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Moving and unexpected tribute from Gilles Simon to Marin Cilic for his last match at Roland-Garros

Marin Cilic, “huge champion and super good man”, won against Gilles Simon 6-0, 6-3, 6-2 on Saturday afternoon. He’ll play Russian Daniil Medvedev, the second seed, in the next round

Marin Cilic Roland-Garros 2022 Croatia’s Marin Cilic in action during his second round match against Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

Croat Marin Cilic, the No 20 seed, beat French wildcard Gilles Simon 6-0, 6-3, 6-2 to reach the last 16 of Roland-Garros. It is likely to be Simon’s last match at the French Open after he announced his intention to retire at the end of the season.

The Frenchman paid tribute to the crowd, his friends and family, but also his opponent after the match.

“I’m actually very happy to have played this last match in Roland-Garros against Marin (Cilic),” he told the French fans on the court Philippe-Chatrier. “He is actually a huge champion. He is so discreet, people don’t mention, but he is a great champion.

If I had knew my last match would be Cilic, I would have been happy. He’s a huge champion.

Gilles Simon

“Before your last French Open, you are a little scared, you don’t know who you’ll play against. You think: if it’s Isner it’s a pity because you don’t play that much. If it’s a French player, you feel there won’t be vibes (for you) in the crowd.

“If I had knew it would be Cilic, I would have been happy, we’ve had so many great battles in the past. Plus I won most of them, so that’s great, 6-2 for me now!”

“He is a super good man, he never complains about anything. It’s a chance to play him for my last match” he added in the press room.

Gilles Simon and Marin Cilic, 2022
Gilles Simon and Marin Cilic, 2022 (© Panoramic / Tennis Majors)

Cilic, ranked No 23, will play Russian Daniil Medvedev, the second seed, next.

In the previous rounds, the 33-year-old Croat won against Hungarian Attila Balazs (6-0, 6-1, 6-2) and Hungarian Marton Fucsovics (4-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-3), while Simon, ranked No 158 and wild-card, defeated Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta, the No 16 seed (6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 1-6, 6-4) and American Steve Johnson (7-5, 6-1, 7-6 [6]).

Roland-Garros, Paris (Grand Slam): Other third-round results (Stade Roland-Garros, clay, EUR 43.600.000, most recent results first):

  • Daniil Medvedev beat Miomir Kecmanovic (28): 6-2, 6-4, 6-2
  • Jannik Sinner (11) beat Mackenzie McDonald: 6-3, 7-6 [6], 6-3
  • Andrey Rublev (7) beat Cristian Garin: 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 [11]
  • Carlos Alcaraz (6) beat Sebastian Korda (27): 6-4, 6-4, 6-2
  • Karen Khachanov (21) beat Cameron Norrie (10): 6-2, 7-5, 5-7, 6-4
  • Alexander Zverev (3) beat Brandon Nakashima: 7-6 [2], 6-3, 7-6 [5]
  • Bernabe Zapata Miralles (Q) beat John Isner (23): 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-7 [5], 6-3
  • Rafael Nadal (5) beat Botic van de Zandschulp (26): 6-3, 6-2, 6-4
  • Novak Djokovic (1) beat Aljaz Bedene: 6-3, 6-3, 6-2
  • Felix Auger-Aliassime (9) beat Filip Krajinovic: 7-6 [3], 7-6 [2], 7-5
  • Diego Schwartzman (15) beat Grigor Dimitrov (18): 6-3, 6-1, 6-2
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