Four French people, Sean Cuenin, Arthur Fils, Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard and Luca Van Assche, are in the semi-finals of Roland-Garros among juniors. Great hopes for the future of French tennis, in bad shape with no qualifiers in the 3rd round.
HISTORICAL. The semi-finals of the Roland-Garros junior tournament will be completely blue this Friday (from 11 a.m.). Sean Cuenin, Arthur Fils, Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard and Luca Van Assche are the wonderful ray of sunshine of this end of Roland. Especially after the resounding zero of the great. One of these four “boys” will join the charts Paul-Henri Mathieu (2000), Richard Gasquet (2002), Gaël Monfils (2004) and Geoffrey Blancaneaux (2016).
Near court 14, where the four in a row was concluded on Thursday, Olivier Soulès, head of the 10-18 year-old boys department at the FFT, is a happy supervisor: “We dreamed of it a little bit at the start of the tournament and thanks to their qualities and their talent, we have the four in the half. It’s good for them “. Originally from Var, Sean Cuenin sums up the general feeling: “I am very happy. It gives the FFT a good image. We have proven that the French can go after a Grand Slam even if it is the juniors, it is still important, rare and difficult “.
Four future potentials
These four young people have known each other for quite a few years. They train together regularly and are very tight-knit. The first time Giovanni and Arthur played each other, the first won: “He won 5-1, 5-0, I only scored the first game, then I got chopped up! (laughs) “, remembers Arthur Fils. They seem to have the weapons so that the sun settles higher permanently.
“The four of them have something, it’s a great generation. They all have an overwhelming desire to get there. They have a project well in hand, and they are doing everything to get there”, describes Olivier Soulès.
With already a speech assured in front of the press and especially four very different profiles. “Arthur, he’s a crazy dog, hyper tonic, that we have to train like a puppy, he smiles. It’s not at all pejorative of course! If he can channel himself, he should doing something not bad as a senior. Giovanni is more shy, more reserved, but he could impose more with his height – he measures two meters – and his service. But little by little, he needs to gain more self-confidence. On his side, Luca has a very, very strong project. He’s a super intelligent kid. What he managed to do a year ago, he might not have succeeded in doing. science of the game, the essentials, but he has to manage to temper himself. Finally, Sean, it’s a bit like Arthur, a little raw, with a huge slap of the forehand. But he has to spot well the way he should use it. He has great abilities, but he needs to understand the clay court game even more. “
Their other weapon, which can for the moment be turned against them: their strong character. “They have to manage, sometimes it plays tricks on them. To try to be strong, you have to have character. It’s not something that bothers me, I rather like it, but management is important, ”says Olivier Soulès.
The hard part begins
For three weeks, they have been playing in the context of a Grand Slam. With a gigantic organization, millimeter, and an exceptional media window which opens by their performances. Luca Van Assche, beneficiary of a wild card for the qualifications (Editor’s note: he had resisted the Swiss Laaksonen), seems to have taken the full measure: “It was really incredible, I was able to train with very well classified players. It allowed me to see the high level. It made me want to work even harder to replay these tournaments thanks to my classification, and to play them every year. has served a lot tennis and mentally “.
Victorious at Wimbledon juniors in 2000, Nicolas Mahut is delighted with this collective success. And can’t wait to see the result of his fratricidal duels. “Nothing says the best of the four will win. And nothing says whoever wins will go furthest behind.” Word of a wise man ready to ensure transmission. Because these kids will need a solid shoulder and an attentive ear …