I know it’s going to be hard on the pitch, it’s going to be hard to focus on just playing.
And before what was maybe the last match of his career, Simon did not hide a certain trepidation, even if he had communicated to us, even a few days earlier, already his anxieties. “This causes significantly more stress than is typical. In any event, it was the way it worked at home no matter where it was played—at Roland-Garros, in the Davis Cup, or anywhere else. There are games in which a more natural progression of events takes place. I am aware that it will be challenging out on the field, and that it will be challenging to keep my attention solely on the game. Therefore, I believe that the current state that I am in really represents that.»
Read more about the stars and challenges at Bercy here: Djokovic, Nadal, Alcaraz, and Auger-Aliassime.
The former world number six, who has a particularly serious tone to his voice, is approaching his farewell competition in unclear physical form: “I became sick after my first ride (in Brest Editor’s note) last week. I had a game on Thursday, and even though I was doing well, I was hacking up a lung at every point. It was a very unpleasant experience. I became aware that my back was beginning to pain. In addition, I had an eventful evening behind me. I reasoned with myself that if I returned there on Friday for the quarterfinals in the same state, it could perhaps make the situation much more difficult. Following that, and it’s been quite a few years now, there is always this worry of not being able to appear due to a physical ailment in every match, every tournament, and every objective that there is. I am aware of it, and there will be no adjustments made for this competition.
If he wins, that’s fantastic. If it ever stops, that’s wonderful too.
It has been confirmed by the director of the tournament, Cédric Pioline, that a ceremony will take place to pay tribute to the successful career of the 37-year-old, who has won 14 titles on the circuit. “I think it’s great that he can somehow choose the time and place where he will end this great career,” Pioline said. “I think it’s great that he can choose the time and place where he will play his final match.” The Tournament Management and the Federation agree regarding the significance of paying tribute to our past great champions. At the very least 15 years had passed since it was placed there. Because of the draw, he now faces a formidable adversary in the match. It would be wonderful if he were to win. If it ever ends, it would be fantastic as well. There will be a ceremony, something that will ultimately be done to celebrate this occasion when it arrives. He has a voice. I do not doubt that a good number of his kin will be present.