The Madrid Open is one of the most exciting and unique tournaments on the ATP Tour and has produced some amazing images over the years. Watch Gilles Simon smash a powerful forehand past Rafael Nadal.
Known as the King of Clay, Nadal proved his mettle at the Madrid Open, winning the title five times. However, the Spaniard has found himself on the scoresheet on several occasions this season.
Simon, who beat first seed Nadal in the 2008 semifinals, had an opportunity. The pair battled for three hours and 23 minutes before the tennis great lost 6-3, 5-7, 6-7 (6-8) to advance to the final.
During their fight, the Frenchman played a perfect forehand that he managed to avoid by a millimeter. The pair squared off with strong kicks, creating a seemingly endless procession. Until the 38-year-old unleashed an unbelievable strike that sent the crowd and Nadal flying.
This was the first and only time Simon beat the legendary Nadal. The pair have met 9 times throughout their careers, with Nadal claiming eight of those matches.
The best feeling I ever had was in 2020. I beat Rafael Nadal in Madrid in 2008 because it was tough to do and tough to beat.
Simon then faced fourth seed Andy Murray in the final, where he defeated second seed Roger Federer 3-6, 6-3, 7-5. The pair battled for an hour and 35 minutes, with Murray defeating the Frenchman 6-4, 7-6 to claim the title.
Unfortunately, for the Frenchman, he was unable to win the Madrid Open title before retiring at the end of last year; But he managed to win 14 singles titles on the ATP Tour. He reached two ATP Masters 1000 finals in his career, one in Madrid in 2008 and the other in Shanghai in 2014. This gave the Frenchman a career-high 6 ATP rankings.
Simon announced his retirement on social media, saying it had been a “magical, amazing and extraordinary adventure.” “It will stop at the end of the year. A big thank you to everyone who made it possible. No sadness, no regrets. Just the will to put everything I have left into every game until the end.”
Gilles played his last match at the Paris Masters in November last year, losing to Felix Auger Alissème 6-1, 6-3.
I am very lucky to be a tennis player. It’s what I’ve always wanted to be,” Simon said. “I was a professional tennis player a long time ago, that’s why I was twice lucky and I could quit whenever I wanted and I’m three times lucky.”
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