France’s Simon a wreck after Monfils marathon

MELBOURNE – Gilles Simon is going to give it his best shot but accepts that he will probably not beat Andy Murray at the Australian Open on Monday after wrecking his body in a four-hour, 43-minute marathon against Gael Monfils.

The extraordinary third round encounter between the French defensive baseliners on Hisense Arena on Saturday night was studded with lengthy rallies, including one incredible 71-shot exchange.

Simon won that rally and went on to win the match 6-4 6-4 4-6 1-6 8-6 well after midnight local time but it took a terrible toll on his body and he spent much of the rest of the night getting treatment.

“I was in bad shape,” the 14th seed told reporters on Sunday.

“I felt I played the end of the match like in a dream, like I was not even on the court. I was just hitting the ball, trying to run, trying to catch it, and not thinking anymore.

“I was too tired to be happy or upset or thinking or – I think at the end of the match I just completely lost control.

“It was too painful everywhere. I don’t even know where – I had a cramp here, cramp here, even not possible to cramp,” he added, pointing to his leg and chin.

Simon’s withdrawal from the Sydney International warm up event because of a neck injury has left him short of match practice and the 28-year-old said he would have to make it a quick win if he was going to upset third seed Murray.

“I don’t have to explain to you how strong he is,” the Frenchman said. “Of course it will be really, really difficult, but at the moment I just happy that I won the last one, and I will just try to go and take my chance.

“I don’t have a lot of chance to win this one, but this is my job to go on the court and to do the maximum to bother him and to give him a hard time.

“It’s difficult to win 6-2 6-3 6-2 against Andy. I’m not sure if we play longer than that that I will be able to make it to the end.”

Simon won his first match against Murray in 2007 but has lost all nine since as the U.S. Open champion has steadily climbed up the rankings to his current standing of third in the world.

“I remember when he was still in the first years,” Simon said. “He was an awesome player already, but physically sometimes he was cramping. Yeah, he could be tired.

“It’s a long time since I saw him tired on the court. I know he’s working hard outside the court to be ready. That’s part of our job.

“So for sure he will have the advantage tomorrow for this, but I just want to focus on my game, and then what I can do tomorrow to try to disturb him a little bit.”

(Editing by Patrick Johnston)

Read more :
  • N. Cotabato Pug ‘Kapre’ exudes giant potential
    Lightweight Roskie Cristobal, 18, and 5′ 11″ towers over his teammates (from left) miniflyweight Rommel Asenjo, jr. featherweight Ronie Apilado, bantamweight Rolando Magbanua an...
  • Federer, Murray eye last 32
    LONDON: Defending champion Roger Federer and Andy Murray take center stage at Wimbledon on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) while Maria Sharapova has to settle for a spot away from the two ma...
  • PSG held as David Beckham returns to scene of 1998 shame
    David Beckham returned to the scene of his infamous 1998 World Cup red card horror show on Sunday, but was unable to inspire his Paris Saint-Germain team to victory in a 2-2 draw with Saint...
  • Broner gets title after jumping two weight classes
    NEW YORK: Unbeaten Adrien Broner became a champion in his third different weight class on Saturday (Sunday in Manila), beating Paulie Malignaggi by a split decision to take the World Boxing...
  • Zheng Jie confident for the Olympics
    Zheng Jie has revealed that her performances at Wimbledon have given her confidence for the upcoming Olympic Games in London. Despite taking the first set, the 28-year-old was knocked out ...
  • Azarenka rocks past Vesnina to beat of new song
    MELBOURNE - An unreleased track by American DJ GoonRock helped Victoria Azarenka get back to her ruthless best at the Australian Open on Monday, the defending champion dispatching Elensa Ve...
  • Federer and Serena power into quarter-finals
    MELBOURNE - Roger Federer delivered a lesson to the next generation at the Australian Open, extending his record to a 35th consecutive grand slam quarter-final after Serena Williams set up ...
  • Carles Puyol’s season at risk following surgery
    Barcelona defender Carles Puyol could miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on an ongoing knee problem, club doctors confirmed on Saturday. Puyol finally had the surgery on ...