His story with Roland-Garros ends there. For his last match on clay in Paris, Gilles Simon was sharply beaten by Marin Cilic, seeded n°20 (6-0, 6-3, 6-2), on Saturday May 28. Overwhelmed and apparently weakened physically, he was no match for an opponent who was certainly not flamboyant, but effective. The latter has an appointment with Daniil Medvedev in the round of 16. Two days after the 500th victory of his career, in the second round against Steve Johnson, Gilles Simon fell back to earth and had a much more difficult match. Broken from the start, he spent the first round suffering exchanges (no winning move in the first set). Opposite, Cilic unrolled to inflict a scathing 6-0 in 32 short minutes. While the two men had hitherto been accustomed to extended Grand Slam meetings (their first three oppositions all ended in five sets), the case was quickly dispatched on the Parisian ocher (1h55 game). The second set started at an equally hellish pace for the Frenchman, with a new entry break from Cilic. The first game pocketed by the Nice to return to 2-1 electrified the well-stocked public of the Philippe-Chatrier court, but Cilic continued to impose his law and won the second set (6-3). Thanks for the memories #RolandGarros | @GillesSimon84 pic.twitter.com/wVaTwe8ACg — Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) May 28, 2022 Physically limited (he requested a medical time-out at the start of the third set), Gilles Simon was above all lacking in efficiency. He won his first service game after his seventh attempt. The French did try to animate the start of the third set, but he ended up losing on the first match point of the Croatian (6-2). “I can’t be 100% every day, and today was really a day without for me. I was in too much physical pain,” explained the Frenchman at a press conference. For his last Roland-Garros, Gilles Simon will have made the pleasure last for three games. He, who had not passed the first round since 2019, offered himself two crazy meetings, in full communion with the public, against Pablo Carreno Busta and Steve Johnson before falling in the 3rd round. “I had the chance to play my best tennis in the first round [contre Pablo Carreno Busta], a tennis that hadn’t been there for a while”, he declared on the court, at the end of his match. Facing Cilic, the public pushed him again, with loud applause and “Allez Gillou!”, before giving him a long ovation at the end of the game. “It was very strong to be there, it was unexpected”, he added. “I came in thinking Tuesday it would be over, but I was lucky to get through that first round, do another, then a third […] It was a good way to end, I’m very happy.” After Tsonga, another “Musketeer” of French tennis can be proud of his exit at Porte d’Auteuil.
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