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Old 07-14-2010, 10:09 PM   #1
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:29 PM   #2
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Gilles Simon and John Isner Form Odd Pairing

Frenchman Gilles Simon is partnering with American John Isner at the Gold Coast event this coming week. The two are separated by 10 inches and nearly a hundred pounds, making them one of the most unique pairings in recent tennis history. The footspeed and guile of Simon may be well-complimented by the raw power of the huge-serving American. They will need all the help they can get if they are to defeat the brother combination of the Djokovics.

"For sure, they will have to be the favorites when we play them because John and I, we just started together, practicing and they are brothers. You know, they have played together since they were little and know each other's game quite well. It will be an uphill battle, but I believe we can win, definitely," Simon explained in his pre-tournament press conference. His coach, Thierry Tulasne, however was more confident heading into the weekend, stating that the duo could be a fierce force on the doubles tour if they choose to continue playing together.

Simon may just be humble about his abilities, as he dismissed suggestions that he was the team leader, fueled by his 6-3 6-0 drubbing of Isner in a practice match. "One match, you know, it does not determine who is the better player. It just says who play that match better. It was John's first practice match of the season, I believe, and his serve was not as reliable as it normally is. If we play again, I know to expect a tough match."

Showing that the two are already comfortable with each other, Simon laid down a challenge to his partner, although one that was probably not in his best interest. Whichever man hits more aces in their doubles match gets a free shot in a game off "Butt's Up." He'd better hope Isner's serve is still lacking in accuracy.
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:19 PM   #3
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I totally forgot about that picture

Isner/Simon defeat the brothers Djokovic
John Isner and Gilles Simon have defeated Novak and Marko Djokovic 6-2 5-7 6-2. It was tough fought match, with the Djokovic's succumbing after being broken in the third set. Isner's serve was back on target, as he said: "Gilles really handed it to me in our practice match, but like he said my serve had not found its range. I felt much more comfortable today." Isner and Simon were up 5-0 in the second set before the Djokovic brothers began to turn it on, winning 7 games in a row and the second set.

The pair looked quite comfortable on the court, as Isner meticulously placed his serves, and if one of the Djokovic's got it back, Simon was able to put away a smash. Simon has been working hard on his volleying skills, and they really paid off today.

As for the brothers, they had an enjoyable experience. "It was a high quality match, all coming down to who would crack first. Marko played his part and I did mine, but they were just too strong" stated Novak Djokovic.

Fellow Serbs Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic were seen at the match. Ana screamed "Adje" many times, while Jelena (sitting on the other side of the court) was seen fist-pumping repeatedly after Ana's cries. One can only wonder the Serbian turmoil occurring at this very moment

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Old 07-21-2010, 12:01 AM   #4
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Isner holds on after spirited Djokovic rally

John Isner returned to the court today to defeat Novak Djokovic for a second time, this time in singles. The 6-0 5-7 6-4 does not tell an accurate story of the match.

Isner rolled off to a good start, breaking Djokovic 3 times to take the first set 6-0. The crowd was absolutely stunned as Isner was reeling off returns all over the place. Said Isner, "I was in the zone. His serve was coming right where I wanted it, and I was capitalizing." Djokovic thought similarly, saying "I was placing first serves in, hitting my serve well, but he was all over them. I really had to anticipate well to fight back in the match."

Djokovic would fight back, but it would take a 5-3 deficit in the second set to begin it. Isner broke serve in the second set and was serving for the match at 5-3 when Djokovic musters off enough strength to break right back. Djokovic won the last 4 games of the second set and the crowd erupted.

Isner, however, kept his composure and broke early in the third set and was able to hold on for a 6-4 victory. "I expected him to fight back, but he got a little too close for my liking. My serve's been deserting me in the big moments, I need to work on that a little bit" said Isner. He could face doubles partner Gilles Simon in the finals of this prestigious exhibition event.
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Old 07-22-2010, 12:12 AM   #5
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Simon Storms by Berdych

It was an easier day than anticipated for Frenchman Gilles Simon, up against hard hitting Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic. After dropping the first game of the match, Simon would win the next 12 games to take the match 6-1 6-0. His consistent baseline play and footspeed frustrated the much bigger player on a windy New Zealand day.

"I was quite pleased with my level today, definitely. He is a very dangerous opponent. I knew that I had to play at a high level to have a chance. For sure, it was not the best match from Tomas. He not get in as many first serves as he would have liked, and this gave me a lot of opportunities to play long rallies. I felt confident that if I could extend the point, I would come out on top."

Still, despite the lopsided scoreline, the match had its moments, with Berdych taking the initiative and running Simon around the court, and earning a standing ovation after coming out on top of a 38 stroke rally that ended with a beautiful stab volley from the Czech player. The brilliant play was too infrequent, however, and Simon reached match point after 57 minute of play.

The victory sets up a clash with doubles partner John Isner in the Gold Coast final. Despite a lopsided practice match between the two, Simon was cautious when speaking about his prospects. "I know that he is a very, very tough player. It was scary being at net as his doubles partner and the ball travels by my head at that speed. If he serves good, I will have to stay very focused and in the moment. I cannot afford to make errors on my own service games. If I can do this, I think I have a pretty good chance."
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Old 07-22-2010, 01:16 PM   #6
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Great articles guys Really enjoyed reading them.
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Old 07-25-2010, 06:24 PM   #7
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I'm just going to join and post Tomas' interview after Gilles beat him (this was done right after the match).

Tomas, you obviously didn't play your best tennis tennis today, was there any reason in particular for that?

Well, you know the conditions weren't that great today, but besides that nothing's really wrong, I'm pretty much fully fit. I guess I just had a bad day on court today, of course I was going out there with the mindset to win, but hey, it happens, I can't expect to win every match I play, oh and I would also like to give a lot of credit to Gilles out there, I thought he played absolutely amazing, every part of his game was working well, and since he's coming back from injury I wish him all the best.

Like you said, Gilles played well, but do you think you could have by any chance changed your game out there?

Well I did, I think in the first set it was clear that I was playing my usual style and missing both my forehands and backhands quite frequently, while in the second set I was trying to keep the ball into court all the time instead of going for outright winners, and of course it didn't work as Simon is one of the best counterpunchers on tour and made punished me heavily for even trying to play like that. But yeah I'll use this as a learning experience and hopefully the next time I play in conditions like this I'll manage to play my tennis to the level I want to play at.

Is this the worst start of a season you've ever had? Will this effect the rest of your year?

Hopefully not *laughs* But yeah it is the worst start to a season I've ever had, but oh well. I mean of course no one wants to lose 6-1 6-0 but it happens to every player on tour every now and then so I mean if they can deal with it so can I, hopefully it's the start of something better to come.

From the hard courts of the GoldCoast, to the European clay, back to the hard courts in Madison Square, is there any real reason for this?

It's a good way to start my year, getting a few matches on the hard courts and getting a few matches on the clay as well, I mean several other players are doing it as well, so it can't be all that bad. Even after next week's clay court event I'll have a few weeks to practice on the hard courts before the AO, so I mean it shouldn't do any harm.

Speaking of next week's event, Gilles Simon is also playing that event, if you were to play him there, how would you feel? Would you like to get revenge?

Well of course I would love to play him again, he's a great player, and from what I know his weakest surface is clay(?) So I mean I think I would have a good chance out there next week if we were to play, but you know I thought I even had a good chance out here today despite the conditions *laughs*, so I guess anything could happen, but sure I would love to take the chance and get revenge against him. But as for now I'll just be thinking about improving my game and trying to improve on last season.
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Old 07-25-2010, 08:14 PM   #8
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Champion's Press Conference

INTERVIEWER: Congratulations, Gilles. Well done for a great tournament.

SIMON: Thank you very much.

INTERVIEWER: Did you have any idea that this week be so easy for you? You only dropped four games and won both the singles and the doubles. Did you ever feel like letting up on your poor opponents?

SIMON: No, I mean, I don't think was that easy, actually. In doubles, the Djokovic brothers nearly came back to win from 0-5 to win, you know. I knew that to win, I must stay very focused. Tomas and John are both very tough players. If you give them an opening, they are going to take it. I just gave my best on each point and it worked out well this week.

INTERVIEWER: It's still a few weeks away, but if you play like this, can you win the Australian Open?

SIMON: To win in Melbourne, it would be a dream, but it's much too far to think of such a thing. For sure, I played very good matches this week, but my opponents will rebound and come back even tougher. I have to get even better.

INTERVIEWER: Do you consider yourself the early favorite?

SIMON: No.

INTERVIEWER: What is it that you feel like you did so well that you were able to take out players who are so much more powerful?

SIMON: Well, I just hit as hard as I could. It's maybe not as hard as others, but I knew I could not just allow them to dominate. Besides that, I just fight and run as hard as I can. I tried to put them ball back awkwardly to make tough shots for them.

INTERVIEWER: How is your knee holding up? You've had a lot of issues with it.

SIMON: Good. It feels good now. We'll see how it holds up when tested in a longer match, but I am very happy with it right now.

INTERVIEWER: Was it difficult to play your doubles partner today? His game style seems to suit you well.

SIMON: Well, there's much psychology when playing someone whose game you know well. Of course, he knows where I like to hit and what kind of balls I don't like and vice versa. You have to constantly second guess your instincts. I think today, maybe John tried to do too much that was not natural for him. Maybe he didn't go for his favorites serves on the big points, or his favorite forehand. For sure, it was a tough day for him out there, but it was closer than the score I think.
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Old 07-25-2010, 08:37 PM   #9
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Runner-Up Press Conference


Q. A closer match than the score indicated.
John Isner: Yeah, there were many deuces. Once again I have to give full credit to Gilles who was able to win the big points, and of course win this exhibition.

Q. How was it playing your doubles partner?
John Isner: Well, it was a good experience and playing doubles with Gilles has been really fun so far. I'm obviously not happy that I lost today, but he is a great sport and a classy champion. Let's just hope I don't have to play him again for a while (laughs).

Q. Did the heat play a factor?
John Isner: No, I don't like to make excuses, he simply outplayed me. I have worked on my fitness to be able to play longer and better out in the heat, but he was much better in it today. Heat is a funny thing, you may not feel physically tired, but if you get broken, it's even more disheartening because of the extra effort you have to put in to break back.

Q. As one of the players in the forefront of promoting the FMTA, what are you trying to do to get more people to play?
John Isner: (laughs) Well it's an interesting process, I've been focusing on playing and putting advertising for FMTA on internet forums, on my Facebook and Twitter. Damn Sam hasn't joined yet (laughs), I offered him a free ice cream from Dairy Queen if he did. It's a slow process, it will take time, but right now I'm just enjoying the league and hoping to 1-up Gilles next time (laughs)

Moderator: Thanks John
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Old 07-26-2010, 06:31 PM   #10
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Quick Interview Before Match With Novak Djokovic


We assume you've seen the draw for Milan now, any thoughts on it?

Well lets face it, no one wants to start off their first match of the year on clay against Novak (Djokovic), I doubt even Rafa (Nadal) would disagree with me on this one. But I've played him once before on the clay which was last year in the DC SF which was played in Serbia, of course he won that match but it was a really tight match with him winning in a tight 5th set and considering he's the much better player than me on clay it was definitely a good result for me even though I lost.

You said that was a good result for you despite losing, how did you approach that match? If you are to go one step further and beat him on this surface is there anything you should change?

I approached it the same way I did in our Wimbledon SF last year, just trying to hit him off the court and dictate points and go for a winner when the time is right. Well tomorrow I'll definitely try to serve better, that's the thing I though I didn't do as well in Serbia last year, I think I served something like 52% first serves in and that needs to improve when playing him tomorrow. I guess fatigue played a huge part in that match as well but since tomorrow will be a 3 set match I doubt that will come into play, but yeah my fitness has improved over the last few months.

Looking ahead, if you were to beat Novak tomorrow you would then play Gilles Simon in the SF, any thoughts on that?

I'm taking each match one by one, if I win tomorrow then I'll think about that, as for now it's just about enjoying life looking at hot babes on the beach and stuff, Milan is a nice place, no need to put myself down by thinking about getting thrashed by Novak or Gilles at this very point in time. *laughs*

Obviously last year was a unbelievable year for you in terms of Grand Slams, do these lower ranked events still interest you as much? Do you still want to win them as much as before?

Well last year was amazing for me, reaching the SF of RG, reaching the Wimbledon Final and then winning the USO against Rafa in a 5th set TB, but yeah my mindset is still exactly the same, I just want to win every match I play, I mean even after I won the USO I won a fairly small event in Kuala Lumpur yet I was still really happy and pleased to win it. If I by any chance didn't care about these type of events I wouldn't enter myself in them. *winks*

(I'm imagining this is the 2011 season for Tomas and that 2010 has already finished)
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Old 07-31-2010, 12:04 AM   #11
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Simon Self-Destructs Against Djokovic

Those who thought Gilles Simon's form last week would lead to a domination of the FMTA tour will be surprised to learn the Frenchman fell to Serbia's Novak Djokovic in sets in Milan earlier this afternoon.

After an early back and forth exchange, Simon pulled out to a 5-3 lead in the first set and even after getting broken, appeared ready to take the first set as he reached two set points on Djokovic's serve. Djokovic, who lost to American John Isner in last week's Gold Coast event, however fought back with three straight aces. The next two games lasted nearly 25 minutes, with Djokovic finally sealing the set with a fiery backhand down the line.

The next set started off similarly, with each player's serve getting broken early. Again Simon would earn a 5-3 lead with brilliant defending. At this point, Djokovic called for the trainer, informing the chair umpire that some of the clay had blown into his eyes. At first the break did not seem to faze Simon, but leading 40-0 on his own serve, Simon's first serve deserted him, allowing Djokovic to gain an early upper-hand in the rallies. Unlike in the first set, the next games would go very quickly, with Simon double-faulted three times at 5-5 to hand over the break. Djokovic would go on to win 17 of the last 19 points of the match.

Simon, however, did not attribute his lost to the time-out, instead blaming his own lack of concentration,"For sure, it's disappointing to lose today, especially in straight sets, especially as I had so many chances that I could not take. The time-out though, I do not think was a factor. I lead 40-0 and then could not get a first serve. That he took a few minutes had no effect on this. I started to think about third set and that was my mistake."

"I have to congratulate Novak for his play. He did a very good, smart match. He kept the ball so deep and move me side to side. I maybe needed to be more aggressive, but it's not easy because he moves so well on this surface. It makes him very tough to beat."

Djokovic will play the winner of the semifinal match between Fernando Gonzalez, and Simon's doubles partner John Isner. When asked if he would give his partner any advice for a showdown with Djokovic, Simon smiled and stated, "I will tell him, that if you get to set point, take it. No, John is a smart player. Clay may not be his preferred surface, but with his serve and size, would be a very different match for Novak from today. Of course there is not guarantee it will be this. John must first play Fernando."

Simon will look to rebound in his third exhibition of the year next week, this time on grass.
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Old 07-31-2010, 12:08 AM   #12
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great one
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Old 07-31-2010, 12:15 AM   #13
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Thanks for the advice
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Old 08-01-2010, 03:09 AM   #14
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Isner's Hopes And Dreams Crushed And Ruined By Opponent Gonzalez


John Isner's wildest dreams were crushed and destroyed by Chilean Fernando Gonzalez today at the exhibition tournament that has caught the world's eyes. "It is unbelievable, how did I play so poorly?" asked Isner, who served 1 ace and 43 double-faults (all but one serve in the first set, plus around half in the 2nd) Isner created 22 break points for himself, but only broke Gonzalez once, causing the Chilean to smash his racquet against a small puppy. However, Gonzalez would break back the next game with an Isner double fault at Ad-Out, causing Isner to break down in tears. "I had always dreamed to win an exhibition trophy, but now it could never happen. I am destroyed, crushed, saddened, depressed, and other synonyms for unhappy".

Isner's broken, unachieved dreams overshadowed a solid victory for Gonzalez. The Bomber's press conference was overshadowed by rumors of an overdose of pain medication from Isner. "It is tough, you know, " said Columbian Alejandro Falla, "I have had some tough losses in my career but never anything like this." Isner is currently recovering from the minor disappointment at the New York Psychiatric Hospital
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Old 08-01-2010, 03:13 AM   #15
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Falla? That's hilarious
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