'Heart is not in it', says Simon as he takes break from tour

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 9, 2021 France's Gilles Simon before his first round match against Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Loren Elliott

(Reuters) - Veteran Frenchman Gilles Simon has said he is taking an indefinite break from the ATP tour out of concern for his mental health.

The 36-year-old, who reached a career-high singles ranking of six in 2009 but is now ranked 68, won the last of his 14 titles on the men's tour in 2018.

"With my heart not being there to travel and play in these conditions, I unfortunately have to take a break in order to preserve myself mentally," Simon wrote on Twitter. "Hopefully my morale picks up as soon as possible."

A former Australian Open and Wimbledon quarter-finalist, Simon crashed out in the first round of this year's season-opening major in Melbourne after a 6-1 6-2 6-1 defeat by Stefanos Tsitsipas.

He most recently competed at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier, losing to Austrian Dennis Novak in the first round.

(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin)

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