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Gilles Simon - second round

Thursday 28 June 2012


X. MALISSE/G. Simon

6‑4, 6‑4, 7‑6

Q. What has this week been like for you since your comments about your feelings and as an ATP Tour new player rep, what have you gotten from your fellow players about the comments on equal pay?

GILLES SIMON: Well, it doesn't change anything. It is just my point of view. I will try to clarify it if you want. Well, doesn't change my tournament, the way I practice, the way I play. It's just my opinion. No problem about it.

Q. You say you would clarify it. Is there something that's been misinterpreted?

GILLES SIMON: Yeah, I think just one thing.

I never thought it was a good idea for women to play five sets. It was not my point of view. My point of view was just about ‑ it's a difficult topic ‑ but it was just about the entertainment. If you just watch how it is working in every other, like, sport, but even for the singers, for everything, you're just paid by the public directly.

My point was that I have the feeling that men's tennis is actually more interesting than women's tennis. As in any business or anything, you just have to be paid just about that. It's not because we play five sets and they are playing three.

Q. Does it undermine your point given the fact you lost straight sets today?

GILLES SIMON: No, doesn't change anything. My point of view doesn't depend of my result. It's not only my point of view, it's the point of view of everybody in the locker room, even for you, the media. It's just difficult to talk about it. I don't know why.

Q. With respect, Sam Stosur said that some men's games can be boring. Maria Sharapova just said in this room that actually far more people watch her games than watch you play.

GILLES SIMON: Of course.

Q. So how would you respond to those two?

GILLES SIMON: Well, I don't have to respond to that. It's not about me, one player, or another one. Maria is more famous than me. I know it. She deserves to win more money than me. That is not the problem.

Just check the price of the ticket from the men's final and the woman's final for example. It's not about me anymore, it's about the tennis. That's the way it works in life and everything.

Q. Just to pick up on the straight sets defeat today, do you think it would be a fair thing for you to forfeit maybe 20% of your match fee because you only played maybe three‑quarters of your match?

GILLES SIMON: As I said, that's why I wanted to clarify it. The time is not a problem. It's just about the general thing, about the show. Women said it, I don't know who says it, but they say they are winning less money than us during the whole season.

That's just what I said. If we are not there, they win less money than us.

Q. Do you feel you delivered entertainment today?

GILLES SIMON: Well, I don't care. It's a general thing. It's just not my point of view. It's just the public point of view. Just about the tournaments also, the sponsors. You can ask to everybody. Not so many will answer because, as I said, it's difficult to talk about it. But it's just like this.

I mean, when that Shakira is singing, she is winning more money than most of the men because everybody want to see her. That's it.

Q. Can you talk about why you brought it up? How did it come up?

GILLES SIMON: No, you know, I brought it up. But I brought many things. As it is a topic, it's very sensitive. You are only talking about it, but I talked about many things. The calendar for 2014 before that. This is just finally what you want to speak about.

So I just brought it because my point of view is that actually top 100 players, someone like 80 at the ranking, finished the season the same, at 80, cannot pay his coach because it cost a lot of money and he doesn't earn enough money.

As these player are winning most of their players on the slams already, that is why it was important for us even before to have a better prize money in the slams.

And actually, if you have to increase the prize money equally for the mens and women, then it's more for them than for me, because it won't change my life anyway, so...

Q. You are familiar with the long struggle for equal rights, that for a long time women had no vote, and that even now there are many jobs, the same job, where the man will get more money than the women. Are you saying that all people want unequal prize money? Are you aware of the importance of the struggle to many, many people?

GILLES SIMON: I am well aware of the struggle. This is a fair fight. Actually, I'm just for it in life. But it just doesn't working in the entertainment, because entertainment is not about being a man or woman. It's just about, as I said, public coming to watch you or not.

It's not about how hard you work. You can work hard and be a very famous singer. You can work hard and just sing in your bathroom. That's the way it works. It's maybe sad, but this is the way it works.

It has nothing to do with men and women. In life in general, of course, I'm for it. Tomorrow, if we can answer, if women's tennis is more interesting than men's tennis, if the price of the woman's final is higher than the price of the men's final, they will deserve to win more money than us. That's just the way it works. This is nothing new.

Just feel like it's fair. Just to say it has to be equal because there is a struggle in life in general, I'm not sure it's a very good argument. My point of view still.

Q. You are one of the best players in the world. You have been working so hard to get back after injuries. Malisse, he was a semifinalist here. How disappointing was it for you to lose when you had the break in the third set?

GILLES SIMON: Nice to speak about my match also (smiling).

Well, no, he's playing very good tennis. We know it. He won a lot of matches on grass just before this tournament. I know I had to play my best tennis to defeat him. Unfortunately, I was not playing bad, but sometimes too shaky in the decisive moments.

Well, I think he just played better than me. He played the right shot at the right moment. He deserved to win this match.

Q. Do you think there are quite a few male players on the tour who believe the same as you?

GILLES SIMON: Men's players? The 128 players thinks like me, that's for sure, if that's the question. Just ask them.

Q. For example, Roger Federer was asked about this...

GILLES SIMON: I understand what you say. As I said, it's a sensitive topic because you said it. But you media are doing exactly the same. You write. If I take the newspaper, I will see four pages on the men and one on the women, so that's what you are saying. That's what you said the last four years.

You said that women have no No. 1, that men's tennis was amazing. You said it. As soon as you could finally choose to say something, you just, the same, and say, Okay, it's men against women. You're just commenting. This is what you're doing also.

Q. Setting that aside, again, are you a little bit disappointed that Roger Federer, or whoever, your fellow male competitors, haven't said the same if that's their opinion? Why should it only be you?

GILLES SIMON: Well, I'm pretty sure they're thinking the same way as me. Maybe they can't say it; maybe they won't; maybe they will lose, I don't know, $2 million on the contracts if they say that. I don't know everything.

In the conversation ‑ for sure I had it in the locker room ‑ and for sure they agree with me. Trust me.

Q. What kind of disparity should there be? If it's not equal, where should we be in terms of prize money for men and women?

GILLES SIMON: I don't know. This is something we have to think about it. But, as you said, it's just seven tournaments I think equal tournaments, just the slams and three Masters Series. As soon as it is not Masters Series, it is different.

So I don't care. Maybe the same rate than in other tournaments, I don't know. Or one more time take the price for the women and men and just make it different this way.

Q. You said it's not about the length of the match but about the entertainment.

GILLES SIMON: Yeah, it's just about entertainment.

Q. Can the women's game ever rival the men's game in that aspect, or are you saying they can never be as entertaining as the men?

GILLES SIMON: I never said that. We have equal prize money because women's tennis was at the moment exactly the same interest for men. Just after, unfortunately most of these women stop. We have Roger, Rafa, Novak, and it was a huge difference. That's what I said.

I mean, it's not me. It's just the public. It's really not me. It's just everybody.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports


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