here an interview of the french fed cup captain Nicolas Escudé. As expected Alize is called to be member of this team.
Nicolas Escudé:''It is the knife between his teeth''
On 15/04/09 at 12:21
After the failure of the first round against Italy, Nicolas Escudé, the captain of the French Fed Cup, drew Alize Cornet, Nathalie Dechy, Mathilde Johansson, and Amélie Mauresmo and Pauline Parmentier in replacement. Their goal: to beat Slovakia to Limoges 25 and April 26 to remain in the global group. Interview.
- Nicolas, what players have you chosen for this dam game against Slovakia?
- We will start with five players, namely: Alize Cornet, Amélie Mauresmo, Nathalie Dechy, Mathilde Johansson and Pauline Parmentier. Today, who is replaced, which is not, is not too valuable. We'll see over the preparation and approach of the meeting.
"Alizé, Amélie, Nathalie, the pillars of the team"
- Comment us this selection?
- Alizé Cornet, Amélie Mauresmo and Nathalie Dechy are the mainstays of the team, especially on a match of the dam and on a surface like clay. Although this is the indoor clay court, which speeds up the game a little, it's the best surface Alize Cornet. Amélie Mauresmo, it is indisputable because of its experience and the aura can have within the team. This also applies to Nathalie Dechy, through its experience and its quality of double player. Mathilde Johansson regard, it is a first selection for her, even though it will not necessarily part of the four players selected. She managed a good performance since the beginning of the season, faced with large-caliber players. It has not always won these games then, but it is rarely passed along. Finally, Pauline Parmentier has little experience in Fed Cup, but it has its place in the team, his game and by the choice of surface. What is certain is that on a match of dams, it will not have to procrastinate, but aim to win at all costs to stay in the global group.
- Virginie Razzano is missing from your selection. Is this for personal reasons, as was the case in the first round?
- It's like the last time, yes. Virginie is in trouble at this time on a personal level. I took the initiative and the choice not to select her, knowing it would have had to reject the selection. I did not want to penalize her for the future.
"The Fed Cup has nothing to do with the circuit"
- What do you thought about the first part of season of the French players?
- It had started well, with good results on the Australian tour. Then, it was not very good for us to pin Orleans in the first round of the Fed Cup against Italy. But I said at the time that the score (5 / 0) does not necessarily reflect the face of the weekend, especially given the first two singles on Saturday, as the trend could easily be reversed in our favor. Then, in turn, Amélie Mauresmo has done her best tennis at Coubertin at the Open GDF Suez. Since the results are slightly worse, at least on the American tour and the beginning of the season on clay. But overall the results are not too, too bad.
- The poor performance of French on clay in Barcelona they worry you a bit?
- No, it does not worry unduly. Because the Fed Cup has nothing to do with what can happen throughout the year on the circuit. Inevitably, when we arrived on a meeting of Fed Cup, it's better if we could have gained a little confidence. But I am no more worried than that. We will have let things settle, the girls set up their game on clay. This is going to try to implement to prepare for this meeting.
"What I dread among Slovaks? A bit of everything!"
- What do you fear most from these Slovaks?
- A bit of everything! Cibulkova is a multi-surface player who is now in the Top 20 for a year or two. Hantuchova was among the global top ten for several years and it is only dropped in the rankings last year due to injury. I know a little less players coming back, but these two are already extremely dangerous. They have already won major tournaments, they have experience of this competition. This will be what happens, a weekend very hard for us ... as for them! Indeed, the French team, by the composition of it, proudly. We expected a hard weekend.
- You will play to not get down. How do you handle this pressure?
- The bulk of players that make up the team have experience matches dam. This will be the third time in four years that the dispute in France. It will be a little more complicated, by the team that is facing, it is of a size slightly higher than that of opponents of previous years. But the girls are accustomed to it, unfortunately! It would play a semi-final match of a dam!
But we'll try to address this meeting calmly, doing work to do, trying to prepare girls to be in the best possible steps to get to practice their best tennis during this weekend in Limoges.
"I'm not there to tell me" Warning, you go down ", far from it!"
- What is your state of mind before the meeting? Do you think for a possible descent?
- It can happen, but I'm not there to tell me "Warning, you go down", far from it! On the contrary, it is the knife between his teeth, with great ambitions to achieve at all costs to keep France in the World Group. So yes, as in any sport, there can be defeated and thus effectively, there may be lower division descent. But it's just in a small corner of our minds, in a small corner up there, and we will try not to think about it. And especially focus to fully prepare and pass to win, simply.
- What a heavy defeat against Italy can serve you for this meeting and you did they learn?
- It can perhaps bring a spirit of revenge. Even if the girls had already forced against Italy because they had lost against the Italians in 2006 and 2007. But there is something else. This is not a first round meeting with a catch-up behind in case of defeat. Here, the hammer can be immediate. It will therefore be necessary to go with a fractious not possible to bring victory at any cost.
"The high level is very, very little"
- Personally, what have you learned about this first round?
- Some things I already knew! That nothing is ever that high-level sport is really very, very little. I also learned that working with girls is different. I have a daughter at home, I will soon have two, I begin to understand the psychology of women but it was something new for me. And that is why I am also very supportive of the staff, including Alexia Dechaume who gave me the gaps that I could have at that level!
- In Fed Cup, Alizé Cornet has three defeats in three singles matches played. It seems to have difficulty managing the pressure. How could she break free
- It's hard to say. The Fed Cup has nothing to do with what can happen throughout the year on the circuit. Here, we play for our country. You have a whole team with you, a team that is there for you. This is a somewhat delicate. It is true that for Alizé, it did not quite pin so far, but she is a becoming a player who is young and still going to be No. 1 on the team. But we do not put any extra pressure compared to that. Yes, there are on it, yes we hope she will win games, like the other players also! But it must happen to separate from it and run a little more pressure. I think the heavy defeat they experienced against Italy will necessarily help, definitely.
- The French team will compete in his third game of the dam in four years. How do you explain this lack of results?
- Perhaps because the French were not at their best during the Fed Cup matches. Perhaps because some players were deadlocked over the competition at times, as is still the case today for some. Then comes a whole. This is really nothing. But by standing by and that represents France at the international level is a bit damaging and sad that it's four years we are forced to play the dams. It will be up to us, to me, to educate girls. That's what I do since I posted. Nothing is ever achieved, it should always be challenging, especially in a competition like this.
- Will it have a stage of preparation?
- We will leave Friday evening (April 17) on Limoges to be on site early in order to work and prepare the meeting.