“Too many things become difficult,” says future retiree Gilles Simon

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Paris (AFP) – “Too many things are becoming difficult”: Gilles Simon, 37, told AFP on Monday why he had decided to end his career at the end of the year. take advantage of the last few months to play. “one last time on the grass.”

Q: What factor triggered your decision?

A: “It goes slowly and the time comes when you tell yourself + there it is, there is nothing else to do, too many things become difficult +. Every year I have three years in my body. When I was young, I went I left on Sunday morning, I trained on Sunday afternoon and I was able to play on Monday. he doesn’t move, he doesn’t react anymore, I can’t afford to go all the way because of the risk of injury, which means we often stop, that’s when you can no longer play at the Grand Slam tables. In my ranking (160th), going back to the top 100 means winning 5 or 6 Challengers (2nd Division) this season, can my body do that? I played several games this year in Challengers 2:30, 3:00, where I know I can’t play the next day, but when I’m on the field and I’m playing, there’s a game. what happens more and more is that there is not a single party. I used to say + I’ll eat you all physically, I don’t care if it can last as long as you want, I’m in pain but if I’m in pain you’re still more in pain than I am, so that’s fine +. Now it’s the other way around, it’s me who hurts me before the others. I get into a trap where I feel like it’s not possible to reverse this machine, so I’d rather tell myself that there are tournaments I want to play … until the end of the year. “

Q: What tournaments?

A: “There are a lot of Challengers that I’m happy to do because people are happy to see me. A tournament like the one in Metz, I want to play it because I’ve won it three times, twice ahead of my kids. Yes “I can qualify for the US Open, I’ll be super happy. I want to play on the grass for the last time, my favorite surface, and that’s why I don’t stop at Roland Garros.”

Gilles Simon on June 22, 2019, during the Queens London Lawn Tournament Ben STANSALL AFP / Archives

Q: Do you regret it?

A: “No. Obviously, in the semifinals in Toronto (2008) I lost 7-6 in the 3rd set over Kiefer, it was a game that was won. Obviously the final in Shanghai (2014) against Roger (Federer) was win, I lost 7-6, 7-6, I served for the match, I had seven points in the first and second, it’s a match I can win a thousand times Obviously half of the Masters (2008) against Novak was definitely winable “.

Q: Did you suffer from a lack of notoriety compared to your French contemporaries Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gaël Monfils and Richard Gasquet?

A: “No. Me, Gaël and Richard were abnormally charismatic. I, even when I’m not Top5 or Top10, have the image of it. “Open in the United States. Richard, he’s famous for his results when he was little. Don’t fight these things. And I don’t care anywhere, and that’s fine for me. .. Richard has always been well known, I do the final directly in Australia, he blows up Rafa … I, I come and say + what do you do, how do you look at the Masters? + But I think so, time, people see that you are still there and after a while you get a little respect. “

Q: Between Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, who is the best player of all time?

A: “The one I found strongest because the most complete was Novak. But they’re three monsters, three absolute geniuses. Putting one on top is almost disrespecting the other two. J I wish all three of them were finished. with 20 Grand Slam titles “.

Gilles Simon, during the first round in Roland-Garros, May 30, 2021
Gilles Simon, during the first round in Roland-Garros, May 30, 2021 Anne-Christine POUJOULAT AFP / Archives

Q: What will you do next year?

A: “I want to take care of my children. At the end of the year they will be 9 and 12 years old, it’s time for them to discover their father. And once I get them drunk, I’ll do something else. Tennis is my passion, so I’ll try something but what I don’t know. “

Interview with Igor GEDILAGHINE

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