French tennis relies on its juniors

If French footballers dragged an image of world champions in friendly matches until 1998, the French tennis federation has long had the reputation of producing the best juniors in the world, then unable to win at the highest level. level. Like a Paul-Henri Mathieu, this year celebrating the 20 years of his junior title at Roland-Garros, which he has never confirmed on the floor above.

→ READ. Tennis, the true novel of doping

Three of the four “musketeers”, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Richard Gasquet and Gaël Monfils lifted a junior grand slam trophy, with at the end of their very honest career a single major tournament final for Tsonga in 2008 in Melbourne. Patrice Hagelauer, who was the patron of sports for a long time in the federation, speaks of a victory in a junior tournament as a “Mission very well in the bac, which does not guarantee to succeed then very difficult competitions”.

Lessons from the past

However, it seems that something is happening in the kingdom of small French aces who have enchanted the courts of Auteuil since the beginning of the fortnight. If the old ones have passed without glory by the trap, we have witnessed the emergence of a new generation of young people who are not cold in the eyes, like Hugo Gaston or Clara Burel. Two pure products from the French industry, respectively former world number 2 and number 1 for juniors.

They have benefited from the lessons of the past: the Federation has thus given up on forcing all young people into the same mold. Some train in federal facilities, others stay at home with private trainers. “Before, we trained in the federation, in a national center, and when we were outside, we had very little help, explains the national technical director, Pierre Cherret. Today there is no one way to be successful, but ways to be successful. “

No more painful separations between children and parents, which have long been banned from the stands. Local trainers are no longer considered to be mercenaries confined to their land; the Federation has even released a budget to allow them to travel with their foal to European tournaments under 14 years old.

And it works. The proof: the French camp arrived on the courts of Porte d’Auteuil with nothing less than the winner of the last internationals in Australia, category… junior (under 18). By beating his compatriot Arthur Cazot in the final in Melbourne, Harold Mayot even grabbed first place in the world junior rankings, an honorary title.

Never have the French juniors been so present

The 2020 French junior vintage is exceptional for boys, but also for girls, which is new. These young shoots benefit from the best coaches, former good players who have all coached at the senior level, such as Thierry Tulasne, Tarik Benhabiles or Jérôme Potier who do not hesitate to launch their proteges as sparring partners of the greats during Cup matches. Davis or Fed Cup.

This year, the composition of the junior painting, which began on Sunday, October 4, reflects this French improvement. There were no less than 13 little blues out of the 64 in the big junior boys table. Six entered directly without invitation, thanks to their ranking, while there were between one and four from 2009 to 2016. The same goes for the girls: they were six admitted directly on their ranking. Between 2009 and 2016, they were between two and… zero.

Another numerical clue gives a smile to an aging Federation relying heavily on the new generation to give pep to its practitioners. The best French juniors are not content with the ITF (International tennis federation) ranking, sympathetic but honorary. Only the ATP rankings for boys and WTA for girls count, made up of first results in small professional tournaments, Futures and Challenger. Harold Mayot, the best French junior already appears in the 411e place and Elsa Jacquemot at 525e.



No need for a medical certificate for the sport of minors

This was not the most discussed point of the bill “of acceleration and simplification of public action” (ASAP) voted in first reading in the National Assembly on Tuesday October 6, and which aims above all to “Liberate the French and businesses”, if we are to believe Guillaume Kasbarian, deputy La République en Marche of Eure-et-Loir and rapporteur for the text. Article 37, which modifies the sports code, however, introduces a real change for tens of thousands of parents, and by extension, doctors.

→ READ. Coronavirus: GPs overheated

It stipulates that the famous medical certificates required for sports are no longer compulsory for minors. From now on, “The obtaining or the renewal of a license allowing or not to participate in the competitions organized by a sports federation, is subject to the attestation of the completion of a questionnaire relating to the state of health of the minor athlete, carried out jointly by the minor and by persons exercising parental authority “, provides the text.

“Free up medical time for doctors”

The process is therefore declarative, for a double objective: “Making life easier for parents and freeing up medical time for doctors, explains Guillaume Kasbarian. The minors must make twenty obligatory visits in front of the doctors in their course, it was useless to add more “. However, exceptions remain for high-risk sports such as diving, boxing or rugby. For adults, the production of a medical certificate remains compulsory. MEPs did not vote on an amendment wishing to delete it.

An evolution welcomed by Paul Delamarche, professor emeritus at the University of Rennes 2 and specialist in health sport: “It is a measure of common sense, he comments. Young people free from pathology do not need to renew a medical certificate every year as was the case. And the fact is that this clogs up the medical offices, especially during the re-entry period, and especially in rural areas ”. Sports federations and clubs also appreciate the simplification. In this period of pandemic, anything that can facilitate the arrival of new licensees is welcome.



Roland-Garros 2020: Patrick Mouratoglou, the man who wants to revolutionize tennis

From the top of the ten Grand Slam tournaments won by his protégé Serena Williams since he took over, in 2012, the career of the player then in full doubt, Patrick Mouratoglou is well installed on the podium of the best coaches of the moment. When we know that he launched the careers of players in which nobody believed like Marcos Baghdatis, Aravane Rezaï, Cori Gauff or Stefanos Tsitsipas, we can only take his hat off to the technician. Which recently had the honors of the Netflix channel for a series of documentaries devoted to the best coaches in the world, all sports combined.

What do all his proteges have in common? “I was first seduced by their fierce desire to succeed and I started with a blank sheet, without a priori technical or psychological”, explains this 48-year-old man, who has surrounded himself with a team of long-time loyal technicians, contrary to tennis habits, where the waltz of coaches and technical directors is second nature. Same continuity in the method he has been applying for twenty years: “A young person in whom we believe, we must first give him confidence, love him, build on his strengths, never push him down after a defeat like many of my colleagues do. “

→ DOSSIER. Roland Garros

This lesson in pedagogy, which could be on the first page of any educator’s manual, he learned the hard way in his youth. First as an average player, deprived of tennis by his parents, who saw for him a professional future closer to that of his father, a successful polytechnician and industrialist. Then, as the creator of a first and modest academy, launched against all odds. The tennis chiefs looked mockingly at this failed player pushing himself with the collar to the point of daring to lead to hopes. Foreigners for the most part, since no renowned French player, with the exception of Jérémy Chardy, has ever been entrusted to him.

“Allow kids to live the dream of their life”

“I have lived and heard despicable things, he confides. I think it made me stronger to gradually impose the methods I believe in. ” Twenty years later, they have proved their worth since he is at the head of the largest tennis academy in the world, based in Sophia-Antipolis, near Nice, where the greatest players – many of whom live in Monaco – come regularly. hit the ball under the gaze of the 200 residents. A great deal whose purpose is not only financial. “Enabling kids to make their lifelong dream come true is not a bad project, isn’t it? “, says the happy boss, who has set up a foundation to finance the training and education of those with less money.

→ INVESTIGATION. The illustrious tennis unknown celebrated at Roland-Garros

This success is not enough to open all the doors to him. Undisputed when he is behind Serena Williams, he sees the mines close as soon as he goes beyond his square to evoke the future of world tennis, in great danger according to him. “The tennis economy relies on sponsors and therefore on broadcasts. We know that the average viewer of a tennis match is 61 years old and that this increases by one year each year. Three-hour matches, with 85-90% time-out without playing, no longer make sense. “

“The golden age of the 1980s is over”

Others have made the same observation, starting with the Kosmos group of Catalan footballer Gerard Piqué, which launched in 2019 a new format for the Davis Cup. “It is no coincidence that these are people who, like me, do not come from the seraglio. This is undoubtedly what gives us distance and independence. “

This summer, Patrick Mouratoglou launched an experience that caused a lot of talk: UTS, the Ultimate Tennis Showdown, a new kind of tournament intended to bring young audiences back to screens broadcasting tennis, mainly on social networks. . “I was a child of the golden age of the 1980s, when tennis attracted millions of people to their television. Today is over! How do you want kids to start playing if they never see a game? “, launches the trainer, before qualifying: “UTS is not a challenge to traditional tennis that I continue to adore and which keeps its fans, but it prepares the tennis of the future. “


Ultimate Tennis, act II

The UTS (Ultimate Tennis Showdown) experience, attempted this summer with twenty players as part of the Mouratoglou Academy, will be extended to mid-October through a new edition organized in Northern Europe.

The rules of this new kind of tournament remain unchanged: matches of one hour maximum divided into four ten-minute quarters, reduced time to serve (15 seconds instead of 25 in the ATP circuit), possibility of time death requested by a player to consult his coach, free rein to reactions from players on the court and training sessions monitored by a camera.



Olympic Games: the financial puzzle of Paris 2024

The first sketch of the Paris 2024 Olympics plan, which is to accommodate the 28 official sports plus four additional ones (surfing, breakdance, climbing, skateboarding), was released in 2018. Since then, the cards have been reshuffled before copying. final, expected on December 17, on the occasion of an announcement – in principle final – by the Organizing Council. “When a plan appears in the media, it is already out of date”, quips a person close to the file wishing to maintain cautious anonymity in this busy period.

→ READ. These parliamentarians who fight for the cause of sport

“Tahiti for surfing is not questioned and will not be, but for the rest, it is true that there will be some changes”, he continues. Which ? The thing will be discussed again, Wednesday, September 30, at the Paris 2024 Board of Directors, after a tense meeting, Friday 25, within the interministerial delegation responsible for the Olympic Games. This organization, which brings together all the stakeholders, has long been headed by Jean Castex, replaced by the former prefect of Paris, Michel Cadot.

Three main directions seem to emerge; they relate to installations planned in Seine-Saint-Denis. One: the provisional pool for swimming competitions will not be built in Saint-Denis, but will be moved to La Défense, where it will be installed inside the Nanterre Aréna. A much cheaper project since the stands and the roof are already there. Two: volleyball should never see the removable hall initially planned at Le Bourget. Three: the size of the media village, planned for Dugny, will be revised downwards.

In return, the department could host rugby sevens at the Stade de France (before the start of athletics competitions). He would also gain climbing, with a perennial wall instead of the temporary installation originally planned at Concorde.

Valérie Pécresse steps up to the plate

This hat game provoked angry reactions from most political leaders, with the notable exception of Anne Hidalgo, who wins. The president of the general council of Seine-Saint-Denis, Stéphane Troussel, cried wolf, as did the president of the Île-de-France region, Valérie Pécresse, worried about the extension of metro line 16, not sure to be completed on time.

→ ANALYSIS. Paris 2024 at the heart of tensions between business and morality

“They want at all costs to avoid the budget overruns experienced in all previous editions of the Summer Games, explains Kevin Bernardi, researcher specializing in Olympism. But in addition, the public authorities demand savings because of the economic context. ” The Élysée went in this direction last July after a meeting between Emmanuel Macron, Tony Estanguet and IOC President Thomas Bach. Verdict: 400 million euros to be found, or about 10% of the budget for organizing competitions, which represents a total of 3.7 billion financed by the IOC and private resources (ticketing, sponsorship, TV rights).

Sponsors do not rush

“With 95% of the competitions organized in existing sites, we do not have a margin of maneuver at the level of 400 million on the athlete, we must therefore type elsewhere”, Tony Estanguet regularly emphasizes. Elsewhere ? It will be a less ambitious site for breakdancing, skateboarding and 3 x 3 basketball at the Concorde. But above all services that have been revised downwards in related areas: shuttles, the site of the medal podium, press facilities, etc.

→ READ. Paris 2024: the Française des Jeux becomes a sponsor of the Olympic Games

The list is long and will have to grow even longer if the 1.1 billion euros expected from sponsors struggle to enter the coffers, given the economic health of large companies capable of writing a big check. On this front, we are nevertheless expecting good news soon: the probable announcement of the arrival of Orange as a premium sponsor.

An announcement in the form of a breath of fresh air, in an apnea candidacy since September 2017 and the award of the Games in Paris. Clouds have gathered over the heads of the Organizing Committee officials. There was the rebellion around the attribution of surfing to Tahiti (preferred to the Basque coast), the veto of Anne Hidalgo on the arrival of Total as sponsor, the anger of hoteliers at the arrival of Airbnb and more recently, the postponement of the Tokyo Games causing the Japanese bill to increase. “All the Games have had setbacks, continues Kevin Bernardi, but those in Paris have the difficult task of being the first to balance their budget. “



Roland-Garros: investigation opened after suspicion of a match-fixing

An investigation was opened by the Paris prosecutor’s office on 1er last October for “organized gang fraud” and “active and passive sports corruption” because of suspicion of a match-fixing during the Roland-Garros tennis tournament, which is currently taking place at Porte d’Auteuil, in Paris. The investigations were entrusted to the Central Service of Races and Games (SCCJ).

According to the German newspaper Die Welt and daily sports The team, these suspicions relate to a women’s double which pitted Romania’s Andrea Mitu and Patricia Maria Tig against Russian players Yana Sizikova and American Madison Brengle on September 30, in the first round.

→ READ. Tennis, the true novel of doping

“It’s a first round match with players not very well known”, simply confirmed to AFP a source within the National Gaming Authority (ANJ), which regulates games, horse racing and sports betting in France. The four players who took part in this meeting do not occupy the first ranks of the WTA world ranking in singles: Tig is ranked 59 there.e, Mitu 512e, Brengle 78e and Sizikova 652e.

Sums “of several tens of thousands of euros”

The suspicions concern more particularly the fifth game of the second set, a shutout won by the Romanian duo after two double faults in the service of the Russian Sizikova.

According to a source familiar with the matter, the bets made on this meeting represent “Obviously large sums, abnormally high” of the order of “Several tens of thousands of euros”. The ANJ did not detect an anomaly on the bets operated “On the French market”, explains the same source. “They must have been afraid to bet in France. They tried to disseminate the bets on the other markets but the associations of operators know how to make additions ”.

Cases which most often concern tournaments of 2e category

“We received information via several channels. Both private operators, an alert from GLMS (Global Lottery Monitoring System) and also from the Copenhagen group (which brings together 33 platforms to fight against sports manipulation in the world) ”, we continue from the same source.

Tennis is occasionally struck by suspicions of match-fixing, which most often concern second or third category professional tournaments. On September 27, two players of Kyrgyz and Uzbek nationalities were thus indicted and placed under judicial supervision in the Val-d’Oise, as part of an investigation opened by the Pontoise public prosecutor’s office after a tournament in Gonesse in March.



But yes, football coaches have hearts!

Watching them harangue their troops from the sideline, able to get out of the game a world champion in delicacy or endure the pressure of the supporters, the press and their president, we end up forgetting that football coaches have a soul, sensitivity and above all a… family.

The flight to Varennes by Raymond Domenech

Children, wives, parents, that’s where the shoe pinches when everything goes wrong. “The hardest part of this job is to make your loved ones suffer”, confesses Raymond Domenech, coach hated by the whole of France after the fiasco of the 2010 World Cup, as a preamble to Coaches, intimate confessions, Sébastien Tarrago’s documentary broadcast this Tuesday, October 6 on L’Équipe (1). The story is known, the flight by car, not in Varennes, but in Auvergne, to escape the pack of paparazzi, to the chagrin of his famous wife, the television journalist Estelle Denis. Who feared for her children in school and hoped for months “The day Raymond’s name no longer appears in the newspapers”.

→ ANALYSIS. Football: the coronavirus does not extinguish all the follies of the transfer window

All the coaches, and not the least, Rudi Garcia, Laurent Blanc, Paul Le Guen, Gérard Houllier, bear witness to these painful ups and downs. These turbulences are inherent in the profession of coach, the first fuse in any club or national team. Everyone knows the rules of the game, ready to jump in the first storm, not necessarily linked to their performance in the field.

Witness, the misadventure of Luis Fernandez, stuck between his sporting demands leading him not to select Ronaldhino in bad shape when he was leading PSG. And those of its president wanting to see the Brazilian on the ground regardless of his level, in the hope of selling him as well as possible as quickly as possible.

Gérard Houllier’s heart attack

Some have been seasoned in the exercise by a high-level playing career, but this is not always the case. Some almost died there, like Pascal Dupraz, current coach of Caen (Ligue 2), who suffered the first of his three infarcts at 39 years old. The same goes for Gérard Houllier, who almost died on the lawn of Anfield Road, while he was leading Liverpool.

The danger, partly offset by high salaries and serious benefits at the highest level, also lurks in the lower divisions. The testimony of Nicolas Cloarec, boss of Concarneau (National) for ten years before being the victim of a burnout is edifying. Like the rage to win and the dozens of cigarettes smoked by Bruno Luzi, boss of Chambly, a small club in the Oise that he hoisted in Ligue 2 with the strength of his wrists alone.

This documentary, which gives protagonists a long time, who are rarely questioned about themselves, emphasizes one of the great difficulties of this profession. “You have to love your players, but at the same time you only have eleven places on the field, so you will inevitably be unhappy”, explains Paul Le Guen, who has a secondary career in Le Havre, after having known Lyon and Paris SG. “One day, a friend who played in the small team I was coaching warned me to get used to being considered a bastard”, continues Gérard Houllier.

The phone that no longer rings

And then there is sometimes the fall, unemployment. Brutally dismissed from Paris SG, after having managed Bordeaux and the French team, Laurent Blanc is an eternal called-up never elected as soon as a prestigious position becomes available. Victim of an image of dilettante, the former libero world champion in 1998 confesses his frustration: “Of course it hurts, especially when you know it’s not true, but life is too short to moan over your phone that no longer rings.” But the smell of the lawn is still missing. “



Tennis, the true novel of doping

“Yesterday (Wednesday, September 30) I opened my eyes wide when I saw a sturdy and powerful player win who was still thin a short time ago, but obviously that does not seem to surprise anyone”. When it comes to delivering the name, Florent Dabadie hesitates, then backs off. “Too dangerous, I’m sure of myself, but obviously I can’t say anything without proof.”

Mad about tennis, the son of screenwriter and academician Jean-Loup Dabadie, who rarely missed the fortnight of Auteuil until his death in May 2020, chose fiction to support his analysis on doping. The subject has haunted him for years, following tennis for Japanese national television, while appearing regularly in various federations. “You can object to me that I don’t have the guts to publish an investigative investigation, others have done it, but it’s not my temperament, it’s true I don’t want to risk my life for that “, he admits.

Everything is true except the main character

In her key novel, published at the end of August, almost everything is true, except for the main character, a young woman of Ukrainian origin of average level who gives in little by little to the sirens of doping. “ Masha does not exist, but she brings together a lot of characteristics of young players and players that I have seen play in recent years ”, he said. The profile is known: omnipresent parents, themselves former athletes from Eastern Europe, who try to help their child take the wrong step of slowing down at the wrong time. “This concerns a lot of players I can safely say that more than 10% of professionals have taken doping products one day”.

→ READ ALSO. Doping, France affected in turn

Are the stars concerned? “Here too, they will retort that I am afraid to name famous names, but I honestly believe that great players do not need that”, said this young man who has been preaching on the subject for years in … the desert. His work does not have the impact he hoped for in the spans of Roland-Garros. “My name, in fact rather that of my father, opened the doors of the general media to me, but in the world of sports journalists it is omerta”.

In the midst of players, it’s even worse. Only the retiree Paul-Henri Mathieu, who split a preface, and Richard Gasquet who judges the words “realistic”, publicly support his approach. The others have not given any sign of life since receiving the book. As is Yannick Noah. “A friend of my father on whom I counted, but who probably did not want to plunge back into the legal hell he experienced in 2011, after accusing the Spanish tennis players of being doped.”

Inoperative doping controls according to the author

If the forks of sports ethics often fall on the shoulders of cyclists, swimmers or rugby players, they generally spare tennis, a sport considered noble and above all suspicion. “ However, just look at the current players, they hit incredibly hard, run for hours and never seem tired, we often talk about the quality of training, nutrition, continues the journalist novelist, these points certainly count, but they are not enough to explain such performances ”.

What about doping controls, to which players are nevertheless regularly subjected? According to Florent Dabadie, they would be ineffective for the most common products, growth hormones or EPO microcapsules administered in minute doses by high-level doctors operating in sophisticated clinics. According to him, these establishments are located in Spain, Brazil or the United States. They carry out these activities, which are not always illegal according to local laws, under cover of other perfectly legal specialties: fitness cures, cosmetic surgery operations, etc.

The names of some doctors cited in his book are known. Some have also been caught and appear in the book under their real identity, the name of Doctor Mugler, Masha’s main interlocutor, being an invention. The mafia sectors in charge of transport based in Naples, Montevideo or Sebastopol are also identified. But nothing is moving. “I think the police services have more urgent matters to deal with, Florent Dabadie analysis, in my opinion it is also easier to tap on matches fixed by betting companies in second-class tournaments, it doesn’t bother anyone to denounce these practices since they do not concern big tournaments and the economy that goes with them “.



Covid-19: closed rooms and gymnasiums, a severe impact on the sports world

The representatives of the sports halls did not flinch. The new health rules announced by the government require, among other things, the closure of this equipment in enhanced alert zones since Monday, September 28. And the measure does not pass.

→ READ. Covid-19: Paris on “maximum alert”, bars will have to close

The professionals of the sector were certainly received, Tuesday, September 29, in Matignon. They also heard the same day the Minister of Health Olivier Véran, answering questions from deputies to the National Assembly, promise them that this closure would only affect “In the shortest possible time” and that they can count on a “Compensation and economic support”. “But if there is a listening, the trend is not for all that to relax the measures, regrets Virgile Caillet, general delegate of Union Sport & Cycle, which brings together professionals in the sports sector. We were on a positive dynamic, and now these closures have broken the recovery. It is not an injury over just 15 days, but over six months or a year. “

Losses estimated at 40%

The FranceActive union, which brings together nearly 1,700 theaters out of some 4,500 in France, notes the negative consequences on the economic level: “50% of our members are closed. Disaffection also affects green areas because all this arouses distrust of users, deplores its president, Thierry Doll. A room manager called me this morning to tell me that he had 17 cancellations in his mail! We already estimate our losses at 40% compared to last year. “

The profession argues the investments made to put in place protocols securing the practice and the low circulation of the virus in the rooms, even if Santé Publique France mentions “sports, recreational and leisure activities” as responsible for around 210 of the 1 246 clusters listed as of September 30. “On the one hand, we encourage the French to play sports for their health while ensuring that we must learn to live with the virus, and on the other hand we are prevented from working”, storm Thierry Doll. The sling in any case rises. FranceActive and some cinemas have initiated summary proceedings before the administrative courts, with varying results depending on the territory. Some do not hesitate to defy the ban. “And actions, sometimes symbolic, are being prepared for this weekend”, warns Virgile Caillet.

Bleeding of licensees in clubs

The closures do not only affect private rooms. Gyms and municipal halls are also concerned, which affects clubs in many disciplines. “We lost 6,000 licensees on the first wave, and maybe 10,000 on the second, says Denis Odjo, the president of the French Taekwondo Federation. Almost all of our competitions are canceled. Parents are necessarily cautious ”.

→ EXPLANATION. The coronavirus weakens sports associations

Similar tumble on the side of the French Table Tennis Federation. “Last spring, the haemorrhage affected 20,000 licensees. There, compared to 2019, we lost 11.5% of licensees last week, 13% this week, account the president Christian Palierne. So we adapt, depending on the departments, closures or not, even in green areas where elected officials prefer to open the umbrella by sometimes closing rooms without obligation. It’s a crazy situation. “

Some disciplines seem to be doing well. Fencing for example, which communicated with a playful tone about its habit of wearing the mask. “We limit the breakage, assures Serge Aubailly, the general secretary of the French Federation. Security is our know-how and we manage with the coronavirus an additional security, with a distance which in our sport undoubtedly secures parents. Concerning the clubs, in some regions, however, there is concern, especially because of the uncertainty. “

→ PRACTICAL. Activities canceled by the Covid, should I request reimbursement?

This affects all areas. President of the French Federation of Rural Sport and of the Haute-Garonne Departmental Olympic Committee, Brigitte Linder measures it every day: “We receive dozens of calls from clubs trying to understand prefectural directives. But they are so complex, and ever-changing, that informing is a puzzle. People are lost. So everything is paralyzed. And the worst is perhaps to come with a major economic risk by the end of the year for the employees of the sports movement. “


Contradictory decisions

The FranceActive union and certain theaters such as the Keepcool franchise network (260 theaters) have filed around fifteen appeals across France against the prefectural decrees imposing the closure until October 10. The first two decisions fell, Wednesday, September 30, in Nice and Bordeaux and the judges of the administrative courts dismissed the sports halls.

→ READ. Covid-19: sports halls are fighting against their closure in Paris, Rennes and Bordeaux

Contrary decision on the other hand in Rennes, Thursday 1er October: there, the judge ordered the suspension of the execution of the order of the prefect of Ille-et-Vilaine, considering that“In the state of the data and information submitted to the court, private sports halls could not be regarded as places of active propagation of the Covid-19 virus”. In Rennes Métropole, the incidence rate of Covid is however 155.56 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, higher than Bordeaux, where it is 140 per 100,000 inhabitants. In Paris, the administrative court asked the police headquarters to review its closure order by Monday, October 5, and to provide details. Until then, the capital’s sports establishments remain closed but can therefore hope to reopen from Tuesday, October 6.



Football: the coronavirus does not extinguish all the follies of the transfer window

Until the end, everything is still possible. It is the tradition of “money time”, the few hours before the close of the transfer market, set this year for Monday, October 5 at midnight. Last minute bargains, a high-flying deal that strikes the spirits: football loves that late-game adrenaline rush. Except that this year, the coronavirus pandemic turns things upside down.

→ THE FACTS. Covid-19: closed rooms and gymnasiums, a severe impact on the sports world

In France in particular, with a championship stopped before the end of last season, and which, since its restart, has seen its stands empty more and more, perhaps until the general closed session in the coming weeks. In fact, the French market has been quite sluggish all summer long.

The increase in television rights under the new broadcasting contract for the period 2020-2024 (from 748 million euros to 1.21 billion euros per year) is certainly noticeable this year. At best, however, it only compensates for the losses linked to low-mast ticket offices and very reduced services for partners and sponsors. The shortfall is estimated by the Professional Football League at more than 190 million euros for the French clubs in Ligue 1 and 2. Suddenly, even the big teams have only very moderately taken out the checkbook.

French clubs cautious

PSG at the dawn of the last day has paid for one of the ten biggest transfers of the summer, but by only settling the contract of 50 million euros already signed for the arrival of the Argentine, Mauro Icardi. Otherwise, the recruitment of left side Alessandro Florenzi is only a loan with option to buy AS Rome. Ready still, that the coming announced Sunday, October 4 of the young striker (20 years) Italian of Everton, Moise Kean. On the side of the Canebière, we tried to recruit smart, with five arrivals for 16 million euros, including especially the 18-year-old Brazilian Luis Henrique, won for 12 million euros. “We had a very good transfer window, welcomed the coach André Villas Boas. We spent almost nothing and we found a player for the future. “

For the other Olympic, in Lyon, the big blow this year fell on September 30 with the officialization of the purchase from Inter Milan of the Brazilian midfielder, Lucas Paqueta (23 years), for 20 million euros and five years. OL then imagined parting with two of their pearls, the Dutch striker, Memphis Depay, or the middle, Houssem Aouar. But its president Jean-Michel Aulas slammed the door on October 3, noting the lack of material in financial offers from foreign clubs interested in the two players.

England still above the rest

This is the other side of the story: have the French clubs, often modest buyers, at least sold well? If Lyon can be disappointed, Brest is pleased to have signed a record sale for Ibrahima Diallo, the international Under-21s who has just joined Southampton for 15 million euros. And what about the debutant Wesley Fofana (19 years old), a real jackpot for Saint-Étienne who released his young central defender at the English club Leicester for 35 million euros (plus 5 million possible bonuses), the player being unable to prevail than twenty matches in Ligue 1!

This is a bit of the current paradox. The English Premier League anticipates more than € 600million in losses this season. The Italian League announced at the end of September a shortfall of more than 500 million euros. “The whole system is on the verge of collapse”, even warned its managing director, Luigi De Siervo. It prevents. Clubs from both countries did not hesitate to do their shopping consistently.

England stands out with nearly 1.2 billion euros in spending this summer. Chelsea hovers above the lot with 248 million euros in purchase, including 80 million (and 20 million potential bonus) for the only Kai Havertz, 21, German attacking midfielder from Bayer Leverkusen. On the Italian side, Juventus Turin and Naples have released more than 70 million euros each to secure the services of Brazilian Arthur and Nigerian Victor Osimhen.

We could point 16 transfers to more than 50 million euros last summer. There are still 9 this summer. The decline is significant. But does not stick to the grim picture portrayed by some actors. Football is in crisis. But it is not yet devastating. One last dance on the edge of the abyss?

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England also panics transfers of women’s football

Voted best player of the year 2020 by UEFA on 1er October, the first to win this award for the second time after his coronation of 2018, Danish striker Pernille Harder joined Chelsea this summer, after three seasons at Wolfsburg. A transfer of more than € 300,000, according to the British press. The sum may seem ridiculous compared to the amounts that ignite the men’s transfer window, but it is nevertheless a record for women, which confirms the ambition of the British league.

This season, five American world champions, including superstar Alex Morgan (in Tottenham) or the revelation Rose Lavelle (in Manchester City), have also crossed the Atlantic. Jean-Michel Aulas, the president of the Women’s Olympique Lyonnais can rage, he who has not managed to attract such talents to his European champion team. He also lost the English Lucy Bronze, returned to his former club in Manchester City. On the Blue side, Montpellier striker Valérie Gauvin did not resist the English sirens either, joining Everton for an estimated amount of € 100,000.



Roland-Garros: Garcia against Svitolina, Gaston on rapid advance

This Sunday, October 4 at Roland-Garros marks an important day for Caroline Garcia and Hugo Gaston. The first is against the world number 6 Elina Svitolina with the goal of reaching the quarterfinals. As for the young Hugo Gaston, after his feat against Stan Wawrinka on Friday, he challenges the world number 3 Dominic Thiem.

Garcia for a flashback

Only Svitolina separates Garcia (45th in the world) from a second Grand Slam quarter-final, three years after that already reached at Roland Garros. The Ukrainian blocker is in good shape: she won in Stasbourg at the dawn of the Parisian Grand Slam.

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But the 26-year-old Lyonnaise can draw from some of her best memories for reasons to believe. In their face-to-face, it is she who leads three victories to one. Her three successes date back to her boom period, between late 2017 and mid-2018, when she had signed her famous double Wuhan-Beijing, reached the last four of the Masters, then climbed to the foot of the world podium (4th in September 2018).

In Beijing as at the Masters in 2017, then in Stuttgart in the spring of 2018, Garcia had each time lost the first set before defeating Svitolina.

The opportunity to come back to the fore

“Each time, the script was very hooked, she recalls. It is an opposition of styles. Each time, I take pleasure in playing against her, because until the end, each point will be torn. It’s really a game that I really want to play. It’s up to me to have confidence in my game, in my attacking identity. “

Her attacking game, in fact, has gradually been put in place over the past few weeks, under the effect of a reconstructed physique and a more positive state of mind, legacies of her studious confinement in Manacor, in the Balearic Islands, on the land of Rafael Nadal.

Her convincing victory against the Czech Karolina Pliskova, world number 4 in the second round of the US Open in early September had brought her back into the limelight. This match is the occasion for her to confirm her return to the foreground.

Gaston on fast forward

In the foreground, Gaston burst into it by offering himself Stan Wawrinka, former world number 3 today 17th and triple winner in the Grand Slam, in five sets on Friday. At the end: his very first round of 16 in a Grand Slam, from his first participation in Roland-Garros. It is now up to the Austrian Dominic Thiem, recent winner of the US Open and outgoing double finalist Porte d’Auteuil.

Last Habs competing in the men’s table, the Toulouse left-hander, 239th in the world and has been 20 years old for a week. He became the fourth youngest French player to reach the second week of Roland-Garros, after Thierry Tulasne, Fabrice Santoro and Gaël Monfils, but ahead of Yannick Noah. And he will settle at least at the gates of the top 150 after his breakthrough in Paris.

“I’m not going to put pressure on myself”

“He has this ability to adapt, to have a little detachment from events which allows him to produce his tennis and his potential”, observes his trainer Marc Barbier.

His tennis, the public discovers it with surprise and delight. Because despite his 1.73m which makes him the second smallest player at this stage of the tournament (Schwartzman measures 1.70m), Gaston handles the racket with his left hand with a brio that made Wawrinka dizzy. “This creativity must be at the service of performance. There is no artistic note in tennis, just a note of efficiency ”, emphasizes Barbier.

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Despite his brilliant career, Gaston remains almost impassive, desperately calm for observers. “I will not put pressure on myself, and I will try to play like today (Friday), released”, he simply commented on the idea of ​​challenging Thiem.

“It’s his character, his education, the climate that we try to maintain around him: whatever his performance, he is a tennis player, it is only sport. So we don’t take ourselves for someone else barber frame. We try to live it as calmly as possible and we make sure that our feet touch the ground and that the head remains between the two shoulders. “ Even though the spotlight is now on him.