Interview. Tennis: Louise Girard has a great day at TC Bayeux

Louise Girard (right), winner of the Calvados Championship and third in the Normandy Championship © DR

Louise, after your 15/16 Calvados Championships and Third Category, you finished third in the Normandy Championship in both categories. How long have you been playing tennis?

I’ve been playing tennis for ten years. One of my parents ’friends did it and when we went to his house he made me play on his terrace. I also did athletics, basketball and handball. Tennis is an individual sport that forces you to adapt to your opponent, to find what you need to do to win and to hold on to be able to turn around situations that seem badly embarked. I train three hours a week, but I also keep going. Tennis has become a passion and it would be hard for me to live without it.

How would you define your strengths and areas for improvement?

I know how to adapt to my opponent’s game, but I also know how to vary mine. I don’t necessarily hit hard, but I’m able to accelerate with a ball or two. Which destabilizes my opponent. I need to improve my volleyball and my service even though it is much better than before. In the Third Category, the game was very different from 15-16 years old. Although the rival’s ranking is lower, matches are more difficult. Adults know how to look for their opponent’s weak point to lean on. Mentally, they are much more present.

You have been coached since the beginning by Georges Schehl, the club’s coach. What has it brought to you over the years?

I have always been fired at TC Bayeux and Georges has always trained me. It pushes me to succeed, to give the best of myself. After suffering from Sever’s disease, I have had, for some years, an inflammation of the sesamoid that forces me to stop for a while. I can play there today, but my knee has also forced me to limit training and matches for six months.

During the health crisis, it was very difficult to do anything. Taking over was very difficult and Georges has always been by my side. He knows me. He knows how to find the words to stimulate me. I feel good at TC Bayeux. The atmosphere is familiar and for a while he set up individual classes which brought me a lot.

Louise Girard

You also competed in the spring championships with the TC Bayeux senior and youth teams. How do you rate your season?

Like a few years ago, I played in the championships with our club’s senior team. A good experience, because playing with each other created bonds. At Joventut we have also done well. I played with teammates I hadn’t seen in a long time. This is the first time I have come this far in the Calvados Championship. He had never qualified for the Normandy Championships. At the beginning of the year, I was 15/2. The rankings have been reformed as a result of the health crisis. As he was injured, he had not played many games in the last two years. So I went back down 15/3. I was frustrated and did what it took to get up again.

“I know there was room in the Third Category”

What are your next goals? In the medium or long term?

I will play various tournaments on the coast. Including TC Bayeux where I particularly want to succeed. The fun comes from the competition. The goal is to get as far as possible, and even if you have to go up rankings, keep getting the best results possible, because rankings don’t always reveal a player’s potential. It’s fun to ride, but I also take a step back. I will not go to the French Championship. I know there was room in the Third Category. Maybe next year. I will go up to the Second Series and, in Jove, it will be difficult, because there will be a very good level.

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