August 1, 2021

in decline, French tennis wants to broaden its horizon

“Today, I am super optimistic for the future of French tennis. “ For those who do not know him, Louis, known as “Luigi”, Borfiga could seem adept at the opposite. Of those who send the ball in the zig when the opponent finds himself in the zag, the head in the flowerpots at the edge of the court. However, the man who whispers in the ear of Gilles Moretton, the president of the French Tennis Federation (FFT), is not the type to dodge reality.

Exiled since 2006 in Canada, where he orchestrated the enormous progress of local tennis, the French, vice-president in charge of the elite of the Canadian Federation, will return to France in the fall, as an advisor to the new boss of the tricolor tennis. And see, from afar, the magnitude of the task. “When you touch the bottom of the pool, you can only go up. Today, we want to take a boost, and I believe that we are not the only ones ”, thus imaged Moretton, new boss of French tennis, Friday, June 4.

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The abyss, French tennis is now well immersed. Black clouds gathered above the Porte d’Auteuil, but the storm waited until the night of Thursday to Friday to unleash its thunderbolts, in its own way, the worst performance of the French since the start of the era. Open (in 1968). Men and women alike, no Habs have crossed the second round of Roland-Garros. And all the staff, freshly appointed – Moretton was elected at the end of February -, went up to the net to try to plug the breaches.

“Generational shift”

The worst is undoubtedly that the 2021 edition does not take French tennis by surprise. For years, the results of the quartet Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gaël Monfils, Gilles Simon and Richard Gasquet have eclipsed the slow decline of the national reservoir. “We are all at the end of our careers and we are a little tired, admitted this last Thursday, after his seventeenth straight loss to Rafael Nadal. It is the end of the cycle for many, a difficult time for everyone. ” For women, the picture is hardly brighter.

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“We are in a generational shift, and taking up the torch at a high level is complicated”, noted Gilles Moretton, Friday. Like other nations before it – Sweden in the 1990s, or more recently the United States and Italy – France must reinvent itself after a golden period. Starting with training.

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