French Federation Chief: 'We need winning culture'


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French Federation Chief: 'We need winning culture'

Bernard Giudicelli can't be proud of his first year as chief of the French Tennis Federation, at least looking at results that the French players got during the year. At Roland Garros he seriously criticized the French men, and he did it again after US Open as Lucas Pouille was the only player to reach the fourth round in the men's singles draw.

Giudicelli thinks a change is needed, at least in terms of mentality. 'Maybe in three years we’re going to win a slam. Maybe it’s just a cycle. But we should not think like that. We have to instil that winning culture (in) the players when they’re still kids,' Giudicelli told Reuters in New York.

He also revealed a very interesting statistic that says a lot about how French players performed in the Majors. 'If I add all the grand slams played since the end of World War II, three were won by French men and six by French women.

It means that for the men, 99% of the time you enter a slam, and 98% for the women, you lose it. So it’s useless to discuss how the French perform. We say ‘Stop’. We stop being the losers and we set up a new model which is to say, ‘To be the best in the world I need to be the best at home and then move up from here and play tournaments outside our country from a younger age.' In theory, Roland Garros has been the best tournament for French players as it draws the crowd to support for them.

But crowd support is not enough to triumph. 'We must train on clay all year round. Clay is not just a surface that you train on to win the French Open. It’s a surface that helps you perform on any surface.' ALSO READ: Del Potro: 'I can't win a Major title if my backhand is like this'