The tricolor tennis hopes to do “less worse” than the last catastrophic edition, where no player or player had passed the second round in individual.
Retiring from Roland-Garros, 23-year-old Geoffrey Blancaneaux, the 195th player in the world, is the only Frenchman to have achieved this performance this year. It is already better than 2021 when none of our representatives had managed to reach the final table. There will be 14 players (including 6 guests) and 12 players (including 6 guests), starting on Sunday, at the starting line. For what ambitions? Limited, very limited. It will be necessary to do “less worse” than in 2021, when only three Frenchmen had passed a round, before being eliminated in the second, their worst collective performance since tennis became professional in 1968 … In the absence of the number in French (and 22nd in the world) Gaël Monfils, package due to injury, everything is depopulated. Therefore, there will be no series at the men’s and women’s tables in Paris, a first since 1999.
Suffice it to say that the chances of seeing a French player in the third round in Paris are slim. The start of the season (quarters of Monfils and Cornet in Australia) should not hide the fact that French tennis is going through a deep crisis. For the first time since 1971, for example, there was no tricolor representative at the table of the Masters 1000 in Rome … Nine Blues are in the Top 100, but only two are left in the top 50 (Monfils 22 and Ugo Humbert 45th) and there are no more in the Top 20. The best ranked Frenchwoman is Alize Cornet … 40i world.
At the age of 37, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, former 5th in the world and the most beautiful French record since Yannick Noah, plays his last tournament on Parisian clay thanks to an invitation. Like Gilles Simon (159th, 37 years old). Respectively opposed to Casper Ruud, 8i world and Pablo Carreño Busta, 17i, in the 1st round, the two veterans were not damaged by the draw. At 35, Richard Gasquet is still clinging to his side, as evidenced by his recent semi-final in Geneva, after beating Daniil Medvedev by 2.i round. But will Biterrois, 75th in the ATP, have enough energy in the engine to get rid of South African Lloyd Harris (37th), then American Sebastian Korda (30th), to get to 3rd?i turn of a Major for the first time since the 2018 US Open?
Ugo Humbert, 23, is the best ranked Frenchman in the world (45i). But he doesn’t feel comfortable on clay. A victory against the Finn Emil Ruusuvuori (61st) in the first round would already be a great satisfaction. Benjamin Bonzi, 53 years oldi The world seems to have the means to achieve an uninspired action on earth against Frances Tiaffoé. And Quentin Halys, 86i world champion and author of a very good season in the circuit challenger (2i division), could create a good surprise against John Isner, not a giant about ocher … Hugo Gaston, 68 yearsibut losing confidence in recent weeks will miraculously regain its best level in Paris where it shone in the recent past (8i in 2020 Porte d’Auteuil and the Bercy district in 2022)? He will have to hit hard from the start against Alex de Minaur (21i). And Benoît Paire, catastrophic in 2022, announced on social media that he was going “set fire to Roland-Garros Starting in his first round against Belarusian Ilya Ivashka (50i), we are waiting to see.
Very discreet cornet from the Australian Open
In women’s tennis there are even fewer reasons for optimism. From her quarter-finals at the Australian Open, Niçoise Alizé Cornet, 8i finalist in 2017 Porte d’Auteuil, was very discreet. Against the entry of the Japanese Misaki Doi (97i), was able to find the Latvian Jelena Ostapenko (13i).). Caroline Garcia (73rd in the world) and Kristina Mladenovic (110th) have been losing confidence for a few months, as has Fiona Ferro, eighth finalist in 2020, and dropped to 139th place in the world. And young shoots Clara Burel (95i) and Diane Parry (96i), will have to achieve a monumental feat, respectively against the Greek Maria Sakkari (4i), semifinalist last year and Czech champion Barbora Krejcikova (2i)