Q. What is your take on the match today?
GILLES SIMON: What do you think (smiling)?
Q. You played it.
GILLES SIMON: Yeah, I played it. Unfortunately for me, I gave him the break every time in the first game of every set. It was hard after to come back. I didn’t manage in the first set. It was better in the second and third. But finally, he was far better than me.
I mean, the last time I saved so many breakpoints and everything, and this time no one. Every time I had the chance, he played better than me. He hits a winner every time. I mean, he was just too good today.
Q. Is that a matter of experience, that he plays best on the big points?
GILLES SIMON: No, I don’t know. I think it’s a matter of level. I really have to do some unbelievable shots sometimes just to come back in the match, and then it’s hard to play like this. It’s harder in three sets, ’cause when you start the match, when finally you lose the set, then you know you have three more sets to win if you want to win the match. So it’s harder.
But, I mean, I just gave what I had. It was a good match.
Q. You thought you got the maximum out of it, the maximum you could achieve?
GILLES SIMON: I don’t know. You never know. Sometimes just one points or two points different and the match can change. I mean, I have a set point. Even if I have no chance, because he played a good serve, and then he hits the forehand. So there was nothing to do.
But, I mean, it’s just one point, and if you win it, it can be a different match. It can always be better. But I think I did what I had to do on the court. He was just better than me today. He didn’t miss anything. He didn’t give any point during three sets. He was serving very well.
Q. You’re happy with what you’ve achieved this tournament?
GILLES SIMON: Yes, of course. It was the first time I was on the top eight seed and I reached the quarterfinals. So that’s why I told you I did what I had to do on this match, on the tournament. It’s very nice for me.
But when you lose a match, you’re never happy. I know that I had some chance to do better, and I really wanted to win maybe just one set, but just to feel different. To lose three sets to Love, it’s always hard.
Q. How do you assess Rafael’s chances of going on and winning the tournament?
GILLES SIMON: I mean, he has a good chance to win. He’s No. 1, so… He didn’t lose any set. He’s playing very good. Maybe Roger because he did a very nice match yesterday. But I don’t know. If he’s playing like this, he have a really good chance to win.
Q. What is better about his serve?
GILLES SIMON: I don’t know. It seems to me that I returned better the last time I played against him. And this time, it was only better in the third set. But in the two first sets, he did so many winners with his serve. Finally we were just playing from the baseline, but on my serve. So that’s why it was a good match.
But I was just not able to break him. That was good for confidence, I mean. I think that’s why he was really good in every important point because he hits a winner any time. I think you can watch the video. Every time I had the chance, he touched the line or… So there was nothing to do.
Q. Do you think that’s the big difference from the match in Madrid?
GILLES SIMON: Yes, I think, really. In the first set, it was really better, it was 6‑2. That’s not a problem. But if you have one chance, you have to take it against him. You can’t have three, four, five opportunities. That’s too much. If you miss one or two, then you lose in three sets, just like this.
I think I was better in Madrid. But finally it’s very close.
Q. What is his biggest strength?
GILLES SIMON: The mental. I don’t know. He’s doing everything very well on the court. He has a lot improved his game. He’s able to run. He can attack. He can comes to the net when it’s important. Sometime it was 15‑30 on his serve, and then he did a serve and volley.
Every time I play against him, he’s the best player, I think. He’s still improving.
012809 wednesday /info-photo via Australian Open / Getty Images