“Our School Tends To Prioritize Talent”: Gilles Simon Adds His Voice To Patrick Mouratoglou’s Concern over French Tennis

Published 12/06/2020, 8:30 AM EST
Gilles Simon of France celebrates winning the second set during the mens 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)


In his book ‘The Sport that Drives You Crazy’, French player Gilles Simon has given many insights into tennis. One particular topic that picked up the most heat is the revelation of tennis culture in France. While the 35-year-old asked his fellow countrymen to stop finding the next Roger Federer, he emphasized more on ambition over talent.

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Even Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou had previously talked about French mentality and its repercussions. Agreeing with the French tennis coach, the former World No. 6 shared his views.

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“Only those who talent are allowed to have the ambition”: Gilles Simon

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – JANUARY 06: Coach of Serena Williams Patrick Mouratoglou and Corey Gauff applaud during the first round match between Cori Gauff of USA and Viktoria Kuzmova of Slovakia during day one of the 2020 ASB Classic at ASB Tennis Centre on January 06, 2020, in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Every player has a unique way of attaining success. For the Swiss maestro, it’s his flawless talent and his effortless playing style. But for Rafael Nadal, it’s his determination and consistency in performance, while for Novak Djokovic, it’s his all-court tennis prowess.

Gilles said, “With us, it seems that victory is not always enough. You also need “class” in addition. We see talent as a great potential, and therefore only those who have it, are allowed to have the ambition that goes with it.”

The French player has reached two Grand Slam quarterfinals in the 2009 Australian Open and 2015 Wimbledon Championships, respectively. Currently, 63 in the world with 14 ATP singles titles to his name, Simon believes that the problem is in the roots. He also claimed that many players have shown great results based on ambition rather than talent.

“Ambition allows bigger dreams”: Simon

Roger Federer of Switzerland reacts during a practice session during the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon in London, England. Picture Credit: Getty Images

Tennis can be a physical and aggressive sport, but with flair, it turns into an exhibition of skill. However, there cannot be a specified way to obtain that flair. Gilles tried to distinguish the two themes of ambition and talent.

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“At the very least, it is multiple and hard to define. Leaving with ambition, certainly with means, allows bigger dreams. However, and this is where I agree, our school tends to prioritize talent first,” said Simon.

Even at the 2021 Australian Open, all eyes will be on Federer as he returns to tennis after a year. A question looming over many minds is whether the 39-year-old will shine again in the current circumstances. Will his talent bring him another Grand Slam or the ambition of others rise above the Swiss maestro?

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Purav Joshi

786 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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