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Posts Tagged ‘gilles simon’

Shtoo-rill II: The Verdasconing

Posted by gauloises1 on April 26, 2011

Hey, so. I wrote a thing about Heather Watson for tennis.com and another thing about Alisa Kleybanova which should be up soon. But because I love you, here’s some more pictures courtesy (and copyright) of the fantastic Pedro Mendes of the goings-on in Estoril.

Jarmila Gajdosova sexing it up.

Pablo Cuevas. Likewise.

The very cute Tiago Fernandes, who will one day be a thing, mark my words.

Heather Watson, a.k.a. Our Hev, who had a really tough match today against Tamira Paszek and missed qualifying into the main draw. She was understandably gutted, but we won’t forget her.

Adrian Mannarino and Gaston Elias respectively, both of whom lost today.

Antonio Van Grichen, coach of Vika, Vera and Ivanovic, checking out the craic.

Jo and Marc Gicquel checking out the Chardy-Mannarino match.

Bendy Robin, who has been just a beast on the practice courts.

Dimple close-up during the practice match with Verdasco. Believe me, it wasn’t Verdasco’s tennis that was worrying him.

Verdasco wringing out his shirt. Love the expression on Robin’s face in the second photo.

Verdasco using the world as his washing line. He was not looking good in practice today, I’m told. Tennistically, that is.

Gilles and Yves Allergo playing doubles on Centralito. They lost to Pablo Andujar and Daniel Gimeno-Traver, but the most entertaining part of the match was waiting for Gilles to explode in frustration. Which he duly did, yelling “Ah, this fucking bitch of a line!” during the second set. Comedy gold.

Posted in estoril | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Everybody’s Doing It.

Posted by gauloises1 on January 19, 2011

First David Nalbandian and Lleyton Hewitt treated us to a five-set battle under the lights on Rod Laver, then Roger Federer and Gilles Simon had to follow suit. In the past both of their meetings had gone Simon’s way – but they hadn’t played since 2008, with Simon struggling with knee problems and plummeting in the rankings before starting to climb again late in 2010. Today looked like it was going to be a straight sets victory, with Federer fairly imperious in the first two sets and Simon’s record against him seemingly set to be relegated to the status of a fluke.

It also didn’t help that he was dressed like an eight year-old being taken on holiday to the Costa del Sol with an all-new wardrobe purchased for him to ‘grow into’.

I’ll confess to dozing through the next set and a half, and things looked a bit different when I woke up, because Gilles was playing the sort of tennis that got him to Masters series finals back in the day. I really don’t know any other player, apart from Andy Murray, who is so good at forcing the opposition to play his way, seducing them into long exchanges which end in an attempt to hit past him out of sheer frustration. For a while there he had Federer on a string, and it was beautiful to watch.

Of course, Federer didn’t help himself by sticking with his attempts to hit through Gilles long past the point it was clear it wasn’t working. The man is stubborn, after all, and he doesn’t like looking like he’s adapting to his opponent. There were moments at the beginning of the fifth when it seemed possible for a moment that it actually would go Gilles’ way. Federer was visibly anxious, and went 0-30 down on his serve. It could have changed the course of the match, but Gilles didn’t put the next ball back over the net and from there, Federer pulled himself together and remembered the key to playing against Simon; more angle, less pace and force the Frenchmen to generate winners from nothing. He got the break and that was the match, 63 in the fifth.

By the end, the weathervane that is Mats Wilander in the Eurosport commentary booth was making Federer the favourite for the tournament. I wouldn’t go that far – there’s that Spanish guy somewhere, what’s his name again? – but nor do I think this match means a lot in the context of Federer’s chances. He got sucked in and knocked around for two sets by a Gilles Simon on top form; it can happen. There aren’t too many other players in the draw who can get to him that way, and one of them – Andy Murray – will have to go through Nadal to get to him.

What I did find interesting was the level of visible emotion displayed by Federer – the depth of the jubilation when he got the break and the match in the fifth. Whether it’s the Annacone effect or not, it seems that both in London and Melbourne he’s seemed … keener, more intense, more up for it – even to the extent of being slightly ragged at times (by Federer’s standards). If he does lose in this tournament, it’s not going to be because he comes out listless or flat.

As for Gilles, I just hope he continues playing in this vein. It’s a pleasure to watch.

Next up for a night match on Rod Laver? Delpo and Marco Baghdatis. Can they make it three five-set thrillers in three nights?

Posted in australian open, gilles simon, roger federer | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Image is Everything: D Cup Quarter-finals

Posted by gauloises1 on July 12, 2010

Because nothing generates quite so much fantastic photoage as Davis Cup. You know it to be true.

sorry but ive to say i fcking won davis cup!omg

Pretty sure I could snap him like a twig. A twig.

Marin’s left arm makes a desperate bid for freedom.

Get the man a Big Mac, a big drink and a big vuvuzela.

“Did I leave the gas on …?”

This is not the face I’ve missed.

This is the face I’ve missed.

Put it away, Nole. Or I will come to Serbia and show you where to … never mind.

“Mr. President. What the hell.”

Nothing beats a good old-fashioned Serbian love huddle.

Eduardo Schwank looking in no way ridiculous.

Eduardo Schwank being no way ridiculous.

Kind of impossible to dislike Gael when he finds himself on this planet long enough to win a big match.

Tipsy wants a cuddle. No-one on this earth can blame him.

They shoot horses, don’t they?

Premature celebrating.

Yeah, Youzh better run.

Having beaten Spain at tennis, France take them on at the art of the manly hug. And win.

Have him caramelised and sent to my room.

Nole Major and Nole Minor.

Look who showed up to ‘help’.

“I’m a little lamb who’s lost in the woods …”

Kolya contemplates the many tragedies of life.

Shamil contemplates finding another job.

You’re not helping.

Homoerotic celebrations: must try harder.

Posted in david ferrer, david nalbandian, davis cup, eduardo schwank, gael monfils, gilles simon, horacio zeballos, igor andreev, ivan ljubicic, janko tipsarevic, julien benneteau, marin cilic, markko djokovic, michael llodra, mikhail youzhny, nenad zimonjic, novak djokovic | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

D Cup: France 5 – 0 Spain

Posted by gauloises1 on July 12, 2010

Bad news for Spain? Fairly comprehensive Davis Cup humiliation for the reigning champions. Good news for Spain? Pretty sure nobody in Spain noticed. Bad  news for France? None. They were awesome.

A fantastic team effort from Les Bleus, starting off with Gael Monfils playing the kind of tennis that makes him almost impossible to not warm to against David Ferrer for two sets on Friday. Then, being Gael Monfils, he was distracted by something shiny, and lost the next two.

It looked very much like Ferru, five-set Davis Cup warrior that he is, would pull off another amazing comeback, and in some ways he perhaps deserved to. He certainly put in around 90% of Spain’s effort this weekend. However, Gael raced ahead in the fifth and even Ferru breaking serve as Monfils served for the match couldn’t get it done.

I missed the Llodra-Verdasco match but I wasn’t completely surprised by the result; Llodra has put in some great Davis Cup performances (albeit in doubles), can drive any player to distraction on his day, and Verdasco has been having a torrid time of it lately. Still a huge upset win for Llodra, who at 30 seems to be playing some of his best tennis lately.

This set up a fairly mouthwatering doubles clash between Benneteau/Llodra and Lopez/Verdasco, both great doubles teams that have delivered for their countries in the past. For two and a half sets it wasn’t much of a contest, though, as Bendra came out absolutely on fire; energetic, aggressive and intense. By contrast, Verdasco at times seemed hardly in the match and his serve wasn’t making much of an impact (I’ve not been keeping up with the injury latest there, but it looked to me like something was up). A sudden and inspired fightback at 4-2 down in the third kept Spain in it and the fourth was closely contested, especially after Spain saved three break points on Lopez’s serve. Crucially, a double-fault from Verdasco gave France the lead in the tiebreak and Benneteau served it out. Then came one of the most gleeful celebrations I’ve ever seen.

This is why we stalk them at Queens.

Both teams appeared more than a little hungover for today’s dead rubbers, with Gilles Simon and Julien Benneteau defeating Nicolas Almagro and Feliciano Lopez in straights. But it’s kind of understandable, given that this is the first time since 1932 that France have beaten Spain in Davis Cup – and without their highest-ranked player in Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, too. They will host Argentina in September and have a great chance of making it to the finals.

Hence the ritual jumping around in the showers.

As for Spain … well, they’ve won the last two. It’s only fair that someone else should have a go. I have to credit Ferru, though; not just because it felt like he was the only player who really showed up for this tie on that side, but because after the last dead rubber was done and the others exited as quickly as possibly, he stuck around to congratulate the French and sign autographs for the fans on his way out.

Pictured: class.

R1 – G.MONFILS (FRA) def. D.FERRER (ESP)
7-6(3)  6-2  4-6  5-7  6-4
R2 – M.LLODRA (FRA) def. F.VERDASCO (ESP)
6-7(5)  6-4  6-3  7-6(2)
R3 – J.BENNETEAU / M.LLODRA (FRA) def. F.LOPEZ / F.VERDASCO (ESP)
6-1  6-2  6-7(6)  7-6(5)
R4 – G.SIMON (FRA) def. N.ALMAGRO (ESP)
7-6(4)  7-6(7)
R5 – J.BENNETEAU (FRA) def. F.LOPEZ (ESP)
7-6(3)  6-4

Posted in david ferrer, davis cup, gael monfils, gilles simon, julien benneteau, michael llodra | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Eastbourne: Welcome Back!

Posted by gauloises1 on June 14, 2010

Look who’s back! Gilles Simon played and won his first match since March, beating Evgeny Korolev 64 in the third.

Tastes like chicken.

Posted in eastbourne, gilles simon | Tagged: | 6 Comments »

D Cup: France 3, Germany 0

Posted by gauloises1 on March 7, 2010

Congratulations to la belle France. And I do mean exactly that. They were probably the most attractive squad of any nation playing this weekend and will be picspammed accordingly.

In amongst that lot: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gael Monfils, Richard Gasquet, Gilles Simon, Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra. Easily the nation with the greatest strength in depth (aside from Spain, obviously), they’ve all too often suffered meltdowns and embarrassing defeats in the past. But it was plain sailing this weekend, after Gael Monfils and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga pulled off singles victories against Philipp Kohlschreiber and Benjamin Becker on Friday to put France 2-0 up.

… ably supported from the bench by Gasquet and Gilles, of course:

With Arnaud Clement not on the squad, it was up to Davis Cup debutante Julien Benneteau to partner Michael Llodra in today’s doubles and he was really impressive. Apart from a third-set wobble, the pair fairly cruised against a German pair who never looked like winning.

After they finally closed the match out at 75 in the fourth, the whole team celebrated awesomely. I’ll just let the pictures tell the story …

OK, that was a lot of pictures. But come on, how often do you get to see all these guys so happy? You carry on with your bad selves, Team France. They’ll meet either (probably) Spain or Switzerland next, so they’d better enjoy it while they can …

R1 – G.MONFILS (FRA) def. P.KOHLSCHREIBER (GER)
6-1  6-4  7-6(5)
R2 – J.TSONGA (FRA) def. B.BECKER (GER)
6-3  6-2  6-7(2)  6-3
R3 – J.BENNETEAU / M.LLODRA (FRA) def. C.KAS / P.KOHLSCHREIBER (GER)
6-1  6-4  1-6  7-5

Posted in davis cup, gael monfils, gilles simon, jo-wilfried tsonga, julien benneteau, michael llodra, richard gasquet | Tagged: , , , , , , | 16 Comments »

The Withdrawal Method: Simon Out of AO

Posted by gauloises1 on January 17, 2010

Gilles Simon has been forced to withdraw from the Australian Open due to his ongoing problems with his right knee. Which, frankly, sucks.

David Ferrer now takes his place in the seedings and the draw shuffles accordingly.

Posted in australian open, gilles simon, the withdrawal method | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

It’s Not Finished …. It’s Finished

Posted by gauloises1 on November 11, 2009

Good news? Juan Martin del Potro is through to the third round of the Paris masters to face Fernando Gonzalez after a three-set win. (I feel the urge to go ‘YEAH BABY!’ a la Ola Jordan at this point, but I shall restrain myself. Oh, what the hell. YEAH BABY!). The bad news? Said win came over Marat Safin, ending his career 64 57 64.

marat safindelpo

 

I thought JMDP played quite well overall. He made only 2 UFEs in the first set, served his 500th ace of 2009 somewhere during the second set, and if it hadn’t been for a badly-timed wobble (probably the lack of match practice) serving to stay in the second set he may well have got it done in two. I think Marat was reasonably satisfied to have his final match be against del Potro – if only because, as he said during the post-match presentation, that may possibly entitle him to a share of the prize money should JMDP win the whole shebang – and there was, er, shall we say genuine warmth between them at the net.

marat delpo

delpo marat

delpo marat

JMDP was basically wholly adorable, directing the crowd to applaud Marat, sitting down next to Marat for a chat, and printing ‘MARAT’ on the camera and getting Safin to sign it instead of signing it himself. All of which was making me wibble a little bit, and that was before Marat’s goodbye ceremony, where a bunch of players past and present came on to wish him well and applaud while he was presented with the key to the Bercy stadium.

marat safin

Here’s video of the whole thing, from match point on, in case you missed it:

I realise I’ve spent most of this post talking about JMDP and not Marat. The truth is that my fandom relationship with Marat has been so long and rocky that I don’t quite know what to say. Still, I’ll miss him. I think we’ll all miss him.

Oh just have some more photos.

marat delpo

marat greeting line

marat goodbye

marat goodbye2

marat goodbye3

marat

Posted in juan martin del potro, marat safin, paris masters, video | Tagged: , , , , , , | 24 Comments »

Paris Day Two: Jo, Gilles, Julien Survive; Guez Upsets Wawrinka

Posted by gauloises1 on November 11, 2009

Pretty good day for the home players in Bercy today. Well, unless you’re Jeremy Chardy. He put in a classic WTF?! (not the tournament) performance against Pico, who didn’t have to be any more than solid. Although, being Pico, he managed to sneak in some agony and drama-queen behaviour as well.

juan monaco paris masters 20092

Toys. Pram. Out of.

Anyway, it was a disappointing end to the season for Chardy. Also out and not happy about it? Philipp Petzchner, who was ousted by Julien Benneteau in an odd match of wildly varying quality which also included more than a bit of handbags. I was trying to watch two matches at once (and work at the same time), so I’m not sure exactly what’s going on here:

philipp petzchner julien benneteau paris masters 2009

But I did see Petzchner behaving badly in the last game, making ridiculous challenges on balls that were quite clearly three feet wide, and as he shook Lars Graf’s hand at the end, I could have sworn he said something like ‘Thanks for taking the money’. Apparently he also told Benneteau he was going to be aim for his face. In which case, don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out of 2009.

More good news for France came in the unlikely form of French qualifier David Guez, 179 in the world, who upset Stanislas Wawrinka in not-even-hugely-close straight sets. Seriously, what has Wawrinka done for anyone lately? OK, I’m not a fan, but thinking back on 2009, I remember him for (a) beating Federer in Monte Carlo and (b) stretching Murray to five under the Wimbledon roof. Am I missing something? Because from where I’m sitting, two good matches in a year (one of which he still lost) isn’t really cutting it.

Anyway, Verdasco narrowly avoided being upset by Seppi himself, so there’s that good news to consider, and Kolya was in suitably crushing form, rolling over Becker with the loss of just three games. But back to the French. Qualifier Arnaud Clement dismissed Feliciano Lopez 63 61, and then defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga delighted the home crowd with inspired play in the first night match. Montanes was actually playing great tennis, I thought, even in the first set, but Jo was just that damn good. Loved it. Hope he hasn’t peaked too soon.

jo-wilfried tsonga paris masters 2009

Also loving his hair at the mo.

I didn’t even mean to watch Simon-Ljubicic, as Gilles was 0-3 down against Ljubicic in the H2H and I thought it would be depressing, but I got sucked in and I’m glad I did. Gilles was playing very not like himself in the first set, being really aggressive, going for his shots and hitting big winners, and he took it 63. An inevitable lull came in the second set, but by the time the match was into the decider, it was really good stuff. Gilles finally earned a break point with Ljubicic serving at 2-3 down (I think), only to hurt his knee lunging for a return (which he missed). He immediately limped to the net and asked for the trainer; Carlos Bernades told him he would have to wait until the end of the game, only for Ljubicic to sportingly say that it was fine by him. After medical treatment, he somehow held serve for 4-3 despite double-faulting twice and received more treatment, saying to the trainer that came on that he was in pain but that stopping play wasn’t an option. And that point, you would be forgiven for thinking that Ljubicic really had the match on a plate, but oddly, it didn’t work out that way. Despite barely running for anything and clearly being in pain, Gilles chipped, sliced, drop-shotted and volleyed his way through two more service games to take the match to a tiebreak. Which he won. And I still don’t quite know how. Yes, he hit some ridiculously good shots, but all Ljubicic had to do was go for his shots or even just make Gilles run. Instead, Gilles seemed to hypnotise him into just chipping the ball right back. It was bizarre and not a good way to end the season for Ljubicic, but I’m a Gilles fan. So I don’t really care. Allez!

gilles simon paris masters 2009

Singles – Second Round
[6] N Davydenko (RUS) d B Becker (GER) 62 61
[7] F Verdasco (ESP) d A Seppi (ITA) 67(3) 64 64
[8] J Tsonga (FRA) d A Montanes (ESP) 61 75
[11] G Simon (FRA) d I Ljubicic (CRO) 63 36 76(4)

Singles – First Round
N Almagro (ESP) d M Chiudinelli (SUI) 62 64
[Q] D Guez (FRA) d S Wawrinka (SUI) 63 64
J Monaco (ARG) d J Chardy (FRA) 76(6) 75
J Benneteau (FRA) d P Petzschner (GER) 46 75 63
[Q] A Clement (FRA) d F Lopez (ESP) 63 61

Doubles – First Round
B Soares (BRA) / K Ullyett (ZIM) d P Cuevas (URU) / O Marach (AUT) 61 76(6)
M Granollers (ESP) / T Robredo (ESP) d J Del Potro (ARG) / F Gonzalez (CHI) 76(2) 62
C Kas (GER) / P Kohlschreiber (GER) d J Monaco (ARG) / R Nadal (ESP) 46 75 15-13 – saved 2 M.P.
J Kerr (AUS) / T Parrott (USA) d M Damm (CZE) / J Erlich (ISR) 63 64
J Brunstrom (SWE) / J Rojer (AHO) d [WC] S Grosjean (FRA) / F Santoro (FRA) 63 36 10-5

Posted in gilles simon, jo-wilfried tsonga, juan monaco, julien benneteau, paris masters, philipp petzchner | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Sometimes, I Post Things Just Because.

Posted by gauloises1 on November 11, 2009

This is one of those times.

gilles jo paris

Love these two.

Posted in gilles simon, jo-wilfried tsonga, paris masters | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »