As a tennis player, Gilles Cervara does not achieve success among the professionals, making only two appearances in the main draws of ITF doubles tournaments with two defeats in two matches. At that time he was a sparring partner of high-level tennis players such as Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Marat Safin. After retiring from competitive sport, in 2008 he became a tennis coach and in July 2013 he founded the Elite Tennis Center (ETC) in Cannes together with Jean-René Lisnard, an academy for professionals and young promises assisted by a team of coaches of consolidated experience.
Medvedev began training occasionally at the ETC in 2014, later Cervara followed him in some tournaments and became his full-time coach in 2017, building a team around the Russian tennis player to help him in various aspects, not just tennis.
Under his guidance, already in 2018 Medvedev won his first three ATP titles and entered the top 20 of the ATP ranking, but it was in 2019 that he achieved excellence by becoming number 5 in the world, winning 4 ATP titles, including two Masters 1000, and reaching the final at the 2019 US Open; at the end of the season Cervara was awarded at the ATP World Tour Awards ceremony as best coach of the year.
The following year he was once again a candidate for the award, which was however awarded to Andrej Rublëv's coach Fernando Vicente. His client's progress continues and in March 2021 Medvedev becomes number 2 in the world, the first tennis player to break the dominance of the fabulous four Djokovic, Federer, Nadal and Murray, who had continuously occupied the top two positions in the rankings since 2005.