Gilles Simon met the press the day after a grinding 4-hour, 43-minute win over Gael Monfils Saturday night in Hisense Arena. The match, far from one of the prettiest you will ever see, featured plenty of histrionics, hi-jinx and hilarity as the two Frenchman fought through 71-points rallies and a variety of injuries, ailments and incongruous play.
Simon was so fatigued that after his on-court interview he had to helped back to the locker room for treatment. So Sunday, with his body somewhat back in balance, he spoke about the whole ordeal and having to now face a fit and ready Andy Murray on Monday.
Q. How are you feeling today after the extraordinary match last night?
GILLES SIMON: Of course a bit tired. Just try to recover as good as possible for tomorrow. Just gonna work on this today.
Q. What is the biggest problem? Forearm or your leg?
GILLES SIMON: It’s everything. (Laughter.)
I’m never cramping on the court normally before this one, so it was a very strange feeling for me. I felt at the end of the second set that it will be very hard to continue to play, and I was just hoping I would feel better.
So I decided to rest a little bit on the court, play different tennis for the third and fourth set, and try to give everything in the fifth. But I think I got lucky to win this one, because it was 2 0, and I’m sure that if he had won his game to make it 3 0 it would be an easy win for him.
Q. Could you just clear up for us, please, what happened after the match? Were you taken to hospital, or were you just treated here?
GILLES SIMON: No, just here. But, yes, I was in a bad shape.
I felt I played the end of the match like in a dream, like I was not even on the court. I was just hitting the ball, trying to run, trying to catch it, and not thinking anymore.
I was too tired to be happy or upset or thinking or I think at the end of the match I just, you know, completely lost control.
Q. How many hours of treatment did you need before you could go back to your hotel and go to sleep?
GILLES SIMON: I slept at 5:00, so I think 3:00 or three or four hours.
Q. What sort of treatment? What were you getting?
GILLES SIMON: I don’t know. First hour I don’t know. First hour I think I just lie down on the table. (Laughter.)
No, I just had to no, there is no miracle, so a massage, stretching, because all the part of the body were painful. Just had to sleep, woke up at 2:00, so I hope I won’t play first tomorrow. (Smiling.)
And that’s it. Trying to eat well, sleep, stretch one more time this afternoon.
Q. Have you actually asked to play at night, if possible, tomorrow or later in the day?
GILLES SIMON: I think it’s gonna be this way, anyway.
Q. You think it’s going to be night?
GILLES SIMON: Yeah, you can’t put someone the night session and then first match two days after. I will try my best.
Q. What did you think of that match? Because there was one point that lasted 71 shots. There were a couple others that went 47. What was going on there?
GILLES SIMON: We always play some long points with Gaël. I think every match we play, I’m not sure we made it to 70 shots, but 60 at least, for sure.
But usually I know it is hard physically to play against him because the points are long, we have to run. But I felt like I was in good control in the first two sets, and one more time the problem is I couldn’t practice as much as I wanted to before this tournament.
I know I was a bit short physically, but after two sets never happen to me to be in that position. So I hope that I would be able to win 6 4, 6 4, 6 3, and it would be nice.
Unfortunately I couldn’t make it. Really on the last forehand in the second set I felt like I couldn’t move anymore, and then it was a long way to win.
Q. Was it purely cramping? The treatment you were getting was just above the knee.
GILLES SIMON: Yeah. I have the pain here, but one more time, it was too painful everywhere. I don’t even know where I had a cramp here, cramp here (Pointing to chin, leg) even not possible to cramp.
Q. What are your thoughts about playing Murray now? I don’t want to worsen your pain, but your record against him isn’t that good.
GILLES SIMON: No, you’re right. (Smiling.)
And I was in better shape when I was going on the court.
Q. Not in Monte Carlo you weren’t.
GILLES SIMON: With Andy, I don’t have to explain to you how strong he is. Of course it will be really, really difficult, but at the moment I just happy that I won the last one, and I will just try to go and take my chance even if I don’t have a lot of chance to win this one, but this is my job to go on the court and to do the maximum to bother him and to give him a hard time.
Q. Just to clarify, have you actually been told when you’re playing tomorrow or have you put in a request?
GILLES SIMON: No.
Q. So you’re waiting to hear?
GILLES SIMON: I don’t decide. (Smiling.)
Q. Are you worried about how your body will react tomorrow?
GILLES SIMON: Yes, but I have no choice. So one more time, I will just do my best to be ready for the match. And the thing is it’s difficult to win 6 2, 6 3, 6 2 against Andy. I’m not sure if we play longer than that that I will be able to make it to the end.
One more time, I just want to go on the court and try my best at the moment, and we will see tomorrow.
Q. Did the doctors advise you at all to pull out of the tournament, or is it your determination that’s carrying you on?
GILLES SIMON: No, I was worried just a bit, but today was fine. No problem.
Q. A bunch of other players were tweeting during your match about how crazy they thought it was. Did you hear any messages from anybody else about what you did last night?
GILLES SIMON: Yesterday I was really focused on feeling better just, so I will have more time today for this. But the first hours after the match you have to do all you can to feel better, one more time stretch, and so I will do it today and I will check it today.
Q. Andy has worked an awful lot on his physique, and he’s got such a strong guy. Do you sometimes wish you could be a big muscled player?
GILLES SIMON: There is no way I will be one day like him, first, because 10 centimeters more is not easy, even if you work out.
But I think he improved a lot. I remember when he was still in the first years. He was an awesome player already, but physically, you know, sometimes he was cramping. I saw him last time. Yeah, he could be tired.
It’s a long time I never saw him tired on the court anymore. I know he’s working hard outside the court to be ready. That’s part of our job.
So for sure he will have the advantage tomorrow for this, but I just want to focus on my game, and then what I can do tomorrow to try to disturb him a little bit.
Q. Do you think the match last night was one of the most difficult matches you have ever played physically?
GILLES SIMON: Yes, of course. I didn’t play that often four hours 45 minutes. So I have three or four difficult match in mind, but this one was a special one because I was because one more time, it was the first time in this happen to me on the court, so it was not easy to deal with it.
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