Blog



15.02.2019

Henri Leconte is confident that good times will come again for Roger Federer. Leconte has a good relationship with the Swiss player. In January 2019 they attended together an event held by Credit Suisse in Melbourne. Henri interviewed Roger many many times. He is the James Bond for me', said Leconte.

'He is unique, able to constantly adapt his game. He even plays ping pong, if necessary. And against younger players like Tsitsipas he needs to change the tactic and strategy again.
Winning two sets is easy for Roger, five sets turns more complicated. He will have to play even more aggressively and he will try to do it. ' Will Federer be willing to change his game again? 'Yes of course. You cannot imagine how much work it takes to be at the same level as Roger at that age", admitted Leconte. The Frenchman also reflected on Federer's decision to play the French Open 2019: "It will be hard for Roger as well. From the other side, it could help him to become even stronger. If you are good on clay, you play better on other surfaces.

I never get worried about James Bond. He always finds a solution to kill."

 

 


 

#AustralianOpen #HenriLeconte #JohnMcEnroe #ToddWoodbridge



Henri Leconte: #RogerFederer #Wimbledon #2018



#Tennis #VideoGame #Fun #Entertainment



04.07.2018

#Wimbledon #London #Scotland #Gleneagles #Murray

Winner of the French Open junior title in 1981, Leconte properly came to Wimbledon's attention four years later when a dazzling win over world No 2 Ivan Lendl fired him to the quarter-finals, although he reckons it was an earlier match which endeared him to the strawberry set.

"This was my first time on the Centre Court, my day. I wanted to do something for the crowd to remember me. I was playing good and then this beautiful white butterfly landed at my feet as I was about to serve. Maybe some guys would have swatted it away and one or two might have stamped on it - you can guess who they might be! I picked up the butterfly and it hopped onto my racket. So I walked it over to the edge of the court and it flew into the stands. The people, they went nuts. I had a good relationship with Wimbledon from that day, a fantastique one. And it still exists."

This was, as we say, a different era when the raciest tabloids showed how important a sport tennis was to them by instituting Top of the Bots polls. Gabriela Sabatini would be No 1 among the women, and Leconte, the men's title-holder, stepped out with the dusky Argentine for a while (can we even say "dusky Argentine" any more, twice in the same paragraph as well?).

By 1986 when Leconte reached the semi-finals at SW19, his best achievement there, he'd acquired a sizeable fan club and a pretty hands-on one as well. "It was, you know, a physical experience getting in and out of the club," he laughs. "You have to be careful when you're famous and not bad-looking. How I turned out I'm very fortunate; my mother did a great job! I had two dreams as a kid. No 1 was to be a tennis player. No 2 was to look like James Bond. I'm still hoping the second one might happen though maybe it's not possible now."

It wasn't only his derriere they liked at the All-England Club; some could appreciate his strokeplay. Leconte is regularly held up as one of the best and most stylish players never to win Wimbledon, maybe third on the list behind Ilie Nastase and, at the top, Ken Rosewall. He is pleased to be appreciated for the finer points of the game as he regards tennis as art. "I play shots that even I don't understand," he once said. He has another go at explaining his aesthetic now: "I'm a leftie and therefore I had to make quick reactions always. Sometimes I would come to the net and give the other guy a shot which was, you know, a little flower. Or a zest of lemon. When you have the talent you are very lucky."

As an elite competitor his sense of fun had to be restricted to pre-Hawkeye gags to dispute line calls when he'd pretend to be blind, tapping his racket in front of him like a white stick. Now, though, he can unleash the full repertoire of silly walks, animal noises, wind-ups and mimicry.

He knows Gleneagles in Scotland is such an occasion where gags and shots all hit their mark.
He's played there before, having been recruited by Judy Murray for a charity event, and is full of admiration for Scotland's grande dame of tennis and her super-talented progeny, while hoping that Andy can beat his injuries and get back on court. "He's a fantastique player and it's sad for Scotland that he's struggling right now. I really hope he can find a solution to play at Wimbledon but it doesn't look great. I don't want him to stop now but sometimes these things you can't control. Sometimes you push the body too hard - and myself I know because of three operations to my back - and eventually it says: 'Enough, fini.'"

 

08.06.2018

#RolandGarros #FrenchPlayers #HenriLeconte

This Tuesday the quarter finals at Roland Garros started without the French Players. On Monday, the last representative of the Tricolor clan, Caroline Garcia, was wiped out by Angelique Kerber. Two small sets and then she went. On the men's side, the story was folded as early as Saturday with the successive eliminations of Gaël Monfils, Lucas Puglia, Richard Gasquet and Pierre-Hugues Herbert. A counter-performance, unprecedented for eight years, which angers the former finalist of Roland Garros, Henri Leconte.

"Everyone needs to wake up," urges the Eurosport consultant in the Parisian columns. They're all on a rolling train, moving quietly. Indeed, the results of the French are more than honourable in junior.  But where it is counting, it's when you have to perform as a pros. "We have good players in the top 15, 20. But not in the top 10 or 5. We don't have any more! I am the only one to open it, to have the courage to say certain things. We're in the fifth Division, he regrets. Already at the Australian Open, the French players disappeared as early as the eighth. The last final of a Frenchman goes back to 2008 for men, 2013 for women.

Getting out of the cocoon

One of the reasons which get articulated by the winner of the Davis Cup 1991 is the mental problem. Look at Thiem, Zverev who are playing three games in five sets. They're here, guys! The French players have to be harder and they have to come out of their little comfort zone. I have had it myself in my career. Henri Leconte invites the Federation to set up "a new device" and to go and see what is done elsewhere to get out of "our cocoon" and remove the "issues". "But let's stop staying here. Serbia, Russia, Spain, Germany, Angleterre  work all the time to get better and to try new things. They are looking for the little trick in addition (...)  It does not have to become a slaughter, he concludes.

In the meantime, the French public will be able to be satisfied with the doubles, a true tricolor specialty: The hexagon placed three of its player pairs in the men's doubles in the quarter finals.

 

06.06.2018

#FrenchOpen #HenriLeconte #30 #thefinal

30 Years Wilander Leconte

It's been 30 years, that no French player has managed to reach the Roland Garros final. Since June 5, 1988, when Henri Leconte challenged the Swede Mats Wilander. The actors of this landmark event, both now consultants for Eurosport, go back in time in the following interview.

On June 5, 1988, you played in the final of Roland Garros (Swedish victory 7/5, 6/2, 6/1). You remember ?

Mats Wilander: Of course. Five years ago, I had already faced a Frenchman, Yannick Noah, for the title in Paris. I lost! I also knew what a good player Henri could be and I was expecting a close match. The first set was decisive.

Henri Leconte: This is typically the kind of match that we wish we could not remember but that we can not forget. It's a bad memory for me. But after all, there is still the satisfaction of having reached a Grand Slam final at home, which is better than nothing ...

How do you explain that since then, no tricolor player has managed on the men's circuit at Roland Garros?

MW: This is not necessarily surprising: the pressure on the shoulders of the French is huge in Paris and we see a similar phenomenon in Melbourne with the Australians, New York and the Americans and even Wimbledon for the English ... at least until to the victory of Andy Murray but, he is Scottish before being British and I think it could have had an impact.

H.L .: The Tsonga generation, Gasquet, etc. is exceptional. But in France, I feel that we do not work enough on the emotional side. Of course there is pressure to play in Paris but it can also be positive. Personally, when I played against Pete Sampras in the Davis Cup final in 1991, when I was above the 150th place in the world and still had a loose back a few weeks earlier, of course there was some pressure and you have to be in your "comfort zone" during this kind of matches.

Despite your beautiful journey to reach the final in 1988, Henri, many have retained only your speech a bit awkward ...

H.L .: It overdid it, it's true! That is the proof that we must be very careful about everything we can or can't say. This is even more true today with social networks.

M.W .: I remember the reaction of the audience but I did not really understand why they hissed Henri. But it is necessary that the public understands that it is already very difficult to make the speech of the defeated during a final of a Grand Slam so much the disappointment is immense.

How did you manage the months following this final?

M.W .: When I won the US Open that year and became world number 1, I really felt that my motivation was not the same at all, especially in training. I really felt that it was different after in 1989, and certainly not an excuse, my father was diagnosed with cancer and died the following year. He was very important to me and his illness and disappearance were a real test. Once you have achieved most of your goals, it is difficult to motivate yourself. We see it with Djokovic since winning Roland Garros ...

H.L .: It was very complicated then. The year that followed was terrible, especially since I had expressed myself poorly and probably I was also poorly prepared and organized at that time, but it is also how we grow up. Until 1991 and this final Davis Cup that we won after 59 years of scarcity for France, at the price of an exceptional dramaturgy and in a certain atmosphere, I felt not good. In 1992, moreover, I managed to follow up with an excellent Roland Garros where I stopped in the semi-finals against the Czech Petr Korda. The link with the public was then very strong.

 

01.06.2018

#FrenchOpen #HenriLeconte #30 #onthewaytothefinal

Leconte, 30 years after: on the way to the final
 
This is the story of the last French player to have played a final at Roland Garros. Thirty years already. While the tricolors have since played finals at Wimbledon, the US Open or Australia, they have never reached the last Sunday in Paris.

Thirty years later, Henri Leconte still considers his match against Boris Becker as one of the most successful in his career.
He was still in this tournament and did not want to get out of it. That was his fear.
 

After the Becker case was settled, Henri was in panic. "I did not think about the next match at all after beating Becker. On the contrary, I was rather anxious, he admits. I was afraid, because I know I have to perform."
 

And perform, this was always his biggest problem. He could be great, like a McEnroe. An enchanter, a real shooting star, as there were a few. But continuity has not always been his forte. He knows it.
 

"To beat Andrei in three sets after Becker, it was hard for me"
Three years earlier, after his victory in five sets against Yannick Noah, he had been stopped in the quarterfinals by the future winner, Mats Wilander.
Fortunately for him in 1988, it was not (yet) Wilander who awaits him for a place in the last square, but Andrei Chesnokov…