Gilles Simon is a professional tennis player from France. He is one of the fastest players on the tour and managed to reach a career high-ranking of number 6 in the world in 2009! In October 2011 he is currently ranked number 12 in the world at the age of 26.
A Very Patient And Consistent Tennis Player
Simon was born in 1984 in Nice, France. His parents did not play Tennis but supported him in his efforts.
He did not compete much in the ITF Junior Circuit. Instead he started playing lower level professional events around the age of 16.
Highlights of his professional career so far are 9 career singles titles on the ATP Tour, a career high ranking of number 6 in the world, and a quarterfinals appearance at the 2009 Australian Open.
Gilles Simon plays a counter-punching style of Tennis. He relies on his incredible speed around the court and rarely makes any unforced errors!
Gilles Simon Hitting Groundstrokes In Practice
Simon has a very good forehand. It is the shot that he can really accelerate on and go for something big when he wants to.
He has a nice loopy swing going from high to a low position and then swinging up high again to brush the back of the ball.
His motion is compact and I have not seen him have a bad forehand day for example. He hits it relatively flat with a semi-western grip and can really hurt opponents with it. I believe he needs to develop a more aggressive mindset with this great shot!
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Simon’s backhand is a technically sound shot.
He doesn’t hit it big but can take it early up the line. He especially likes to take high loopy balls to the backhand and hit them hard down the line.
One thing I think could be improved is the fact that he takes the racket low right away and misses out on some racket head speed because of that. By taking the racket up high first he could use gravity to his advantage and most likely hit a bigger backhand!
Simon also hits a solid slice. He can use it to defend or to deal with lower shots without allowing his opponents to attack the shot too much.
Simon hits a very good forehand volley and a decent backhand volley. He has the racket face rather open on the backhand volley and needs to adjust with his wrist. This makes certain shots difficult to control.
Gilles has really good hands around the net. He can hit nice half-volleys and drop volleys!
Simon Practicing Some Volleys
Gilles Simon has a solid serve. He does have a fluid motion and he can win some points with it. It is certainly not a weapon though and I doubt that it is strong enough for him to be a real contender in the Grand Slams.
Simon’s Serve In Slow Motion
If you compare this motion to some of the great servers like Federer and Sampras for example then you realize that Simon leans back instead of turning the upper body. His back should point more towards the net after the initial turn and not so much down to the ground!
He does not create the so-called separation angle between the hips and the shoulders well enough to make his serve really big
Simon is a great counterpuncher. He can hit unbelievable shots from defensive positions! Check out the incredible on the run winner in the video below!
Forehand On The Run Winner
As you can see Simon defends incredibly well to stay in the rally several times against Nadal and then he comes up with something special at the end.
Simon’s game is not all defense and speed though. He can also take the ball early and flatten it out to hit some winners. His down the line shots are especially dangerous when he takes the ball early. He just doesn’t do these things often enough!
In order to take his game to the next level and possibly go deep into the second week of a Grand Slam, I believe he needs to develop a somewhat more aggressive mindset!
The way he plays is very exhausting and his game style doesn’t allow him to win easily in the first rounds of a Grand Slam. By the time he gets to the 4th round or possibly the quarterfinals he normally already has several really tough matches behind him and then it gets real tough to compete against the top guys.
Simon’s biggest strength is his speed. He is definitely one of the fastest guys out there and in addition to his speed, Simon also possesses phenomenal anticipation skills!
This combination makes him one of the toughest guys on tour to hit a winner on!
I think Simon is a tough competitor. He usually doesn’t give away anything easy and will fight hard until the last point is played.
He does need to be a bit more aggressive though, which I already talked about in regards to his tactics. The tactical and the mental part are closely related here though. Being willing to change your tactics requires strong mental skills because it always goes a little bit against your instincts. After all his way of playing got him to number 6 in the world!
In order to take the next step he needs to get over the fear of letting go of his defensive style a little bit. This is a very hard thing to do for someone in his position and at this point in his career, which makes me sceptical that it will ever happen!
Simon’s biggest strength is his speed and fitness. In the other three areas he is almost equally strong in my opinion!
In order to reach the next level and become a legitimate Grand Slam contender, Gilles Simon needs to play more aggressive on a regular basis!
He can hit the ball hard and hit plenty of winners but he simply doesn’t do it often enough. I think that it is a matter of mindset. Having the confidence and the guts to do it more often is crucial!
Another area to improve would be his serve. He doesn’t serve bad but he also doesn’t get as many free points from his serve as guys like Federer and Djokovic do for example. Some minor technical changes could really help him out in this area in my opinion.
He should try to turn his upper body more away from the target in the beginning of the motion in order to create a better separation angle between his hips and his shoulders. This should give him a little extra power on the serve!
So that was it for the Gilles Simon Biography and Game Analysis!