Who is Gabriel Debru, the nugget of French tennis in the semifinals of the junior tournament?

Look at everyone with contempt. Not out of condescension to his opponents, but because of his height: 1.95 m at just sixteen! Gabriel Debru is one of the great hopes of French tennis. He will play, on Friday, June 3, a semifinal of the junior tournament of Roland-Garros against the Croatian Dino Prizmic, head of series n ° 10. The Grenoble Tennis Club licensee is the last Tricolor in the race to succeed Luca Van Assche, winner in 2021.

And this is not his first feat. On 16 May he became the youngest player to win a qualifying round for a Grand Slam tournament from Bernard Tomic at the 2008 Australian Open, winning against Arthur Fils Porte d’Auteuil. It is enough to fill him with confidence just before his second participation in the junior table. Since then, the youngster has been strolling through the competition for 18-year-olds and under, and has been sailing his boat quietly since entering the competition last Sunday: he has not conceded a set in his four matches.

His first feat among the greats, a Challenger tournament in Roanne, on November 9, 2021. Not yet in the ATP rankings, Debru then faces the 220th in the world, the Italian Andrea Pellegrino, in the first round. To everyone’s surprise, he was the winner of a three-set duel (4-6, 6-2, 6-3) and is offered, at just fifteen years and ten months, his first points on the main circuit.

With this first return to the Loire, he became the fourth youngest player of the century to make a round in a Challenger tournament and, at the moment, the only player under the age of 16 to appear in the world top 1000. In a few months, he climbed the levels one by one to 780th in the world before Roland Garros. “I train a lot every week to improve and I think I’ve already improvedsummed up the interested party after his easy victory in the quarterfinals of the junior tournament on Thursday against the Slovak Privara (6-1, 6-2).

“I don’t rely on my achievements. I hope to do better and better. I work out physically and with tennis every week. It’s very hard but I hold on so I can get better every day. I’m going to keep training very hard so I can achieve mine. dreams”.

Gabriel Debru

at franceinfo: sport after its Roland-Garros junior quarterfinals on June 2, 2022

The No. 18 seed in the men’s tournament can count on assets in his game: his cannon services exceed 200 km / h, his intelligence of play and his mark of ease, both in reverse to two hands as in his right bomb. The right-hander also hurts his opponents with his mobility by not hesitating to finish the point on the net with a certain touchdown. “He needs a pretty high energy level on the track, but he shouldn’t get excited either.”Explain one of his coaches at the Grenoble club, Stéphane de Choudens.

Often during the game, especially during the points capable of tipping the game, the player with the cap turns to his clan, clenching his fist. “He also comes looking for energy outside”specifies Stéphane de Choudens.

Dreams, the Isisrois is full and wants to aim high. Since he started playing tennis at the age of five, the player of the 2005 generation (born on December 21) has not stopped growing. “At this age, there is everything that still needs to progress”However, warn your coach. He adds: “We have young people who are very talented, but there are other ingredients to be had. And I think mentally, Gabriel is strong, in any case he proves it because he knows how to take responsibility.”

For Paul-Henri Mathieu, senior director of the French Tennis Federation, who attended the quarterfinals of the hopeful Frenchman, there is still a long way to go: VSIt’s a pride to have young talent emerging and obviously it is It’s always good to see several youngsters get far in tournaments. But this is not the end of it. We know that many things can still happen until we reach the professional circuit.


With his performances, the young man from Grenoble arouses curiosity. French Davis Cup captain Sébastien Grosjean was even one of the few spectators on track 14 for the young prospect’s demonstration. “I’m going to see all the French players, we’re looking everywhere”sketched the technician at Roland-Garros Bays.

Gabriel Debru is not yet known to the general public but he has the ambition, through his performances on the tracks, to become one. To get to know him better, his coach Stéphane de Choudens proposes to focus on the behavior of his protégé. “We see a lot of things on the track of a personality, of someone. We feel like he’s a player, we feel like he likes to create.”smiles TC Grenoble technician. He likes to adapt to situations, he likes to feel the moments of the game “.

“We feel he’s generous. He’s generous in the effort and that’s what he’s generous on the outside as well.”

Stephane de Choudens

at franceinfo: sport after Gabriel Debru’s victory in the quarterfinals of the junior Roland-Garros

His serenity is also remarkable. The nickname “Gaby” shows no negative emotion in his youthful face, either during a party or during his requests to the media. “I think there are expectations for everyone, for every professional and everyone manages them in their own way.analyze the person concerned. Now I try to give my best on the pitch, to get the best possible result on the court. I just want to give it my all and be satisfied. “

To do this, the young man stands out as much as possible from everything that can be said about him and can count on his family and his older brother, Mathis, who is also a tennis player. Gabriel Debru says more: “I’m in a bubble, you have to know how to protect yourself because if you listen to everything that’s being said, you can quickly get lost. I’m very focused on my workouts, my tournaments and I know my family allows me. rest your mind after the games “. The appointment is made for the slender Grenoble who has it all to make it even bigger.

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