Gilles Simon has things to say at the end of the year. To talk about his book This sport that drives you crazy, he had granted us a few weeks ago. And the native of Nice spoke at length, published on Friday. On this occasion, he spoke of his mixed experience as a player in the Davis Cup where he rubbed shoulders with three captains: Guy Forget, Arnaud Clément and Yannick Noah. So much so that he has forged a clear idea of the role he would like to exercise in the future.
Simon first deplored certain methods of managing men and egos. “The common idea of the captains I have known was to rely on a leader. You may well be stronger punctually than this leader – Jo (Tsonga) in this case most of the time, to whom it could happen to play injured elsewhere – or dominate him in training, you had no chance to be number 1 on the team. If I were captain, I believe that I would take more account of the adversaries than of this statutory hierarchy“, he explained.
Gaël Monfils, Yannick Noah, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gilles Simon and Richard Gasquet in Davis Cup
Credit: Getty Images
If I were captain, I would rely entirely on singles players
Without going into personal criticism, Simon has never felt a real osmosis with one of his three captains. If his relations were undoubtedly more difficult with Guy Forget, whom he has never been able to “Gain someone’s trust“in his own words, he also had to convince Arnaud Clément that he could be more than one”fifth man“. As for Yannick Noah and his management”instinctively“,” Prof “also had a hard time getting used to it, him hyper rational.
He thus endeavored to identify the main principles shared by the three men which could prove to be counterproductive. In addition to the designation of an unsurpassable leader, Simon calls into question in particular the place, excessive according to him, granted to the double. “I would rely entirely on singles players. Because the second very strong idea in France is that we need the double point. However, the double is one point in five. But for my captains, it was almost the most important point of the meeting. Their justification was: ‘We’ve always done it like this, why would we do it any other way?’ “
That has the merit of being clear. If the Davis Cup is part of the culture of French tennis and it fully subscribes to it, Gilles Simon hopes to move the lines. In any case, he laid down in a few words the clear foundations of a possible future term of captain: fewer statutes, more analysis of styles of play and priority to singles. Provided that the competition does not die by then because of its rather poorly put together reform and the coronavirus crisis …