It's a nice article, the Simontards already know most of the stuff, of course, but there are a few new things too. Here's a summary:
The media should like him, as he is alert, talkative, with a flare for words. And still, nobody was paying attention to him until last week. It looks as if he had sneaked into the French number 1 spot like a thief.
Unlike Richard Gasquet, he never was called a "little Mozart" and never was the best in his age group. The growth retardation issue of 2-3 years became a problem by the age of 13-14 years. He was behind the others of his generation and was lucky Borfiga decided to make an exception and to keep him in the system because of his fighting attitude on the court. "But even if I was one of the very few people who believed in him, I would never have thought he would enter the top 10 one day, to be honest", Borfiga says.
Since he couldn't fight on equal terms with the others, he developped his tactical mind. His game was all about disorientating the opponent at that time. "Now I'm able to speed up the game. If I still play slowly sometimes, it's to better vary the pace and surprise the opponent."
By the age of 20, he weighed 60 kg for 1,81 m - they say he weighs 69 kg now!! - and had a reputation of being a dilettante. The "Hobbies include PlayStation, Game Boy and fitness training" in his ATP profile is a joke from his former coach Potier who filled in the form for him.
He hated that, on the contrary.
Gilles: "People were saying at that time that I was talented and lazy. Now they say I'm laborious because I run so much on the court." Borfiga means that people didn't understand that his build didn't allow him to train as much as the others.
He felt like "at school" with Potier (too domineering) and that's why he changed at the beginning of 2007 and started working with Tulasne who explains things instead of telling him to do this, to play his FH there, etc. Gilles means that at one point, the coach isn't necessarily more competent than the player.
He likes being alone or spending his time with Carine. She travelled with him for a while on the tour, but didn't find that environment very rewarding. "I can't blame her for that..."
He has an Audi A3, follows what is going on in the world and says he's from "the right wing, even if right and left doesn't mean much."
He isn't looking for fame, but he isn't avoiding it either. There are good and negative sides. "I think Richard Gasquet would be higher ranked if he hadn't lived with the pressure since he's a kid. He would probably be happier too. But it brought him nice contracts." ^^
Some sponsors have noticed him lately, but he will stay with Adidas because he says his earnings are linked to his results with his current contract. Another tactical move.