Marin Cilic pays tribute to Gilles Simon after ending Frenchman's final French Open

Cilic and Simon likely played each other for the final time.

by Dzevad Mesic
Marin Cilic pays tribute to Gilles Simon after ending Frenchman's final French Open

2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic spoke extremely highly of Gilles Simon following their French Open meeting, stating that the Frenchman is a great fighter and an incredible champion. On Saturday, 20th-seeded Cilic routinely handled Simon 6-0 6-3 6-2 to progress into the French Open last-16.

Simon, who turned professional in 2002, is set to retire after two decades on the Tour. Simon and Cilic are well known to each other, having clashed now eight times on the Tour. Their first meeting came at 2007 Wimbledon and this Saturday they maybe played each other for the last time.

Even though Cilic easily won on Saturday, Simon still owns a 6-2 head-to-head versus Cilic. "Gilles deserves [an] incredible award from all the players & the whole tour for always fighting. I think he has the best [record] for losing the 1st set & always coming back.

That's why I was really focused to play until the end because I knew he is such an incredible champion," Cilic said after the match, per The Tennis Podcast.

Cilic ends Simon's final French Open

Cilic got off to a quick start to the match, breaking Simon three times in the first set to kick off the match with a bagel.

Cilic struggled a bit on his serve in the second set - he dropped two service games - but broke Simon four times to still open a two-set lead. After taking a two-set lead, Cilic broke Simon twice in the third set to complete a straight-set win.

For how long Simon will exactly play remains to be seen. "It's a lot of work and a lot of suffering. I am at three painkillers and six paracetemols before the match. The only thing left to try is the morphine. I know where I'm at.

I'll give it my all till the end of the year," Simon revealed.

Meanwhile, Cilic plays Daniil Medvedev in the French Open last-16.

Marin Cilic Gilles Simon French Open