French Open 2017: Bernard Giudicelli slams countrymen's underwhelming performances

French tennis federation president Bernard Giudicelli has hit out at the country's male players after their disappointing run at Roland Garros, saying they lacked physical strength and grit.

No French man has gone past the fourth round at the Roland Garros in 2017.

France's Lucas Pouille returns the ball to Spain's Albert Ramos at 2017 French Open . AFP

France's Lucas Pouille returns the ball to Spain's Albert Ramos at 2017 French Open . AFP

"What the French men lacked to go further is grit," Giudicelli told French radio RMC.

"When a coach says that the player can spend eight hours on court when the temperature is 45°C and then he gets cramps in the fourth set, there's a problem," said Giudicelli, referring to Lucas Pouille who lost to Spain's Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-2 3-6 5-7 6-2 6-1 in the third round.

"Enough talking. We need to work according to the norms of modern tennis. It means having physical abilities very early and also work on the mental."

No French man has won a grand slam title since Yannick Noah lifted the French Open in 1983, something the so-called golden generation should have achieved, according to seven-time grand slam champion Mats Wilander.

"It is disappointing, for sure," Wilander, who is at Roland Garros commentating for Eurosport, told Reuters last week.

"If you look at those guys, (Jo-Wilfried) Tsonga, (Richard) Gasquet, (Gael) Monfils, look at their rankings and for no one to get to the quarter-finals is really quite disappointing. I think they have underperformed, really. And then who is coming next? Lucas Pouille, okay. But right now this golden generation has not got much more time. This group is not going to be around forever.

"You would have expected them to have maybe won a grand slam by now," said Wilander.

The women have, however, fared better in French Open 2017. Kristina Mladenovic and Caroline Garcia were both defeated in the quarter-finals — the first time France had two women in the last eight since 1994.

"If the women have succeeded, it's not by chance. They took another path because we discussed and questioned some things," said Giudicelli.


Published Date: Jun 08, 2017 04:53 pm | Updated Date: Jun 08, 2017 04:53 pm


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