analogy.. there's something very nonchalant and independent about Gilles... waiting for the right moment to jump (win the point) ^^

12-14-2008, 09:52 AM
Welcome Alli:wavey: Great 1st post:yeah:

I love the:cat:analogy too.

12-14-2008, 10:06 AM
My favourite was the gazelle eating the lion analogy :p
But the cat one would do... be nice if he was curled up asleep by the fire with my other cats :zzz::cat::hearts:

12-14-2008, 10:54 AM
Yes, the baby chicken and the cat are the more frequent ones.
But there are some more:
He’s the hybrid animal of the ATP tour, as if the qualities of the octopus and the spider were amalgamated with the tonus of the kangaroo.(Not sure about my translation, the French article called him "l’animal hybride de l’ATP Tour, comme si on avait réuni les vertus de la pieuvre et de l’araignée pour les marier avec la tonicité du kangourou".)
I know that "avoir du chien" has a special meaning in French, but there also are things like: "En voilà un qui a du chien et du chat."
The gazelle story made quite an impression indeed and is now sometimes mentioned in articles about Gilles.
The "rapacious sparrow".

I translate articles for other player forums too and I do have the impression the animal comparisons are more frequent in the articles about Gilles. But maybe I just notice them more because I pay more attention to him.

12-14-2008, 06:10 PM
A zoo, more generally.
As for me, I totally see the "hybrid animal" thing too. The spider and the octopus because of his game and his skinny limbs, obviously. And the kangaroo because of his stiff postures and his funny jumps:

12-15-2008, 05:46 PM
I listened to the radio show, there will be podcasts here later:
He did a good job, but the show is quite annoying. Here are the few things I remember:

He was asked first about the fact that Murray is the only top player he hasn't beaten this year. He means it's not because Muzza is a worse match-up for him, even though they play the same kind of game obviously, it's more a matter of when he got to play them and he faced Muzza twice in a row at the end of the season when Andy was playing so well.

The now inevitable question about the negative comments of the other players about him.
He means it's the new fad of the media, it all started with Seb, the journalists thought it made for a great story and started asking everybody about Gilles to get similar statements. Of course if they ask the whole top 100, they will find players who think like that. But there also are players who don't, Gilles knows them.
He doesn't feel offended anyway. He is in the top 10 right now and the players who said that aren't, so he doesn't care. And it's OK for him if some people don't like his game.

Then a question from a listener who asks him if he will do better in finals now that he has more experience, I was sure Gilles was not going to like the question! :lol: He answers he has won 5 finals out of 7, he didn't stand a chance in the 1st one, but then he won 5 in a row and only lost to Muzza in the final of Madrid, so he does hope to do better if he gets to play another big final, but his record in finals is fine, it's not like he lost 10 in a row.

Some questions about Jo, he means it isn't a problem at all to be good friends if they have to play each other. Playing Frenchies used to be a problem for him, but not anymore.

Can he become number 1 in the world? No, number 7 and number 1 might sound not that far for some people, but the difference is huge, actually. He has always said he feels able to beat Federer & Co. on one day, and that's why people were sometimes calling him conceited. He proved he really can do it on one match. But a whole season is another story and he can't do it at the moment.

Will a French player win a Slam in 2009? Yes, he says with conviction they have a great chance iho.

Will France have the best Davis Cup team in the world now? No, not the best, but the difference is that they will from now on have a good chance against any other team in the world.

The number 1 at the end of 2009? Nadal again, barring an injury.

Can Amélie Mauresmo still win a Grand Slam? Confidence is the key for Amélie, so if she starts winning again, yes, he thinks she can do it. But it has to happen now because the longer it takes, the harder it will be.

Does he prefer to win a Slam or to win the Davis Cup in the 5th set of the 5th match? He chose the Davis Cup - I thought he would say a Slam!

Then they interviewed a guy from his tennis club in Fontenay-Sous-Bois who knew him when he was a kid, he says Gilles was giving everybody a good laugh in the club because he was so small, his thighs were thinner than calves, but he was telling everybody that he was better than them by the age of 10 already.

And I don't remember how they get to talk about that, but he says he has the world record in Tetris, he saw the world record in the Guiness Book with other guys when he was a teenager and they decided to beat it and he did.

They also poke fun at him a few times because he has been replaced by the swimmer in the big TV show tonight. :p

12-15-2008, 06:02 PM
Thanks. Does he go to the Grand Journal ? because they don't annonce him for the second part. I just see the end of 1st part with Leveaux.

12-15-2008, 06:04 PM
No, it's Amaury Leveaux instead of him, a last minute change.

12-15-2008, 06:09 PM
Thanks I can turn off. I missunderstood the last sentence of your summary sorry :o

12-15-2008, 07:40 PM
Does he prefer to win a Slam or to win the Davis Cup in the 5th set of the 5th match? He chose the Davis Cup - I thought he would say a Slam!
Telling the media what they want to hear. Smart guy! :p

12-15-2008, 08:31 PM
Are you serious or just leaping at the opportunity to remind us that Davis Cup sucks and nobody in their right mind would answer that? I'll be glad to elaborate about what I think of his answer, but not if you're just being in provocative mood about the Davis Cup again. :lol:

12-15-2008, 08:58 PM
Telling the media what they want to hear. Smart guy! :p

yes I share the same opinion..............he's very smart guy indeed!!! ;)

12-16-2008, 09:12 AM
I'll be glad to elaborate about what I think of his answer, but not if you're just being in provocative mood about the Davis Cup again. :lol:
Please elaborate. :lol:

I was surprised, from all I read I had the feeling that Gilles is honest in interviews, I don't think he was honest this time, but smart.

And without doubt winning DC is more important than winning a GS title. :angel:
:secret: I am never provocative before Christmas.

12-16-2008, 11:44 AM
I will, I will! I don't have much time right now, but I will elaborate because I don't think that's the reason.

I just heard he also was in "Club Sports" on Europe 1 then, I don't know if it's interesting, I haven't listened to it yet:

12-16-2008, 01:08 PM
And without doubt winning DC is more important than winning a GS title. :angel:

Certainly not more important but possibly a more achievable goal for the time being, and it does sound like a more noble (or less selfish) wish. So yeah, basically, that was a smart answer.

Thx for the good rep btw, it's much appreciated. :D

but I will elaborate because I don't think that's the reason.
An attempt to impress Forget ? :tape: :p

12-16-2008, 01:27 PM
An attempt to impress Forget ? :tape: :p

12-16-2008, 02:15 PM
Voilà, I see I don't need to elaborate anymore. A Forget bootlicker who gives phoney answers just to please the media, that's Gillou for you.

He gave a press conference in Roland-Garros with Dominguez, Jo, Tulasne, etc., I just saw the transcript is here: , it's loooooong, I don't know if there's anything interesting.

12-16-2008, 02:53 PM
Nah. Of course not, I was kidding, we all know better than that :p TBH, I would have expected him to come up with a witty answer rather than a serious one to that typically journalistic (read ludicrous) question. As far as a serious answer goes, I wouldn't have expected that one either. So please, do share your thoughts about it :)

12-16-2008, 03:24 PM
I was kidding too! I had first added :p at the end and then I thought I overuse this smiley and I deleted it because it seemed obvious to me I was joking. ^^

And I don't really have thoughts to share about it either! I just don't think his point was to give the answer they wanted to hear because it's really not his style. He's always very honest, on this kind of topics too (like the Olympics), and there was nothing wrong with answering a Slam here.

I don't think he would seriously pick the Davis Cup either if he really thought about it.
You also have to take into account the way the question was asked. My summary wasn't accurate, the question was asked by a listener, it was about 2009 and they added something like "le plus sympa?" while he was hesitating ("what would be more fun?") So it's a bit different. And it all went very quick, he had no time to elaborate, it was a very spontaneous thing.

I wouldn't read too much into it, but I still found interesting his spontaneous answer was the DC. I had the impression he tried to picture both in a few fractions of second and he could picture the one thing for 2009 and not so much the other one, so he answered the DC. Jo would answer a Slam without a doubt. I'm not sure that deep inside Gilles sees himself as a Slam winner. But that's my interpretation.

And I do think it shows it would be huge for him to win it the way it was described in the question (Gilles winning the DC title for the team with a 5th set win in the deciding rubber), more than you guys seem to think. It does seem very important to him to finally be on the DC team and a really exciting prospect to pull the thing through with the other guys, to be a DC "hero". It definitely sounds like one of his main goals in 2009.
Voilà, c'est tout! :lol:

12-16-2008, 04:08 PM
Remboursez ! :(

haha. actually thanks! I feel relieved now to expose my profound theory on that grand subject : he instinctively chose the thing that PHM crushingly failed to achieve, as a gentle payback to Paulo's dubious words about him. :p *feels so ashamed for thinking that*

12-16-2008, 05:51 PM
Nice theory! :lol:
Maybe not as a payback, but Paulo sure is a good example of how important it is for one's image in France. If you fail, people will remind you of it for the next 10 years; if you win, it's really big.

I just listened to the Europe 1 interview and it's much, much better, they let him speak, unlike on the Moscato Show, so if you're bored and in the mood for a Gillou interview, listen to the Europe 1 one and forget the other one.

(I also skimmed through the transcript of the FFT thing, nothing new about Gilles. They confirm he will play the Hopman Cup.)

12-16-2008, 06:29 PM
That's odd I can't get the PDF... not that I would've understood it but there might've been the odd photo or two... :devil:

This is my first excursion into the French tennis world and I'm quite surprised at how bitchy it seems to be ... but I guess if the combined might of Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England managed to produce more than one good player in a decade our players might bitch about each other too :p

12-16-2008, 07:00 PM
The French Davis Cup ties are like a soap opera. Always a highlight of the tennis season imo. :inlove:

There are no pics in the pdf, just the transcript (but there certainly are pics of the press conference somewhere else). Here you are, but nothing interesting really:

12-16-2008, 07:20 PM
Thanks! :)

So will all hell break loose come Davis Cup time when someone gets dropped for Gillou who reckons they shouldn't be dropped? :devil:
The thought of actually having enough players to make up a decent DC team is so alien to me I just can't imagine what it must be like to have so many that some get dropped! ;)

12-17-2008, 03:52 AM
Welcome around Alli :wavey:

but Paulo sure is a good example of how important it is for one's image in France. If you fail, people will remind you of it for the next 10 years; if you win, it's really big.
Well actually, if I still recall PHM's match, it's mostly because of the images of his puppy eyes and rainy tears everywhere in the press (and because I became a Youznhy fan that day. I was cheering for Russia ^_^). But if you think of Arnaud Boetsch who did win in the 5th set in the deciding rubber of a DC final, his public image hardly compares to Noah's ("only" 1 GS win after all, and that was decades ago). Even in this department, I think a GS win has way more impact than a DC victory.

The thought of actually having enough players to make up a decent DC team is so alien to me I just can't imagine what it must be like to have so many that some get dropped! ;)
With the Murray brothers, you're already half-way of a decent DC team. :D Vamooossss!! haha.

12-17-2008, 06:21 AM
I'm not sure that deep inside Gilles sees himself as a Slam winner.

Why not? If so, I think this is partly a result of the domination of Federer and Nadal in recent years, both indeed very remarkable players. But if you go a little further back, there were more surprise winners: Gaudio, Johansson, both Agassi and Ivanisevic winning RG and Wimbledon at an age when it was not expected from them any more.

I feel that with the many new Masters series winners in 2008 like Davydenko, Murray, Tsonga, the future of tennis will be more open again, giving more guys the chance to win a big prize, and that includes many players, why not Gilles? And I am serious about this.

I think that he probably sees the DC scenario as being more realistic than winning a slam.

I feel there are already now great expectations about a new young French DC-team, the new mousqueatiares: Gilles, Gael, Richard and Tsonga. But Forget is not known for courageous selections, he still has to nominate THAT team, and I already issue a serious warning: Don't underestimate the Czech Republic.

The French Davis Cup ties are like a soap opera. Always a highlight of the tennis season imo. :inlove:
I hate these soap operas. :devil:;):p

12-17-2008, 06:37 PM
I don't think anybody here is underestimating the Czech Republic on carpet at home either. But it's true the Musketeers and Tsonga-Simon hype in the French media atm must be deceiving for people who don't follow tennis so closely.

Anyway, Gilles is not sure at all to be on the team imo, especially since he's such a "quiche" in doubles and it's not Forget's style to pick two DC newbies indeed (great job to have skipped both Gilles and Gaël so far, they must be the only top 20 players to have never ever played in DC).

12-17-2008, 06:40 PM
("quiche" really seems to be one of Gilles' favourite words, btw, that's an alternative if you're fed up with the overused "mug" on MTF.)

Here's a summary of the Europe 1 interview (at least the parts I remember because I listened to it yesterday):

1,82 m and 69 kg, donc, the ATP hasn't updated his profile since he turned pro. He can now lift 90 kg on the bench press, which is quite good. His main problem are the legs (we saw that last week).

In 2009 he will try to have the schedule of a top 5 player, focussing more on the Slams and the big events, not playing so many small tournaments. It's risky, but he has to give it a try.

The journalist asks if his slow progress in the rankings is due to the fact that he used to underestimate himself (or maybe the others were underestimating him and didn't think he would be able to enter the top 10).
He says no, entering the top 10 at one point of his career has always been his big goal, he just didn't think it would happen this year already.
He was not underestimating himself either, his goal in 2007 was to enter the top 20, for example, and he didn't make it, he was #30 at the end of the year, he had rather overestimated himself. This year, on the other hand, he surpassed his own expectations and improved much quicker than expected. So he's pleasantly surprised, but the top 10 was the long-term goal anyway.

Does he feel ready to win a Slam?
Players always play a tournament with the idea they can win it, it's not possible to aim at the semi-final only. Of course it will be extremely tough with Fed and Nadal dominating the tour the way they do, but the goal is to try to win a Slam, of course.

The journalist says he used to be the underdog, now he will have a completely different status, he will be the one the others want to beat and it will be much tougher.
He knows it will give the opponents an extra bit of motivation since it's always nice to beat a top 10 player. He knows better than everybody else that it will be very tough for him.
But he thinks his top 10 status can be helpful too. The top players often end up winning the close matches because their opponents get tight when they have to close it out. Or the opponents tend to give up quicker if things are not going their way. Like against Nadal on clay, most guys just give up after the 1st set, he says.

The reasons for his improvement this year: he has accepted to win ugly. And he has also taken the time to watch the others to understand what they were doing better than him. There had to be a reason why the guys were ranked #10 while he was #50. So he spent a lot of time watching how top players act on the court, etc. I don't remember what he says exactly, but one can feel he has really thought a lot about all this.

How far can he go in his opinion?
He can improve a few more spots in the rankings, but not enter the top 3 at the moment. Nadal has 5 times as many points as him, there's a gulf between him and the top players. The closer he is to the top, the better he realizes what it requires to be at the top. And it wouldn't be sensible to talk about this kind of goals when he hasn't done anything in Slams yet.
His long-term goal is to try to enter the top 5 at one point. But he doesn't have a special goal ranking wise for now, he will just try to do well in the big events in 2009 and if he sees he can do it, maybe he will adjust his goal ranking wise for the next season.

His best friends on the tour?
Jo and Gaël. There's no jealousy, he prefers to be together with them in the top 10 than with Amis and Spaniards.

He's asked about his "pathetic" volley (that's the word used by the journalist! ^^)
He says it's something he needs to work on, but it's not that big an issue either, maybe it could help him to get a couple of wins, but it's not deciding.

He is asked about his build, but he says it's not a problem in his opinion, it's possible to do well in tennis with all kinds of builds.

The interviewers are quite drooling over him, how clear-sighted he is, ambitious, but not too much, etc. They even say he's good looking and he must be very successful with girls, but he just laughs and doesn't comment. :angel:
It's a bit boring when I just sum it up like that, the original interview is nice because it lasts 30 minutes and he has time to go into details.

12-17-2008, 06:56 PM
Aw bless :angel:

I'm loving "There had to be a reason why the guys were ranked #10 while he was #50." I wonder if that'll make any of the players that have mumped about him being "nothing special" while in the top ten have a wee think to themselves...;)

Nat - I think the Murray brothers would rather they were playing against each other than in the same DC team - their body language the last time I saw them play together was pretty unfriendly!
Who knows if Andy will carry on playing DC, there's only so much he can do by himself! :sad:

12-18-2008, 08:43 AM
Nat - I think the Murray brothers would rather they were playing against each other than in the same DC team - their body language the last time I saw them play together was pretty unfriendly!
I didn't know it was that bad. I remember reading a French online article about them during the GB vs Austria DC tie; roughly, it said that Andy was mad at Captain "former Mr Evert" because the latter wanted him to stay fresh for the singles and wouldn't let him play double with his own brother! :lol:
a shame, that story was kind of cute.

12-21-2008, 01:25 PM
An interview on the FFT website:

He says again he played poorly yesterday, but it's always a good thing to beat a top 50 player without playing his best tennis. And he played much better in his first 2 matches, with quite a lot of winners and aces, a shot he's putting the emphasis on in training.
Everybody seems worried about his condition, but he feels he has perfectly recovered from the last season. He always has the impression at the end of the matches that the opponent is more tired than he is. The TMC was very demanding mentally, but he's feeling well physically.
He isn't afraid of going down in the ranking. He says again he will play less tournaments next year, not because it's too exhausting to play so much, just because he wants to focus more on the big events (always the same stuff, he can't improve much more ranking wise, so the goal in 2009 will be to do something big in a major).
He hopes he will be able to have a proper preparation for Roland-Garros, without any physical problem like this year. The back injury ruined his preparation on clay and forced him to play Casablanca in last minute. It was a good thing as he won the event, but it also was tough to move on to Roland-Garros then. He sure won't do it again this year.
The Davis Cup is very important to him, but it doesn't depend on him, he isn't sure to be on the team, even if he really hopes he will in Ostrava. People used to say he doesn't deliver in big matches, but he proved he does.
It's great there are so many Frenchies at the top. If he was the only one in the top 100, he would get all the attention and he would feel like he has made it already. The current situation is very motivating, he tries to surpass the other Frenchies too, it's part of the game.

12-22-2008, 07:14 AM
Another article in Sud-Ouest:TENNIS, SAISON 2009. La révélation française de la fin de saison a remporté hier le Masters de Toulouse face à Michaël Llodra. Numéro 7 mondial, il sera attendu en 2009. Portrait d'un original qui détonne.

Simon est devenu grand

Gilles Simon a-t-il vraiment le « melon » ? Cette question est sur toutes les lèvres du tennis français. Un tricolore qui croit en lui et l'affirme, c'est tout sauf habituel chez les sportifs nationaux. « J'ai confiance en moi et en mon tennis » disait-il encore vendredi après sa victoire contre Ouanna au Masters France de Toulouse.

Cette assurance n'a rien à voir avec de la prétention. Il s'agit plutôt d'une revanche sur un temps pas si lointain pour celui qui va fêter ses 24 ans le 27 décembre. Michel Renaux, juge arbitre des Petits as de Tarbes - Simon a atteint les quarts en 1998 - évoque un garçon « très intelligent ». « Il a tracé sa route alors que jeune, malingre, on se moquait de lui. Et aujourd'hui, il est passé devant les autres » précise-t-il.

A 15 ans, le Niçois n'est pas dans les « canons » de la beauté tennistique. Sa petite taille (1,53 m) le met au ban des espoirs français. Contraint de compter plus que d'autres sur ses seules armes, Gilles Simon forge un jeu de tacticien hors pair qui correspond bien à la nature de ce garçon très malin.

Sept ans plus tard, bingo ! Le pianiste amateur mesure 1,80 m et joue ses gammes avec le dossard de numéro 7 mondial. Le regard des autres a-t-il changé ? « Oui. Aux yeux de certains, j'étais définitivement celui qui n'irait jamais loin. L'avis des autres sur mon évolution personnelle m'importe désormais assez peu. Je ressens par moi-même si je suis ou non à ma place. Or je m'y sens. Cette décision d'y être, je l'ai prise il y a un moment déjà. On ne peut pas se surprendre à ce niveau-là. À force de résultats, j'ai fait taire les sceptiques mais dès que je commencerais à perdre, ils diront que c'était de la chance. Je m'y attends », explique Simon.

«Simple» et bavard

Exposé dans « Paris Match » la semaine dernière, il doit apprendre à gérer sa nouvelle notoriété. D'autant plus que son franc-parler et son sens de l'analyse séduisent et attirent les journalistes. Simon adore parler ! « Qu'est-ce qu'il est bavard, on ne peut plus l'arrêter quand il commence, plaisante son amie Carine Lauret, 27 ans, qui l'accompagnait à Toulouse. Mais Gilles se raconte sans être égocentrique. Et il sait s'arrêter de parler tennis » dit encore la jolie blonde.

Pour elle, il a su « rester simple malgré le succès, et généreux ». Thierry Tulasne commente d'expérience : « Il ne se renferme pas mais il doit juste cadrer les choses pour rester concentrer sur son jeu. » Gilles Simon renvoie la question au fond du court : « Moi, je n'ai rien à gérer, je vis ma vie normalement. Les gens pensent que je vais changer quelque chose, mais je ne change strictement rien. J'ai la chance d'être dans un milieu où je peux faire ce que je souhaite en étant centré sur mes objectifs. Si je n'ai pas le même point de vue que les autres, je m'en fiche. Cela ne m'empêche pas d'avancer. Je n'ai pas besoin de composer avec la vie de tout le monde pour continuer ma progression dans le tennis. Je sais vraiment ce que j'ai à faire. » Aussi profond que le sont ses yeux verts, Gilles Simon dégage une forte personnalité pour ses 23 ans. « Il est très pragmatique. Je suis toujours étonnée par le paradoxe de sa maturité sur le terrain et son côté gamin en dehors ! Par exemple, il peut battre Nadal à Madrid mais, ensuite, il ne va pas savoir comment s'habiller ! » confie encore la jolie Carine. « C'est sa manière de s'échapper et mon rôle aussi est de lui sortir la tête du sac, je crois ».

Aller de l'avant

Si son jeu et son mental ont gagné en confiance, Simon reste physiquement un poids plume (64 kilos). Il ne sera jamais le joueur plus puissant du circuit mais figure déjà parmi les plus endurants. Ses changements de rythme diaboliques font mouche contre des adversaires au jeu très stéréotypé et il peut compter sur son coup droit. Évidemment, pour battre à la fois Nadal, Federer et Djokovic comme il l'a fait cette saison, cela ne suffit plus.

« L'évolution de son jeu passe par le fait d'aller davantage vers l'avant, analyse Thierry Tulasne, son coach depuis deux ans. Il a tout du contreur mais quand il joue des Nadal ou des Federer, il se montre plus agressif, notamment sur les points importants. »

Les deux hommes ont bossé dur cet axe de travail pendant l'intersaison. Aller chercher des points au filet, forcer en somme sa nature, tout cela fait partie des objectifs de la saison. D'autant que l'effet de surprise a déjà joué pour lui. Simon est désormais attendu.

«Mais c'est un atout d'être dans les dix premiers. Il y a davantage de respect. Il compte s'en servir » juge encore Tulasne qui va vivre l'une de ses saisons la plus excitante. « J'entraîne depuis 20 ans et j'ai toujours vécu des émotions fortes et différentes. Mais là, c'est vrai, le niveau monte et les émotions sont incroyables. Je suis très heureux même si je sais que ça peut s'arrêter demain. La relation avec Gilles est très agréable, nos caractères se correspondent bien. La confiance est installée. Il y a beaucoup d'amour l'un pour l'autre. »

L'enfant de la balle a chaussé des baskets de géant. Et, tant mieux, tout reste à faire.

Auteur : Audrey ludwig
I didn't know he was in Paris Match last week! La consécration. :p

12-22-2008, 07:39 AM
The article in Paris Match:

12-22-2008, 12:54 PM
Too many French articles about Gilles today, I know, but I thought that one isn't bad:Simon, étape par étape

Tout paraît simple avec Gilles Simon. Il fait mal jouer ses adversaires, c'est facile. Il ne commet pas une faute directe, c'est facile. Il renvoie parfaitement des services à plus de 200 km/h, c'est facile. Il balance des fusées en revers, c'est facile. Il tient la dragée haute en fond de court à Rafael Nadal, c'est facile (ou presque). Il ne fait pas partie de ses joueurs qui impressionnent à première vue. On se dit (presque) qu'il est comme vous et moi. Pourtant, il suffit de jeter un regard en biais vers ses adversaires. A leur mine souvent défaite, on comprend le noeud du problème. Il ne faut pas se fier aux apparences. Son relâchement, sa capacité d'anticipation, son intelligence de jeu, sa pugnacité et son talent façonnent un joueur atypique. Et Thierry Tulasne résume bien son élève : «J'ai la chance de travailler avec un joueur qui a une faculté d'analyse hors normes. Il est juste intelligent.»

Le grand public l'a vraiment découvert en 2008 avec ses victoires contre Roger Federer à Toronto et surtout face à Rafael Nadal à Madrid puis avec sa qualification pour le Masters à Shanghaï. Pourtant, cette place de 7e mondial n'a rien d'une comète de Halley. Elle prend sa source dans une progression très linéaire : 487e (fin 2003), 177e (fin 2004), 124e (fin 2005), 45e (fin 2006), 29e (fin 2007) et donc 7e (fin 2008). « C'est ce que je n'ai pas arrêté de dire même si on a toujours pensé le contraire. Cette année, j'ai explosé aux yeux du grand public mais j'étais 29e l'année dernière, rappelle Gilles Simon qui a battu en 2008 les trois meilleurs mondiaux, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer et Novak Djokovic. Il fallait que je finisse mieux que 29e et je me rapprochais alors des meilleures places. Je ne pensais pas finir 7e, mais j'espérais bien finir entre 10 et 15.» Le hasard ne s'invite donc pas à la fête. Comme sur le terrain, tout est bien rationnel. Marche après marche, il gravit les paliers et son classement actuel reste comme un chiffre symbolique important : «C'est différent d'être dans le Top 10 et de finir la saison dans le Top 10. Cela veut dire que je suis le 7e joueur à avoir les meilleurs résultats sur cette année. C'est très important pour moi. »

« Gagner un Grand Chelem »
Avec toujours la même démarche, il s'attelle à consolider ses acquis et améliorer ses faiblesses. Après deux semaines de repos, il a donc repris le chemin de l'entraînement le 1er décembre avec son entraîneur Thierry Tulasne et son préparateur physique, Paul Quétin. L'an dernier, il est passé à une volée à une main en revers en pleine saison. Durant cette courte trêve hivernale, il a soulevé de la fonte pour gagner en puissance, travaille son service pour gagner en vitesse et montre des velléités offensives pour gagner en agressivité. Gagner, toujours gagner. Gilles Simon est un gagneur. Comme tous les champions, bien sûr. Mais il aime, avant tout, les matches. «Il faut que je fasse très attention, prévient Thierry Tulasne. Comme on travaille davantage avec une meilleure qualité, il faut faire attention de garder la santé et de ne pas avoir une surcharge.» En 2008, il a enregistré le plus grand nombre de tournois disputés parmi les joueurs du Top 20. En 2009, son programme reste très fourni avec 24 ou 25 tournois plus la Coupe Davis, mais les tournois du Grand Chelem arrivent en tête de liste. «Je veux gagner un Grand Chelem, annonce le 7e mondial avant d'ajouter en souriant : j'ai envie de dire n'importe lequel ! Si cela pouvait être Roland-Garros, c'est tant mieux. C'est la prochaine étape si je veux continuer à progresser et à m'améliorer. »

Pour s'améliorer, il a mis en place plusieurs axes de travail. «En coup droit, je possède les armes, mais il faut que je m'en serve davantage. Ce n'est pas quelque chose que je travaille, c'est juste de l'audace. Le jeu au filet, c'est vraiment du travail, analyse Gilles Simon qui veut prendre d'avantage l'initiative du jeu cette année. Il y a un placement, une vision à avoir, une technique, de la puissance à garder dans le bras que je n'ai pas aujourd'hui. Certaines choses vont venir peut-être plus vite comme le service. C'est parfois un petit déclic. On trouve quelque chose et cela va mieux.» En centrant sa préparation sur un gain de puissance au service et une amélioration de son jeu vers l'avant, il veut s'offrir d'autres solutions. Jouer en fonction de son adversaire, c'est bien. Avoir les cartes en main, c'est mieux. «Cette année, je vais essayer de ne plus faire toujours en fonction de l'adversaire, annonce l'élève de Thierry Tulasne. Quand j'évolue dans une filière offensive, j'ai mes propres schémas. Je jouerai toujours un petit peu en fonction des forces et faiblesses adverses, mais beaucoup moins.»

Plus il se rapproche des meilleurs mondiaux, plus les détails comptent. Entre les certitudes d'aujourd'hui et la confiance du passé, Thierry Tulasne veille à la tentation de « l'embourgeoisement » : «Garder l'humilité est la priorité numéro 1 et c'est moi le garant de cela. Pour garder l'humilité, il faut faire des choses dures, des choses qu'il n'a pas envie de faire. » Ses randonnées dans la montagne lors du stage de Saint-Cyprien en sont la preuve par les actes. Pour les mots, son coach aime rappeler les paroles de Toni Nadal qui s'extasie toujours sur la force des adversaires de son neveu et élève, Rafael. De temps en temps, Thierry Tulasne lui rappelle donc : «Attention, c'est dur, les autres jouent bien aussi, il faut lutter, courir, souffrir. Il faut garder cet esprit fait de confiance et d'humilité. Quand les meilleurs perdent cela, ils chutent.» Mais Gilles Simon n'a pas la mémoire courte.


12-22-2008, 01:44 PM
The article in Paris Match:

:lol: @ Noah's description of Chang's gamestyle! ("he's a crab louse. If he manages to get a tigh hold on your ass, it's tough to get rid of")

12-22-2008, 08:07 PM
On sent que ça te démange de traduire ce joli article, Natsume. :angel:

The Sud-Ouest thing first, although it's not very interesting:
"Is Gilles Simon really bigheaded? The question is on everyone's lips in French tennis." :devil: Being confident and not afraid of saying it isn't usual in French sport. "I'm feeling confident about myself and my tennis", he said again after the Ouanna match.
This self-assurance has nothing to do with conceitedness, though. It's more a revenge. The umpire of the Petits As of Tarbes remembers a "very clever" boy who was "mocked because he was so puny as a kid, but followed his path and has now surpassed the others."
1,53 m by the age of 15, forced to rely on his tactical sense only, he now is 1,80 m ^^ and world number 7. Do the others look at him in a different way now? "Yes. Some people definitely thought I would never go far. But what the others think of my progress doesn't bother me that much anymore. I feel by myself if I'm out of place or not. And I'm feeling in the right place. I decided some time ago already to be there. It's not possible to be surprised by oneself at this level. By dint of results I've shut up the doubters. But as soon as I will start losing matches, they will say it was pure luck. I'm ready for it."
Exposed in "Paris Match" this week, he still has to learn how to deal with his new celebrity, all the more since his honesty and his love for words appeal to the journalists. His gf Carine: "He's such a chatterbox, it's impossible to stop him when he starts talking. But Gilles speaks about himself without being egocentric. And he knows when to stop talking about tennis." She means he is still "simple despite his success, and generous." Tulasne says he just needs to control all these things so he can stay focused on his game. Gilles: "I don't need to manage anything, I'm just living my life very normally. People think I'm going to change things, but I'm not changing anything at all. I'm lucky to live in a world where I can do what I want and focus on my goals. If the others have another point of view, I don't care. It won't prevent me from going on. I know what I have to do."
Carine describes him as "very pragmatic", but says: "The contrast between his maturity on the court and his 'childish' way off the court never ceases to surprise me. He's able to beat Nadal in Madrid, but he doesn't know how to dress! It's his way to escape and I think my role is to take his mind off things too." (I don't really understand what she says in French either, but it's not important anyway! The journalist can't mention her without saying she's pretty, btw.)
He has gained confidence, but will never gain a lot of muscles and must rely on his changes of pace which are diabolically effective against opponents with a stereotyped game. It soon won't be enough anymore, though. Tulasne says he needs to be more aggressive, which he already did to beat Nadal and Federer, especially on the big points. They've worked a lot on that during the off-season. He can't count on the surprising effect anymore. The other players are now waiting for him. "But being in the top 10 is an advantage", Tulasne says. "There is more respect. He wants to use it."
Tulasne, who has been working as a coach for 20 years, says he has "experienced a lot of strong emotions already. But this time, it's true, the level is getting higher and the emotions are incredible. I'm very happy, even if I know it can be over tomorrow already. Our relationship with Gilles is very nice, our personalities are matching up well. The confidence has grown. There is much love for each other."

12-23-2008, 05:12 AM
On sent que ça te démange de traduire ce joli article, Natsume. :angel:
:p ok, je vais tenter le coup; déjà repéré les passages ardus à évacuer au cas où. ^_^

12-23-2008, 12:29 PM
Translation of the Paris Match article :

When he was 15, everybody called him "hatchling". He had no choice but to cogitate to win. Instead of hitting like mad, he used the powers of the mind.

Some are jealous of him, others would curse him or even happily strangle him if they had a chance. The young man would almost feel for them but he can't help it. Gilles Simon is annoying. His victims know that better than anyone else. Like the great Federer who still has to win a match against Simon : "he gives the impression he's walking on the court, but that's a wrong impression.. He's an unique, unusual player and he makes you work hard"* Czech Tomas Berdych whom Simon defeated in AO 2006 : "How are you supposed to keep any sort of consistent pace against that guy? he hits three big serves and then tosses a sluggish hand throw like serve. You would believe he's washed out but then he hits unexpected shots out of nowhere.." Exasperating.

This year, the Frenchman, a native of Nice, has successfully pinned down all the tour heavyweights on his hunting record. Even Nadal, current world number one, regarded as one of the greatest clay-court player ever, couldn't come up with a solution against the pesky Simon. After an epic three hour, 22 minute battle in the Madrid Masters semi-final, the Spaniard was forced to concede victory. As a tribute to his winning marathon, the Spanish media dubbed Gilles Simon "El superviviente".

How not to think of a cat when speaking of Simon? Nimble and unpredictable as a cat, his smooth pawing can upset anyone. Not to mention he may lash out at any time. Off court, this feline is a loner who enjoys the company of his family, his gf (Carine) and his pals. At 23, he already seems to have lived many lives. The first time you meet Gilles Simon, you feel compelled to agree with his opponents : yes Gilles Simon is indeed annoying! 1,80m, 70 kg, angel face, killer smile and six pack abs.. No wonder Hugo Boss and Adidas got him under exclusive contracts. "I laughed" he says "at 15, I was 1.53m tall and weighed 38kg. Everybody called me "hatchling" then. My game evolved in accordance with my growth delay. A blessing in disguise for I had no choice but to use my brain to grind victory. Instead of hitting like mad, I used the powers of the mind. My tactical game comes from there.

Gilles held his first wooden baby-racquet "when he was 5 year and 9 month old" says his mother, Mireille, who is a doctor. His dad was working for an insurance company in Southern France but soon, his job took the whole family to settle down next to Paris, in Fontenay-sous-bois. "I played there at the local club until I was 14". For other kids of his age, tennis role models were Sampras or Agassi. "But my idol was Michael Chang" Gilles remembers. "he was short but it wasn't an impediment, he still could beat taller guys. I felt reassured. Without the example set by Chang, I could have dropped tennis altogether". Funnily enough, at that time, Yannick Noah had an elegant phrase to describe Chang's gamestyle : "He's a crab louse. If he manages to get a firm hold on your ass, it's a real pain to shake him off!" Gilles' nowadays opponents couldn't have said it better.

Actually, Gilles did consider dropping tennis.. for eight days. Then he dealt with it and moved ahead. "I saw the other guys getting taller and taller while I stayed the same. It was unfair [calimero inside!!] but there was nothing I could do about it. To overcome his frustrations, music was there. "My parents always tried to stir up our interest in music. My older brother chose to play the saxophone and I the piano. It was a welcome change of pace". Admitted to Fontenay music conservatory, Gilles practiced there for 6 years showing a real talent for the piano. He then left Fontenay to join Poitiers Sports School and then l'INSEP (National Sports School center something) in Paris. There, between two workout exercices, "hatchling" would sneak in the empty amphitheater where a piano was standing.
At l'INSEP, at long last, "hatchling" was growing! finally, he could give the change to guys of his age.. and size. "I was playing tennis non-stop, I was so happy of my new stature". Like a revenge on life. Despite draining days on the sport front, Gilles successfully took his science baccalaureat exams. A heresy among Insep students. "I could have had a honorable mention if i didn't spend so much time on court" he smiles. Irritating, right? "I can't take any credit for that, it's in my genes" he keeps smiling. "Mum is a doctor and my dad has a master degree in maths. I may have my science diploma, it's totally useless to become a tennis champ though".

At age 19, Gilles caught on lost time, registering an impressive upward jump in the ATP rankings, climbing 1000 spots to 300th in one year. As of today, he's 7th in the world and won't be content with that. His coach Tulasne neither : "If Gilles can bag a GS next year, he won't mind.." So much for his detractors. Off court, he also got his share of detractors. He is said to be arrogant, disdainful, eager to lecture. His entourage can't understand such critics. "May be it's because of the way he does things" his mum wonders. Unlike some stars on the tour, Gilles ain't got any lawyers, nor press agents to take advantage of the system or the use of his image in the media. "He is one of a kind" said Tulasne "he says what he thinks, even on complex issues like France's foreign policy. He's at ease on money matters too". So we asked him about his 2008 earnings : "about 1.2 million $$" he answered readily. "I'm lucky to play a sport that offers good prize money, there's nothing to be ashamed of".

In November, Simon was to still to discover how wealthy his sport really can be. In Shanghai Masters Cup, He grabbed 300,000 $ in one week. "It took me 6 monthes to earn the same sum last year" he recalls. His hotel room was a 60 meters square suite and the facilities left him dumbfounded. "I had my name on the bed pillows, the dressing coat. Federer or Nadal may be used to it, I'm not. it feels weird the first time you experience that". To keep his feet on the ground, Gilles can count on Carine , his girlfriend for the past three years. "she's a motivation for me" he says. Simon was too demure to say more, his coach Tulasne had not such a problem : "She helps him burst his tennis bubble in which he's prone to isolate himself, thanks to her love. They're so in love! it's insane. when you love that much, it gives tremendous amount of energy". [argh.!]
Gilles will need that much energy to keep on moving on his own path.

When he was 6, he already said he wanted to be a tennis player. "that's not a job!" he was answered. "I'll be a champion then!". This kid is definitely annoying.