“You get what you pay for when you see Gilles Simon play! » The compliment is signed by the announcer of Roland-Garros. On the central court of the Parisian tournament, Saturday May 28, Marc Maury specifies at the microphone that the person concerned has played since the start of his career 14 Grand Slam matches of more than 4:30 a.m. A statistic that sums up the character Gilles Simon well , a player who often makes the pleasure last on the court.
Four days after Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, another “Musketeer” said goodbye to Roland-Garros on the Philippe-Chatrier court. After listening to the “Gilou” chanted by the spectators, Gilles Simon received an honorary trophy to the cheers of the public. Unlike Manceau, the Niçois will continue his career until the end of the year.
His quick defeat against the Croatian Marin Cilic (6-0, 6-3, 6-2) in the third round of the tournament does not eclipse the two previous victories, against the Spaniard Pablo Carreño Busta and the American Steve Johnson (his 500e on the ATP circuit). Dropped to 158e rank in the ATP rankings and out of victory on the circuit for months, the 37-year-old player honored the invitation of the organizers.
“I had the chance to play my best tennis in the first round… which hadn’t been there for a while anyway. It was unexpectedrecognized the French at the end of the meeting, before greeting his opponent of the day. Marin is someone who is very discreet, but he is really a huge champion. If it had to stop today, I would have been super happy for it to stop against him because we [disputé] great matches. »
Renowned for its science of the game
Ranked sixth in the world in January 2009, winner of 14 singles tournaments and the Davis Cup with the France team in 2017, the man who is recognized by his peers for his game science has never gone beyond the eighth stage. final at the Porte d’Auteuil.
“I did some good and bad things on the pitch. The good things are a bit dated… My children doubt that I could play tennis well. I’m glad they saw that. I am happy to have left them this memory. he rejoiced at the end of the match, turning to his family present in the boxes.
Not the best server on the circuit, but not the last to serve as humor in an interview, Mr. Simon then made the stands laugh by talking about his physical condition after twenty years of professional career: “It’s a lot of work, but also a lot of suffering. I am at three Voltaren and six Doliprane before the match. All that’s left is the morphine and then…”
After turning the page on his seventeenth and last Roland, the future retiree from the courts promised to give ” all that [lui] rest “ by the end of the year. Before putting away the snowshoes for good.