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The quotes of 2022, episode 19 – Simon: “Murray breaks my balls!”

To end 2022, Tennis Majors offers you a review, in chronological order and in series format, on the outstanding, inspiring or funny quotes of the year. Episode 19, Gilles Simon’s delightful exit

Gilles Simon Gilles Simon in Paris (Federico Pestellini/Panoramic)

“At the beginning, it’s 1-0, 2-0, 3-0 for him [Andy Murray]…He breaks my balls (laughs). Because I have a very unfavourable record against him [16-2 in Murray’s favour before the match], so I said to myself: ‘He’s already ruined my career, he’s going to ruin the end for me too!’

“I ran into Gaël and Jo. Sorry, guys, we’ll have to come back for the farewell ceremony.”

Straight talk, humour and a nice punchline – in short, pure Gilles Simon. In the first round of the Paris-Bercy Masters 1000, the last professional tournament of his career, “Gillou” was down 6-4, 5-3 against the former world No 1 before winning an epic duel: 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 in two hours and 51 minutes. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gaël Monfils came to the capital especially for the chance to be part of a ceremony of tributes after the match, but they ended up staying backstage.

Simon then put in another epic performance to defeat Taylor Fritz – 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 in just over three hours – before coming to an end against Felix Auger-Aliassime in the third round. He left the stage with a secret speech, punctuated by a beautiful declaration to his wife: “All the work behind the scenes that people don’t see… You put your professional career on hold for me. Everyone thinks that’s normal, but it’s not. Thank you for everything.”

And, as “FAA” signed it on the camera, “Merci, Gillou.”

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