France will have to wait for a 35th year to have a home grown Men’s Singles Champion with Gael Monfils bowing out of Roland Garros too.
Former Champion Mats Wilander says that the present generation French tennis players are running out of time.
Wilander was beaten in the final by France's last champion, Yannick Noah, in 1983. The Swede also broke French hearts the last time a Frenchman reached the final, beating Henri Leconte in 1988. “It is disappointing, for sure,” Wilander said.
“If you look at those guys, (Jo-Wilfried) Tsonga, (Richard) Gasquet, (Gael) Monfils... look at their rankings... 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 kind of 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.”
The last Frenchman to lose was Gael Monfils, bowing to Stan Wawrinka in the Fourth Round. "OK, well Stan, that is tough," Wilander said of Monfils' defeat. "But you have to beat these guys if you are going to do it."
Wilander said that he was surprised that none of the French players have been able to maximize on the crowd support that way Noah had done in '83.
"It knocked me off my feet," Wilander said of the crowd back then. "It is a tough situation, having a crowd like that against you.
"But then again, it can be hard to have them in your corner. Sometimes it is not easy when people around you want more for you than you want yourself, It can be hard to stay in the present."