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Final Four

Incredible Gilles Simon! While his first participation in the tournament dates back to 2005, the man from Nice is now playing in the semi-finals for the 5th time in his career. This has not happened to him since 2015, the date of his last title in Marseille. And while he ousted world number 5 Daniil Medvedev in the quarter-finals, Gillou will now take on 18th-ranked Felix Auger-Aliassime. The Canadian has not had an easy time of it so far this week, even saving match points in his first two rounds. Gilles Simon knows that his mission will be difficult. " I played him in Stuttgart last year and lost in two sets. He's a very strong player and it's going to be a different match than the one against Daniil (Medvedev). I have to find my rhythm quickly. I've been able to be more regular and more consistent in my attitude for a while now, and that's good. I feel good on the court. "

Gilles Simon has always felt comfortable in Marseille, a tournament he won in 2007 and 2015, but his opponent has not. Before arriving this year, FAA had not won a single match on the Palais des Sports court. " It's great to play in this tournament and still be alive heresaid Auger-Aliassime, a finalist last week in Rotterdam. But Gilles is in good shape and I expect him to be at his best. We'll have to be ready to exchange, to serve well. It's going to be a tough match. "

Tsitsipas, working for the long haul

The other semi-final is between defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Bublik. The two players, born in 1998 and 1997 respectively, know each other well having played regularly on the junior circuit. And according to Alexander Bublik (55th), it is logical that Tsitsipas (6th) has a head start on him. " When I was young, I was really talented so I could play on one leg, without workinghe explained. Stefanos was already behaving like a pro when he was a junior. I only understand now that it is important, because I have to earn a living, but also because I realise that I have a lot of ego. "

While Bublik has two Tour finals under his belt, Tsitsipas has already won four titles, including the 2019 Masters. Last year, he won in Marseille. He is a thoughtful, cerebral player who already has his tactics in mind for the rest of the tournament, but not only. I have to not think about Alexander too much, I have to focus on myself and my game. I really have to impose this rule on myself, play each point after the other and why not surprise him too! What matters today, whatever the match, is that I play each point as if it were an important point, with the same concentration. "A tactic that has paid off so far.


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