9/29/12 3:13 PM | Johan Lindahl
Gilles Simon has joined French compatriot Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in stepping away from a coach and going it alone on the ATP.
While Tsonga cut the ties months ago and has maintained a top 10 ATP position, it's all new to Simon, as the world No. 19 parted amicably with longtime mentor Thierry Tulasne while playing the Thailand Open.
Simon, 28, said he needs a change and there is no time like the present. "After working for almost six years with Thierry, this was a difficult decision. He was with me just before I won my first title (Marseille, 2007). I won 10 titles with him. He is still my friend and was just watching the match. He was more than just my coach."
Simon lifted two trophies in 2011 and has one this year from the spring on clay in Bucharest. But the Frenchman wants to achieve more. "I know who I need to play. I want to improve and I think it will be easier to do that alone.
"I’ve had four years in the top 15 (save a 2010 knee injury). That's OK, but if I don't change anything I will stay there. I want to get better and I need to do that alone."
Simon's change paid off early as he reached the weekend stage in Bangkok, first event on the three-week ATP Asian swing.
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