“Problematic for Our Youth”: Gilles Simon Slams French Tennis for Wasting Energy on Replicating Roger Federer

Published 11/27/2020, 6:33 AM EST
Roger Federer of Switzerland trains during day one of the Mutua Madrid Open at La Caja Magica on in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)


French tennis professional player Gilles Simon recently wrote a book in which he talked about many intriguing episodes. The book also has a chapter with the title named after Roger Federer. Some readers believed that Simon has tried to criticize the Swiss Maestro. However, in a recent interview, he cleared that it was not Roger that was the problem for him but the French.

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Simon talked about what was wrong with tennis coaching in France. The Frenchman believed that they were blindly following someone like Federer, which would cause problems for the youth.

Gilles Simon of France celebrates winning the second set during the men’s singles final against Feliciano Lopez of Spain during day seven of the Fever-Tree Championships at Queens Club on June 23, 2019, in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)

“It is problematic for our youth. She is bred after Roger – we see no other role model. In doing so, we forget that it is almost impossible to become a Federer. It’s unique. We had potential junior Grand Slam winners. But instead of encouraging them to go their own way, they were forced to go one that did not suit them,” said a frustrated Simon in the interview.

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The 35-year-old clearly emphasized that it was not possible to become another Federer. He expressed that instead of replicating someone, the coaches should focus on the young players’ natural talent.

Gilles Simon believes that copying the style of any player like Roger Federer is a waste of energy

Simon admitted that he too went down the same path in his teenage and reached nowhere. He believes that young players have had so much potential in France, but they still could not win a Grand Slam because of this ‘role model’ and ‘blindly follow’ culture.

Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates championship point in his Men’s Final match against Rafael Nadal of Spain on day 14 of the 2017 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 29, 2017, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour – Pool/Getty Images)

“Ultimately, they never won a Grand Slam. I know what I’m talking about. I grew up with the expectations of how a French Grand Slam winner should play. And, I thought it was terrible, it stole an awful lot of energy because I was supposed to do something I couldn’t. Because I wasn’t the only one bothered by it, I wrote the book. It took me four years to structure my thoughts,” concluded Simon.

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Simon revealed that he too tried to do many things that he couldn’t instead of playing his natural game. He advised youngsters not to follow the same criteria as it was nothing but a waste of energy according to him. In the end, Simon even said that it took about four years for him to gather his thoughts and write the book.

It is often a myth that just by following someone, one can also become like that individual. Some try to copy others and achieve nothing in the end. Thus, fans believe that Simon’s comments are serious and the French management should address them.

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Anshul Singh

1094 articles

Anshul Singh is a tennis author at EssentiallySports, currently pursuing Journalism Honors from Delhi University. Having significant experience with content, Anshul has authored over 500 tennis articles. He has previously worked as a writer and an editor for DU Express, penning riveting articles on sports, politics, and culture.

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