France's Simon a happy loser as hurries off to see newborn son

Sun Sep 5, 2010 6:16pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - France's Gilles Simon was bundled out of the U.S. Open Sunday but said he was happy to be leaving Flushing Meadows to see his bundle of joy -- newborn son, Timothee.

Simon, 25, lost to top-seeded world number one Rafa Nadal in straight sets but he was the one who got a thumbs up at the net as the Spaniard congratulated him on the arrival of his son, who was born Thursday.

"He knows I'm impatient to see my baby," Simon told reporters after his 6-4 6-4 6-2 third-round defeat. "He knows that I'm not really sad today, even if I lost."

The baby arrived four weeks ahead of schedule, and Simon had planned to take time off after the U.S. Open to face impending fatherhood for the first time.

Instead, the Frenchman was alone in his Manhattan hotel room when he received news that the baby was coming.

"It was a strange feeling. I mean, I was alone in my room," he said. "I definitely didn't want to be there, but I couldn't do anything.

"I was expecting him to arrive four weeks later, so it's just bad luck."

Simon said it was difficult juggling his excitement with his job at hand in Flushing Meadows.   Continued...

<p>Rafael Nadal (R) of Spain shakes hands with Gilles Simon of France after Nadal won their match at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, September 5, 2010. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque</p>