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Old 10-31-2012, 11:31 PM   #871
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This is from yesterday's L'Equipe. Post it here because it's not about his match.

Always makes me laugh when he talks about slice , not having one

L'homme qui ne sliçait pas

On ne sait pas si Gilles Simon va battre Victor Hanescu aujourd’hui. Mais on sait comment il ne va pas s’y prendre…

APPEL À TÉMOINS : si vous avez vu Gilles Simon utiliser un revers slicé, faites-vous connaître immédiatement. La brigade de contrôle des choses qui n’arrivent qu’à la saint-glinglin vous en sera reconnaissante. P.S. : si vous étiez présent à Bercy le 10 novembre 2009, désolé, mais ça ne compte pas. Ce soir-là, c’est vrai que Simon avait rendu chèvre ce pauvre Ivan Ljubicic grâce à quelques chips canailles. « Oui, mais ça ne compte pas, souriait-il hier. C’est trop facile : je n’avais plus de genou, alors j’ai tenté ça. Je n’avais pas le choix. »

Quand il l’a – le choix , jamais de la vie l’idée de slicer son revers ne traverserait son esprit. Commandement no 1 : tu ne choperas point. « Faux. Quand je ne peux vraiment pas faire autrement, je peux glisser un chip. O.K., il est tout pourri, mais c’est un chip. » Depuis quelques années, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, Tsonga, Monfils et presque toute la clique ont travaillé pour inclure ce coup à leur arsenal. Avec plus ou moins de succès. Mais, quand le train de la mode est passé devant lui, Simon n’est pas monté dedans. Pourquoi ? « Primo, il y a une raison médicale. J’ai un nerf coincé dans l’épaule et je manque donc de force pour cisailler la balle. À moins de lancer un frisbee toute la journée, ça ne va pas changer. Deuzio, j’ai volleyé à deux mains jusqu’à mes vingt ans. Or, ce qui te fait lâcher la seconde main, c’est la volée. Moi, la première fois que j’ai voulu volleyer à une main, je me suis fait une tendinite. Si j’y suis arrivé, c’est parce qu’en 2008 j’en ai eu marre de ne pas pouvoir exploiter les retours de revers en cloche de Rafa (Nadal). » Voyons voir maintenant si Simon ressent ce coup en moins comme un manque dans son jeu... « Le slice pour casser le rythme, j’ai pas. Le slice d’attaque, à part Roger (Federer) et Mika (Llodra), personne le maîtrise.

« Le chip que j’aimerais avoir, c’est celui de Murray »

Avec mon revers très à plat, qui ne rebondit pas beaucoup, j’arrive bien à me démerder pour varier les vitesses. Et je ne suis pas tellement gêné par les balles basses. Idéalement, le chip que j’aimerais avoir, c’est celui de Murray. Long de ligne, sortant. Celui qui lui permet en plus de masquer l’amortie. À mon avis, le chip de Nadal ne sert à rien. Et celui de Djoko à pas grandchose, à part à cacher l’amortie. Un gars comme Stan (Wawrinka) n’a pas unslice spécialement pénible sauf qu’il lui sert, juste après, à t’aligner. » D’ailleurs, pour Jérémy Chardy, son partenaire d’entraînement, Simon n’a que faire de cette arme casse-pattes et casse- noisettes : « Avec la même frappe en revers, il peut te la jouer longue, courte, bombée, rasante… Il sait garder la balle très basse. Franchement, ne pas avoir de slice n’est pas un problème pour lui. » Qu’il le laisse donc aux autres.
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Old 05-24-2013, 03:40 PM   #872
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I found a nice article on Yahoo about Gilles:

http://www.thepostgame.com/blog/eye-...ecrets-success

I may not be facing off against the pros, but there are times when I step onto a tennis court, ready for battle, and upon meeting my opponent, the obvious becomes, well, obvious.

My opponent is bigger than me. He is stronger than me. He hits a much bigger ball than me.

The question is: What can I do to win?

I asked someone who does this for a living.

That's right. Someone puts food on his table by stepping onto a tennis court, playing guys bigger than him, guys stronger than him, guys who hit balls exponentially harder than him ... and beating them.

How big are these giants? Rafael Nadal is listed at 6-1 and 188 pounds. Tomas Berdych clocks in at 6-5 and 205 pounds. Juan Martin Del Potro is a cool 6-6 and 214 pounds. I think it's fair to say that these men hit the biggest balls in the history of the sport.

And then there is Gilles Simon.

After cracking the top ten in 2008, he's settled into a rankings position between ten and fifteen in the world.

And he does it at clocking in at barely six foot and 154 pounds.

This diminutive figure with a slight frame has wins over every single person in the top ten. Yes. I'm talking about Djokovic, Federer, Murray, Nadal. You know ... the top ten.

The French media frequently refer to Simon as "fantastique!" It's almost as if they're talking about a magic trick, a sleight of hand, an illusion. Because it should not be. It cannot be. And yet ... there he is. Season after season. Year after year. Gilles Simon is among the very best in the world.

So what is he doing out there?

Simon can hit the ball with pace. He can hit winners. He can finish points. But he readily admits he will never hit the ball as big as most of his opponents. This isn't an opinion; it's physics.

I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Simon. These are his keys to victory -- and maybe yours too.

***
"If I try to hit like them, I will lose."

Simon's game plan begins with letting go of his ego. He admits to himself and his opponent that he will lose the slugfest. His opponent does this better than he does. So he does something else.

"I have to notice things on the court," he says. "I have to see where I have to be aggressive, where the guy's gonna miss. It's harder for me to find the good way to win the point."

Mark Knowles, a veteran who has competed against him, said Simon has one of the highest tennis IQs on tour. According to Knowles, Simon plays points to test his opponents, see what they like and, more importantly, to see what they don't. Sometimes it takes him a whole match to find out what makes you uncomfortable, but when he does, his opponents will start to feel like they're in "Groundhog's Day" because they're playing -- and mostly losing -- the same point. Over. And over. And over.

"Early in a match is harder for me," Simon said. "But when the match goes for one hour thirty, two hours, and he starts to feel like when he goes for the winners ... I'm there. And he has to work more and more ... it's harder for him."

Just what does Simon do that makes it harder for his opponents over the course of the match?

He absorbs power.

Most guys are out there trading punches, trying to knock down the other guy.

But Simon does something else entirely. Announcers call him "the human backboard" because he gets everything back, but I think he's more like a human trampoline. There is elasticity in his reply. It's as if Simon takes all the pace off the ball and then gives it back.

This means shot after shot, game after game, hour after hour, Simon's opponents must generate all the pace while Simon sits backs and uses theirs so he expends less energy than his opponents.

"I have a good control of the court," he added. "When I play a shot I most of the time know already where a ball is going to come back after."

Simon recognizes what his opponent likes to hit, especially under pressure. As the match goes on, he makes sure he's there waiting for that ball. His opponents know Simon is going to be there so they start to go for a little bit more. They hit it a little bit harder, maybe a little closer to the lines. Or, often, they just start to hit a different shot altogether.

If the guy has a huge forehand, I will be able to touch his backhand from any part of the court," he said.

Another advantage: Notice how Simon says he is going to "touch" his opponent's backhand. He doesn't have to attack their backhand. He doesn't have to break it down or hit through their weaker side. All Simon has to do is "touch" it. This is enough. This forces his opponents to beat him without their weapon.

Simon does this in a variety of ways. He can hit short, soft angles, putting opponents in an awkward place on the court. He can hit deep to the corners, neutralizing the point. But my personal favorite is perhaps the most cunning. Simon plays low, often without pace, down the middle of the court.

The play gives opponents nothing to work with, nothing to sink their teeth into. The ball has no pace so it forces them to generate. The ball is below the net so they can't attack it comfortably. The ball is in the middle of the court so they have no angles. Of course the depth of this ball varies, but usually it's not short enough to come in off of, but it's not deep enough to stay back and grind. Come forward? Stay back? Arguably the least practiced and therefore most vulnerable part of the modern game is the transition game. And to beat Simon that's what opponents have to do. All. Day. Long.

Simon slays giants with his head, with his anticipation, with his patience. But Simon does this not over the course of a point or a game or a set, but a match.

Some people construct points. Gilles Simon does the same thing except with matches.

Next time you're on the court with someone bigger than you, why not try to do the same thing?
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Old 05-24-2013, 06:27 PM   #873
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Nice read. Thanks.
Someone bothers to analyse the way he plays and appreciates it, how refreshing.
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Old 05-25-2013, 08:36 AM   #874
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Interesting interview:
http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/blogs/...071138291.html
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Old 12-28-2013, 09:48 AM   #875
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Nothing new but I didn't know he was in Halle without his family maybe they'll fly with him in Australia
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Old 12-28-2013, 03:43 PM   #876
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"If I play like I do in practice atm, I'll be on fire."

Thx for he article Soulage.
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:19 PM   #877
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Hi - it looks like Gilles is playing the Kooyong exho, replacing Tipsarevic...

http://www.10sballs.com/2013/12/28/g...-in-melbourne/
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:15 PM   #878
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Big 4 dominance coming to an end predicts Simon

Tuesday, 7 January, 2014
By Dan Imhoff


Since a 19-year-old Rafael Nadal first had his name engraved on the Coupe des Mousquetaires at Roland Garros in 2005, the Spaniard, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have claimed all but three of the 35 majors.

It is a dominance well documented, but in world No.19 Gilles Simon’s opinion, his, like any sport, runs in cycles and is on the cusp of another significant shake-up.

Ever the mindful strategist of the game both on and off the court, the Frenchman believes the next first-time winner of a grand slam title may be closer than many realise.

“It was tough to win one because in the last four years the big four just won them every time and it was like no one had a real opportunity to make a difference there. I think this time will be over soon. I think we’re going to have some big changes in the next two years and I will be ready to get the opportunity to do something good,” he said from Kooyong, where he has answered the late call-up to replace Serbian Janko Tipsarevic in the eight-man field.

The likes of Tomas Berdych, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and David Ferrer have been the obvious names bandied about as most likely to join the grand slam elite since Andy Murray joined the list, but Simon is looking further afield.

“There are some very good players but I mean if you look at tennis in the history it’s not always the guy who was No.5 or No.6,” he said. “The tournaments were more open. Even though we had Sampras winning 14 slams, you had Roland Garros, a different champion every year, so the tennis was more open and everybody was hoping and was believing in themself that they would one day do something good and I think that we’re going to come back to this kind of period.”

While 2013 was not the former world No.6’s most impressive year on tour, an offcourt milestone made it one of his finest year’s yet. He and fiancé Carine, welcomed their second son, Valentin, in September.

“It’s not a lot different,” he said of becoming a father for the second time. “The first one was a big change.”

Standing alongside Federer and Lleyton Hewitt as a father of two on tour, Simon joined the pair in Brisbane last week keen to get his 2014 Australian summer campaign off to a solid start.

In a tournament he had reached the semifinals at before, things didn’t quite go to plan.

He fell at the first hurdle to 147th-ranked qualifier Marius Copil.

“Unfortunately I had some trouble with my knee so I couldn’t practise as much as I wanted before the tournament so I felt a bit short on the court that’s why I’m very happy to be here so I will be happy to test myself again,” he said ahead of his AAMI Classic Kooyong debut.

“I think I had a tough day of practice with 40-degree (heat) so I think my body was just not used to it.”

Early preparation, he said, was key to coming from a winter off-season in the northern hemisphere to the brutal environment of an Australian summer.

“The conditions are really different. I was practising in Europe. It was 4 degrees and raining every day. For sure I needed to get used to it and that’s why I wanted to start this tournament,” he said.

“You need to get here (Australia) early to be ready for Melbourne.”

After his Brisbane hiccup, the unexpected call-up to make his Kooyong debut could not have been better timed.

“I just wanted to play more matches ... sometimes it’s just too much playing a tour event. If you play badly you just lose confidence but if you play good then it’s good for the tournament but for Melbourne you end up tired,” he said.

“Yeah I think Australian Open is the slam I play my best tennis so far so I just hope I’m going to play good again this year.”

Semifinal finishes in Rotterdam and Marseille last season were followed by a quarterfinal loss to Tommy Haas in Miami. It marked the 10th time Simon had reached an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 quarterfinal. A runner-up result at Eastbourne was bettered by a title run on home soil at Metz later in the year, where he beat countryman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

At 29 Simon is far from the rising brigade, but with fatherhood keeping his mind fresh, the self-belief remains.

“Goal is always the same, trying to win a big title. I was in the top 10 , the top 15 for four years, five years and what’s missing is a big title in the 1000s or the slams,” he said.

Could he be the one to break the stranglehold at the majors?

“Could be anyone.”

http://www.ausopen.com/en_AU/news/ar...080153726.html

Nice views from Gilles on a possible end of the Top-4 dominance, hope he is right.




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Old 01-09-2014, 09:23 PM   #879
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Here an article about his off-season:
http://www.lequipe.fr/Tennis/Article...-question/7718
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Old 01-10-2014, 06:07 PM   #880
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I haven't been on here much lately, and just visited GM the first time this year and saw this interview. Thanks Ash for posting. It's interesting, it's Gilles being Gilles, in his usual brutally honest and articulate self.

http://www.menstennisforums.com/show...33&postcount=1
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:27 PM   #881
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Interview Gilles Simon 14-01-14

Quote:
Q. Can you talk through your decision whether to play today or not play today given your injury from Kooyong.
GILLES SIMON: Well, I just try my best to be ready for the match. Was in really bad shape after Kooyong on Saturday. I think I just got lucky that the recovery was that fast for the ankle.

Still, it was very limit to go on court today. It's always a tough decision to make. Like you go, and I think this time I got pretty lucky. Maybe you can just lose 2‑1‑1, and have a different feeling at the end. Would prefer to go full for sure.

You know, I just have a call to make. I say, Okay, it's not easy that everybody saw me with the crutches. If I just go and I'm ridiculous, I guess no one's going to talk good about me.

But, I mean, normally I just don't pay attention. I just see the guy I'm facing. I know the guy has a good serve. I know he's weaker from the baseline, so I know I can serve full. I mean, I never serve that many aces in a match.

I know it's 40 degrees. Okay, we never know, just try, just go, everything can happen. I go, but then I got lucky.



Q. Were you able to play pain‑free?
GILLES SIMON: Oh, no, I'm not playing pain‑free. Far from that. No, it's really painful.

But you decide what you will do on the court. I was just focusing on this. When he broke me after the third game, I say, Oh, it's going to be a difficult day today.

Finally he got tight and I think I used it very good. I played a lot of serve and volley. I felt I couldn't run from the baseline, so I was trying to keep it short to break to rhythm, to give no rhythm to this match.

The conditions helps, because when it's 40 degrees you just miss everything because everybody is so slow. I just managed to play relaxed, focused on what I had to do, what I could do. Then I got lucky because I think he could win this match 15 times.



Q. Down 2‑1 in the sets, did you think about retiring?
GILLES SIMON: No. I decide I will go on court and then I see. Even if it's 6‑1 in the fourth, it's okay.

For me knowing that I'm really not in a good shape, just to go on court, play already 7‑6, I said, Okay. At least I had a chance, even to win this set, to create some pressure, something. Then if I lose, I'm okay with it. Like I know it before I go.

So that's why I manage to play very relax. It was very important, because for him it was a very tough match, very complicated. You could see every time he was hitting a good stroke like it was a winner. I think he played like 111 winners, so I just had to pick up one side every time.

So he was in a really bad situation playing someone very relaxed. He knew he had everything in his hand and he had many occasion. Finally he lost this match. He must feel pretty sad now.



Q. Did you ever consider the weather conditions as well?
GILLES SIMON: Yeah, but it was good for what I wanted to do on court. I needed fast condition. I didn't want to run. So you know the serve is going to be very effective. It's good for him. But today it was good for me also. And then it was no reason.

I mean, I watch all the match on the outside courts, plus with the wind during the day, like it was really hard to play.

So I felt it was, yeah, exactly what I needed today and I think it helped me a lot.



Q. So the conditions helped you?
GILLES SIMON: Yeah. If I feel ready and I want to fight from the baseline, then he a tough opponent because I will just look for rhythm in the match and finally the condition will be helpful for this. He will serve fast, with the wind, with the heat; you don't control anything.

But today it was the other way. I just wanted it to be as short as possible with no reason. I wanted him to feel bad, to get tight, and I managed to do that.
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Old 02-26-2014, 07:57 AM   #882
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Interview in French. Gilled talked a lot as per usual. I like the part (if google translate is right ) where he talked about tactics -- the overhyped "click" -- and that the coach is more important than most people give credit to.

Part 1

http://www.welovetennis.fr/interview...r-le-court-1-2

Part 2

http://www.welovetennis.fr/interview...du-circuit-2-2
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Old 06-30-2014, 11:10 PM   #883
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http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/sport/...cle4132507.ece

An interesting bit of info I came across that I thought other fans of Gilles might be interested in knowing. It was an interview at Wimbledon, after his loss to Djokovic I think. Can't read the full article unfortunately because it is behind a pay wall subscription to the site, but you can get the gist of what Gilles is talking about from the little preview and it seems like he's really struggling with the increase in power in the game these days and, as he says, "Regrets the rise of substance over style in the men's game today."

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Old 07-15-2014, 10:29 AM   #884
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Very interesting and funny interview with Gilles on the Daily Mail. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/ten...t-feeling.html

What is the best match you have ever played?

The best feeling I had is when I beat Rafael Nadal in Madrid in 2008 because it was hard to do and hard to win.

I think the best match I played, though, was against Rafa this year in Rome. Even though I lost, to hit 50 winners against Rafa on clay is good.

What is the worst?

Maybe against Benoit Paire in the third round in Indian Wells in 2013. It was a real joke. I couldn’t serve. I think we each lost our serve eight times during the match. It was just awful to play.

Maybe also this year in qualifying in Casablanca. I arrived late for my match on the first day and I played Nikola Cacic. He was ranked 599 and I won 7-5 in the third. It was really ugly.

If you could team up in doubles with any player from history, who would it be and why?

I think I would like to play with Rafa. To play with Rafa would be funny because then I feel I can play from the baseline and he can just destroy the guys at the net.

Who are your best friends in the locker room and what do you get up to with them as you travel the world?

I know a lot of players and I have good relations with most of them but I have known some of the French players since I was 12 or 13. Gael Monfils, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Richard Gasquet because we are the same generation and I am also very close with Jeremy Chardy even though I got to know him later. I think I first played Richard when I was eight years old. We all see each other a lot on the tour and have dinner.

Who is your favourite sports team or athlete and what is your favourite moment watching them?


I will go for Usain Bolt because I like not only how good he is but the way he is and how confident he is. He comes to the meetings and says ‘look guys, I am going to destroy you’ and does it every time. That is so impressive for anyone who is doing sport at the high level. You always know that if you fear something, you can’t be that confident every time.

What is your favourite travel destination away from the tennis tour?


My home in Neuchatel, Switzerland.

What is your favourite song and film of all time?

It’s always hard to have one. I will go with Street Spirit by Radiohead. My favourite film is also very hard… Inception.

If there was one rule in tennis you could change, what would it be?

The serve is horrible because it is p*ssing me off on the court so I have two rules. My serious suggestion is to just have one serve. My funny suggestion is to serve from far away if you are too tall or to stand closer if you are smaller. If Ivo Karlovic is serving on the line, then I can serve two metres inside the court and then we play the match equally.
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Gilles Simon
Benoît Paire, Edouard Roger-Vasselin,Nicolas Mahut, Jeremy Chardy, Aljaz Bedene, Florian Mayer, Tommy Robredo, Evgeny Korolev, Albert Ramos, Guillaume Rufin
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Old 07-18-2014, 09:39 AM   #885
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Default Re: Articles & interviews

Gilles interview in L'Equipe after the Kohli match, translated by @markalannixon on twitlonger - http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1s2h5o7

"He hit return winners off serves over 200" - Gilles Simon in l'Equipe after his loss to Kohlschreiber : My season hasn't been good up to now it must be said. Between injuries and matches I should have won but didn't (Murray at Acapulco, Raonic at Roland Garros) ... it doesn't make me smile.

It's only been two months since I've been able to play all out without any pain. I'm almost happy to have lost to someone who simply played better than I did today.

Honestly, he was in another world! From the middle of the first set, he simply let loose. He hit return winners off serves over 200 ... He was impressive!

I'm ambitious about the rest of the season. Physically I'm good, I want to play every week, to give 100% and win.

I'll be playing Gstaad next week and then the American tour (Toronto, Cincinnati and the US open, where he has no points to defend). (Davis Cup on his mind?) Of course! It's simple, I have three main goals for the rest of the season: the US Open, Bercy and the Davis Cup!!"

It's great he still sounds so motivated.
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