Gilles Simon shares how he helped Daniil Medvedev beat Novak Djokovic for first time

Simon reveals more details on his partnership with Medvedev.

by Dzevad Mesic
Gilles Simon shares how he helped Daniil Medvedev beat Novak Djokovic for first time
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Gilles Simon reveals in some ways he actually helped Daniil Medvedev clinch his first win over Novak Djokovic as he gave some tips and advice to the Russian before his 2019 Monte Carlo Masters match against the Serb.

A couple of days ago, it was announced that world No. 4 Medvedev was adding former world No. 6 Simon to his team. The collaboration drew attention instantly as many found it interesting that Simon and Medvedev - two players with very similar game styles - decided to form a partnership. 

Now, 39-year-old Simon has revealed more details about his partnership with Medvedev as the former French tennis star thinks helping the Russian beat Djokovic in 2019 is probably one of the reasons why he is now a part of his team. After losing to Djokovic in their first three meetings, Medvedev finally got a win over Djokovic in the 2019 Monte Carlo Masters quarterfinal after handing out the Serb a 6-3 4-6 6-2 loss. 

“Daniil contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in doing a few weeks with them (Medvedev and his team) in 2024,” Simon told Le Figaro

“Before his 2019 Monte Carlo quarterfinal match against Djokovic) he had said to me: ‘Novak…what do you think?’ I had explained to him how to play and he had won (his first win over Djokovic in their fourth meeting). He remembered, which is why he wanted to try it out with me.”

Gilles Simon
Gilles Simon© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Simon: I started working with Medvedev even before the 2024 season started

Initially, it was believed that Medvedev and Simon started working after the Australian Open. But now, Simon reveals they have actually been working since December. During this year's Australian Open - where Medvedev made the final before losing to Jannik Sinner in five sets - Simon would make an analysis before the Russian's matches and send him tactics and advice from his home.

“I’ve already been working with him since December, but we haven’t said anything. In Australia, I sent all the tactics. During Daniil’s matches, I would send instructions to Gilles Cervara, who would pass them on, or not, in real time to Daniil! That’s really where I can help him," Simon added.

“For example, he gave me a list of 16 players he doesn’t like to play against, and I prepared 16 tactics!

“Daniil is extremely strong tactically, feels very precisely what needs to be done, but it happens to him, like everyone else, to make mistakes. Because of emotions, because he’s impatient… So I try to explain it to him, and I think he likes it.”

Daniil Medvedev and Gilles Simon
Daniil Medvedev and Gilles Simon© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Meanwhile, Medvedev is set to kick off his second tournament of the season at this week's ATP 500 event in Dubai - where he is the defending champion and the top-seeded player. In his Dubai opener, Medvedev plays against Alexander Shevchenko, who he defeated in their lone meeting at the Madrid Masters last year. 

Gilles Simon Daniil Medvedev Novak Djokovic