Could it be that Sebastian Grosjean is fading? If you look at his latest results it's quite worrying. What's your take? Did his coaching change hurt him? And on to another Frenchie, Paul-Henri Mathieu. Will he finally live up to his early expectations?
-- Kaja Sajovic, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Now that the statute of limitations has lapsed, I confess that a few years ago -- and I hope I'm not coming across as the Village Scold here -- I saw Grosjean blow through a pack of smokes in the lobby of a Marriott in Mason, Ohio. I'm no Gil Reyes, but that ain't exactly the training regimen of a tennis player with grand ambitions.
I always enjoyed watching Grosjean play. Lots of speed, lots of funky shotmaking, an awfully tough player on every surface. Plus he was one of the few players who hit that one-legged backhand effectively and not just for show points. But, yeah, you have to think his best years are behind him.
As you note, the future smells sweet for French tennis. Mathieu seems to be shaking the doldrums of that disastrous Davis Cup and playing terrific tennis so far this year. Gael Monfils is a future top-10 player who's won a few matches in Miami. Mean Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has game too. And we still haven't written about the talented-but-temperamental Richard Gasquet. (Random aside: Tempermental? Or "temperamental," with five syllables? Can we get a ruling from the judges?) [Ed. note: Temperamental.]