At Creps de Poitiers, the Pôle France de tennis has resources

It is said that French tennis is going badly, between the end of the cycle and a succession that is slow. Whose fault is it ? The last training center in the region, the Pôle France de Poitiers is giving itself the means to shape the champions of tomorrow.

Steve Henot

It is an understatement to say that his statements have “shaken the coconut tree”. At the end of a Roland-Garros where no Frenchman has risen beyond 3e turn, Nicolas Escudé pointed the finger at the state of tricolor tennis, loading in turn the players, but also the supervision and the training… “Everyone, from the National Technical Director to the club teacher, must understand why we are where we are today. And everyone has to ask themselves the right questions.he conceded.

“We pay for mistakes such as the abolition of training centers and then the concentration of resources towards the National Training Center”, observed the Poitou player and consultant Marine Partaud last year. Indeed, in the region, only the male Pôle France (13-16 years old) of Poitiers survived the federal reform initiated by Bernard Giudicelli. Created in 1978 at Creps, the training center has brought out some of the best French players – Tsonga, Simon, to name a few – and several nuggets of today… who are however struggling to confirm. “We are in a generational hole”indicates Bruce Liaud, national coach of the FFT, for fourteen years at Creps.

A women’s section at the start of the school year

Installed in Smarves since his retirement from the pro circuit, Nicolas Devilder does not intend to give lessons on training. Personal trainer of Quentin Halys (86e world) for two years, he does not see “no quick fix” to permanently integrate all these hopefuls into the international Top 100. “Not everyone has the capacity to be at the top level.simply judge the ex-n°60 at the ATP. A champion of the state of mind from an early age. »

Hence the importance of detection in clubs, leagues, by regional technical teams. This is how the young Timéo Trufelli and Antonin Witz, 14 and 13 years old, were spotted and then offered to join the Pôle France de Poitiers. “We want to do our job. Coming to the Pole was a key step in our journey”, confide the boys, already selected for the France U15 team. Here, they have a framework that “other sports envy us on the Pole”smiles Bruce Liaud. “We are also trying to modernize our training”adds the head of the center, citing the contribution of heart rate belts or that, expected, of video analysis.

A sign of awareness, and with the support of the new federal governance, the Poitevin Center is reopening its women’s section (generation 2010-2011) at the start of the school year. “With the same training requirements for the high level” than boys, namely to develop in these young shoots “consciousness of work”. This is in no way a guarantee of future success. “Tennis remains a complicated sport, where you have to be strong in many areasinsists Nicolas Devilder, trained in Poitiers between 1991 and 1994. And be accompanied. » The results in youngsters, however, invite Bruce Liaud to optimism. “We have to give them time to arrive. Gabriel Debru

, for example, is in extremely good passing times. »

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