No leader stands out in French tennis. After having known great years, the Habs of sport with the little yellow ball can experience a delicate 2023 season while waiting for the advent of the new generation.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gilles Simon, Richard Gasquet and Gaël Monfils have carried French tennis over the past decade and even before. The current reality is now quite different. The first two retired, Tsonga after Roland-Garros and Simon during the Rolex Paris Masters. As for Gasquet, 68th in the world, and Monfils, who has not played for several months and will skip the Australian Open, their best years are now behind them even if they are still capable of the best, for a short time now.
No French in the top 40
Who can then take over from the Musketeers to become the flag bearer of French tennis? The near future is subject, logically, to many questions. No French player finished the year in the top 40, a first since 1978. Arthur Rinderknech (44th), author of a good end to the season, and Adrian Mannarino (46th), titled at Winston-Salem this summer, are not regular enough to hope to play the leading roles on the big stage. Same story for the second knives Corentin Moutet (51st), Benjamin Bonzi (60th), Quentin Halys (64th), Constant Lestienne (65th), Ugo Humbert (85th) or Hugo Gaston (111th). In addition, Benoit Paire (182nd) pays for his lack of results and Lucas Pouille (389th) still has physical problems, causing his free fall in the standings.
— Roland Garros (@rolandgarros) June 4, 2022
Sons, Van Assche and Debru apply
French tennis seems doomed to wait for the next generation if none of the confirmed players of the moment have this famous trigger to climb the world hierarchy. The young shooters Arthur Fils and Luca Van Assche, just adults, knock on the door and take the gallon on the secondary circuit. The second, 137th at ATP when he started the season outside the top 500 places, was stronger than the first in 2021 to win the title at Roland-Garros, among juniors. Another promising tricolor, Gabriel Debru, 629th in the world at the end of the year and successor to Luca Van Assche on the Roland-Garros junior list, could also ensure a bright future for French tennis. He is only 16 years old but already impresses.