Gilles Simon: “I’m just lucky to be a tennis player, it’s what I always wanted to be”

“I have always seen and felt myself as a tennis player” But “every game” played in the Masters 1000 in Paris this week “Remember Why I Stopped”Gilles Simon, who ended his career at 37, said at a press conference after losing to Felix Auger-Aliassime in the round of 16 on Thursday.

How did you experience the farewell?
“During the match, I was tired, I was not injured, but my body was not reacting. I tried to push, but it was too hard. I felt it very early. I was expecting it, so it’s not a big surprise. Now I still feel tired and my left leg hurts. But it doesn’t matter now. I feel a lot of emotions coming up, but I’m too tired to deal with them right now. It’s been a very, very long week. »

What feelings are in your mind?
“I’m really calm because I was sure of my decision. Every game this week reminded me why I was so confident: the stress before the game, the pain after the game, when it came together… It was getting harder to bear. There is an entire part of your career that you advance. At some point, there’s the same stress, the same pain, but you’re not winning anymore… It’s not quite the same when you feel like you’re not making any progress. And that’s why stress and pain increase with age. This week, after two matches (his first two round wins against Andy Murray and Taylor Fritz, editor’s note), I’m completely drained, which reminds me why I stopped. Part of him was relieved that this was over. There are many things I love, tennis has always been my passion, but it’s not all bliss from 8am to bedtime. Some of the stops I won’t miss: pre-match white chicken and rice, airports… I have a list. »

Do you have any regrets?
“Could it be better, could it be worse? For over twenty years, yes, in both directions. That’s why I don’t usually have it. I’m lucky to be a tennis player, it’s what I always wanted to be. I was a professional tennis player, I did it for a very long time and I could stop where I wanted: three times I was lucky. »

What will you miss?
” Play tennis. I’ve always loved it, I play it all the time. The only thing that puts me off is that I can’t do it anymore, I’m in too much pain. I’m a tennis player in my head; and whatever I do next, I’ll be a tennis player. I quit because I can’t go on anymore. If only I was in good shape and could play normally if I had known, I would have played for another twenty years. I started playing tennis at the age of six, I was already at the French championship at the age of ten, I was playing sports at thirteen, it was a long way. The main thing that I will miss is this: I have always seen and felt as a tennis player, tomorrow morning and I’m not anymore. I know that the urge to pass on will be there at some point, but I don’t know yet in what form and when, because for me there is something more important than passing on at the moment, and that’s my family. . . .

How do you respond to people who find your game boring?
“The spectators, thanks to them, we can live with our passion, they pay for their seats, if they find the match boring, they have the right to say so. They have the right to say whether they like the movie or not. I have a specific game, other players have my style. For me as a gamer, this is no less interesting, but I completely understand. The difficult thing is that when you play with Andy (Murray), for example, there is a tactical dimension and, obviously, great skill during the match, but it is invisible. Because it’s nothing super impressive. But the balls slow down as they should, hit the right places… It’s very difficult and takes a lot of skill, rather than just hitting over time, which we see most players do, but it still seems more effective. It’s easier to understand and more awesome. When Jo (Tsonga) goes 220 km/h and jumps fast, I think it’s fantastic, but I don’t know how to do it…”


After a spectacular last run, it’s now official #RolexParisMasters, Gilles Simon’s adventure is over. ❌️

? 37 years old
? 20-year career
? 14 tracks
? Past No. 6

Thanks for everything Gillou. ??❤

— Universe Tennis ? (@UniversTennis) November 3, 2022

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