Open Sud de France: How Grosjean coped with the carnage – ATP

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Captain of the Davis Cup, owner of tournaments (Antwerp and Buenos Aires), Sebastien Grosjean, this week puts on his cap as Director of the Open Sud de France which celebrates its tenth anniversary.

Adapt. So goes the lives of tournament directors in the vast majority of the circuit’s events. Patron of the Open Sud de France for five years, succeeding Patrice Dominguez its founder who died in 2015, Sebastien Grosjean had to face a cascade of packages for the tenth anniversary of the ATP 250 tournament in Montpellier. To celebrate its tenth anniversary, two world tennis figures, triple Grand Slam winners: Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray, were announced. But the Swiss threw in the towel after the Australian Open and the Scotsman still hasn’t recovered from his groin injury. Lucas Pouille, still embarrassed by his elbow, Fabio Fognini, 11e world player or Andrey Rublev (15e) also failed. “It’s always the director’s fear. We do not control everything, confided a few days ago to Figaro, the former world number 4. It’s like that every four years. It’s an Olympic year and we’re on the calendar right behind the Australian Open when there was a week last year between the two events. For players who shine in Australia, it is not always easy to follow. “

“There is nothing better in France in terms of infrastructure for an ATP 250.”

Sebastien Grosjean

To find the parade, Sebastien Grosjean activated his address book and made multiple calls to offer last-minute invitations to French number one Gael Monfils, 9e world, twice titled in Montpellier (2010 and 2014), Felix Auger-Aliassime, 19 and 21e world, or Grigor Dimitrov (23e) (defeated in 8th of fianle by Gregoire Barrere). “This year we no longer have Sofia in competition,” continues Grosjean. This is a plus because we are the only tournament on the calendar contested in Europe. Players can start their indoor tour with Montpellier, then Rotterdam and Marseille. It remains a great stage for a lot of players. It’s a quality painting with also David Goffin (10e) and Denis Shapovalov (16e). The last player to enter the table is 62.e. The tournament is now part of the circuit landscape and is better able to absorb shocks than a few years ago. And there is nothing better in France in terms of infrastructure for an ATP 250. Then we do according to the budget (€ 606,350). To bring top 10s, you need a bigger budget. Tsitsipas, Medvedev or Zverev, I had them, but once in the 10 it’s more complicated. ”

With Monfils and also Richard Gasquet, triple winner and three-time finalist, who returns after his left knee injury, the semi-finalist of Roland-Garros 2001 will also be able to talk about the Davis Cup in Madrid (November 23-29) . A little, but not too much: “I am above all director this week,” he says. I will follow the players to Marseille (February 17-23) then to Miami in March and at the start of the clay court season in April. We will not be doing an internship like last season because there is no transition week between the Masters 1000 of Miami and Monte-Carlo. There is the Davis Cup but also the Games (July 25 – August 2) as head of the men’s delegation ”

“There is nothing to say that the Davis Cup is not going to change format again.”

Sebastien Grosjean

The Davis Cup has little to do with its original format and spirit. Despite differences (number of teams competing, duration of the tournament), it now looks like two drops of water at the ATP Cup, played in early January. Six weeks after a new edition decried in Madrid in November, this new world team tennis championship took place in Australia and scored points. Grosjean reminds us: “It’s at the start of the season and it’s in Australia. It’s summer. Everything was there to make it a success. The ATP Cup is like the World Team Cup, which I played a few years ago, it is an event that belongs to the players. The Federations are not behind like the Davis Cup. You can’t compare them. The player calendar has become hellish. The Davis Cup had to evolve. It should have been reformed a long time ago. We do not know what may happen in the future and there is nothing to say that the Davis Cup will not change format again. A certitude. It would be good if the authorities communicate with each other and look at the interest of the circuit. “Far from these considerations this week in Montpellier, the director hoped above all that there were not yet any last minute packages.



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