Before Roland-Garros, the great fall of French tennis


VS ‘it’s a creepy statistic. With the announcement of the Gaël Monfils package, there will be no French series at Roland-Garros, both women and men. You have to go back to 1997 and the Australian Open to see this anomaly in a Grand Slam tournament. As for the Parisian mud, we are even in the year 1980!

The terrible report is essential especially in the male table. Between the end of a generation that will soon leave the courts (Tsonga and Simon), another that fails to prevail (Paire and Pouille) and a still tender youth (Gaston and Halys), tricolor tennis is not yet there. . the party in 2022.

“Passing the torch to a high level is complicated”

The best possible representative was Gaël Monfils. A quarter-finalist in Melbourne earlier this year, winner of the Medvedev at Indian Wells, the world number 22 in the ATP rankings had to give up his favorite tournament due to a heel injury. “I am sorry to announce my retirement from Roland Garros next week. From Monte Carlo I have been hampered by a spur [excroissance osseuse] on the right heel that prevents me from moving on the track. I made the decision to make a small intervention to deal with the problem so that I could resume the tournaments as soon as possible “, the Frenchman explained on Twitter. It is therefore difficult to be optimistic about the fortnight that is opening.

Even the rankings, in which 27 players from France took part, now represent a real obstacle. Specialist in doubles, Pierre-Hugues Herbert fell in the first round at Porte d’Auteuil against 172i global. His explanation was lucid at a press conference. “Things are not going well in France today for tennis. It will take a reaction. My reaction too, I have to do much better. We didn’t take enough advantage of the period when we had monsters in front of us “, referring to the four musketeers of the 21st century.i century, Gaël Monfils, Richard Gasquet, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gilles Simon. The last two cities announced that this Roland-Garros would be their last, before hanging up the rackets. “We are in a generational shift and taking charge of the torch at a high level is difficult,” said Gilles Moretton, president of the French Tennis Federation (FFT), a year ago.

Hecatomb expected from the first rounds

For women, it’s no better. The first Frenchwoman, Alizé Cornet, had a great start to the season with a quarter-final in Melbourne, before returning to the ranks. It remains mostly with four consecutive defeats and had no results in 2022 on clay. The dynamic is not much more exciting for Caroline Garcia. Injured in the foot in late March, she was unable to play a leg-preparation tournament before Roland Garros. The young guard made up of Océane Dodin (25), Clara Burel (21) or Diane Parry (19) has not yet confirmed her promises. It is difficult in these circumstances to imagine a successor to Mary Pierce, 22 years later.

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Louis Borfiga, a former Monfils and Tsonga coach at Insep, had said in an interview with France Info last year that he needed to patiently accept his problems over the decline of French tennis. “I find it sad to have these results. We have to mobilize to be able to straighten out French tennis, but it doesn’t make sense to complain. Jo-Wilfried’s golden generation [Tsonga] and Gael [Monfils] it is a bit old and the new generation is not yet ready to take over. It will take some time, but I will find myself in four or five years to see a great generation. “While waiting for this strong comeback of tricolor tennis, the results of this edition of Roland-Garros 2022 are likely to be disappointing again. We used to fear that there would be no more French in the second week. Now it will be much sooner.

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