Category Archives: Gilles Simon

Upsets Aren’t Always Upsetting

Yesterday, Gilles Simon brushed aside Fernando Verdasco with the loss of just four games. From the sounds of it, Fernando had a bit of a ‘mare, but it’s still great to see Gilles notching up another good win this week. Have to admit, there were times this year when I was questioning whether he would ever find his way back to the top 20, let alone the top ten, but he has had some good results in this fall and long may they continue. I’m interested to see him play in the next round. Of course winning is the main priority, but I won’t be content until he is hugging the baseline, redirecting shots to all parts on the court, and generally just playing like the old, more cunning, intelligent and aggressive Gilles Simon.

As for Fernando, the last few weeks have been pretty grim. His US Open performance (who can forget that legendary match point?) gave a lot of people reason to be optimistic, but he has really undone that in the past few weeks. It’s actually quite crazy that he’s even in with a chance of making the World Tour Finals considering the way he has played since the US Open, but there is still a chance so he better show up in Paris and make it count.

And there was also a huge win for Juan Monaco against Andy Murray. Considering all the injury problems he has had this year, it’s great to see him playing well again and backing up that semifinal finish in Shanghai. I’ve always been surprised by his record against Murray. He had never beaten Andy before yesterday, but most of their matches have gone the distance. On paper, Murray should really swat away most counterpunchers, but Juan has a hell of a lot of heart so it’s extremely pleasing when he puts in a result like this.

Posted in Fernando Verdasco, Gilles Simon, Juan Monaco, Valencia | 1 Comment

Fighting Back

Over in Montpellier, Gilles Simon defeated David Nalbandian in the second round. It made for pretty interesting watching. David dominated the earlier exchanged; his silky groundstrokes and deft touch just too good for a frustratingly passive Gilles. The rallies raged on and as David continued to penetrate the defence of Gilles, Gilles became visibly frustrated, chatting (read: bitching) to himself throughout the match.

This all continued til 6-4 *5-4 when the pair found themselves in a number of extended rallies. Finally a switch flicked in Gilles’ head as he began to work his web, cunningly using Nalbandians strokes against him by deflecting and redirecting them to various points and angles on the court. He broke back and eventually he stole the second set on the tiebreaker. The third set followed a similar plan as Nalbandian went up a break early on, however Gilles pegged him back and eventually would go on to finish him off 7-6 in the third.

This was certainly a missed opportunity for Nalbandian, but also a reminder that Gilles is still fighting his way back to the top. Two years ago he was winning these matches all the time, and he was easily one of the most mentally strong players around. I haven’t seen that kind of competitiveness from him since the knee injury but it’s great to see it’s still there. With more wins like this, his confidence will only rise until he is be able to step in and play with the skill and aggression that took him all the way up to #6 in the world.

Tomorrow he’ll face Tsonga. It may only be the quarters of an ATP 250 match, but it will be a massive deal for both. After all, the Davis Cup finals are in a month’s time and both will want to make a statement. Should be fascinating.

Posted in Gilles Simon, Other ATP Events | 3 Comments

Papa Gilles Simon

For those of you still doubting that Gilles Simon could ever impregnate a woman, here’s some proof. Cute, no?

Posted in ATP Offcourt, Gilles Simon | Leave a comment

And The Winners Are: Simon Wins In Metz, Kleybanova in Seoul

Metz Final: G. Simon def. M. Zverev 6-3 6-2

After over a year of injury woes, it’s great to see Gilles healthy and back playing well. He has a few points to defend between now and the end of the year, but if he can continue to keep on improving his form and confidence, it will put him in a good position going into 2011.

His girlfriend, Carine was also present and she was crying after he won. Gilles went into the crowd and they hugged it out for about an hour, maybe longer. He spoke in his speech about how tough the last year has been with all the injury problems as well as Carine herself and their new son, Timothy. They seem very happy.

Seoul Final: A. Kleybanova def. K. Zakopalova 6-1 6-3

Big things were expected of Kleybs this year. Though I have been skeptical myself, it is still good to see her playing well again. Also a good tournament for Kookie (Klara’s surname used to be Koukalova). She has had a pretty good year herself; reaching the second week of Wimbledon out of nowhere, and it’s nice to see her rising again.

Tashkent Final: A. Kudryavtseva def. E. Vesnina 6-4 6-4

Princess Alla wins her first title. Elena fails. Sadly, I’m beginning to doubt if Elena will ever get that first title. It’s reminiscent of Elena the greater when she reaches slam finals.

Bucharest Final: J. Chela def. P. Andujar 7-5 6-1


Posted in Aisa Kleybanova, Elena Vesnina, Gilles Simon, Metz, Other ATP Events, Other WTA Events, Seoul | 2 Comments

Family > Tennis

Firstly, congratulations to Gilles. His girlfriend Carine gave birth to a baby boy on thursday called Timotheé. Our little Poussin is growing up! The story has circulated over the last few days and it emerged that the baby was a month premature and Gilles had actually planned to help deliver the baby. He was torn between withdrawing and immediately flying back to France to be with Carine, and playing on in the tournament. He decided to play on and he ended up to defeating Philipp Kohlschreiber in a fifth set on Friday. Considering all the knee problems he has had over the last year and a half, thank god he decided to play on because it was a much-needed win after a series of losses. After the match he spoke about his upcoming match with Rafa, saying a win would be “fabulous” and a loss would be “even more fabulous” as he would be able to get back home and see his son.

It turned out to be even more fabulous as he lost to Rafa today 6-4 6-4 6-2. I’m very satisfied with this. Gilles actually played pretty well in the first set and he is slowly beginning to resemble the old Gilles Simon. He had a load of half-chances on Rafa’s serve in those sets and the two breaks were completely avoidable. It’s just about getting his mental side back to what it was when he rose to #6 in the world. But considering the circumstances, a lack of conviction and concentration it’s completely understandable. Rafa seems to be getting better and better with every match. This was definitely good for him. After playing two big hitters, Rafa was able to play a completely different gamestyle, as well and someone who knows how to beat him (No, i’m not ever going to stop linking you to that match.) There were some long, grueling rallies that Rafa had to work his hardest to win and that will help him later on in the tournament.

I’m excited to see if Rafa can continue this form throughout this tournament and I’m also excited to see if Gilles can continue to improve in the indoor season. So basically, I’m very excited. I’m Ana Ivanovic.

Posted in Gilles Simon, Rafael Nadal, US Open | Leave a comment

Shock! Ivanovic Fights Back To Take Out Azarenka In Cincy

WTA Cincinnati (Premier 5):

Not too many people thought Ana Ivanovic stood a chance against Bank Of The West Classic Champion Victoria Azarenka on Monday night. As the draw was released on Saturday, Ivanovic fans worldwide sobbed and groaned at the luck of facing a recent titlist in the first round. However, Ivanovic exceeded all expectations as she recovered from 6-2 5-3 down to defeat Victoria Azarenka in three sets. She was aided greatly by her younger opponent, it must be said, as Azarenka served 3 (THREE!) double faults while serving for the match. She gave her opponent a second chance, and Ivanovic was smart enough to take it. Eventually the Serb closed out the match 2-6 7-6(6) 6-2.

That match raises two important questions; ‘Will Ivanovic be able to use the win to spur her on?’ Two weeks ago in Stanford she brushed aside Kleybanova, but as belief and hope poured back into the minds of Ivanovic fans, she was easily dismissed in the very next round by Bartoli. She seems to have no problem playing well when under no pressure but as soon as people begin to expect from her, she usually collapses in the most horrific fashion. She plays Yaroslava Shvedova next and though she will undoubtebly be seen as the favourite by many after last night, Shvedova is a talented young player and more than capable of taking Ivanovic out. The second question raised is whether there will be any real champions in the future. The players to emerge out of Azarenka’s era are seemingly either weak mentally or without anywhere near the tools and weaponry of yesteryear’s champions. The next few years will surely answer that question.

Elsewhere, Ivanovic’s fellow Serb Bojana Jovanovski created a stir as she took out Madrid Champion Aravane Rezai in three. I actually had a chance to meet BoJo at Eastbourne this year and she is a lovely girl with a fiery game so it’s great to see her doing so well. Ivanovic’s BFF Dinara Safina also found herself a rare win, defeating Roberta Vinci to advance to her second round match-up with Kim Clijsters. Could she draw inspiration from her BFF’s win last night and come away the victor? Interesting times ahead.

ATP Rogers Cup, Toronto (1000):


Over in the Rogers Cup, things were a lot quieter with only one match going to three sets in the first round. In what was supposed to be the more interesting match-up, Mikhail Youzhny defeated Gilles Simon in straight sets. Simon was leading 4-1 in set two before rain stopped play. When they came back out, Youzhny reeled off five games in a row to impressively take the match and move on into the second round. Gilles continued to moan and have long, animated conversations with himself after every point he lost and even some that he won. He seems to be suffering a huge crisis of confidence and for anyone who dislikes Simon, now would be the perfect time to label him a ‘pusher’ because he is certainly playing like one.

The performance of the day was without a doubt Ernests Gulbis’ demolition of Thomaz Bellucci. Even after going walkabouts for the first three games in set two, Gulbis recovered well and continued to crush the ball time and time again. This was without a doubt his best performance since coming back from that nasty hamstring injury and it is so amazing to watch him in that kind of form. He moves on to face everyone’s bestie Robin Soderling tomorrow, in a match which promises to be ‘Big (boy) tennis’ in its purest form.

Rafole were edged out by wildcarded duo Pospisil/Raonic 10-8 in the third in what can’t be described as that much of a shock. Mens Doubles is dominated by serve and neither (currently) posses a huge serve or are comfortable enough at the net. Coupled with the fact that they have gone from being fierce rivals to the odd sensation of playing as a team and a loss is also inevitable. If they do play together more in the future (and i’ll be praying to God that they do), it is likely they would become more comfortable on court and play as a team rather than two singles players.

Both tournaments really kick off on Tuesday with match-ups such as Kuznetsova vs Sharapova, Ferrer vs Nalbandian, Gulbis vs Soderling, Gonzalez vs Monfils, Hantuchova vs Pavlyuchenkova and Pennetta vs Zheng all taking place. Don’t miss it.

Posted in Ana Ivanovic, Bojana Jovanovski, Cincinnati, Dinara Safina, Gilles Simon, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Toronto, Victoria Azarenka | Leave a comment