Maxime Janvier reveals disgust for tennis and rips (childishly) Federer and Nadal

The French tennis player is furious with the way tennis works today, but...

by Lorenzo Ciotti
SHARE
Maxime Janvier reveals disgust for tennis and rips (childishly) Federer and Nadal
© Clive Brunskill / Staff Getty Images Sport

A sensational frontal attack, which has fundamentally affected tennis, the result of the exasperation of an athlete who, evidently, has found major critical issues in the management of some tennis systems, during his life as a tennis player. Maxime Janvier, French tennis player number 225 in the ATP ranking defeated at Wimbledon in the first round by the Chinese Zhizhen Zhang, has harshly attacked those who govern our beloved game. And he underlined that if he could start his life over again, he would no longer play tennis.

In an interview with L'Equipe, Janvier highlighted that if it were not for the financial aspect he would have already given up a long time ago.

"Tennis disgusts me a lot, it disappoints me. When I was younger I didn't think so at all. I would never have dedicated myself to tennis if I had known. There is a permanent lack of stability. You can't take anything for granted and there are no safeguards. I don't expect anything from this sport anymore. When I was younger I loved tennis, today it seems very unfair to me. There are guys in the top 300 who are better than guys in the top 50 but there are those who constantly get wild-cards. Players are prevented from moving up the rankings. Those in the top 50 only have to win one match and that is already worth as many points as a Challenger final. It is practically impossible to get to the top. If I could start my life over again, I wouldn't play tennis, but I would play football or basketball," he said.

Maxime Janvier
Maxime Janvier© Clive Brunskill / Staff Getty Images Sport
 

When asked why he doesn't decide to leave tennis, Janvier replied: "For the prize money It's very difficult, because a prize can completely change your life in three months if you play well. If it weren't for the financial aspect, I would have left a long time ago. If in three years I'm in the top 400, I'll give myself three months to climb the rankings, otherwise I'll leave," he added.

In the interview he also says he asked for a loan from a bank. The interviewer points out that with the qualification to Wimbledon Championships he has $70,000 assured:

"This bothers me. It is totally false to say that I win $70,000. First of all they take away the taxes of the country in which you play, usually 20 or 30%, and then they put the taxes back on you in France. You then have to pay for the hotel, the physiotherapy, the ropes, the food, the flights. Then I go back to my Challengers, where in the first round there are 400 euros gross, if you lose, you lose money. I wouldn't wish this life in tennis on anyone. I was broke, I ended the month with losses of $2,000 or $3,000. I couldn't continue, it was unbearable, horrible. I will never have a coach again, I've been alone for two years. Too many expenses, I don't earn anything. Tennis is my job. You lose in any round of Wimbledon and the next day you can't get in. There's no respect, they don't treat us well. There have always been differences in treatment, for example, for Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, it has always been like this. They have the main training courts for hours and we instead have to share the court. In a competition you have to be treated equally, but it is not like that, it is very unequal. It's a mirror of life in general," he said.

Maxime Janvier
Maxime Janvier© Clive Brunskill / Staff Getty Images Sport
 

I make a personal consideration regarding Janvier's words. The Frenchman is right: those who play tennis professionally MUST (it must be emphasized) have the right to be able to live off this sport. Just as all those who have a job or have become professionals in a sector, must be able to live off their profession. But the criticism of the unequal treatment reserved for Federer and Nadal, frankly, is laughable. It's childish. Federer and Nadal have earned their status, privileges and everything else. Tennis has grown exponentially thanks to Federer, Nadal, but also Venus and Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Maria Sharapova. These tennis players have increased the business around tennis in an unthinkable way (indirectly, also for Janvier). It's right that they have their status, they deserved and earned it. The system must rightly be improved, to allow everyone to eat with their profession, but those who are in the top-50, are there for a specific reason: they managed to get there with a mix of talent, luck, mentality. The system should be criticized, not those who earned their position on the court.

Maxime Janvier
SHARE