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Gilles Simon

tennis player

Nickname: Gilou
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Bio Gilles Simon was born in Nice but grew up in Fontenay-sous-Bois, outside Paris.

Supported by his parents, he started playing tennis at the age of six. Owing to a growth delay that runs in the family, he was shorter than most children of his age during his early teenage years. This is the reason he cites Michael Chang as a major influence, as his comparatively small frame proved that size was not the only factor in playing tennis.

Simon began his professional tennis career in the summer of 2002, competing at multiple Futures tournaments in France before playing in tournaments outside the country of his birth. His first Futures title came in Lisbon, Portugal, in June 2003, and he reached the quarterfinals of three other tournaments. He then captured his second title in Jamaica in September. During 2004, he saw three wins in France and another in Algeria.

In January 2005, he won his first ATP Challenger hard court tournament in Nouméa, New Caledonia, and defended it the following year. Ranked as world no. 113, Simon made his Grand Slam debut at the 2005 French Open, losing in the first round to Olivier Patience in four sets.

In 2006, Simon competed at the first grand slam of the year, the Australian Open, where he beat Nicolás Massú and Tomáš Berdych before being defeated by No. 13 Thomas Johansson in the third round. After his result in the tournament, he broke into the top 100 for the first time, climbing to no. 89.

The Frenchman reached his first ATP Tour final in Valencia with wins over Andreas Seppi in the quarterfinal and Fernando Verdasco in the semifinal, but lost to Nicolás Almagro. He also made it to the semifinals in Casablanca, as well as the round of 16 in both the ATP Masters Series tournaments in Monte Carlo and Hamburg. At the end of the year Simon was ranked 45th in the world.

At the beginning of 2007, Simon won his first ATP title at the Open 13 in, Marseille, France. En route to the final, Simon beat Lleyton Hewitt, Jonas Björkman, and Robin Söderling. In the final, Simon defeated Marcus Baghdatis.

In September, he won his second title of the year and of his career at the BCR Open Romania in Bucharest, Romania. He defeated Victor Hănescu in the final He broke into the top 30 for the first time on November 5 and finished the year as no. 29 in the world. By the end of the year, his career record against top-10 players was 4–5.

In 2008, Simon reached the quarterfinals in Marseille, defeating world no. 3 Novak Djokovic, in the second round. He reached the semifinals in Rotterdam the next week.
In May, he entered Casablanca as a qualifier due to his late entry to the tournament, even though his ranking was high enough to be seeded. Simon went on to win the tournament by defeating Julien Benneteau in the final. After his third-round loss to countryman Richard Gasquet at Wimbledon, Simon left Europe for the United States to familiarize himself with the hard courts before the U.S. Open Series. He competed in the Indianapolis Tennis Championships and hit a career-best no. 25. He beat Tommy Haas and Sam Querrey before reaching the final. He won the tournament by beating the defending champion Dmitry Tursunov in straight sets.
The following week, he competed at the Rogers Cup in Toronto, including a win over world no. 1 Roger Federer in the second round, before losing in the semifinals to German veteran Nicolas Kiefer. This resulted in an entry into the top 15, three ranks behind the French no. 1, Richard Gasquet.
Simon participated in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, playing in the singles for France alongside Paul-Henri Mathieu, Michaël Llodra, and Gaël Monfils. He played doubles with Monfils, but lost in the first round to the Indian team of Bhupathi and Paes. In singles the Frenchman reached the third round, with victories over the Swede Robin Söderling and the Argentine Guillermo Cañas before falling to James Blake.
At the US Open, Simon was seeded number 16. On day 6, he lost in the third round to the 17th seed Juan Martín del Potro, in a five-set match that lasted 3 hours and 47 minutes.
On September 14, Simon won his third title of the year and fifth ATP title, defeating Carlos Moyà at the 2008 BCR Open Romania. Simon entered the 2008 Madrid Masters the following month, defeating no. 11 James Blake and no. 14 Ivo Karlović to reach the semifinals. In the semifinals, he defeated world no. 1 Rafael Nadal in three sets, in a match that lasted 3 hours and 23 minutes. Simon lost the final to world no.4 Andy Murray in straight sets. The tournament boosted Simon to a career-high world no. 10, displacing Richard Gasquet as French no. 1. By the end of 2008, France had four players in the top 20 (Simon, Tsonga, Gasquet, and Monfils), for the first time since computer rankings were established in 1973. The French paper L'Equipe grouped the four player as néo-Mousquetaires. French TV Canal+ went on to produce a documentary series that followed the four French players and their touring around the world. The series "Les 4 Mousquetaires" went on the air for two seasons during 2009 and 2010.
On November 3, he qualified for the Tennis Masters Cup, a tournament usually reserved for the world's top eight players in Shanghai, after Rafael Nadal withdrew due to knee complications and fatigue. He was drawn in the red group with Roger Federer, Andy Murray, and Andy Roddick. In his first round-robin match, he beat defending champion Federer. Simon lost to Murray in his next match, but followed it with a victory over Radek Štěpánek, who replaced the injured Roddick. After Murray defeated Federer in the final round-robin match, Simon qualified for the semifinals, where he lost to world no. 3 Novak Djokovic in three sets. After this, he achieved a career high of world no. 7.
In December, he played in the newly formed Masters France exhibition tournament for the eight French players who had performed best at the four French tournaments. He qualified from the round-robin group stage with victories against Julien Benneteau, Marc Gicquel, and Josselin Ouanna. In the final against Michaël Llodra, Llodra pulled out with a shoulder injury, resulting in Simon's becoming the inaugural winner of the tournament.

Simon started 2009 off rising to a new career high of world no. 6 and played at the Hopman Cup, teaming up with compatriot Alizé Cornet to form the French mixed doubles duo.
Simon played at the first grand slam of the year, the 2009 Australian Open, as the sixth seed, winning against Pablo Andújar in the first round. He also competed with Jérémy Chardy as his partner in the doubles, but the pair was defeated by Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjić in the first round. The second round saw him beat Chris Guccione in four sets. He defeated Mario Ančić in the third round, winning in straight sets, advancing to his fourth-round encounter with compatriot Gaël Monfils. Simon was leading in the first two sets before Monfils retired due to a wrist injury. He then played world no. 1 Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals, where he was dispatched, although he had two set points in the second set.

He participated in the Davis Cup with other French team members Michaël Llodra, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and Richard Gasquet. The team competed against the Czech Republic from 6–8 March. Simon lost to Tomáš Berdych, and then played Radek Štěpánek (whom his fellow team member Tsonga beat). Simon lost to Štěpánek, which gave the Czechs a 3–1 lead, and France was out of the Davis Cup in the first round for the first time since 2000.

He went into the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami ranked no. 7 in the world. After early round wins over former world no. 1 Lleyton Hewitt and Rainer Schüttler, he lost to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the fourth round. Simon competed at the Monte Carlo Masters against Andreas Beck in the men's singles, suffering a first-round loss. This result caused his world ranking to drop 2 spots down to no.9.
Simon played at the Estoril Open as the top seed, before losing to Albert Montañés, in the third round. He competed with fellow players Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Jérémy Chardy, forming the French team at the ARAG World Team Cup in Düsseldorf. He lost to Robin Söderling and Rainer Schüttler.
He entered Roland Garros as the seventh seed and defeated Wayne Odesnik in five sets in the first round, and Robert Kendrick in straight sets. He was ousted by Victor Hănescu in the third round. During his third-round match, he also injured his right knee. Although he finished the match, this knee injury turned into a chronic problem that bothered him for a long time.
Simon competed at the Aegon Championships at Queens as the third seed, where he beat Grigor Dimitrov, but lost to Mikhail Youzhny in the third round. At Wimbledon, Simon was the eighth seed. He defeated Bobby Reynolds and Thiago Alves in the first two rounds. He defeated Victor Hănescu in the third round with a comfortable victory. He was ousted in the fourth round by unseeded Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero.
Simon was the top seed at Stuttgart's MercedesCup and defeated Philipp Petzschner in the first round in straight sets before falling to Mischa Zverev. At the 2009 International German Open, after receiving a bye in the first round, he lost to wildcard Daniel Brands.
During the 2009 US Open Series, he played at the 2009 Rogers Cup where he lost to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the third round. One week later, he played at the 2009 Western & Southern Financial Group Masters and Women's Open in Cincinnati, where he defeated Nikolay Davydenko en route to the quarterfinals, where he would lose to world no. 4 Novak Djokovic. At the 2009 US Open, Simon equalled his best result of third round before retiring with a right knee injury during his third-round match against Juan Carlos Ferrero.
Simon then won his first title of 2009 at the 2009 PTT Thailand Open, where he defeated Viktor Troicki in the final. In Tokyo, Simon was third seeded, but fell to Mikhail Youzhny in the second round. A week later he played at the Shanghai Masters as the eight seed and received a bye in the first round. He beat Viktor Troicki and Tomáš Berdych, but lost to Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals.
Simon returned to France to play in Lyon and lost in the semifinal to Michaël Llodra. At the next tournament in Valencia, he lost to Mikhail Youzhny in the quarterfinal. He continued to Bercy to play at the BNP Paribas Masters. He was seeded 11th and had a first-round bye. In the second round, he faced Ivan Ljubičić, whom he had never beaten in three previous meetings. In the third set of the match, Simon has a break point to go up. While lunging to return a wide serve, he aggravated a right knee injury that has been bothering him for half of the 2009 season. Although with his movement severely hampered, Simon decided to play on to finish the match in front of an enthusiastic home crowd. He went on to win the match. Two days later, he played his R3 match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and lost.
In an interview during the Paris tournament, Simon said that the doctor had recommended that he take at least two months to recover from his knee injury.

Gilles started the 2010 season with an exhibition event, the World Tennis Challenge in Adelaide. It started badly for him, as he struggled with injury. He lost three straight matches, including to the home favorite Bernard Tomic. Simon pulled out of the Australian Open due to his knee injury. He did not make any appearances in the 2010 season until mid-February, at the 2010 Open 13 tournament in Marseille. As the fifth seed, he lost in the first round to Olivier Rochus in Marseille. He then participated in the 2010 Dubai Tennis Championships as the eighth seed, but lost in the first round to Marcos Baghdatis. Continuing to struggle, he lost to Brian Dabul, in the second round of the 2010 BNP Paribas Open Masters 1000 in Indian Wells. He also lost to Horacio Zeballos in the second round of the 2010 Sony Ericsson Open.
The right knee injury eventually caused Simon to miss the entire spring European clay season, including the French Open. He returned to the tour in mid-June, winning two rounds in Eastbourne before losing to Michaël Llodra, in the quarterfinals. At the 2010 Wimbledon tournament Simon reached the third round with one win, due to a second-round walkover (Illya Marchenko), before losing to Andy Murray. He began the summer US hard court season by participating in the Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington, D.C. and won two rounds of matches, including a win over top 10 player Andy Roddick. He lost in the quarterfinals to David Nalbandian in three sets. However, he suffered first-round defeats in his next two ATP Masters 1000 series tournaments, the 2010 Rogers Cup in Toronto and the 2010 Western & Southern Financial Group Masters and Women's Open in Cincinnati, showing that he still had a long way to go to return to his top form and regain his confidence. He moved on to New York to take part in US Open, reaching the third round by defeating Donald Young in three sets and Philipp Kohlschreiber in five sets. He went on to meet the no. 1 player Rafael Nadal in the third round. Before the match, upon hearing about the birth of Simon's son, Nadal jokingly offered to buy Simon a flight ticket back to Europe to see his son before the match. Simon stayed, and lost to the eventual champion Nadal in three sets.
After the US Open, Simon was picked to represent France in the semifinal of the Davis Cup because Tsonga was unavailable due to injury. He did not play any live rubber, but defeated Eduardo Schwank in a dead rubber.

Simon then entered 2010 Open de Moselle as a wildcard. Originally, he did not plan to play the tournament because his son was supposed to be due that week. He took his newly extended family to Metz and eventually won the tournament by beating Mischa Zverev in the final. This was his seventh career title, coming only weeks after the birth of his first child. During the award ceremony, he thanked his girlfriend for the support and called the victory a "family effort."
The rest of 2010 was more ups and downs, indicating that after returning from the serious knee injury, he was still struggling to find his consistency. He went on to participate in two Asian tournaments. He beat Sam Querrey and Michael Berrer to reach the quarterfinals of the China Open in Beijing, but lost to Djokovic in two relatively easy sets. He then crashed out at the first round of the Shanghai Masters to Stanislas Wawrinka in two sets. After Asia, he returned to France to play Open Sud de France in Montpellier. During his second-round encounter, he was down a set and a break to David Nalbandian before fighting back to even the match at one all. He was then down a break again before coming back to beat the seeded player in three sets. He eventually lost in the quarterfinals to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in three sets. The next tournament was the Valencia Open 500, where Simon beat two seeds (Fernando Verdasco and Nikolay Davydenko) en route to his semifinal appearance, only to lose to the Spanish qualifier Marcel Granollers in two sets. At the last tournament of the season, BNP Paribas Masters, Simon again came from behind to beat newcomer Andrey Golubev in three sets during their first-round encounter. However, in the seoncd round, after failing to convert numerous breakpoints in the beginning of set 1, a set that he eventually lost, Simon faded and lost the second set to the eventual title winner Robin Söderling in two easy sets.
In December 2010, Simon was picked to play the Davis Cup final for France, which was hosted in Belgrade, Serbia. The final was filled with controversies over which player was to be called on to play each match. France called on Simon to play Novak Djokovic in day 1, while others were expecting Michaël Llodra to play, based on Llodra's good form in the BNP Paribas Masters (including beating Djokovic in two sets). Simon lost the match in three sets. When France won the doubles and led 2–1 going into day 3, the French team seemed to be on its way to yet another Davis Cup victory. But day 3 opened with Djokovic in strong form defeating Monfils in three easy sets, leaving the championship to a deciding fifth match. The schedule originally stated that the fifth match was to be played by Janko Tipsarević and Simon. Last-minute replacement saw both replaced by their teammates Viktor Troicki and Michaël Llodra respectively. The fifth match ended in anti-climatic fashion with an overwhelming victory for Troicki in three sets. Serbia won the Davis Cup for the first time in history. France's defeat caused some to question the choice of Llodra to play Troicki when Simon has a 4–0 head-to-head record against the Serb. Nevertheless, everyone agrees that Troicki and the Serbian team had displayed convincing performances over their French opponent, and the victory was well deserved.

Simon started his 2011 campaign by entering three tournaments in Australia: Brisbane, Sydney, and the 2011 Australian Open. He lost in the first round of Brisbane to Santiago Giraldo. One week later, he beat Alexandr Dolgopolov and Ernests Gulbis in the quarterfinals and semifinals and then captured his eighth title by defeating Viktor Troicki, in the final of the Sydney International. In the Australian Open, he lost to Roger Federer in the second round in a five set match. Simon went on to defeat Nicolás Almagro in Hamburg, capturing the most important title (in terms of ATP Rankings) of his career to date.
Simon reached the fourth round of Roland Garros but lost to Robin Söderling. At Wimbledon, he lost to Juan Martín del Potro in the third round.
At the US Open, he advanced to the fourth round by defeating Ricardo Mello, Guillermo García-López, and Juan Martín del Potro before losing to John Isner.

In 2012, Simon started his season at the Brisbane International, where he made the semifinals before losing to Alexandr Dolgopolov. At the 2012 Australian Open, Simon went out in the second round to his countryman Julien Benneteau.
He made the semifinals of the Open Sud de France and the quarterfinals at Indian Wells, where he went down against John Isner. In Miami, he was defeated by Andy Murray in the fourth round. Simon reached the semifinals at the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters, defeating Janko Tipsarević and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the third round and quarterfinals, respectively. He lost in the semifinals to champion Rafael Nadal. Subsequently, he won the tournament in Bucharest, Romania, defeating Fabio Fognini in the final.
At the Masters 1000 event in Madrid, the lost in the third round to Janko Tipsarević. In Rome, he lost to David Ferrer in the third round. At the French Open he lost in the third round to Stanislas Wawrinka in five sets. At Wimbledon he lost in the second round to Xavier Malisse. He fell in the third round of the US Open to Mardy Fish.
He made the semifinals at Paris Bercy to close the year.

He started off the 2013 season once again at the Brisbane International where he lost in the quarterfinals to Marcos Baghdatis. At the 2013 Australian Open, he reached the fourth round before losing to Andy Murray. He also made it to the fourth round of the French Open, before losing to Roger Federer in five sets. At Wimbledon he lost in the first round to Feliciano Lopez. He missed the US Open due to illness.

In September, he won the Moselle Open for his 11th career title, beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final in straight sets.

Simon began his 2014 season at the Brisbane International with a shocking loss to world no.147 Marius Copil in the first round. He lost to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the third round of the 2014 Australian Open after beating both Daniel Brands (saved seven match points) and Marin Cilic in five sets.

He lost to Andy Murray despite taking the first set and serving for the match in the second at 5–3 in the quarterfinals of the 2014 Abierto Mexicano Telcel. At the Rome Masters, Simon pushed World no.1 Rafael Nadal in three sets. He made to semifinals of the 2014 Open de Nice Côte d'Azur before falling to Federico Delbonis.

Simon made back-to-back grand slam third rounds in 2014 French Open and 2014 Wimbledon Championships. At the 2014 US Open, he pull off an upset against world no.5 David Ferrer in reach the fourth round, where he was defeated by eventual champion Marin Cilic in five sets. Simon reached the final of the 2014 Shanghai Rolex Masters, upsetting Stan Wawrinka, Tomas Berdych and Feliciano Lopez. He lost to Roger Federer in two tight tiebreak sets.

Simon started 2015 slowly, losing to James Duckworth in Brisbane. He made the third round of the 2015 Australian Open, where he was defeated by David Ferrer. He reach the quarterfinals of the 2015 Open Sud de France, losing to Jerzy Janowicz. He then snapped his 12-match losing streak against Andy Murray in the quarterfinals of the 2015 ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament. However, he was defeated by Tomas Berdych in the semifinals.
He reached the fourth round at Roland Garros, losing to eventual champion Stan Wawrinka in straight sets. He later reached his second grand slam quarterfinal at Wimbledon, defeating Monfils and Berdych before losing to Roger Federer.
In September, he made the final of the Moselle Open, where he was denied a third title at the tournament in a hard-fought final by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who took his third title at the tournament instead.

In 2016, Simon, seeded no. 5, lost in the first round of the World Tour 250 Series event in Brisbane to unseeded Grigor Dimitrov to start the year. Simon competed in the Australian Open, where he fell to World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the 4th round, following a straight sets win gainst Federico Delbonis in the 3rd round. In March, Simon lost in the quarterfinals of the Miami Open to David Goffin, having beaten world no. 11 Marin Čilić in the third round. He lost in the 3rd round of the Masters 1000 events in Monte Carlo and Madrid to Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray respectively. Simon lost to Viktor Troicki in the 3rd round of the French Open. That was the last ATP World Tour clay court tournament of the first half of the year.
Unlike the first five months of the year, the grass court season did not yield much success for Simon. Two grass-court warmup tournaments, Stuttgart and Queen's Club, saw premature defeats, both to much lower-ranked opponents. Simon, seeded no. 16, lost in the second round of Wimbledon to Grigor Dimitrov. After losing in the 3rd round to Rafael Nadal at the Olympics, Simon (seeded no. 30) fell to Italian Paolo Lorenzi at the US Open in the second round. Simon, seeded no. 4, lost to top seed Dominic Thiem in the semifinals of the Moselle Open. At the Shanghai Masters, the unseeded Simon upset no. 3 seed Stan Wawrinka 6–4,6–4 in the third round before losing in the semifinals to Andy Murray in straight sets – it was one of the last matches of the year that Murray played as the world no. 2 before he became world no. 1 three weeks later on 7 November. Simon played his last ATP World Tour tournament of the year at the Paris Masters, where he upset no.10 seed Roberto Bautista Agut in the second round before losing to no.7 seed Tomáš Berdych in the third round.

At the Australian Open, Simon (seeded no. 25) fell one round short of matching the previous year's performance, bowing out in the third round to no. 3 seed and eventual quarter-finalist Milos Raonic. For the whole of 2017, he managed to progress beyond the round of 16 of the singles main draw in only two ATP World Tour tournaments – in Marseille (lost in the quarterfinals to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga) and Lyon (lost in the quarterfinals to Tomáš Berdych). At the Shanghai Masters, the unseeded Simon upset no. 8 seed and world no. 10 David Goffin 7–6(4), 6–3 in the second round before losing to unseeded compatriot Richard Gasquet in three sets in the third round. For the whole of 2017, Simon managed just a 16–25 singles win-loss record and finished the year outside the Top 50 of the ATP singles rankings for the first time since 2005.

In the opening week of the 2018 ATP World Tour, Simon won his 13th career ATP World Tour singles title and his first since the 2015 Open 13 in Marseille by defeating each of the top 3 seeds in the ATP World Tour 250 series tournament in Pune, India; he beat defending champion and third seed Roberto Bautista Agut in the second round, top seed Marin Čilić (ranked world No. 6 in the ATP singles rankings) in the semi-finals and Kevin Anderson 7–6(7-4), 6–2 in the final (it was his first victory against Anderson in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, after losing their previous three matches). Simon also reached his first career ATP World Tour doubles final in Pune; he and his French partner Pierre-Hugues Herbert lost in the doubles final to Robin Haase and Matwé Middelkoop. On 8 January (the first Monday after the end of the Pune tournament), Simon's ATP singles ranking and ATP doubles ranking improved from world no. 89 (7 days earlier) to no. 57 and from world no. 824 (7 days earlier) to no. 300 respectively. Simon lost his first round match against Jared Donaldson in straight sets in his next tournament, at the Sydney International. At the Australian Open, he was forced to retire from his second round match when he was trailing 2–6, 0–3 against the no. 10 seed Pablo Carreño Busta because of an injury to his left thigh muscles that he had sustained the week before in Sydney.
In the final of the Lyon Open against Dominic Thiem, Simon won the first set 6–3 and failed to convert a break point while leading 4-2 in the second set; that was the turning point of the match and Thiem recovered to defeat Simon 3-6,7-6(7-2), 6-1.
Simon won his 14th ATP Tour singles title of his career in Metz defeating Matthias Bachinger in the final.

Simon plays with a Head YouTek IG Prestige MP and 2009 Team series bag, both from Head, a brand which he has endorsed. His racquet is strung with Head IntelliTour 16 String. He is sponsored by Adidas for his clothing.

In September 2012, Simon parted ways with his longtime coach Thierry Tulasne, who he'd worked with since February 2007. He is currently playing without a coach. His fitness trainer is Paul Quetin.
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