Tennis: Tennis-French heading in opposition to Roland Garros fiasco


PARIS (Reuters) – Richard Gasquet’s personal expectancies of shining at Roland Garros are so low that he has already covered up a task as a pundit for French TV at this 12 months’s claycourt primary, the place the native hopefuls are equipped for some other dire collective efficiency.

With French primary Gael Monfils having pulled out injured closing week, there might be no seeded gamers from the house country in each the lads’s and the ladies’s attract Paris – a primary since 1980.

The choice of seeds used to be greater from 16 to 32 again in 2001.

“It’s true that French tennis isn’t doing smartly,” mentioned Pierre-Hughes Herbert, who used to be knocked out within the first spherical of the {qualifications} this week.

“There is were given to be a response.”

Ultimate 12 months handiest 3 Frenchmen survived their opening fits sooner than being eradicated in the second one spherical — their worst collective efficiency since tennis became skilled in 1968.

France had lengthy was hoping that any individual from their troupe of New Musketeers — Gasquet, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gilles Simon and Monfils — would finish the rustic’s close to four-decade watch for a home-grown males’s champion.

However with the getting older quartet now well beyond their high, and in some instances heading for retirement, France’s seek for a champion who can revive the honor days of Yannick Noah’s 1983 triumph is going on.

Simon and Tsonga at the moment are each ranked outdoor the sector’s best 150 and might be retiring this 12 months, whilst Gasquet has dropped right down to seventy fifth.

Previous this week, the 35-year-old beat Daniil Medvedev in directly units on the Geneva Open. Alternatively, with the Russian making a return after spending a number of weeks at the sidelines following an operation, Gasquet didn’t wish to learn an excessive amount of into that consequence since he has in recent years even struggled to win fits at the lower-tier Challenger circuit.

Therefore his choice to enroll to paintings as a commentator following his French Open go out, which on present shape he expects that to be quicker slightly than later.

Consistent with former participant Fabrice Santoro, there may be on the subject of 0 probability to look a French participant going previous the 3rd spherical in Paris.

“We will be able to at all times hope however having no French gamers in the second one week could be logical,” he mentioned.

“We are at a low level. Because the finish of the Nineteen Eighties I will be able to’t recall one of these dangerous 12 months,” he added, pointing the finger on the French tennis federation (FFT), which has did not groom any new ability.

“It isn’t a query of probability. The FFT has the method to do significantly better. Some nations do higher with 10 instances much less (cash, infrastructure and alternatives). One thing’s now not proper.”

No French guy has received a Grand Slam identify since Noah lifted the Musketeers Cup 39 years in the past. Whilst Mary Pierce, Marion Bartoli and Amelie Mauresmo have since received majors, the highest-ranked Frenchwoman at this 12 months’s championships might be global quantity 40 Alize Cornet.

(Reporting by way of Julien Pretot; modifying by way of Pritha Sarkar)



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