The competition no longer excites French tennis, which has continued to criticize the new formula (without flavor, it is true) of the century-old competition. But since the announced departure of Sébastien Grosjean on October 23, who left to train Arthur Fils, the captain's position has been left vacant and appetites are whetting. And the media craze returns about a competition, now in the shadows, which no longer interests the general public in France...
It must be said that beyond the Davis Cup, the captain will also be the head of the selection which will compete in the Paris Games next summer. A necessarily exciting prospect. The Team also affirmed that the salary for the position would be 200,000 euros per year. Not bad for a job that only takes up around ten working days per year. And not a negligible sum even if many of the candidates are not in need.
The president of the FFT Gilles Moretton would have sent an email to a list of former players, numbering 14, and conducted interviews in recent days on the sidelines of the Paris Rolex Masters. And it is on Friday November 17 that the office will designate the lucky one. Among this list are well-known figures from French tennis such as Fabrice Santoro, Guy Forget, Arnaud Clément, Yannick Noah and Amélie Mauresmo. But for various reasons, they are not in the race. Also consulted Mary Pierce and Marion Bartoli are not, a priori, among the favorites.
Also read: Gilles Moretton: “This Davis Cup is a total fiasco”
In an interview with Le Figaro in mid-October, Henri Leconte, who hates the new formula, did not seem interested in the position. But that was before Grosjean's surprise departure. In promotion for his book, “New Balls”, the finalist of the Roland-Garros 88 edition said he was “interested” in the position even if it seems unlikely that he would be the lucky one. He also recognizes that he is starting from afar: “If I became captain, I would need time. I said yes because I am interested, I have the Davis Cup flame. But it would certainly take me more time to put everything in place than people like Jo (Tsonga) and Gilles (Simon).”
The latter two are among the favorites. Tsonga revealed his desire to get the job in an interview with the daily L'Equipe. Ugo Humbert, without the question being asked, campaigned at a press conference for Manceau. The fact remains that the latter, like Grosjean, has several activities in tennis. And Grosjean had been singled out by the ethics committee at the end of his mandate and excluded from the player selection process, in order to neutralize "potential conflicts of interest"... And as the Tsonga clan is not very close to the current president (mild euphemism) his candidacy, legitimate in view of the track record of the former 5th in the world, seems to come from afar.
More discreet, Gilles Simon, who declared himself interested in the position and who completed his state diploma, has the ideal profile. Just like two natural candidates from the federal sector. Former world number 12 Paul-Henri Mathieu, High Level Director for more than two years and coach of the French Davis Cup team, knows the group and the new generation perfectly. Captain of the Bleues, Julien Benneteau now frequents the women's circuit more, but has proven himself by winning the Billie Jean King Cup with France in 2019. The findings will continue this week. Official response on November 17.