Over the course of his long career, Gilles Simon has been able to win 14 ATP titles, as well as often struggling far more talented players than himself. The French veteran recently published his book entitled 'This Sport That Makes You Crazy', which features some surprising revelations ranging from the lack of results of French tennis to his opinion on the GOAT.
The former world number 6 dedicated an entire chapter to the phenomenon Roger Federer, who according to 'Gillou' would have had profoundly negative implications for the young promises of this sport. During an interview granted to Le Parisien, Simon made it clear that he had nothing personal against the 20-time Grand Slam champion, destined to be remembered as the most popular tennis player of all times.
The Swiss phenomenon remained competitive despite getting older, although this year he only played in the Australian Open before going under the knife.
Simon on Roger Federer
“For decades, it has been believed that only Roger Federer should be trained.
And he, with his style of play, his way of going forward, the confidence he exudes, came to validate these choices. He made us lose twenty years! In France, everyone wants Federer: parents, coaches… We don’t realize that Nadal has won so many Grand Slams (20) by doing something quite different.
That’s why it would help if Roger Federer’s records fell because we’d finally have to see the others,” said Gilles Simon. Instead it seems likely that 2021 will amount to a farewell tour. At one stage it had seemed that Federer had earmarked 2020 for his departure: his original intention to play at Roland Garros and his commitment to play at the Olympics in Tokyo felt like part of a plan for a last appearance on the sport’s greatest stages.
The knee surgery then ripped out one of the key dates from his schedule, while the postponement of the Olympics until 2021 because of the world health crisis ruled out another part of the plan. If everything is going well, Federer might decide to keep his options open until next summer.
Playing a light clay-court schedule – perhaps no other tournaments at all in the build-up to the French Open – could leave him fresh enough to play at both Roland Garros and Wimbledon, with even Halle thrown in as a warm-up tournament on grass.
Wimbledon, of course, would be the perfect stage on which to bow out. It has always been the tournament that has meant the most to Federer. And if he had the audacity to win the title there for the ninth time, might he decide there and then to call it a day? After all, one of his idols, Pete Sampras, won the title in his very last tournament, the 2002 US Open.