French tennis veteran Gilles Simon announced on Friday that he's temporarily stepping away from the tennis tour to take better care of his mental health.
Le cœur n’y étant plus du tout pour voyager et jouer dans ces conditions, je suis malheureusement obligé de faire une pause afin de me préserver mentalement. En espérant que le moral revienne le plus rapidement possible.— Gilles SIMON (@GillesSimon84) February 26, 2021
Merci à tous les fidèles pour votre soutien. À bientôt
"With my heart not being in it in terms of traveling and playing in these conditions, I unfortunately have to take a break in order to preserve myself mentally," Simon wrote, per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN). "Hopefully my morale picks up as soon as possible."
Simon lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the first round of the Australian Open this month and then fell to Dennis Novak in the opening round of the Open Sud de France. The 36-year-old is currently ranked No. 68 but rose to as high as sixth back in 2009. He's made more than $15 million in tournament prize money throughout his career.
Simon did not disclose when he may return to competitive play, but his tweet suggests he'll remain away as long as the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting countries and tournaments.