Off-season? WHAT off-season?
If you’re a French tennis player – and even if you’re not – the tennis never ends.
The French interclubs have been going since even before the ATP and WTA Tour seasons ended (the pool stages began Oct. 15), and they’re down to the finals.
And, there are still tournaments.
Last week, Alizé Cornet won the battle of the Alizés vs. Alizé Lim in the final of a tournament in Touquet.
She came from playdowns in the interclubs, over to this event, and back to the finals for her team, TCM Denain.
This week, there’s a men’s event at Caën; Benoît Paire had planned to take part until his late-season prevented him from taking the court this early on. He was replaced by another viable ATP-level player, the fluently French-speaking Pablo Andujar.
Paul-Henri Mathieu and Nicolas Mahut are playing, as is Richard Gasquet (it’s a feed-in type draw where Michaël Llodra was fed in straight to the quarterfinals, and Gasquet straight into the semis)
Monday night, the Belgian David Goffin defeated the Magnificent One, Llodra, in the quarterfinals.
After this is done, Goffin will play for TC Lille in the interclub finals.
For the diehards, they will be livestreamed here on Sunday at noon (6 a.m. ET)
Do they take this seriously? There’s a commemorative book that chronicles the Quimperlé team’s road to the championships last season. Its title? “The Incredible Journey”
Here’s a partial list of players you might recognize, who have taken part in the French interclubs this season and last. It’s another way for them to add some additional income; but it does make the season even longer.
Just to name a few.
The once-powerful Villa Primrose team was rocked this year because its two best players, Llodra and Steve Darcis, were forced to bow out because of injury. They ended up relegated to the second division.