#FrenchOpen #HenriLeconte #30 #thefinal

30 Years Wilander Leconte

It's been 30 years, that no French player has managed to reach the Roland Garros final. Since June 5, 1988, when Henri Leconte challenged the Swede Mats Wilander. The actors of this landmark event, both now consultants for Eurosport, go back in time in the following interview.

On June 5, 1988, you played in the final of Roland Garros (Swedish victory 7/5, 6/2, 6/1). You remember ?

Mats Wilander: Of course. Five years ago, I had already faced a Frenchman, Yannick Noah, for the title in Paris. I lost! I also knew what a good player Henri could be and I was expecting a close match. The first set was decisive.

Henri Leconte: This is typically the kind of match that we wish we could not remember but that we can not forget. It's a bad memory for me. But after all, there is still the satisfaction of having reached a Grand Slam final at home, which is better than nothing ...

How do you explain that since then, no tricolor player has managed on the men's circuit at Roland Garros?

MW: This is not necessarily surprising: the pressure on the shoulders of the French is huge in Paris and we see a similar phenomenon in Melbourne with the Australians, New York and the Americans and even Wimbledon for the English ... at least until to the victory of Andy Murray but, he is Scottish before being British and I think it could have had an impact.

H.L .: The Tsonga generation, Gasquet, etc. is exceptional. But in France, I feel that we do not work enough on the emotional side. Of course there is pressure to play in Paris but it can also be positive. Personally, when I played against Pete Sampras in the Davis Cup final in 1991, when I was above the 150th place in the world and still had a loose back a few weeks earlier, of course there was some pressure and you have to be in your "comfort zone" during this kind of matches.

Despite your beautiful journey to reach the final in 1988, Henri, many have retained only your speech a bit awkward ...

H.L .: It overdid it, it's true! That is the proof that we must be very careful about everything we can or can't say. This is even more true today with social networks.

M.W .: I remember the reaction of the audience but I did not really understand why they hissed Henri. But it is necessary that the public understands that it is already very difficult to make the speech of the defeated during a final of a Grand Slam so much the disappointment is immense.

How did you manage the months following this final?

M.W .: When I won the US Open that year and became world number 1, I really felt that my motivation was not the same at all, especially in training. I really felt that it was different after in 1989, and certainly not an excuse, my father was diagnosed with cancer and died the following year. He was very important to me and his illness and disappearance were a real test. Once you have achieved most of your goals, it is difficult to motivate yourself. We see it with Djokovic since winning Roland Garros ...

H.L .: It was very complicated then. The year that followed was terrible, especially since I had expressed myself poorly and probably I was also poorly prepared and organized at that time, but it is also how we grow up. Until 1991 and this final Davis Cup that we won after 59 years of scarcity for France, at the price of an exceptional dramaturgy and in a certain atmosphere, I felt not good. In 1992, moreover, I managed to follow up with an excellent Roland Garros where I stopped in the semi-finals against the Czech Petr Korda. The link with the public was then very strong.



#FrenchOpen #HenriLeconte #30 #onthewaytothefinal

Leconte, 30 years after: on the way to the final
This is the story of the last French player to have played a final at Roland Garros. Thirty years already. While the tricolors have since played finals at Wimbledon, the US Open or Australia, they have never reached the last Sunday in Paris.

Thirty years later, Henri Leconte still considers his match against Boris Becker as one of the most successful in his career.
He was still in this tournament and did not want to get out of it. That was his fear.

After the Becker case was settled, Henri was in panic. "I did not think about the next match at all after beating Becker. On the contrary, I was rather anxious, he admits. I was afraid, because I know I have to perform."

And perform, this was always his biggest problem. He could be great, like a McEnroe. An enchanter, a real shooting star, as there were a few. But continuity has not always been his forte. He knows it.

"To beat Andrei in three sets after Becker, it was hard for me"
Three years earlier, after his victory in five sets against Yannick Noah, he had been stopped in the quarterfinals by the future winner, Mats Wilander.
Fortunately for him in 1988, it was not (yet) Wilander who awaits him for a place in the last square, but Andrei Chesnokov…



#RolandGarros #FrenchOpen #HenriLeconte

Interview with Henri Leconte on May 21st 2018, Roland Garros.
Henri Leconte, the last French finalist of Roland Garros, thirty years ago, believes that the French ATP tennis players are not "really prepared and determined" to regain the trophy for France at the French Open in 2018. 
Q: Is it a pleasure to be still the last French finalist for Roland Garros?

A:  "This is not a satisfaction because it means that for 30 years we have lost. Let's say it's fun.  "

Q: How do you explain the absence of a French player in the final since 1988?

A:  "We don't have someone who is really prepared and determined to do be in the final at Roland Garros. To say I could be in the final it is one thing, but to reach the final is another thing. It is a big chance to have this great tournament at home in Paris. Some players use it to play better. For others the pressure is too much. There are always issues, injuries and doubts. Every year the same thing repeats itself. You have to listen to your body. You have to have a long-term vision and you need to have a strong will to play every ball better and better. You need to be a bull! In the end it is always Rafa (Nadal) who wins it! They (the French) are not able to analyze the game as good as Rafa does it. The French players need to learn that. "

Q: So the French are not well prepared enough?

A:  "What I see is the lack of preparation... You have to be decisive and determined in your tennis sports training program. You can see someone who is completely lacking in confidence like Lucas (Puglia). He has to be able to question himself. I don't think he's really honest with himself, he is not listening enough. It's okay to have a tough time. It happens even to the best. But you have to succeed in doing a positive analysis of all this and you need to change your behaviour. "

Q: What are the stakes for success on clay?

A:  "It's like a chess game. One builds its point even more than on the other surfaces. So you have to play a lot and a lot of matches to adapt. This surface requires an extreme concentration, a much greater power than on other surfaces. Roger Federer (Editor's note: Who has not played the whole season on clay, Roland-Garros included) knows very well what it costs to surpass himself on clay. It is difficult to impress at Roland Garros without having trained a lot. Unless you are a "mutant" like Gaël Monfils. But Gaël ages, he has no longer a solid base to visualize,analyse and devour opponents on clay.  "

Q: What year did you say "this time it's over, I won't be the last one"?

A:  "when Jo (Tsonga) was facing (David) Ferrer (semi-final in 2013). I really thought Jo could win. When you see a player like Ferrer, who does not have a big advantage and is not so powerful, you can succeed. As long as the French players have not understood the game, we will no longer win Roland Garros. Every time, I'm told Henri you exaggerate... But they still have not found the solution. When Yannick (Noah) won in 1983, you can not imagine the mass of work he invested and what he did every day to win this title. Ask Stan Wawrinka, what he did to win this trophy (2015)!  "
Q: Does the little succession behind the generation of Tsonga and Monfils scare you?

A:  "I'm not afraid. It's just reality. Others are so much better... Let's stop saying that when a junior wins one title,  he is prepared to win a major title. He hasn't done anything yet! We dropped the high level to make mass tennis. The French players have no real leader. Other sports are becoming more important in France. Today, tennis does not do as well as it is said... The French players have to be inspired by what is done abroad and they need to learn from other nations.They need to move out of their comfort zone to become more competitive.


#ATPChampionstour #Scottland #Gleneagles #Brodies

French Open finalist Henri Leconte joins legendary line-up at the Brodies Invitational at Gleneagles

French Open finalist Henri Leconte will put his famous left-handed swing into action this summer when he joins fellow tennis legends at the Brodies Invitational at Gleneagles.

The former World No. 5, who notched up nine singles titles and 10 doubles titles during his illustrious career, will take part in the two-day event that will see former British No. 1 Tim Henman, former World No. 1 Thomas Muster, former World No. 8 Mark Philippoussis and eight-time ATP World Tour doubles champion Colin Fleming, competing in the only Scottish date on the prestigious ATP Champions Tour on Friday 22 and Saturday 23 June.

Tennis fans will be treated to a display of experience versus youth when the all-star line-up shares the court with some of Scotland’s most promising young tennis talent. Former Fed Cup Captain Judy Murray has also confirmed her return to support the event, alongside Tennis Scotland and Scottish sports broadcaster Alison Walker as MC.

Henri Leconte said: “I’m really looking forward to playing at the Brodies Invitational, Gleneagles is a beautiful location to play. I know the Scots are very passionate about sport, so I’m sure it’ll be a great atmosphere.”

Established in 1997, the ATP Champions Tour spans the globe with former champions competing in tournaments in cities including London, Brussels, Palma de Mallorca, Mexico and Delray Beach.

Nick Scott, managing partner elect of Brodies, said: “I’m delighted that Henri Leconte will be joining us at Gleneagles for the very first time, it’s great to add another legend to what is already an exciting line-up of tennis stars. I’m sure his performance will be much anticipated by fans and business people alike.”


#RogerFederer #ATP #2018

Roger Federer again Number 1!

With his defeat of Dutch player Robin Haase in three sets in the quarterfinals of the Rotterdam Open, Roger Federer has yet again done the astonishing, the amazing, and the seemingly impossible: He has just reclaimed, at the age of 36, the title of world's number one ranked men's tennis player-an accolade he last enjoyed in November of 2012-which will make him the oldest player to reach the top of the mountain. (Andre Agassi was 33 when he held the spot in 2003, and Serena Williams was 35 when she was most recently ranked number one last year.)

"Roger is absolutely terrific: 20 Grand Slam victories, eight Wimbledon wins and five consecutive U.S. Open titles, unbelievable!" says Henri Leconte.

Henri Leconte #Victoria #Australia #2018

Henri Leconte on the hunt around Victoria for the tennis ball he just can't quite seem to catch!
Advertising Campaign and Video Shoot in January 2018 in Australia.


#AO2018 #Melbourne

Is Kerber rounding into championship-winning form? She dazzled in a third-round victory over Maria Sharapova and has moved into the position of favourite for the title - now all that stands between 2016 champion Angelique Kerber and a place in the quarterfinals is Su-Wei Hsieh.

Defending champion Federer giving no Fucsovics? Previously, the closest little-known Hungarian Marton Fucsovics has got to Roger Federer has been serving as a training partner for the Swiss maestro in Dubai. 'These guys work as hard as we do and they never get to see Rod Laver Arena,' Federer said of his fourth-round opponent - can Fucsovics make his day in the sun count against the defending champion?

Tennis is the name of the game for Thiem ... And Tennys is the name of the fifth seed's next opponent: Tennys Sandgren, the journeyman who ousted former Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka as part of his fairytale run to the fourth round. Dominic Thiem is still a work in progress away from clay - could he become Sandgren's latest upset victim?

Djokovic faces Next Gen star Chung- It's not the Novak Djokovic vs young gun match-up we were anticipating when the draw came out - but fourth seed Alexander Zverev felt foul of his peer Hyeon Chung, the Korean sensation who is on his way up after winning the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan last year.




Henri Leconte thinks 2017 has been 'vintage season'

ATP Season 2017, 31st December 2017

Former French tennis player Henri Leconte thinks it has been a vintage season on the Tour so far.
2017 has been marked by the resurgence of Spain's Rafa Nadal and Swiss Roger Federer.
Nadal ended champion at the French Open and US Open, while Federer made it all the way at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.
The two have also combined for seven Masters 1000 titles this season.
Nadal has made a comeback to the No. 1 spot, while Federer is ranked just behind him at No. 2.
Nadal and Federer finished their 2016 season earlier as their goal was to get healthy and prepare for this campaign.
Some stars of the game won't be gladly remembering the 2017 season.
Grand Slam champions Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, as well as promising Nick Kyrgios, Milos Raonic, Kei Nishikori, Tomas Berdych are done for the season.
Though not official yet, Murray, who hasn't played since Wimbledon, is expected to skip the Paris Masters and automatically end this year.
"Roger and Rafa have dominated like the old days. It seems like they have only two players on the ATP tour but it's been a vintage year because of the amount of injuries," Leconte said.
"Tennis has changed. It's quicker, harder, and players have to be more prepared to stay at the very top level."




Henri Leconte: "Alex don't rush, be yourself"

Alexander Zverev has said multiple times he knows how to deal with pressure as he has been facing pressure since he was a kid, but the 1988 Roland Garros finalist and former world no. 5 Henri Leconte doesn't think the 20-year-old is matured enough.

Zverev had a a full schedule this year, in which he has played 23 tournaments so far, including the Erste Bank Open in Vienna where he is competing this week and he still has a couple more tournaments to go, starting with the Paris Masters and the ATP World Tour Finals in London.
He could also play in the ATP Next Gen Finals in Milan. 'He has a great future and everybody is expecting him to win a Grand Slam tournament. But he has put a lot of pressure on himself - he has to slow down a little bit,' Leconte told Sky Sports. 'He has to try and enjoy it and really have fun.
He has to really prepare himself - that's the way the game is now. But sometimes it's important to release everything and enjoy the moment.' Zverev won 52 matches and lost 18 in 2015, triumphing in five tournaments.
But Leconte believes he needs to take more rest and relax more. 'When you try and do too much, like the horses; you're running, running and running, and you don't look around. He has great potential, but he's tough on himself - he's always pushing.
If you're like that then it can be dangerous because you can pick up injuries. He has more pressure because people see him as a future world no. 1. It takes time, don't rush, be yourself.' 


2017 Rafael Nadal

Watching Nadal rack up 17 consecutive victories during which he swept through Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid was like turning the clock back a decade when to challenge him on a claycourt was an act of folly.

“I thought the only player you can really believe will win the French Open is Rafa,” Henri Leconte, the last Frenchman to reach the final in 1988, told Reuters.

“I was with Boris Becker in Monte Carlo watching him beat David Goffin and it was amazing. And now he made it. Unbelievable. I'm very happy for him, Leconte told us. Congratulations to Rafa!"