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. [
] 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.
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."