Gilles Moretton: “I can’t wait to rebuild French tennis”

Little known to the general public, Gilles Moretton is the new president of French tennis. The campaign was hard against the former president of the French Tennis Federation, Bernard Giudicelli. The two men cordially hate each other. Gilles Moretton even won his case in a defamation lawsuit a few years earlier. “Stinky balls” for one, “low blows” for the other, the match is now over. The procedures launched by each other ended on Friday. The former Davis Cup player reveals his priorities, while keeping reservations not really knowing the state of many files.

Challenges – Are you relieved to become president of the FFT after a trying campaign?

Gilles Moretton – I am simply happy. This campaign is moments of great joy and the collective victory of our team “Together for another tennis”. I went around France, lengthwise, broadly and across. I feel like I am the messenger, I have been carried by people. I had a background that corresponded to this family. I am 63 years old, I fell into tennis at 3 years old. I was minimal French champion then cadet and Davis Cup player. I am lucky to have had a group behind me during the campaign. And I will have one at the federation. I want and can’t wait to bring together and build the renewal of French tennis.

I am a tennis player, but I know my limits, I know how to surround myself and who to look for. A big difference with the previous mandate will be to play really collective. I played in an individual sport, but always preferred Davis Cup to individual tournaments. I played for friends or for France. We are going to build a new tennis together on practice.

Gilles Moretton had a career as a tennis player. Here in 1982 at Roland Garros.

What will be your first decisions at the head of the French Tennis Federation?

The priority will be the urgency of our clubs which are suffering from the covid crisis. The second priority is Roland Garros which will take place in a few months. Important decisions have to be made. The third immediate point is to review the governance of the federation and the DTN (national technical direction).

Regarding the clubs, your priority would be to set up aid when they must remain closed in the current state of health restrictions?

I will fight for that in 800m tennis clubs2 indoors, two people can still play tennis. I can understand the current constraints but when I see what is happening in department stores or public transport, I do not understand that we are closing tennis clubs for two people. I want someone to explain to me.

And what about the holding of Roland Garros in 2021?

I’m not going to make an announcement right away. It will open a phase of handling files. The governance of the federation was reserved for one man, I do not have all the information. I will have to give advice on the work of Roland Garros but I was not in the small papers of the Federation. We discovered things when they were already done. Even the Superior Council of Tennis met only once a week ago. He hadn’t had a meeting since late August.

Gilles Moretton with Tony Parker in 2011. The new president of the FFT was the president of the Asvel basketball club from 2001 to 2014. He will sell his shares to the French basketball player.

How to really unite French tennis?

I am here to unite. It does not necessarily go through the stars. I am thinking of Sabrina Léger, president of the Center-Val de Loire committee. People have discovered real skills beyond their tennis passion. They took on volunteer responsibilities. There is also Arnaud Clément and Arnaud Di Pasquale of course. And others who couldn’t speak until the campaign was over.

The former president had tried to set up an initiative called Podium with Yannick Noah, Cédric Pioline, Amélie Mauresmo or Guy Forget. It lasted a month. They’re friends, you can’t tell them: I’ll make an announcement, we’ll create the thing, but I’ll make the decision on my own. It was done nicely, but they were gone quickly. I don’t need to make any media fuss. If people come to me, it’s to contribute something according to their skills. We have to bring people together and play in positions that are theirs. I think we will bring this revival of French tennis, not just for the showcase.

How will we judge the success of your mandate?

It will be up to people to judge the results. The General Assembly that you have just had reveals an unprecedented economic and financial situation. Probably the most difficult since the creation of the FFT. We are not in a situation where we can say that we are the strongest. Over the year, the FFT will lose 92 million euros. The accounts ending at the end of August, the 2020 edition in September of Roland Garros is not included.

What do you think of the arrival of Amazon as broadcaster of the night sessions of the next Roland Garros and therefore of the end of all the matches in the clear?

I will ask a number of questions when I arrive. It’s true that people will no longer be able to see the night sessions in clear, as well as the matches of the Simonne Mathieu court either. Someone will have to explain it to me.

Read alsoRoland-Garros: battle under pressure for the presidency of the FFT


Source: Challenges en temps réel : accueil by www.challenges.fr.

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