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Old 07-16-2008, 10:33 PM   #31
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great article, i thought his english was pretty good when i saw him at the PLO, but i only heard a few sentences.
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:33 PM   #32
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thank you
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:46 PM   #33
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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!
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Old 07-17-2008, 01:44 PM   #34
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Pacific Life Open, I think.
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I felt so bad. I didn’t break a racquet for like one month. They are putting so much effort to make the racquets and an idiot like me goes and breaks them
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Old 07-17-2008, 02:31 PM   #35
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^^^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! 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!
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Old 07-26-2008, 08:13 AM   #36
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In l'Equipe today:
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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.
PASCAL COVILLE
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Old 07-26-2008, 08:45 AM   #37
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I saw the word 'cat' and 'dog' and I started giggling
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I felt so bad. I didn’t break a racquet for like one month. They are putting so much effort to make the racquets and an idiot like me goes and breaks them
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Old 07-26-2008, 09:30 AM   #38
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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".
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Old 07-26-2008, 09:58 AM   #39
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Merci Fran pour l'article
Au fait, je te répondrai sur fb plus tard, I have to go shopping for my mom she needs packs of water and other heavy stuff she can't lift up

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
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Old 07-26-2008, 10:15 AM   #40
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Octopus, spider and... kangaroo? These French journalists sure have a lot of imagination.
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The importance of being Ernests Riga Mortis


Ernests Gulbis on seeing HEAD racquets being made by hand:
Quote:
I felt so bad. I didn’t break a racquet for like one month. They are putting so much effort to make the racquets and an idiot like me goes and breaks them
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Old 07-26-2008, 07:53 PM   #41
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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. 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.

T.B.C.

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Old 07-26-2008, 08:47 PM   #42
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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.

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Old 07-26-2008, 08:56 PM   #43
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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.

PASCAL COVILLE

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Old 07-26-2008, 10:51 PM   #44
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Merci Fran et Ted it was a good read.
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The importance of being Ernests Riga Mortis


Ernests Gulbis on seeing HEAD racquets being made by hand:
Quote:
I felt so bad. I didn’t break a racquet for like one month. They are putting so much effort to make the racquets and an idiot like me goes and breaks them
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Old 07-27-2008, 02:45 AM   #45
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Simon is versatile!!!
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