Julien Benneteau, captain of the French Billie Jean King Cup team: “There are only good vibes”

Home » Julien Benneteau, captain of the French Billie Jean King Cup team: “There are only good vibes”
Julien Benneteau, captain of the French Billie Jean King Cup team: “There are only good vibes”

“How has the gathering of this French team been going since your arrival at Portel on Monday evening?
So far, very well. We had a very warm welcome at the Portel town hall, which confirms the enthusiasm we felt when we found out that we were going to organize the meeting in France. We saw it when we arrived, it’s really appreciated for the girls and for me to feel a real enthusiasm around this meeting, even if it’s only a dam. We will be able to play in front of 3500 people and that is really a plus. The first training sessions are going very well, we were able to discover the room with only nice surprises. It is aptly named “Cauldron”, a small arena and when I say “small” there is nothing pejorative on the contrary, people will be close to the field. The court conforms to what we had asked for, a rather fast surface with a rather low rebound, for the moment there are only good waves.

“You shouldn’t be afraid of words from time to time: there Caroline Garcia wrote a great page in French tennis”

Among these must be what happened last night in Fort Worth with Caroline Garcia’s Masters victory. How did you experience this final?
I admit that I didn’t look, on the other hand I was woken up quite early, I looked at my phone and I saw on the application of L’Équipe “Sacred Garcia”. It must have been 5:30, I thought to myself “crap…she did it!” » We were all amazed, it’s one more step in her prize list and especially in her story. Winning the Masters is huge. In France, only Amélie (Mauresmo) has done it for girls, for men it has never been done. It proves the place of this victory in the history of French tennis, we must not be afraid of words from time to time. There she wrote a great page of French tennis. It’s remarkable, admirable and we can’t wait to be able to congratulate her in person, to take her in our arms and to celebrate her as it should be because it’s a huge victory.

Did you have contact with her during the week?
Not during the week, but I spoke with her a little before, between Guadalajara and the Masters, on the organizational and logistical aspect here, on the conditions of the meeting, the balls, the surface… We had talked about the way she had apprehended, between the US Open and the Masters, this race for qualification where she had not hidden that it had tensed her up a little, that she had had a hard time situating herself because she was practically qualified but it was not done. She had to validate with one or two victories and that’s normal because the stakes weren’t the same as usual. Once she was qualified, there was a kind of relief, the counters were leveled: they are eight on the same line and somewhere, everyone can win which implies another way of playing, in the state of mind anyway.

How are you going to manage his arrival at Portel between his need for recovery, the enthusiasm after such a great victory and the need to win the match?
There are many parameters to take into account. She will arrive tomorrow (Thursday) around 1-2 p.m. until she lands and makes her way here. The first thing will be to talk to her, some staff members and myself. To get his feelings, let me also tell him how things are going within the team, how we see things for the meeting. I think it’s going to be an open and frank discussion. There is obviously confidence, the level of play, the physical freshness that we will have to take into account in order to know, if there are arbitrations to be made, when and how we make them. It will be done in consultation with everyone to make the best decisions. You have a winner of the Masters who is 4th in the world, obviously we want her to play.

“Kristina Mladenovic wasn’t sure she could prepare well as required for a BJK Cup match”

Kristina Mladenovic will not play on her northern lands. How his package has he decided?
Once she withdrew from the Nantes tournament after dropping out in Spain, Kristina told us about her recurring knee pain. She went for treatment with her medical staff in Italy and then she came to have her knee checked by our team. I think she did not feel fit in relation to her pain to defend the colors of the France team. She wasn’t sure if she could prepare well as required for a BJK Cup match.

Yet the medical staff of the FFT had given the green light…
The staff felt that there was indeed no new injury, but she has a knee that has a real chronic injury that can cause pain, the feeling of which is specific to the player. We were both reassured for her at first, but the fact that she had not been able to play ten days before and that the care protocol she followed required rest and a gentle recovery, initially time, the timing was too tight for the meeting. »

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