why the French are not ready to find the top of the bill

16.30, 30 October 2022

Good news: the French number one has won three places this week. Gaël Monfils, new father, didn’t even have to throw a racket. But now it only makes him the 41st player in the world. He is 36 years old and his body is so twisted that we won’t see him again until next season. To find a lower manager at ATP you have to go back to July 1979; Yannick Noah was 19 years old. The dolphin of the moment, Adrian Mannarino (42), also not a synonym for the future at 34, needed a wild card to access the table of the Masters 1000 in Paris and its luminous tunnel. Crude observation suggesting that the legacy of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the last French winner in 2008, will not be an issue. Nor is it a challenge to break the record for tickets sold (151,000 in 2019).

Already at Roland-Garros, no blue was among the 32 seeds, the first in twenty-three years. Soon the final phase of the Davis Cup will be played without France. Just like the previous edition. If Caroline Garcia on the female side finds the top of the bill, the male contingent consists only of supporting roles. With the impending one of Gilles Simon, the bracket with the Mousquetaires logo closes a little more and the time has come to look further. Especially since Lucas Pouille, who has been appointed to facilitate the transition, has fallen off the radar.


The tradition of tennis in this country is such that one can only be saddened by the current low point, broadcast Cédric Pioline, former number one and new director of the Rolex Paris Masters. But we are starting to see a successor and a boy like Ugo Humbert who is underclass [ex-25e désormais 103e]come back. From Messin, a fine offensive temperament can really spring forth flashes if the inner planets align. A late-maturing player, Arthur Rinderknech (27, 51st) goes against the flow: he is living his best period and confirms that he is not good for anyone, especially under one roof. Hugo Gaston, he has not been much more advanced in a year and his eighth win at Bercy against Carlos Alcaraz.

Also read – Davis Cup: the French team, like in the good old days (or almost)

Patience is recommended as no one plays the mark” generational talent does not appear to be a locomotive in the short term. However, with a 100% French final four, the 2021 Roland-Garros juniors have lit a candle again, although the list of Grand Slam winners in the sad aftermath is too extensive to get carried away. Winner of the edition, Luca Van Assche (18) broke his first top 100 this week. His successor, Gabriel Debru, stands out for his passing times and his physique (16 years old, 1.95 meters). He may be there, the “special” player who will revive French tennis.

In the meantime, we cannot blame the federal team in place for a year and a half, under the authority of national technical director Nicolas Escudé, for staying behind his line. An overhaul of the training, since the under 12s, has taken place with two steering axes. 1/ Prioritization of technique; not to be confused with gesture or aesthetics. ” A player must not settle for being stuck on 19 because, for example, he has a backhand problem. “, Supports Louis Borfiga, returned to advise the Federation (FFT) after strengthening Canadian tennis. 2/ The result in the youth categories should not be a goal in itself.

Hard cliché

Specifically, the national centers and detection have been updated. At the same time a department mental and psychological dimension was created under the leadership of Francisca Dauzet, who ran through Daniil Medvedev’s head for a long time. Because, according to a harsh cliché, French players don’t mind? ” They have no less than the otherscorrects Borfiga. When I arrived in Canada, he thought the same thing. But when I heard Félix Auger-Aliassime say, at 16, that he had no limits, I understood that it was won. »

Also Read – Tennis: why is Roger Federer one of the greatest players of all time?

Finally, the openness towards foreign technicians, outlined under the previous mandate, is growing. Finalist in the famous Roland 2021, Arthur Fils recently spent a week in Italy with Riccardo Piatti, former coach of Milos Raonic and Jannik Sinner. In the same spirit, discussions should be started with Ivan Ljubicic about a possible collaboration, he who is free now that Roger Federer has retired.

Garcia’s reward

Look no further for the comeback of the year. Compass lost since the beginning of 2020, Caroline Garcia (29) assembled the pieces of his attack puzzle this summer. Result: three and a half titles at the US Open. Only 74th in the world at the start of practice, here she is 6th and on the verge of playing her second Masters. It must have been with Bertrand Perret, the coach who accompanied his resurgence. Except he just left the clan for “ non-sporting reasons “. In Forth Worth (Texas), where the top eight players are currently gathered, Garcia will have to deal with Iga Swiatek, Coco Gauff and Daria Kasatkina to get out of her group.

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