Fabrice News and Articles [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Fabrice News and Articles

02-28-2006, 08:28 AM
post news and articles about Fabrice

03-01-2006, 10:20 PM
A great Fab's website here: http://fabricesantoro.info/

There are many interviews, pictures and also audios and videos (but most of them are in French only :s)

03-01-2006, 10:25 PM
I'm doing a little advertising under my sign for the Forum.
Since I didn't know it was indeed here maybe other people don't either. And I hope we have someone who is available to translation any French articles into English. I'm sorry I don't understand French at all :sad: And I really wanted to learn the language and spent two years trying to learn the language, but never could :rolleyes:

03-01-2006, 10:32 PM
I can try to translate some of the articles but it would be a bit awkward :lol:

03-01-2006, 10:32 PM
A great Fab's website here: http://fabricesantoro.info/

There are many interviews, pictures and also audios and videos (but most of them are in French only :s)
Thanks! :D I knew the site, but unfortunately, I don´t know French... Although I´m sure the frenchies will help the rest of us with this :lol:

03-01-2006, 10:37 PM
I can try to translate some of the articles but it would be a bit awkward :lol:
Just do the best you can that is all we ask of you :) We want to get as many posters in here as possible so some of us will need help with the French language. At least I hope I'm not the only person in the MTF that needs help with French :eek:

03-02-2006, 01:49 AM
Just do the best you can that is all we ask of you :) We want to get as many posters in here as possible so some of us will need help with the French language. At least I hope I'm not the only person in the MTF that needs help with French :eek:
You are not! :lol:
But don´t worry, InfiniteSadness, as Mae said, do the best you can and when/if you want to ;) :)

03-06-2006, 12:04 AM
tangerine_dream did you ever find those articles that I believed were posted in the thread where we were requesting a Forum for Santoro? I think they would make a good addition to post them in here :)

03-08-2006, 01:42 PM
Just received my French Tennis Magazine of April 2006, and great surprise!!! 14 pages dedicated to Fabrice. :p With a very long interview. I'm gonna translate it. Just give me time because it is very long. :)

03-08-2006, 05:52 PM
Just received my French Tennis Magazine of April 2006, and great surprise!!! 14 pages dedicated to Fabrice. :p With a very long interview. I'm gonna translate it. Just give me time because it is very long. :)
Oh that is great and thanks so much for the work on the translation for us :worship:

03-08-2006, 07:08 PM
Just received my French Tennis Magazine of April 2006, and great surprise!!! 14 pages dedicated to Fabrice. :p With a very long interview. I'm gonna translate it. Just give me time because it is very long. :)

I can make a part of the translation, if it can help. :)

03-08-2006, 07:42 PM
I can make a part of the translation, if it can help. :)
With a great pleasure. :) Well, there are 3 parts, the big introduction, Je t'aime moi non plus, and the interview. I was just thinking that I would skip the Je t'aime part. If you're interested....just let me know.

03-09-2006, 07:28 PM
To be honest, I haven't read all the article yet. Maybe I can translate the "Je t'aime moi non plus" part + a part of the interview?

03-10-2006, 05:51 AM
It's ok InfiniteSadness. I've finished the 1st part "Secret Santoro". I'm gonna type it tonight or tomorrow. The interview will be done too. I think it's gonna be ready for middle of next week, if all goes well. Thanks for your help anyway. :)

03-10-2006, 02:02 PM
A promise is a promise. Here is the 1st part of the article. the interview will come later.

Secret Santoro

From Tennis Magazine, April 2006. By Guy Barbier and Julien Crosnier (photos)

Never ever before had Fabrice Santoro let access to his private sphere, in his home in Geneva. But after his very 1st QF in a GS at the AO, we've met the oldest French active player (33) who's granted us with a long interview. This was also after the huge disappointment of his being put aside from DC. Without giving us all of his secrets, Santoro has accepted to talk about his plans, while wishing to climb some more steps on the ladder of his impressive career.

The house is cosy- very cosy. The Tennis Club, the Geneva Country Club, has good equipment, very good one. The family lives in harmony, full harmony. In Switzerland, at the door of Geneva, Fabrice Santoro could live in peace- too peacefully. Yet, at 33, after 18 years on the tour, he still feels like tearing himself away from his quietness he though duly acquired, to go and fight, racket in hand, against younger guys, much taller, more powerfull. But not always winners. "True that sometimes I find it hard to leave all this", he says after staring at the beautiful mountains that you can see from the upper balcony of the house, as original or so, in its whole conception, as his 2-handed game on both sides. "But as long as I have the passion..." This is precisely this passion of tennis and competition which has, this year again, brought Fabrice in the land down under at the beginning of the year, at Melbourne Park for the AO. The furthest from his roots, for the most beautiful reward: his 1st GS QF in his main 54th tournament!

Other goals have been set, once more- like playing for the 1st time on the Center Court of Wimbledon- others have been considered, though kept secret.

They are what makes Fabrice Santoro go ahead, what makes him feel like working hard.

His habits, Fabrice has them at the Geneva Country Club, a set of luxurious installations that goes with the 13 courts out of which 10 (greensets) are indoor.

Hung on every wall, the photos of the boat, victorious at the last America's Cup remind enough that the place belongs to the wealthy owner of Défi Alinghi, Ernesto Bertarelli.

Today, for his training session, with his coach Laurent Raymond, Fabrice Santoro has an appointment with an old tour mate, Cédric Pioline, young retired player and neighbour, as living on the other side of the Geneva Lake.

"It's party time today", says Pioline, "I don't train with an active player every day..."

Twice finalist in GS, in Wimbledon and at the USO, retired for 3 years, Pioline is still very fit thanks to his regular trainings with young Swiss hopes. He has remained a fighter at heart, as shows his concentration on the 1st exercise imagined by Laurent Raymond, during warming up: trying to hit an empty ballbox, placed 1m ahead each baseline. The 1st to score 3 will be Pioline. "You're gonna admit and say I won?", asks Pioline, laughing. "Fabrice always loses when he trains", adds Laurent Raymond.

Taking place in the less heated of the 2 halls of the Club, the quietest too, training lasted around 2 hours. Mission accomplished for Pioline who can drive back home, on his scooter, but for Santoro, the session is far from being over.

Laurent Raymond wants to have him "revise" a set of exercises meant to maintain his speed and reactivity. "Fabrice perfectly knows what suits him, it's mostly an accompanying job", stresses Laurent Raymond, who had started working with Santoro between 1993 and 1995, and who stayed since then and occasionally plays alternate coach for Fabrice in the previous years. That's why Raymond came back after the episode Bruno Dadillon, the coach who so brilliantly accompanied Fabrice in his Australian tour.

"With his level and at his age", adds Laurent Raymond, "Fabrice also pays huge attention to relations outside the court." Living with the Santoros when he comes to Geneva, the Clermontois Laurent Raymond knows his player by heart. And when he leaves Fabrice between other's hands, after the work on the court, he knows by heart how the programm goes on.

In a fitness center which happens to be a true gym palace, Fabrice Santoro lets himself guide from one item to the other by the pro of the place, Cyril Jauffret. "With Fabrice, I'm very careful about the wide variety of exercises", he says. "Particularly for the abdominals, because they're smart muscles which stop efficiently working when asked to always repeat the same kind of effort."

The last character to enter the scene, last link of the Santoro chain in Switzerland, is called Jelena Bazus. Russian and physical trainer, she's the one in charge with helping Fabrice recovering at best after his efforts. On the ground, Santoro stands, without complaining, all the stretching movements, which lasts almost 30 minutes. On that day, the session isn't too hard. "The work was far more important whne he came back from Australia", says Jelena.

What Fabrice Santoro hardly ever does nowadays is running, though he doesn't say it's wrong, far from that, to young players.

"At his age and with his game style, running would be more traumatic than anything else", explains Laurent Raymond. "Fabrice does all the running during his matches."

The afternoon is free. To give himself some time, maybe, to update his Excel files on his colleagues of the tour for 10 years. The name, the style of game, the strong points, the weaknesses, the tactic to use, such are the contents of the columns of the masterpiece which has some chances to end up at the Tenniseum in RG. Fabrice agrees to reveal his observations only for a few seconds. Long enough to read that on the Federer file, in the column tactic, it's written " is embarrassed to return on backhand on high balls".

As soon as the next day, Santoro had to fly to Marseille, leaving his wife, Chris Laure, and his daughter, Djenae, 4 ½, behind at home, to join his father Marcel and his coach at the event. "Chris", former dancer and singer, was to use her quietness to work on the singing and dancing classes she is to give soon for the Little Dreams Fundation of Phil Collins. As for him, Fabrice was about to be back at the Palais des Sports of Marseille, to join the French DC team players.

DC, 2 words, synonymous of great joy -the small silver trophies are in good place in his office- and big torments, the very last one concerning his non selection for the tie against Germany. The wound is deep, too much to be hinted at in detail, he warns us, in the following interview. But, we also will talked a bit about DC. Still enough to have Fabrice claim he "still hopes" to play for it. Maybe in order to find the courageous strength to go and train on an early icy cold February morning?

03-11-2006, 05:19 AM
Oh Choupi that was wonderful work you did to get the article in English for us :) And what a great article it was about Fab ;) Thanks so very much :worship:

03-11-2006, 08:15 AM
Thanks Mae. Now, I need to do the interview. The best part, imo. :)

Action Jackson
03-11-2006, 08:50 AM
Look forward to rest of the articles and well Geneva has a lot of Frenchies living there. Good to know about how he trains and can't wait for the rest of the articles.

03-11-2006, 10:01 PM
Yes I was surprised that he lives in Geneva. And I think I'm going to have to do a little research on him myself. Because when I saw the name Santoro listed I thought he was a Spanish player :confused:

03-16-2006, 04:26 PM
I hope you found some infos about him Mae. :)

I just wanted to let you know that I had started working on that long interview. I haven't forgotten and a promise is a promise. Just some more patience.

03-17-2006, 02:50 AM
I hope you found some infos about him Mae. :)

I just wanted to let you know that I had started working on that long interview. I haven't forgotten and a promise is a promise. Just some more patience.
Don't worry about the time Choupi. You are wonderful to do the translation for us ;) And thank you for reminding me that I had forgotten to try to find some information on
Santoro. That name for some reason just doesn't sound or look French to me :confused:

03-28-2006, 03:21 PM
I knew it took some time but I think I'm gonna be forgiven when you see how long that interview is. Here is only the 1st half of it. The rest is coming up. :)

From Tennis Magazine, April 2006, by Guy Barbier.

Tennis Magazine: Let's first talk about your famous QF at the AO. What do you think about all this now?
Fabrice Santoro: At the moment? It's just been extraordinary. I had been fighting for all this for so long. I knew time was playing against me. Until you're 25, you tell yourself, this is gonna happen. And at 28: still not there! At 30, things get seriously complicated. So, at more than 33, it's just fabulous. I've received many congratulation messages. I've decided to reply to all of them, at my own rhythm of course, but to all. If people take care of sending you a message, you just have to do it...

TM: How did you celebrate it?
FS: In Australia, we stayed 2 more days in Melbourne, to celebrate this our way: under the sun, on the beach, all the family together, a few good restaurants. And then, we flied back home.

TM: How was the arrival in Geneva?
FS: It's been quiet, usual routine, school for Djenae, up at 6.45am. And physical training to stay fit.

TM: Despite all the experience, which is yours, to have reached such a goal can still reinforce your confidence, teach you something. What do you think?
FS: Whatever you do in life, its most of all important to do it, to know that you can do it. And from this moment on, why not do it again? Though I know that doing it twice will be very tough. On clay especially. RG is undoubtedly the tournament where my chances of getting far are the poorest. That surface is very demanding and the older you get, the further my game goes away from clay's characteristics.

TM: To come closer to grass rules, still settled on the Wimbledon goal?
FS: Yes, the point is to lighten my programm on clay in order to come on grass with my full means. The details aren't settled yet, but it is more than likely that I do that way.

TM: Pretty everywhere in Australia, and of course in France, as well as everywhere else, your Australian performance has brought you many praises. Doesn't that tribute come too late to your taste?
FS: Things happen when they are meant to. And if that happens to me now, it's because I've thought alot about my game. At 22 or 24, with the game I was playing, I just couldn't hope getting such compliments. I used to have a defensive game which wasn't really fascinating nor funny to watch. Now, people can feel I'm having a blast on a court, that I'm enjoying it. And my style of game is so far away from what is played today that they appreciate it all the more. They come to see something different. That they like or not doesn't matter. They come to see something different.

TM: But isn't there a small trap to avoid falling into, to be tempted to make too much "for the crowd"?
FS: Yes, it's true. It can be dangerous. That matches turn out like exhibitions. And that I start missing easy shots, playing wrong. To play, just for the sake of it. You should always keep in mind that the goal is to win.

TM: Let's come back on your goal of the QF, those who remember about your precocity can be surprised that you didn't look further. What were your goals, your dreams as a young player?
FS: But I just had no goal! Tennis was a game. I've won bunches of titles as a junior, and at 16, I remember I asked myself something in RG. My parents were present, with my coach: do I want to become a pro? The point was to give the best I could, not to become n°1 or to win RG. So, people may have imagined I would go higher, I would win a GS, but it wasn't realistic. Me, I was already pretty happy to have become a pro. And my dad had told me: you've made your choice, so now, go full blast and no regrets, you'll see how it goes. Actually, I simply didn't have the means to be N°1, that's all!

TM: But there had to be an unknown part for you. From which moment did you get aware of your true possibilities and of your limits?
FS: When I reached 20. I was ranked about 20. It was already great. I didn't feel I could go higher. Mostly because of the tennis I was playing at that time. And physically, I simply couldn't go till the end in a GS. So, that said, when I look back at it all, if, between 18 and 25, I could have been able to play the tennis I play today, so maybe, during the 2nd part of my career, I could have hoped for something better. But at that time, I was locked up in a style of game that had me lose my time.

TM: Too defensive, is that it?
FS: Yes, totally defensive. In fact, in the opposite of what I used to practise among juniors.When I started as a pro, I started to play, not to win, but not to lose. But I had so much pressure on my shoulders. People were expecting so much from me, especially in French events, that if I happened to do 1 fault, I had the impression I was guilty of something serious! Hence, I was doing very few errors, but also very few points! I was unable to take the initiative because I was afraid of the outside judgement. I had thus locked myself in that game: no fault, no point!

TM: Did you talk about this with a psy?
FS: My only psy was my dad. When I went to see him in November 1996, I was a bit desperate. My ranking was getting low and most of all, my pleasure was drowning. I asked him for advice. About how he was seeing my game and what I had to do to find back my efficiency, to have fun again on a court. He told me: you were a creator when you were a kid, in all that you were doing. There's no reason to not do it today. We've watched videos, talked about the style of game that 2-handed players have to play...He adviced me to play forth, to play doubles and then, I started my 2nd career.

TM: You thus consider your career with 2 distinct phases?
FS: Yes, before and after 1996. I started to regularly play doubles since January 1997. That's pretty simple: today, I have 23 titles, doubles and singles altogether. 22 of them are from the 2nd part! I'd say that, between 1988 and 1995, I've undergone basic training. In 1996, I've analyzed. And from 1997, I've entered my real career.

TM: Yet, when you reached your 1st 8th of final, in RG, at only 18, you must have told yourself it was only the beginning of a great adventure. What followed could only be harder?
FS: Yes, it's been hard. In 1991, for a few months, I've told myself "wow, the 8th at 18, without losing a set, beating Mats Wilander for the 2nd rd..." I then thought I was on the right way. But in fact, I had no future with my style of game. If you watch those matches I've played in RG, you can see I hardly made any errors. That others, Wilander included, were missing before me. I didn't go for the victory. In the 1st part of my career, I actually never lost a match because I was making many errors. I was doing nothing. And when I got aware of those limits, in 1996, my level of pleasure was the lowest. My 1st thought has been to tell myself: I am gonna pack my rackets and do something else. And that's my father, who, fast, got me out of there.

TM: 1996 has also been the year of your wrist injury...
FS: I've always thought that this injury wasn't hazardous. Because 1996 is the year when I stop training, when I miss RG, when I play almost all of my matches with my mind wandering somewhere else and, in Prague, when I hit that linesman, do I really think about hitting my backhand or about little birds? It was also the year I was building up my private life- I had met Chris Laure in 1995. I was distracted. No more pleasure on the court, no more ambition. I was in the middle of some crisis, partly due to my awareness of my game and its limits. Actually, that injury has only been good for me, it gave me some time to think.

TM: Which has been the 1st tournament of your "re-birth"?
FS: Marseille 1997. I had been working with my father for only 2 months. I had a WC, I was ranked 150. And when I reached the semis, I saw that in playing a more offensive game, tennis was just fabulous. And on top of that, I can defeat the best! I've been lucky to be quickly rewarded, after I changed my game in 1996, as soon as February 1997.

TM: Tennis is known to be a sport that leads to individualism. And you, you're said to be individualistic to the extreme. Is that right?
FS: I'm neither more individualistic, nor selfish- both notions join for me- than other tennis players. I indeed think that all players are individualistic and I think it's vital to be. A tennis player is someone who makes his own planning, who has to find his own game, his own training rhythm, he has to organize his life, learn how to know his body and who is bound to think big time by himself. All this leads to individualism. And the player quickly feels like seeing things change around him. The more I step forward in time, the more convictions I have in my methods, in what is good or bad for me. I think I'm open to everything in some preparation times. But, as soon as competition time is on again, I hold on to my certainties, and I've worked to have them.

TM: Your style of game can also require a specific preparation...
FS: Not so much my style. More the vision of what it has to be. Each day, when I enter a court, I have to have fun, to laugh. I will, all of a sudden, feel like doing a shot totally crazy, and I also want a fun touch in each of my trainings.

TM: Would you say that you prepare like the other players?
FS: Hmmmm....On the court, I don't see that much difference. Or maybe I will work on dropshot which isn't used by others, or the sliced forehand which nobody is interested in anymore!

TM: Do you feel any regrets now, as to how you've led your career?
FS: I would have liked knowing all I know today when I was 18! (smiles). I'm overjoyed with my career. All this has been built up, step by step, and if I'm almost at my best level so late, it is because I've asked myself ten thousand questions. Holidays are part of the success. It took me some time to realize this. When I was 18 and that I was having holidays, I had that impression I was ruining my career, I was moving more slowly than others.

TM: And when have you started going on holidays?
FS: In the 2nd part of my career, from 1997 on.

TM: At the end of the day, isn't it Chris Laure who freed you from that obsessional vision of tennis?
FS: Yes, it certainly is. Before being with Chris, I was living alone in my flat. When they were coming home, my friends used to tell me : look at your life, it's really no fun! In bed at 8.30pm, soya in my salad, and instead of olive oil, lemon juice. Sauceless pasta, no cheese. Never any dessert. I wasn't going out. I had a very strict way of life. And I thought I had to if I wanted to succeed. If I had gone on that way, I certainly would have stopped playing. Today, I've realized that a tennis player can do everything, like anyone else. Except that he has to pick his moments. I can drink wine, I can sleep late, eat a sauerkraut. But when I'm in the middle of a tournament, I sleep early and I eat no sauerkraut! Another thing I'm sure about concerning my way of life and my preparation, it is that I don't need to do running anymore. I've run thousands of times during the 1st part of my career, between 12 and 25. And I'm convinced that if I'm so strong today, it is because of those thousands of miles. Now, for me, cycling has replaced running. Because I think that, given the 100 matches I play every year, it would be ridiculous to add traumas either to my knees, ankles, lumbar vertebra, etc....I have enough of those when I play on hard! So, all the built up for me now, it's on the bike.

TM: You've played 19 players who became world N°1. You beat them all, except Roddick (2-0), Lendl (1-0) but most of all, Yevgeni Kafelnikov, who got you 6/0! What did he have that embarrassed you so much, Kafelnikov?
FS: First, I've always played him when he was at his best level. And also because I had nothing problematic to offer. In the backhand's line, he was better than me, in the forehand's, he was even better. My serve didn't absolutely bother him, and I had trouble returning his. I had no way out. Unless a bad match on his part. And against me, that simply never happened! I don't have the same feeling of being powerless when I play Roddick, against whom I've recently lost 6/4 7/6 in Lyon...

To Be Continued.....:zzz: ;)

03-30-2006, 06:50 AM
As promised, 2nd half of the interview.

TM: Let's pass on to Marat Safin. You're his pet peeve (7 victories for 2 losses), but you also defeated twice the undeniable current N°1 Roger Federer, or lost after extraordinary matches. What does he inspire you today?
FS: There are a lot of players I have a lot of respect for. Guys like Sampras, Agassi, Becker, Connors...encounters that strike you. But Federer, yes. I'd like him to win 15 GSs. He's brought tennis to a level nobody had ever reached before him. It would only be justice that he reaches the greatest palmares. Take just all the best of before at their best- Federer is above. He's the best of the best.

TM: Talking about all those great players, who would be your ideal player, if you had to take all great shots of every one of them?
FS: Sampras's serve, Federer's forehand, Agassi's backhand, Rafter's volley, Federer's fitness and Federer's mental.

TM: You're updating files on almost every player on your pc. How do you proceed and how long have you been doing so?
FS: For about 10 years. It's on my pc, on Excel. With columns for the game style, the strong points, the weak ones and the tactical aspect. Many of those players have retired now! (laughs) It happened that some players ask me for infos on a future opponent. I tell them what I think after I have a look at my files. When I retire, I hope somebody asks me to give them so that they are still usefull.

TM: But in what are they usefull to you?
FS: When I say tactic column, it's the tactic of the first 30 minutes. Sometimes, the infos I have on my pc just don't match with the reality of the day. I thus have to forget about the files and change my tactic.

TM: French players must, of course, be part of your notes. What do our players lack so that one stands out and wins GS?
FS: We haven't had any GS winner for 23 years. But we've been close sometimes. First with Leconte in 1988, then Cédric, twice, Arnaud in Australia and several semis. Concerning the new generation, I'd say that Gasquet and Monfils must have on their mind to win 1 GS.

TM: Do you think that they got the potential?
FS: There's still work ahead. But they both are very good players who have to think about playing GSs in order to win them. As well as, althrough the year, furnish all requested efforts and sacrifices to give themselves the best chances to win those tournaments. Maybe not in the nearest future. But when you see how seriously Gaël trains, the improvements he's made for 1 year and a half, if he keeps on that way, he's gonna become a damn good player. As for Richard, he's a tennis genius, he does everything perfectly, and he works well too. My feeling is that he has to get stronger physically, to be able one day to win a GS, and particularly RG. That said, that's a luck you don't need to have Nadal's physical to win RG. Otherwise, better pulling out of the event! We've played each other twice in 2005. The 1st time, I've been lucky to win after 3 hours 15 minutes and saving 1 MP. And the 2nd time, he's won after 3 hours and a half, saving 3 MPs. Such matches leave traces on the legs, but it also creates bounds, they're great moments. I like training, by the way, with Gaël and Richard.

TM: And what do you think about the arrival of the Team Lagardère in tennis? The Paris Jean Bouin, the Team Lagardère, etc...Do you see some competition for the Federation in those initiatives?
FS: I think that the arrival of Lagardère, that's pretty good for French tennis. He's done a lot for Richard and Gaël for 2 years. If tomorrow, the Federation and Lagardère could work together, that would be just extraordinary. That's what should be done, logically. If they happened to rival each other, that would be very bad. Both forces are complementary. They aim the same goals, have the same passion. Why competing?

TM: With all your experience, does the Federation sometimes consult you on tennis stuff?
FS: No. I might be asked about my opinion concerning RG's evolution. As a player. But that's all.

TM: French tennis has mostly been highlighted lately, thanks to Amélie Mauresmo. What do you think about her success?
FS: Amélie, I've been following her for a long time, I know her career very well. I like her a lot, she's extremely attaching. The whole country had been waiting for her 1st victory in a GS for a few years. That has happened the furthest possible, in Australia, at a time she wasn't really expected. All the other girls were there, whereas Amélie had had opportunities during events where many had pulled out. And though there were Sharapova, Clijsters, Hénin, and Davenport in the last remaining players, that's Amélie who wins it. That's all but chance. Ok, she may have been a bit lucky. But luck, you provoke it, and she's done it thanks to a very hard work. She's super serious. Despite some past disappointments, despite being sometimes criticized, she's never given up. Hence, that's all the more deserved.

TM: We've talked about the opponents, but there are also your partners. Have you listed them?
FS: No, but I know I've won tournaments with 8 or 9 different partners.

TM: Which one of those have you felt more comfortable with?
FS: I'd say Olivier Delaître and Mika. With Delaître, we would have won more if, at that time, I had been stronger physically. And I also played 3 DC finals with 3 different partners: Delaître, Pioline and Escudé.

TM: With Pioline in Australia, it was though at a time it was tense between you?...
FS: Yes, but now, we enjoy seeing each other with Cédric, visiting each other and drinking a good bottle. And even today, this victory in Australia remains among the greatest moments of my career. Here are the photos by the way...(skimming through the pages of an album about the French victory in 2001). The Berçy final, together with Nicolas, has also been a great moment. I've been lucky. I wasn't asking for so much.

TM: Talking about the doubles, what do you think of the new rules that have been set this year?
FS: I'm for the tiebreak, 1st reaching 10 points, instead of a 3rd set. And I'm against the No-Ad. I think it gives too big a place to chance, to some stroke of luck.

TM: And when it appeared that the existence of the doubles was threatened, how did you react?
FS: They can't sacrifice the doubles and make it so important in DC. Or, they also pull it off DC. You can't say, 4 weekends a year, the Saturday point is capital and not giving a damn the rest of the time. So, finding a setting more adapted to the tour rhythm so that the best singles players can also play doubles, I agree with that. But cancelling doubles would be a huge mistake. I'm all the more convinced about this as it is thanks to doubles that I've boosted my career.

TM: Paraphrasing the title of a recent movie where the main frameset was about tennis, would you say that your family is your "greatest victory"?
FS: That's my pride. My big pride. My priority today. I keep on playing tennis because of passion. I love fighting, I love coping with the best. I know I have an incredible luck. But I know that all this will end in some months, some years. On the other hand, I hope my family life will keep up till the last days of my life. Today, Chris longs for me to stop. She involves herself 100% in my matches because she just supports me when I play. But when we come back home, she asks me: so, when are you gonna retire? Me, I'm really torn in my reasoning, because I'm longing for all to stop and I always want it to go on.

TM: Yet, there's been a 1st break in your career in 1991, when you haven't been selected to play against the US team in Lyon for the DC final. You had said yourself that you had needed several months to recover and your father had spoken about moral injury.
FS: When I look at it now, the selection that was made had nothing unadmitteable. It was even probably normal, yes that's the 1st time I state it...Yannick (Noah) must have had good reasons. The only thing is that, at that time, I've been considered a "normal player" whereas I was just a baby. Who had played the QFs, the semis but who was only 18. And I didn't have the weapons to accept that 1st disappointment in my career. That's why I've received it right into my face, why it hurt me so much. Not the choice in itself, but the way it all happened, the fact that I should have been explained the way you explain things to a child. But later, I've had the opportunity to talk about it with Yannick Noah, one day I was visiting him at home, in Nainville les Roches, in 1995. We had talked, next to the swimmingpool, and it was just great for me to be able to talk about it some years after it happened. And today, I will never forget that it's Yannick who first gave me my chance in DC. It's also him who opened up his house, when he was living in Switzerland, when I was looking for a restaurant to celebrate my 30s, on December 9th 2002. Yannick is somebody I like a lot.

TM: With DC, you've gone from ecstasy to sadness. The great moments you've lived through it, do they remain on top of your career achievements?
FS: Yes, of course...My first steps: Nîmes in 1991. In 1999, we lose in the final but it still was a great year. In 2001, we bring the trophy home from Australia, which was totally unexpectable, an extraordinary exploit. In 2002, we lose against Russia, in Berçy, but in such an incredible mood. And in that same year, the semi in RG against the Americans, a very big moment. So yes, the joys and the grieves, DC has been the competition of the extremes for me. That's also because that's the one I like the most. Hence, I'm always sensible to it.

TM: Yet, given all that you've just told us, how do you explain there have been misunderstanding moments between you and the captain? Without hinting at recent events, we can remember a match totally blown out against Belgium in 1997 and harsh words of Noah after that. There have been other communications difficulties. Why, according to you?
FS: If there are ups and downs, that's first because my career is pretty long. If it had lasted 4 years, there certainly would have been less worries! Then, it's also a competition where there's always so much passion as well as craze that it causes troubles. And at the end of the day, that's the only competition in tennis where the player depends on somebody else. Because a tennis player is undoubtedly the independent worker par excellence. That's him who hires his coach, his physical trainer, who builds up his programm, me, I do everything. And, at one moment, I lose control. Maybe that's what I've had trouble with. But it would be taking such a huge shortcut than forgetting about all the joys the event brought me.

TM: Maybe, you love that competition too much?
FS: Maybe. But I've given the very best of myself in DC. During the finals in 2001 and 2002, I've undeniably played the best doubles matches of my whole life.

TM: That's weird. You were previously listing 1999 among the good memories whereas in the doubles, with Olivier Delaître, things didn't go that well.
FS: The 1999 final is a bad memory, from the beginning til the end. It's been a general failure. We missed it. With the players, the staff. We all made mistakes, and it just led us into the wall.

TM: You don't wanna talk about the current situation of French team, which caused you to be excluded against Germany. But do you admit that the public wants to know why and how things reached that point?
FS: Yes, I think so.

TM: So why these silences and those insinuations from one part as well as the other? Isn't it natural that supporters of French tennis want their fittest players to play for France?
FS: Of course. (Long silence) Maybe that's too simple. Me too, I'd like to understand. I don't know. Today, the situation is what it is. I don't know if I ever will play again in DC.

TM: Are you still hoping for it to happen?
FS: (firmly) Yes!

TM: Do you want to explain, face to face, with Guy Forget?
FS: Yes. And that is likely to occur during the upcoming weeks. And more than likely, still 3 or 4 years after I've retired. Me, I think that everybody can work with everybody. Especially when you have the same goal.

TM: That deep emotion you've shown in Tarbes, reading your press release, points out your level of attachment to that competition...
FS: For sure I'm sad about that. When I was in Australia, I've reached a goal I had been running after for so long. I've told myself I needed another motivation. I had already found it, it was just immediate: DC. That was great. I've been all the more disappointed that I wasn't with them in Germany.

TM: What would you like to do when you stop competing?
FS: Giving time to my family. And stay within tennis world. Not as a coach, because I don't want that hellish rhythm anymore. Find myself new challenges. I've already got other interests, I have a passion for long for property market. I'm following it closely. I'm visiting a lot of things. I've moved out several times, I like that. Today, we owe that house which is, for me, pretty original, as well as a leisure house in the South of France.

TM: In that "outside tennis" category, you had once said in an interview that you would "never" enter politics. Yet, you sometimes appear next to Nicolas Sarkozy...Do politics interest you now?
FS: Nicolas, he's a friend. For about 10 years now. That's somebody I like a lot, a friend, and as he's into politics, I'm getting interested, as a matter of fact, in politics. I'm following his career, closely, and he also follows mine. I often call him, to ask him for his opinion. He's got an incredible insight. He's got that ability to analyze situations, to see things much faster than anybody else and he's always of good advice.

TM: Are you a militant of UMP?
FS: No, I don't have any membership card. But, I don't hesitate to support him, publicly, whenever I can, as I had done in his big meeting in Le Bourget.

TM: Let's come back to DC. The role of the captain, could you be tempted by it one day?
FS: No retired player could be indifferent to the idea of having such a job.

Action Jackson
03-30-2006, 09:14 AM
Fantastic translation and good to see some in-depth interviews for a change and Fab likes Excel, who'd have thought.

03-30-2006, 05:27 PM
:bowdown: :bigclap: :woohoo: :yippee: :banana: :hearts:
:hatoff: :hug: :dance: :inlove: :worship: :cool:

Choupi there are just no words to tell you how wonderful it was for you to take the time to translate all that information on Santoro ;) And Santoro is such an interesting person :cool: But I can't find out anything about the name Santoro :shrug:

Action Jackson
03-31-2006, 07:59 AM
Santoro is an Italian last name.

03-31-2006, 08:52 AM
Fab is from Italian descent, but he was born in Tahiti......on a particular day!! :p Or should I say special day? :shrug:

03-31-2006, 02:59 PM
Thanks so much for that interview, Choupi. :wavey:

04-01-2006, 03:45 AM
Fab is from Italian descent, but he was born in Tahiti......on a particular day!! :p Or should I say special day? :shrug:
Santoro is of Italian descent? The name didn't look French to me, but I must say it doesn't look Italian to me either :unsure: When I see the name I think of someone who is Spanish. Why I don't know :shrug:

12-08-2006, 08:59 AM
There is an interview of Fabrice in the new issue of "Grand Chelem" (http://www.grandchelem.net), you can download it here:
(page 18 - it's a series of articles and interviews about the "pleasure in tennis" - in French, of course, sorry :p)

12-08-2006, 09:03 AM
Here you are:

Le plaisir du tennis, c'est obligatoirement la victoire ?
Tout joueur de tennis est un compétiteur. Pour exister à ce niveaulà, il faut prendre du plaisir dans la victoire, mais moi il m'arrive aussi d'en prendre dans la défaite. Bien sûr Il ne faut pas qu'il n'y ait que des défaites, mais j'ai en ai quelques unes dans ma carrière qui restent de très bons souvenirs.

Est-ce que comme Arnaud Clément, tu es plutôt dans le trip douleur ?
Oui, comme Arnaud, j'aime la douleur. Donc je reconnais qu'il faut effectivement un côté un peu sado pour évoluer à ce niveau-là. Quand je commence à lutter, je prends du plaisir. C'est un challenge que j'apprécie plus que les autres.

C'est quoi ton hit-parade du plaisir ?
Disons que depuis le début de ma carrière en 1988, j'ai dû jouer plus de 1500 matchs, donc je ne me rappelle pas de tout. Dans les dernières années, je retiendrai surtout parmi les moments de plaisir intense une défaite, celle à l'US Open 2005 face à Federer. Tous les paramètres étaient réunis : New- York, la nuit, le numéro 1 mondial en face et 23000 personnes. La seule inconnue qui aurait pu gâcher la fête, c'était mon niveau de jeu. Mais ce soir-là j'ai joué un match extraordinaire, le meilleur tennis de ma carrière.

Qu'est-ce que les gens disent sur ton jeu atypique ?
De temps en temps des joueurs viennent me voir pour me dire : « J'adore voir tes matchs ». Ce sont toujours des mots extraordinaires qui m'aident à continuer. Ces gens me donnent de l'énergie.

Tu as fait tous les centraux du monde, est-ce qu'il y a un Graal que tu voudrais encore atteindre ?
Hum…je crois que j'ai désormais boucler la boucle. J'ai été extrêmement gâté dans ma carrière, beaucoup plus que je ne l'imaginais quand j'ai commencé. Tous les grands courts, je les ai foulés, j'ai participé à trois Olympiades. A cela il faut rajouter des rencontres mémorables en Coupe Davis. Ce que je veux vivre ce sont des émotions fortes dans les évènements qui me tiennent à coeur : les tournois du Grand Chelem ainsi que ceux en France car je n'aurai plus souvent l'occasion de jouer devant mon public.

Du chip, des montées au filet, des volées, pourquoi y en a-t-il de moins en moins ?
Ca fonctionne par cycle. Le chip, tout le monde disait que cela allait disparaître, que c'était terminé. Moi en coup droit, je ne fais que ça et cela ne m'empêche pas de jouer à haut niveau. On le voit aussi avec Federer. S'il y a moins d'attaquants, c'est tout simplement parce qu'on apprend d'abord aux joueurs à frapper fort des deux côtés. Et la deuxième raison, ce sont les cordages et les balles qui ont beaucoup changé. Les conditions de jeu ont été considérablement ralenties.

Est-ce que tu n'as pas l'impression de tourner en rond sur le circuit ?
Si je suis là, c'est encore pour vibrer sur le terrain, pour échanger avec le public. Parce que plus le temps passe, plus il faut faire d'efforts pour maintenir ses sensations. Je suis là parce que j'adore la compétition mais il est certain que ma vie est plus riche en dehors de la compétition.

Une carrière de coach, ça te tente ?
J'adorerais faire coach. Je pense avoir en effet des choses à transmettre. Maintenant me retrouver dans les hôtels toute l'année, j'ai du mal à l'envisager.

Le Trophée Lagardère, tu t'y vois ?
Je pense que je le jouerai. Je n'y participerai pas pour la même raison que Rios. J'adore le tennis, j'ai commencé ce sport quand j'avais six ans, parce que j'adorais jouer avec la balle.

Je te coupe. Cela veut dire qu'il y a des joueurs sur le circuit qui n'aiment pas le tennis ?
Oui, cela existe, c'est évident… Ils ont eu les moyens d'arriver là, mais il n'y a pas que des passionnés dans le tennis mondial.

Si on est passionné, on est forcément fétichiste ?
J'ai une pièce, mon bureau où je garde certaines choses. J'ai 33 ans, le tennis c'est 27 ans de ma vie. C'est beaucoup donc je ne peux pas tout oublier mais je n'ai pas envie qu'il soit présent dans toutes les pièces de ma maison.

Tes enfants jouent au tennis ?
Ma fille joue au tennis une heure par semaine. Elle est extrêmement contente de jouer, elle adore ça, comme elle adore son cours de piano ou de danse. Parfois elle me demande de jouer une heure de plus, c'est ce que je fais avec le plus grand sérieux mais je ne veux pas la pousser. Le tennis c'est ma passion, pas celle de mes parents. Si je suis là c'est que j'en ai toujours eu envie. Mes parents m'ont toujours soutenu mais jamais étouffé."

12-08-2006, 09:32 AM
Thanks Truc :kiss:
And if someone feels like translating it.... :angel:
No rush, of course :p ;) I understand some parts...., but I´m really not good at French :lol:

12-08-2006, 09:38 AM
Yes, of course, I'm just posting around a few interviews in French because I don't have much time right now, I'll come later to see if people need a translation.

12-08-2006, 12:24 PM
Well, I just made a quick translation and there isn't anything new, actually, so I'll post just the rough translation.

Like I said, that's a magazine with a series of articles on that topic (tennis et plaisir) and Fabrice is mentioned a lot, by other players, etc. Nothing new there, but it's nice to see one more time that people associate him with that idea.*
But the interview itself isn't so interesting, I'm afraid:

The pleasure in tennis – does that necessarily mean the victory?
All tennis players are competitors. To exist at that level, you have to enjoy the victory. But I also take pleasure in some losses. Of course you don’t if you lose all the time, but I’ve had a few defeats in my career which remain as very good memories.

Are you more into the “pain trip” like Arnaud Clément?
Yes, like Arnaud, I like the pain. I admit you need a sadistic streak to play at that level (I don’t know if it’s a mistake and he means masochistic :shrug: ). When I begin to fight, I take pleasure in it. I like that challenge more than any other.

Your personal ranking in “pleasure” matters?
Since the beginning of my career in 1988, I’ve played more than 1500 matches, so I don’t remember them all. In the past few years, the most intense moment of pleasure I remember was a defeat, the one against Federer at the US Open 2005. Everything was there: New York, the night, the world number 1, 23 000 spectators. The only unknown quantity, which could have ruined the party, was my level of tennis. But I played an extraordinary match on that day, the best tennis of my entire career.

What do people say about your unusual game?
Sometimes people come to me and say: “I love watching your matches”. These are extraordinary words which help me go on. Those people give me energy.

You played on all the center courts in the world, is there anything you still miss in your “quest for the Graal”?
Hmmm… I think I’ve “closed the circle”. I’ve been extremely lucky in my career, much more than I thought I would be when I started. I’ve played on all big courts of the world, I took part to 3 Olympic Games. Let’s not forget the memorable matches in Davis Cup. What I want is to experience strong emotions in events which mean a lot to me: the Grand Slams and the tournaments in France because I won’t have many more occasions to play before my home crowd.

Slice, attacking game, volleys – why does all this disappear more and more?
It’s cyclic. As for the slice, everybody said it was going to disappear, it was over. I play only slice with my forehand and it doesn’t prevent me from playing at a high level. You can see that with Federer too. There are less offensive players because they teach the players first to hit hard on both sides, that’s all. And the second reason is that the strings and the balls have changed a lot. The whole “conditions” have been considerably slowed down.

Don’t you have the feeling that you’re going round in circles on the tour?
If I’m still there, it’s for the thrill, the “exchange” with the people. Time goes by and I need to work harder and harder to keep up those feelings. I’m still here because I love the competition, but my life certainly is richer apart from the competition.

Do you consider a career as a coach?
I’d love to work as a coach. I do think that I have things to pass on. But I can’t really imagine living in hotels day in day out.

And what about the Trophée Lagardère?
I think I will play that event. But I won’t take part for the same reason as Rios. I love tennis, that’s why I began to play when I was 6 years old, because I loved playing with the ball.

Sorry for cutting you short, but do you imply that some players on the tour don’t love tennis?
Yes, some players don’t, that’s obvious… They were able to reach that level, but the tennis world isn’t only composed of passionate people.

If you’re passionate, that means you’re a “fetishist” too? (Sorry, I don’t know how to say that in English)
I’ve got a room at home where I keep certain things. I’m 33 years old, tennis has been 27 years of my life. That’s a lot. I can’t forget all that. But I don’t want tennis to be present in the other rooms of the house.

Do your kids play tennis?
My daughter plays one hour a week. She really enjoys it, she loves playing, like she loves her piano lessons or her dance lessons. Sometimes, she asks me to play one more hour. I do it very seriously then, but I don’t want to “push” her. Tennis is my passion, not the passion of my parents. If I’m here, it’s because I always wanted to do that. My parents supported me, but they never "overdid" it (I don’t know the exact word once again).

* That's also the reason why they chose him for the cover:

12-08-2006, 02:19 PM
Thanks for the translation!! :hug:
I like the cover :lol:

Fabrice Fan
12-08-2006, 05:20 PM
Thank you very much for the translation!!! :D

01-03-2007, 09:56 PM
:wavey: :)

`I have reached the highest level I could'

Vijay Parthasarathy

CHENNAI: Age, it seems, is catching up with Fabrice Santoro. Back pain forced the 34-year-old to pull out of the doubles event at the Chennai Open on Wednesday; his continuance in the singles is uncertain.
It is perhaps a fair assessment to peg Santoro between Henri Leconte, the fabulous French touch artiste of the eighties, and Mansour Bahrami, the Iranian-born French genius who continues to entertain with his performances on the Champions Tour.
Santoro's smile is goofy, gap-toothed. "Yes," he reflects, "maybe I am the Bahrami of the Pro Tour." The Tahiti-born Santoro is less self-indulgent in his shot selection, but his ability remains just as outrageous.
Bahrami's circumstances were, of course, special: as a boy growing up in Tehran, he learnt to play tennis by improvising with a dustpan or even his hands because he couldn't afford a racquet. The Revolution interfered with his career; by the time he had switched nationalities, his best years were past.
By those standards, Santoro's evolution has been unremarkable. "I've always played the same kind of game," he says. "I started with a two-handed split grip because the racquet was too heavy for me as a kid. I never changed that." While he likes to "experiment with new shots sometimes when a ball is called long," Santoro's strength obviously lies mainly in drawing his adversary to the net.

A unique player
"There aren't many players who rely on touch anymore. That makes my game unique." Santoro's game is too nuanced to be one-dimensional, plain exotic. Opponents have always struggled to cope with his heavy underspin and sudden drops in pace. The advantage Santoro speaks of is in a sense similar to what is enjoyed by left-handers. There are only a few in the professional game, and it takes a little longer than usual for a right-hander to settle into a rhythm.
Incidentally, the right-handed Santoro switches to his left occasionally while employing the forehand and his follow through transforms into that of a backhand slice. Such eccentricities have helped ease the pressure on his body; his style has prolonged his career.
Santoro, who by the way has never played Nadal, can subvert the power game; his 7-2 head-to-head against Marat Safin is proof enough. "Being told I was to play Santoro was like being told I was to die," the Russian once famously remarked.
Having turned pro in 1989, `The Magician', as Santoro is known, is one of those few to have played both Sampras and Federer at their peak. He has troubled both; but the Swiss is the better player in his estimate.
"Federer is a more complete player, he has more variation," says Santoro.
Santoro's shotmaking talent and vast range of trick shots — like Bahrami's and Leconte's — are especially suited to doubles. Although he was for a while ranked inside the top 20, he has only made the singles quarterfinals at a Grand Slam once — at last year's Australian Open — and he last won a tournament in 2002.
"The fact that I haven't won a Slam, or reached number one has nothing to do with my kind of game, my preference for touch," Santoro explains. "I have reached the highest level I could. I simply wasn't able to progress beyond."

Source: http://www.hindu.com/2007/01/04/stories/2007010413932100.htm

01-04-2007, 03:02 PM
Great article, thanks for posting it :D

Fabrice Fan
01-04-2007, 06:05 PM
Excellent article! Thanks for sharing it with us :)

03-09-2007, 04:07 PM
Fab will take part to an exhibition in Cyprus on April 10th, with Marcos Baghdatis and Marc Gicquel. This is a charity fund raising event, organized by the bank Société Générale of Cyprus.

04-16-2007, 03:06 PM
:wavey: here's an article on fabrice. not sure why federer's picture is pertinent here ?:confused:


04-17-2007, 10:29 AM
Here’s what Fabrice the rebel says today in l’Équipe about the ATP reforms:
« Où est la démocratie ? »
FABRICE SANTORO profite du mouvement des joueurs pour rappeler qu’ils n’ont jamais l’occasion de voter.

COMMENT RÉAGISSEZ-VOUS à l’appel lancé par Federer et Nadal pour contrer les réformes de l’ATP ?
– Je ne suis pas au courant des détails de cette démarche, mais si Federer et Nadal sont dans le coup, ça lui donne unsacré impact. Et c’est bien qu’un jeune comme Nadal se lance dans la bataille. Moi, à son âge, je n’en aurais pas été capable.
– Au fond, où est le malaise ?
– Pour moi, c’est simple : l’ATP représente les joueurs ET les tournois. Or, il ne devrait être question que des joueurs. Nous ne sommes pas majoritaires dans le « board » qui prend toutes les décisions. Qui a décidé, par exemple, que les trois Masters Series sur terre battue cette année devenaient des tournois de 56 joueurs au lieu de 64 (Santoro est 57e à l’ATP) ? Pas les joueurs, en tout cas. Dommage pour moi. Ça me coûte trois engagements. En fait, on ne décide jamais de rien. Lors des réunions trimestrielles des joueurs du top 100, je n’ai aucun souvenir d’avoir jamais voté, pas même àmain levée. Au lieu de nous mettre devant le fait accompli dans ces réunions, on devrait y provoquer un débat d’idées. Ça n’a jamais été le cas. Où est la démocratie ?
– La fracture a donc l’air assez profonde. Mais Federer and co ne semblent pas vouloir aller au clash…
– Pourtant, il n’y a pas trente-six solutions. Prenez le mois de mars avec les deux Masters Series américains à Indian Wells et Miami. Voilà deux tournois qui bouffent un mois plein du calendrier alors que le reste de l’année, la plupart des autres tournois se marchent sur les pieds. Pour moi, c’est une aberration. Depuis quelques années, je proteste modestement du haut de mon classement en refusant en général d’enchaîner les deux. Il paraît que ces deux tournois drainent plein de spectateurs. Facile avec la mixité. La mixité d’ailleurs, parlons-en. J’entends bien ce qu’on en dit dans les vestiaires. La majorité est contre. Mais voilà, le contrat des deux tournois a été signé jusqu’en 2025. Dès lors, de deux choses l’une : ou on se couche, ou on boycotte. » – P. Co.

04-17-2007, 10:44 AM
Here is a very, very rough translation:

- What is your reaction to Federer's and Nadal's move against the ATP reforms?
I don't know the details of their action, but if Federer and Nadal are both part of it, it gives it a great impact. And it's good to see a young guy like Nadal fighting too. At his age, I wouldn't have been able to do that.
- What is the problem, actually?
To me, the problem is simple: the ATP represents the players AND the tournaments. It should only represent the players. We are not in the majority in the "board" which is taking all the decisions. Who decided for example that the 3 AMS on clay were going to have a 56 players draw this year instead of 64 [Santoro is #57]? Not the players, that's sure. Too bad for me. It costs me 3 tournaments. Actually, we never decide anything. During the quarterly players' meetings, I can't remember having ever voted anything, not even by just rising the hand. Instead of telling us during those meetings what has been decided, they should encourage the debate. They never did. Where is the democracy?
- The "fracture" seems pretty deep. But Federer & Cie obviously don't want a clash...
But there aren't many solutions. Look at the month of March with the 2 American AMS in IW and Miami. Those 2 tournaments take one whole month of the calendar while most of the other tournaments are competing with each other during the rest of the year. For me, it's absurd. I've been protesting against it for a few years now with my modest ranking by refusing to play both in a row. They tell us those tournaments have the biggest audience. It's easy with a mixed event. And let's speak about the mixed events. I know what people are saying about it in the locker rooms. Most people are against it. But both tournaments have signed a contract until 2025. In these conditions, 2 solutions: you obey or you boycott.

04-17-2007, 10:58 AM
:wavey: here's an article on fabrice. not sure why federer's picture is pertinent here ?:confused: And the author of the article complains about it in the first comment, he says he will give a pic next time he writes an article for Sportvox because the pic they chose is not very pertinent. :rolls:
The comments are interesting too, the author of the article explains in the last comment one of the main reasons of the "dispute" between Fab and Forget in DC.
Thanks for the heads up, higherlaw.

04-20-2007, 05:05 PM
Santoro et Monte-Carlo, une histoire d’amour qui finit mal

Présents à Monte Carlo nous avons été surpris d’apprendre que le comité d’organisation a refusé de donner une wild card à Fabrice Santoro qui venait jouer sa quinzième édition. Au pied du rocher, la finesse et la ruse font pourtant partie du patrimoine de la Principauté.

«Les organisateurs n’ont pas su prendre leur responsabilité » nous a d'abord glissé un membre éminent du tennis tricolore (en off) alors que l’on apprenait également de source sûre qu’une fête devait être organisée pour les 15 ans de Fabrice à Monaco. C’était tellement officiel que Fabrice n’avait pas pris le soin de s’inscrire aux qualifications. Au final, le sésame a été obtenu par Florent Serra, et Santoro qui en a vu d’autres est resté au bord du Rocher pour participer au tournoi de double. «Il a été choqué, et selon ses proches, il ne devrait plus revenir ici » commentait un confrère bien informé. On le serait à moins. Il est en effet carrément impensable de se priver des qualités de ce joueur atypique à l’heure où les frappeurs de fond de court font la loi sur tous les terrains du monde. Si le tournoi de Monte-Carlo est un vrai délice, si le lieu est magnifique, il est aussi évident que certains membres de l’organisation ne sont pas à la hauteur. Enfin, si l’ATP s’est permis également d’évoquer la sortie du tournoi des Masters Séries, il faut y voir aussi un peu d'amateurisme de la part de certains dirigeants, et une suffisance monégasque qui pourrait se payer chère.

"Santoro & Monte-Carlo, a love story with a bad ending"
The article doesn't give any further explanation for the WC decision either, is more wondering about it and criticizing pretty harshly the tournament organization. It says the tournament had even planned a kind of party to celebrate Fab's 15 years in MC, it was so official that Fab didn't enter the qualies. When they gave the WC to Serra then, he was shocked. He probably won't come back according to people around him.

Haile Selassie
05-01-2007, 10:17 PM
:eek: Thanks for the news he must be annoyed with that end..

05-11-2007, 07:33 AM
Any news about who Fabrice will team up with now since Nenad should play together with Nestor?

(I don't understand either how it works for the Masters when they change a team in the middle of the year, can they still qualify for the Masters then?)

05-11-2007, 09:36 AM
I don't know how it works. But I'd be surprised if they could keep on playing to qualify for the MastersCup, after they changed partners. As it is the team which plays to qualify, and that the team is new. Does that make sense?

So, that means Rome is the last event they play together with Nenad?

05-11-2007, 06:13 PM
Sad that they split up team, I really liked the Nenad & Fab combination!! :sad:

Dunno if Rome will be their last event together... Nestor and Nenad will be playing for the 1st time together in Wimbledon... so maybe nenad and fab will play RG.. :awww:

Curious to know with which players Fab is gonna play till the end of the season... :scratch:

Haile Selassie
05-11-2007, 09:26 PM
Im also wonder that.. why the slipt up¿

05-22-2007, 03:30 PM
They will stop playing together after wimbledon.
The reason for it is that Nenad needs somebody who is every week at a tourney and Fabrice sometimes needs a little bit time for himself and the family as we all know.
I wanted to let you know this and that Fabrice doesn´t have a new partner yet. But we don´t have to worry: "He will find somebody"(quote Nenad).

xx Manja

05-24-2007, 06:14 AM
Thanks for the infos Manja. Yes, sure Fab will find another partner. Not sure who yet, but he's said to be willing to play with Frenchies, so let's wait & see.

05-24-2007, 10:06 AM
With frenchies!!! Yeah!!! I have a lot of proposals :) first of all Benneteau..

05-26-2007, 04:06 AM
http://img213.imageshack.us/img213/8993/tm14gt4.th.jpg (http://img213.imageshack.us/my.php?image=tm14gt4.jpg)http://img219.imageshack.us/img219/3200/tm15jp9.th.jpg (http://img219.imageshack.us/my.php?image=tm15jp9.jpg)

05-30-2007, 08:32 AM
Today in l'equipe : L'oeil de Mats Wilander

En voie de disparition

« VOIR JOUER FABRICE SANTORO a toujours été un enchantement. La finesse, le sens tactique, l’intelligence de jeu, cela représente l’essence même du tennis. Sa défaite m’a rendu triste. Pas seulement parce qu’il a perdu mais parce que j’ai confusément la désagréable impression que son style de jeu est désormais dans un processus d’extinction. Son élimination d’hier n’a rien à voir avec l’âge. Et ce n’est pas non plus un problème physique. C’est une affaire de génération tennistique. Le jeu a tellement évolué – et dans un sens dont vous devinerez sans peine qu’il ne me plaît guère ! – que la manière de jouer de Fabrice se heurte aujourd’hui immanquablement à un mur infranchissable dès lors que son adversaire réalise le match quasiment parfait, comme ce fut hier le cas pour Chela dans les trois derniers sets. Dans la première manche, Santoro a réussi à faire prévaloir son style et ce n’est pas un hasard s’il a fini par la gagner. Mais, dès que Chela a joué à un niveau nettement supérieur, qu’il n’a pratiquement plus fait de fautes et qu’il n’a plus frappé que des coups gagnants, Fabrice s’est retrouvé sans solutions. La seule eut été de répondre coup pour coup. Mais ce n’est pas son tennis, ça ne l’a jamais été et ça ne le sera jamais. J’ai connu ce genre de situation, moi aussi, vers la fin de ma carrière, quand une première vague de cogneurs a déferlé. Contre n’importe lequel d’entre eux, s’il n’était pas dans un de ses meilleurs jours, j’avais les armes pour me défendre, voire pour m’imposer. Mais, s’il était en état de grâce, je n’avais aucune solution. Comme Fabrice hier après le premier set contre Chela. J’imagine aisément quelle a pu être sa frustration, car je me souviens très bien que, dans des conditions similaires, c’était aussi le premier sentiment qui me traversait l’esprit. Ne pas avoir la possibilité d’exprimer son jeu et son savoir-faire, c’est la pire des choses qui puisse arriver à un joueur de tennis. Aujourd’hui, de plus en plus de joueurs peuvent frapper des coups gagnants de n’importe où. Et c’est ce qui m’interpelle le plus dans l’évolution du jeu : quelle option opposer à quelqu’un qui frappe comme un malade et qui rentre tout ? Quel espace reste-t-il au jeu, à la finesse, à la tactique, à la manoeuvre, à la réflexion, à la jubilation d’un point bien construit, au plaisir de se sortir d’une situation compromise grâce à ses neurones, bref, à tout ce qui fait la beauté du tennis ? C’est une évolution qui m’inquiète pour l’avenir de ce sport, car elle est dangereuse. Santoro fait partie de ces joueurs qui ont tout au long deleur carrière rendu le jeu plus intéressant. Malheureusement, dans le jeu moderne, je le vois aussi comme une espèce en voie de disparition. »

07-23-2007, 08:46 PM
Finally, an interview in English :dance:


The Biofile: The Fabrice Santoro Interview
By Scoop Malinowski

Fabrice Santoro is a doctor who specializes in spins and performs his clinical surgery on court. The 34-year-old Frenchman's dazzling array of spins, slices and soft shots can be magical sight for fans and pose maddening problems for opponents.

Santoro varies the spin, speed, height and depth on his shots and is a master of making opponents hit off-balance shots from awkward positions on the court. He dispatched fellow Frenchman Nicolas Mahut in straight sets on Sunday to capture the Campbell's Hall of Fame Tennis Championships title on the historic grass courts of Newport. It was Santoro's first singles title in five years and the fifth of his career.

"Yes, it's frustrating to play him," said top-ranked Roger Federer, who has beaten Santoro in eight of their 10 meetings. "It's got something to do with his game, but also all the missed opportunities. The strange thing is he's a righty, but he plays his forehand like a lefty. When you come to net, he'll never give you an easy shot."

Santoro is a player fellow pros love watching — provided they're not playing him. A master of misdirection, the man nicknamed "the magician" makes clean shots disappear and has vanquished some of the top talents in tennis. Santoro has beaten Australian Open champion Marat Safin seven times in nine meetings and is 3-4 lifetime against 14-time Grand Slam champion Pete Sampras.

An accomplished doubles player, Santoro and partner Michael Llodra captured consecutive Australian Open doubles championships in 2003-2004.

The man who plays old school tennis owns an extensive collection of vintage racquets and dreams of someday opening his own tennis museum.

Santoro sat down with Tennis Week.com contributor Scoop Malinowski to reveal that his first job was calling the lines rather than hitting them, that another touch artist, John McEnroe, remains his tennis hero and why he regards Yevgeny Kafelnikov as the toughest player he's ever faced.

Status: Currently ranked No. 43, Santoro has scored career victories over Lleyton Hewitt, Marat Safin, Roger Federer, Pete Sampras, Sebastien Grosjean, David Nalbandian, Tommy Haas, Nicolas Kiefer, Carlos Moya and Patrick Rafter.

Height: 5-foot-10 Weight: 160 pounds.

Born On: December 9th, 1972 in Tahiti.

Childhood Hero: "John McEnroe, for sure."

Hobbies/Interests: "Now I like to spend most of my time with my wife and my daughter because I miss them a lot when I'm on the Tour. And for the rest of the time, I listen to a lot of music, the French music. I have a passion, which is to stay busy. Building a home, trying to build a home in the south of France takes a lot of time."

Early Tennis Memory: "McEnroe-Lendl final of the French Open, 1984. Devastation because I remember I was pushing a lot behind John and I remember I was very disappointed after the match. Because I knew it was a big chance for him to win the French (McEnroe led two sets to none before falling, 3-6, 2-6, 6-4, 7-5, 7-5). And I was very, very disappointed."

Favorite Movie: "Nikita."

Musical Tastes: "Jean-Jacques Goldman, French singer Frances Cabrel."

First Job: "Umpire. I was 12 or 13. Usam Club. I was on the chair for a couple of matches, to earn some pickup money, a couple of dollars."

First Car: "Was a white Lada, very cheap car."

Pre-Match Feeling: "In general, I'm stressed. Very stressed. And when I'm like this, I know I'm going to play well. I need the stress to feel good."

Favorite Meal: "Indian."

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: "Chocolate."

Greatest Sports Moment: "Probably when we won the Davis Cup final in Australia (2001)."

Most Painful Moment: "Hmmm (pause)...when I was not on the team for the Davis Cup final in 1991 (which France won against USA in Lyon. Fabrice recorded two Davis Cup semifinal wins vs. Yugoslavia to help France reach that final)."

Closest Tennis Friends: "It's tough to answer. I would say there are many, many people I respect a lot and pretty close to. But my best friend is not on the Tour."

Funniest Players: "On the court or off the court? Off...(pause)...I have to pick a Frenchman because it's tough for me to understand the humor in different languages. So...I have to say my doubles partner (Michael Llodra).

Toughest Competitor: "Kafelnikov was best for me. (Why?) Because he has the answers for every question I ask him on the court. Because when I'm on the other side of the net he has every shot to cause me trouble."

Funny Tennis Memory: "McEnroe, when he became crazy on the court. A couple of times he was pretty tough on the umpire. And that part of his character, as a young kid, I really appreciate (smiles)."

Childhood Dream: "My career is more than I ever dreamed. I was trying when I was young — to be a professional tennis player. And I said, Maybe I can be on the Tour for three, four or five years. And I'm there for 16 years. So it's more than the first dream."

People Qualities Most Admired: "Honesty — that's the first one. Honest — that's more important for me...on the court, out of the court, and every part of the life."

Family: Wife, Chrislaure; daughter, Djenae.

08-05-2007, 03:36 AM
Funniest Players: "On the court or off the court? Off...(pause)...I have to pick a Frenchman because it's tough for me to understand the humor in different languages. So...I have to say my doubles partner (Michael Llodra).

Are they getting back together? :confused: :lol:

08-05-2007, 07:35 AM
No, it looks like an old interview to me. They often "recycle" old biofiles on Tennis Week when a player wins a title. (He's been on the tour for more than 16 years, for example.)
But thanks for posting it, Tangy, it was new to me.

08-05-2007, 10:36 AM
Oh, OK. I saw that the article was written recently and assumed... Just wishful thinking. :o

11-25-2007, 06:44 PM
An interview in Le Journal du Dimanche, mostly about the fact that he also joins the Team Lagardère...
Santoro: "Je voulais quelque chose de différent"
Par Philippe CHASSEPOT - Le Journal du Dimanche

Longtemps solitaire, Fabrice Santoro s'est engagé vendredi après-midi avec le Team Lagardère, qui enregistre aussi le retour de Gaël Monfils. A bientôt 35 ans (le 9 décembre) et à quelques semaines de battre le record de participations en Grand Chelem (62 en Australie), le 37e joueur mondial explique au JDD les raisons de ce choix.

Pourquoi changer de cap à presque 35 ans ?
Je cherchais un nouveau mode de fonctionnement. Je voulais goûter à quelque chose de très pointu et de différent, moi qui ai toujours fonctionné dans mon coin. Il était hors de question que je prépare 2008 tout seul. J'ai discuté avec Arnaud Lagardère (propriétaire du JDD), qui m'a présenté tout ce qu'il pouvait mettre en oeuvre pour moi : la vidéo, la recherche, l'accompagnement... Mon entraîneur Lionel Zimbler, qui a travaillé avec Cyril Saulnier et que je connais depuis longtemps, rejoint le Team avec moi.

Pour quelle durée vous êtes-vous engagé ?
On commence une relation. On part sur l'objectif olympique de Pékin 2008 et puis on verra.

Bénéficierez-vous aussi d'un suivi personnalisé au niveau physique ?
Non. Dans ce domaine-là, je n'ai pas besoin d'une structure particulière. Je m'appuierai sur la recherche et leurs installations à Jean-Bouin. Mais le physique est une partie de mon job que j'aime faire seul. C'est une prise en charge qui me plaît.

Pour vous, est-ce aussi une manière de préparer l'après-tennis ?
Si j'intègre cette structure, c'est parce que je joue à un très bon niveau. Et avant d'avoir 35 ans, je suis surtout 37e mondial. On insiste beaucoup plus sur le 35 que le 37 ! Même s'il n'y a que deux chiffres d'écart, je préfère personnellement insister sur 37...

Avez-vous prévenu Christian Bîmes, le président de la FFT, avec lequel vous avez une relation privilégiée ?
Oui, je lui en ai parlé. J'ai toujours eu une excellente relation avec Christian et la fédération, qui joue toujours un rôle important pour la formation et reste une excellente passerelle pour le haut niveau. Aujourd'hui, j'intègre la structure d'Arnaud Lagardère, mais je ne travaille pas contre Christian Bîmes.

Gasquet?: "Je prends mon pied en le regardant"

A mots couverts, la FFT regrette pourtant la "fuite des cerveaux" vers cette structure privée...
Si j'avais pu bénéficier d'une telle structure à 18 ans au lieu de 35, ma carrière aurait peut-être été différente. Arnaud Lagardère est un vrai passionné, il n'y a pas d'autre mot. Je ne veux pas entrer dans des considérations économiques ou patriotiques, mais en France, nous avons la chance d'avoir François Pinault qui est passionné d'art, et Arnaud Lagardère qui est passionné de sport. C'est une aubaine pour le tennis. Si on a quinze joueurs français dans le top 100, c'est sûrement lié à son arrivée.

Le Team Lagardère vient d'enlever son coach (Thierry Champion) à Paul-Henri Mathieu pour le donner à Gaël Monfils. Drôle de méthode, non ?
Il y avait une forte demande de la part de Gaël pour retrouver Thierry Champion et Rémy Barbarin, qui l'avaient conduit au 23e rang mondial. Gaël a ensuite butiné à droite à gauche, puis il s'est rendu compte que la meilleure structure pour lui, c'était celle-là. J'espère que Paul-Henri trouvera très vite une solution de rechange. Je suis d'ailleurs sûr que le Team lui fera une proposition dans les prochains jours. Et s'il veut faire la tournée australienne avec nous, je lui tendrai les bras sans souci.

Ça vous agace de ne pas pouvoir répondre à une interview sans évoquer votre retraite ou la Coupe Davis ?
(Il rigole) Vous oubliez un troisième sujet: Richard Gasquet... Concernant la Coupe Davis: je suis un tennisman français à la disposition de mon pays. Ce sera comme ça jusqu'à la fin de ma carrière, je ne peux pas dire mieux. Mais il y a aujourd'hui un éventail très large pour bâtir l'équipe de France.

Guy Forget a annoncé dans Le Parisien qu'il arrêterait probablement en 2009. Sa succession vous intéresse ?
Encore une question que vous me posez parce que j'ai 35 ans... Oui, le capitanat m'intéresse, mais pas avant 2010. Je serai joueur en 2008, peut-être en 2009, et on ne peut pas passer de joueur à capitaine en quelques mois. J'aurai besoin de faire un break. Parmi mes envies, il y aura certainement d'être capitaine un jour. Mais en 2010 ou 2015, je ne sais vraiment pas quand. Aujourd'hui, je n'y pense pas.

Et Gasquet, donc ?
Il y a beaucoup de similitudes dans nos parcours: on a le même environnement familial, on était tous les deux précoces, on a été critiqués très jeunes. Il est arrivé à un niveau que je n'ai jamais atteint. Je prends mon pied en le regardant.

Il a souvent évoqué ses craintes de ne pas réussir. S'en est-il ouvert à vous ?
La peur est quasiment toujours liée à l'envie de réussir. Si tu as peur de mourir, c'est que tu as envie de vivre, c'est pareil. Richard a pris des coups très jeune, il encaisse mieux les chocs aujourd'hui. Il est même très fort mentalement pour un joueur de 21 ans. En France, on prend souvent comme modèles des joueurs hors normes. Quand on voit Hewitt ou Nadal, à 17 ans, serrer le poing et donner le meilleur d'eux-mêmes quand ils ont 20 000 personnes contre eux, ça me file des frissons. Mais ces gars-là ne sont pas normaux, ce sont des extraterrestres. Richard et Gaël sont davantage normaux.

L'extension de Roland-Garros est d'actualité. Qu'en pensez-vous ?
Le tournoi a besoin d'évoluer. Mais j'ai peur que le projet actuel, ce soit reculer pour mieux sauter. Le tournoi a besoin de vingt ou trente hectares, contre moins de huit actuellement, parce que les autres Grand Chelem ont déjà les moyens de grandir et de dépasser leurs vingt hectares actuels. Roland-Garros a besoin de voir à long terme, et pas à cinq ou dix ans. Mieux vaut chercher dès maintenant un grand espace disponible ailleurs. Peut-être à la place d'un hippodrome... He says he's always worked on his own and wanted to try something else. He will be coached by Lionel Zimbler. A lot of blabla about the facilities with the Team Lagardère and how great it is and if he had had something like that when he was 18 years old, maybe his career would have been different, etc.
He would be interested in the job of Davis Cup captain, but not before 2010 anyway (Forget gave an interview yesterday and said he will stop after 2009).
The rest isn't new, he's always asked the same stuff, about the DC, Gasquet...

11-29-2007, 04:00 PM
new love story between Fabrice Santoro and French actress Astrid Veillon *have a try google "Fabrice Santoro + Astrid Veillon"* :cool:

01-13-2008, 07:25 AM
Long interview of Fabrice in L’Equipe today :

FABRICE SANTORO disputera mardi son 62e tournoi du Grand Chelem. Un record historique qui a sa part d’ombre. SYDNEY – (AUS) de notre envoyé spécial

« ON Y EST. L’Open d’Australie sera votre 62e tournoi du Grand Chelem, record d’Agassi battu. Quand vous entendez cette phrase, quel est le premier mot qui vous vient à l’esprit ?
– Incroyable. Dans la longue histoire de ce jeu, il y en a eu des champions qui ont duré. Connors, Agassi… Eh bien, même si je ne leur arrive pas à la cheville question palmarès, sur ce coup-là, c’est mieux qu’eux ! Ce n’était pas du tout prévu comme ça au départ. Mon premier Roland-Garros, en 1989, j’ai l’impression que c’était dans une autre vie. Je revois les images, je me souviens du scénario du match mais c’est comme si ce n’était pas moi.
– Piquer un record à Agassi, ça fait quoi ?
– C’est bien le seul que je peux lui piquer ! Mais, je dois l’avouer, ça ajoute de la beauté au truc. Prendre ce record à une légende, ça sublime la chose. J’aurais adoré pouvoir en parler avec lui. Je me serais presque excusé, je crois. Je lui aurais dit : “Merci de m’avoir laissé au moins ça. T’as vu, y a une chose où j’aurai été meilleur que toi”... (Rire.)
– À quel moment avez-vous pensé à prendre en chasse ce record ?
– Quand la presse a commencé à m’en parler, vers le cinquante-troisième, cinquante-quatrième… Mais, en fin d’année dernière encore, je me demandais : “J’y vais ? J’y vais pas ?” Et puis j’ai réalisé que ce record était trop beau et je suis venu. Si la santé suit, j’espère pousser jusqu’à soixante-cinq. Depuis que je suis arrivé en Australie, c’est dingue ce que ça a déclenché comme sympathie autour de moi. Cela dit, je ne serais pas venu si je pensais que j’allais être ridicule. Je suis là avant tout parce que je me sens compétitif. Et, pour l’être encore, j’ai dû changer des tas de choses : j’ai gagné 20 km/h au service, allongé ma raquette de 2,5 cm, changé de cordage…
– Est-ce que vous vous dites que, pour en arriver là, vous devez être quelqu’un de spécial ?
– J’ai un parcours atypique, j’ai mes propres convictions sur mon métier… Parfois, je me demande : “Suis-je différent ?” Je crois que oui. En tant que joueur de tennis, pas en tant qu’homme.
– Remontons le temps. Nous sommes en 1989. À Roland- Garros. C’est votre premier match en Grand Chelem…
– J’ai une wild-card et je joue au premier tour contre l’Américain David Wheaton. Je perds 8-6 au cinquième set. J’avais planté le décor. Vous avez compris, avec moi, ce sera long à tous les niveaux ; les matches seront longs, la carrière aussi. Ceux qui ne m’aiment pas, changez de sport parce que vous n’avez pas fini de me voir !
– Il était comment, le Santoro de cette époque ?
– C’était un gamin pas sûr de lui, craintif. J’avais peur de l’échec, peur d’être jugé en permanence. Je pensais malheureusement que le seul moyen de réussir était de ne pas s’amuser. Dans ma tête, il fallait souffrir, se coucher à 9 heures et ne plus parler à personne deux heures avant le match. Quand je voyais des gars rigoler à l’entraînement ou dans les vestiaires, je pensais : “Ils sont fous, ils n’y arriveront jamais.”
– Et ce gamin avait tort…
– Tout faux. Regardez, aujourd’hui, le joueur qui réussit le mieux est le plus épanoui. Federer, il blague dans le vestiaire, il est bien dans sa peau, joyeux. Il a tout compris très tôt ; ça, c’est étonnant. Moi, j’aurais aimé avoir trente ans à vingt ans. Je suis devenu vieux trop jeune, en fait. Normalement, un jeune est insouciant. Moi, à vingt ans, j’étais super rigide. Et aujourd’hui, à un âge où on devient peut-être plus sérieux, je tourne tout en dérision. J’ai du recul sur mon métier. Une défaite, une demi-heure après, elle est analysée et elle s’en va de ma tête.
– Quand avez-vous compris que vous étiez dans l’erreur ?
– La bascule, c’est 1996. Je ne prenais plus du tout de plaisir. J’étais dans une impasse à cause de mon jeu ultradéfensif. Je gagnais grâce aux fautes des autres, en me disant : “Si le gars fait trois fautes et deux points, au bout, c’est moi qui gagne.” Mon jeu était triste, moi aussi.
– Étiez-vous conscient de l’image que le public avait de vous ?
– Évidemment. J’entendais des choses qui faisaient mal : “Ah, Santoro va jouer ? Bon, c’est parti pour une purge de cinq heures. Il ne fait que des ronds, on va se faire ch…” Personne ne rêve d’entendre ça. En même temps, je ne savais faire que ça.
– Et c’est votre père qui vous a sorti de là…
– Je lui dois tout. Quand il me reprend, en novembre 1996, pour réformer mon jeu, je n’avais gagné qu’un titre en double. Voilà, tout est dit.
– Quand on y pense, le renversement est assez étonnant. Aujourd’hui, les publics du monde entier ont envie de voir jouer Santoro…
– Oui, c’est fou. Chez moi, à part la tête, tout a changé. J’aborde mon métier comme un spectacle. Jeudi à Sydney, contre Korolev, vu l’heure tardive, je pensais qu’il n’y aurait pas foule. Et c’était plein, avec une ambiance électrique.
– Vous dites que maintenant il vous faut cinq minutes pour préparer vos matches…
– Quand j’avais vingt ans, je dormais mal la veille, je me concentrais trop de temps avant et, quand j’entrais sur le terrain, sur un réservoir de 100 litres, il ne m’en restait plus que 50. Aujourd’hui, j’ai un réservoir de 50 litres. Mais quand j’entre sur le court, j’ai toujours 50 litres. Je sais ce qui est bon et ce qui ne l’est pas. Ça doit être ça, l’expérience… Une demi-heure avant mon match ici contre Darcis, j’ai fait une sieste de dix minutes. J’avais programmé le réveil du téléphone. J’ai dormi douze minutes exactement.
– Cela semble insensé…
– Non, je peux me le permettre, parce que, par ailleurs, tout a été préparé. Mes raquettes ont la bonne tension, mes boissons sont prêtes, ma tactique aussi. C’est tout sauf du dilettantisme. Avant mon match contre Blake, dans les vestiaires, j’ai pris un gros fou rire avec Richard (Gasquet). J’avais les larmes aux yeux quand le juge-arbitre a dit : “Allez les gars, on y va.” Mais, du moment que j’ai entendu ça, hop ! mon regard a changé et je suis entré dans un autre état. J’étais prêt à me battre. Et chez moi, se battre est un réflexe. Cinq minutes dans le couloir, cinq minutes d’échauffement, ça suffit largement pour se concentrer.
– Il vous arrive, bien sûr, de ne pas gagner. Mais vous arrive-t-il de ne pas savoir comment il faudrait s’y prendre ?
– Je ne détiens pas la vérité. Il m’arrive souvent de me tromper. Quand je parle à des jeunes joueurs, je ne leur demande pas de penser comme moi mais je les pousse à réfléchir, à trouver les réponses.
– Êtes-vous d’accord pour dire que s’il n’y a plus cette petite peur avant d’entrer sur un court, ça ne sert à rien d’y venir ?
– Oui. Mais moi, je l’ai toujours, ce trac ! C’est celui de ne pas être à la hauteur, de décevoir les gens qui ont payé pour nous regarder. Contre Korolev, les spectateurs ont passé une bonne soirée et j’ai gagné. Contre Blake, à New York l’an dernier, ils en avaient passé une meilleure et j’avais perdu. Finalement, peu importe ce qui m’arrive à la fin, du moment que j’ai “matché”. Il faut me croire, la peur de mal faire est toujours avec moi. Si je rencontre Federer au deuxième tour à Melbourne, le défi sera tellement haut que je serai terrorisé de ne pas être au niveau et de me trouer complètement.
– Tenez-vous à jour vos fiches sur les autres joueurs du circuit ?
– J’avoue, j’ai un peu lâché. Ça prend du temps, quand même.
– Quand ce sera vraiment la fin, qu’allez-vous en faire ? Les vendre aux autres joueurs sur e-Bay ?
– Ça va pas, non ? Je ne vais pas les vendre. Je les donnerai à qui me les demandera.
– Qu’y a-t-il d’écrit sur la fiche Federer ?
– Je ne sais pas… Ah si, il y a écrit : “respect !” (Il rigole.)
– Cette analyse des adversaires, est-ce vraiment si utile que ça ?
– Pour moi, en tout cas, oui ! C’est une carte de plus entre mes mains. Mardi, j’avais un jour de repos. Je me suis entraîné le matin mais l’après-midi, plutôt que d’aller faire une autre séance, je suis allé voir jouer Darcis que j’affrontais le lendemain. J’ai vu un set et, en partant, j’avais mon plan de jeu en tête.
– Vous savez ce qu’on dit de vous. Qu’un jour, vous allez être le coach de Richard Gasquet. Vrai ou faux ?
– Depuis qu’il est avec Éric Deblicker, Richard progresse sans arrêt. Je suis très proche d’eux et s’ils ont besoin d’un avis, je suis à leur service. Moi, je ne m’imagine pas coach à temps plein. J’ai envie de transmettre ce que j’ai mis vingt ans à apprendre. Mais plutôt en repartant tout en bas, avec des jeunes.
– Deuxième bruit qui court : vous êtes décidé à devenir capitaine de Coupe Davis…
– J’y pense encore moins.
– Comme joueur, la Coupe Davis, pour vous, c’est foutu, non ?
– Je ne peux pas répondre aussi formellement. Ça serait tourner une page ; or, je suis toujours à la disposition de mon pays. Parfois, je me dis que l’équipe serait plus forte si j’étais là… Peut-être que je me trompe… J’ai été gâté avec la Coupe Davis et aujourd’hui, c’est une blessure. Mais je n’y pense pas du matin au soir.
– Quand certains joueurs français mettent en doute votre esprit d’équipe, ça vous inspire quoi ?
– Pfff… J’ai lu que j’étais un des meilleurs joueurs de double. Or, le double, ça se joue à deux, non ? Voilà, c’est une forme de réponse.
– Justement, avec qui aimeriez-vous disputer le double aux Jeux Olympiques ?
– J’aimerais bien que ce soit avec Richard.
– Vous avez trente-cinq ans. Franchement, vous n’êtes pas largué, au milieu de tous ces jeunes de vingt ans ?
– Non, ça va… J’ai mon iPod, mon iPhone, je suis sur Facebook, tout comme eux, quoi. Bon, j’ai aussi la collection des Martine pour ma fille et ça, c’est sûr qu’ils ne l’ont pas. Ce qui fait drôle, c’est quand Korolev, à Moscou, m’a montré une photo de nous deux quand j’étais venu disputer le tournoi. Il avait sept ans ! Djokovic m’a fait la même chose à Bercy. Cette année, si ça se trouve, je vais rencontrer Eysseric. Je pourrais être son père ! Quand il est né, j’étais cinquantième mondial.
– Savez-vous si cette saison sera la der des ders ?
– Rien n’est tranché. Je sais que cette tournée australienne sera ma dernière cette année. Je ne ferai plus trois tournois de suite, je jouerai Indian Wells mais pas Miami. Jamais, et de loin, je n’avais eu autant de mal à repartir que cette fois. C’est le premier hiver où je néglige ma préparation physique et je n’ai pas honte de le dire.
– Qu’est-ce qui a fait que boucler votre valise, fin décembre, fut si difficile ?
– Ma fille, surtout ma fille. Quand je pars aussi longtemps, je sais que je rate plein de choses avec elle. L’aider à faire ses devoirs, l’emmener à l’école, à un spectacle… Un matin, ici, en me réveillant, j’ai reçu une vidéo d’elle. Au début, ç’a été la joie et puis après, j’ai compris qu’elle me réclamait. Ça m’a secoué. Après ça, vous ne pouvez pas appuyer sur “stop” et partir jouer comme si de rien n’était. Pourtant, je devais affronter Blake. Dans ces moments-là, et il y en a pas mal, je me demande si ma vraie place est ici. Les aller-retour club-hôtel, hôtel-club, tout ça est très pauvre à côté de ce que je laisse à la maison.
– Si, dans deux ans, vous n’êtes ni coach de Gasquet ni capitaine de Coupe Davis, pourriez-vous être tenté par une fonction politique ?
– Rien n’est interdit.
– En avez-vous parlé avec Nicolas Sarkozy, que vous aviez soutenu pendant la campagne présidentielle ?
– Non.
– Vous le trouvez comment, Sarkozy, maintenant qu’il est président de la République ?
– J’ai écouté son discours de rentrée. Je crois en lui et en ses idées.
– Et le reste… Son style, le yacht de Bolloré, Euro Disney avec Carla Bruni, “le Fouquet’s”…
– (Long silence.) Je comprends que certains Français aient pu être choqués. Mais je respecte le style de vie de chacun.
– L’automne dernier, vous avez, vous aussi, été “pipolisé”. Un magazine a évoqué une liaison avec la comédienne Astrid Veillon.
– Un jour, pour voir, j’ai tapé mon nom sur Google et le premier truc qui apparaissait, c’était un article d’un magazine people disant : “Santoro a une liaison avec Astrid Veillon.” Ça m’a vraiment dérangé que l’on écrive sans savoir.
– C’est-à-dire ?
– Voilà. J’ai trente-cinq ans, je suis trente-septième mondial, je vais battre le record des participations en Grand Chelem mais tout ça a eu un prix et des conséquences. Depuis la naissance de ma fille, ma vie privée a toujours été plus importante que le tennis et, pourtant, j’ai su préserver mon métier mais pas ma famille. Si j’avais arrêté il y a trois ans, j’aurais certainement sauvé mon couple (avec la mère de sa fille)… C’est très dur de se dire ça. Ça, c’est une vraie blessure. Ai-je fait le bon choix ? Est-ce que je dois le regretter ? »

01-13-2008, 07:38 AM
It's way too long to translate it for me.
He says again it's not for sure his last season, but it's the last time he plays down under. It was tougher than never for him to start again this year.
The rumour about him becoming DC captain is apparently not true. Actually, he sounds more interested in politics than in a coach or captain job (there also was a rumour he would coach Richie in the future).
He would love to play doubles with Richie at the Olympics.
And the last part is a bit sad as he talks about the fact that if he had retired 3 years ago, he would probably still be together with the mother of his daughter and that really hurts.

01-13-2008, 10:38 AM
And an article in Deuce:

01-13-2008, 02:32 PM
It's way too long to translate it for me.
He says again it's not for sure his last season, but it's the last time he plays down under. It was tougher than never for him to start again this year.
The rumour about him becoming DC captain is apparently not true. Actually, he sounds more interested in politics than in a coach or captain job (there also was a rumour he would coach Richie in the future).
He would love to play doubles with Richie at the Olympics.
And the last part is a bit sad as he talks about the fact that if he had retired 3 years ago, he would probably still be together with the mother of his daughter and that really hurts.

Thanks Truc. His interviews are always so interesting and the end is really sad.

01-31-2008, 07:01 AM
He will play the Petits As exho on Saturday together with Marc Gicquel (instead of PHM-Tsonga).

03-07-2008, 04:36 PM
He pulled out of Indian Wells, but he had already said last year and a couple of weeks ago again he doesn't want to play IW and Miami in a row and he will skip one, so I doubt he's injured.

I know this forum is dead, but can anybody explain his scheduling to me? I don't get it at all. He plays Challengers (half-heartedly), doesn't enter Marseille (I know, he "forgot"), now skips a Masters Series event where he would have had a direct entry...

03-07-2008, 07:27 PM
I was reading back and found the answer myself for Indian Wells, he said last year it's his way to protest against the stupidity of the ATP calendar with only 2 tournaments taking one whole month and he called it a "boycott" when he plays only one of these two events every year:
"Prenez le mois de mars avec les deux Masters Series américains à Indian Wells et Miami. Voilà deux tournois qui bouffent un mois plein du calendrier alors que le reste de l’année, la plupart des autres tournois se marchent sur les pieds. Pour moi, c’est une aberration. Depuis quelques années, je proteste modestement du haut de mon classement en refusant en général d’enchaîner les deux."

And in the January interview I posted a couple of posts ago he said again he'd play IW, but not Miami ("Je jouerai Indian Wells mais pas Miami") - looks like he's going to do the opposite.

Fabrice Fan
03-21-2008, 07:44 PM
Hi Truc!

It does seem like the Fab forum is dead, but I want you to know that I check in all the time, and I really appreciate the news and articles that you share. I haven't posted because I never hear any news to share! Directv FINALLY offers the Tennis Channel, so I'm very happy to be seeing more tennis matches now. Thank you again for sharing Truc, I hope you continue to do so....you really keep me up to date on Fab....and although I don't post much I still LOVE Fab!!!!

03-31-2008, 04:04 AM
I registered on this site just to say, yes, PLEASE, keep posting news about Fabrice. It is so hard to come by in the US. I just heard today while watching him play Blake in Miami rumors of his retirement and verified them here. So sad ... but the day has to come eventually. I just wish I could see him play once in person, but this is not the year for me to get to a tournament.

So thank you, thank you. Please know that people are appreciating your efforts even if they aren't posting to say so.


03-31-2008, 07:20 AM
No problem, I'll keep posting the news I can find in the French media then, I wasn't sure people are still reading here. There haven't been much news about him lately anyway since he "boycotted" Indian Wells, you haven't missed much.

But he isn't retiring yet, beezus! He always says he doesn't know yet when he will retire, it's not true when the ATP writes it's his last year on the tour, he hasn't said that.

03-31-2008, 07:25 AM
There is a little article about his match against Blake today in L'Equipe and he explains he will go on vacation in Mauritius between Monte-Carlo and Roland-Garros. "I'm the only top 100 player who can afford to do that!" (He had already said last year he would more or less skip the clay season because it's physically too demanding for him, he prefers to focus on grass.)
About the match against Blake: "To win or lose isn't so important to me anymore. Matches like this one help me to know where I'm standing, and I'm feeling surprisingly well!"
But the heat gave him a hard time: "I had only enough energy to play one point at a time... We both felt 'groggy' pretty soon. And when the weather is so hot, it's better to be younger. It's too bad he immediately broke back when I got the break at the beginning of the 3rd set. I lost my serve 5 times in total, that's too much."
"Blake is solid. He suffered too, but he's strong. He was weakening, but he didn't break down."

Fabrice Fan
04-01-2008, 06:28 PM
Thanks for the info Truc!!! Unfortunately Indian Wells is the closest tournament to me. I was lucky enough to meet Fab there in 2006. He's so great! Got my photo taken with him, which meant a lot to me. I would fly to Miami to see him next year if I could.....but I would fear he wouldn't be there after me going so far and spending so much to travel there....that would be taking a big chance! I'll have to think about that....a lot can happen in a year though, so we'll see what happens then. Thanks again Truc!

04-07-2008, 06:35 PM
And an article in Deuce:
I saw that one. "The Harry Potter of men's tennis", love it! :yeah:

Here's one from the Sun-Sentinel re: Miami match.

Santoro looks ageless in loss to Blake
By Kevin Clark
March 31, 2008

KEY BISCAYNE - Every pro at the Sony Ericsson should have been at center court Sunday, taking notes and marveling at the man they call The Magician.

Fabrice Santoro was showing them how to still be competitive at age 35. Santoro took James Blake to the limit, ultimately losing 6-3, 6-7, 6-4, but put on a magic act with the racket that put a scare into Blake, the second-highest-ranked American man. His drop shots and clever volleys clashed with Blake's power game, providing a rare highlight for men's singles on the day.

"It's very unconventional. There's nobody out there to really prepare you to play Fabrice," Blake said. "I'm sure he doesn't need the money anymore, it's about how much he loves the game. It's fun to see, not fun to play against."

Overshadowed by the women's star power Sunday, the limited men's singles slate had to feature something to get noticed, and Santoro and Blake were it.

On paper, it's unlikely the French veteran should even have sniffed a third set against Blake. When asked about Blake, Santoro said frankly: "I know he's a better player than me."

When asked about the players who give him the most trouble, he joked that "the list is too long." After the match, when Blake was discussing preparing for the Olympics and Grand Slams, Santoro said his only goal for the year is to stay healthy. Yet there he was, a few breaks away from beating No. 9 in the world at age 35 (only Jonas Bjorkman is older among tour regulars), with his tennis smarts leading the way.

"Myself and him have some pretty good battles. Obviously our styles are pretty contrasting," Blake said. "I'm trying to attack him with my forehand. He's trying to get a few more backhands and put me on the defensive, it's a lot of fun."

The battle between the two may never be more interesting than it was Sunday. Blake would smash his famous forehand, only to see an unlikely two-handed return by Santoro. Santoro would release an ingenious drop shot and Blake would smash a powerful winner shots later. Santoro returned one shot between his legs, only to see the ball fall out by just inches.

But in the end, the magician's act could only last so long. Blake managed to fight off Santoro's finesse game, breaking his serve on a potentially set-tying game. That ended the tournament for Santoro, who said he was exhausted throughout the match.

"It was the hottest day in Florida in seven days," Santoro said. "And when it is warm, it's good to be younger."

And some photos. Seeing him with the ice pack never gets old. :lol:

05-02-2008, 10:44 AM
he explains he will go on vacation in Mauritius between Monte-Carlo and Roland-Garros. "I'm the only top 100 player who can afford to do that!" (He had already said last year he would more or less skip the clay season because it's physically too demanding for him, he prefers to focus on grass.)Maybe he changed his mind, he isn't on vacation and he hasn't withdrawn from Rome yet.
He hadn't entered the qualies, but since he needs only one more withdrawal to enter the MD directly, he might give it a try if he gets in.

Fabrice Fan
05-03-2008, 12:11 AM
Thanks, as usual, for the update Truc! :)

05-03-2008, 12:38 PM
Well, I had no news, it was more to apologize for the possibly wrong informations about him skipping the clay season - but that's really what he said in L'Equipe a couple of weeks ago!
Maybe he also changed his mind to follow his "protégé" Gasquet.

He is in the Rome main draw, plays Seppi in the 1st round.

05-06-2008, 07:03 AM
In L'Equipe today:
SANTORO S’EST CRU AILLEURS. – Battu par Andreas Seppi (6-4, 6-2) sur un centralarrosé presque en permanence par la pluie, Fabrice Santoro n’en revenait pas... Comme Mahut, il s’est cru à Hambourg : « Ces conditions étaient les pires pour mon jeu. Je ne pouvais pas faire service- volée, pas attaquer en revers long de ligne sans me faire planter.C’est peut-être le premier match depuis dix ans où je n’ai pas frappé une volée. » Conscient de ses actuelles limites sur terre battue, Santoro va aller jouer la semaine prochaine à Bordeaux plutôt qu’au Masters Series de Hambourg, puis se préparer à Roland- Garros, afin d’y gagner un tour. Auparavant, il épaulera ici Richard Gasquet en double : « Si nous parvenions à passer un, deux ou trois tours, ça lui permettrait d’arriver à Hambourg dans de meilleures conditions. » Mais pas question pour lui de changer son programme pour autant.
He says it felt like Hamburg because of the rain (they all say that... :ras: ), it might be the first time since 10 years he doesn't volley at all during a whole match.
He’s going to play the Challenger of Bordeaux next week instead of Hamburg and then he will get ready for the French Open (the goal: win one match).
And he will stay in Rome this week to play in doubles with Richard, hoping they will win a couple of matches because it would help Richard to arrive in Hamburg in a better state of mind.

Fabrice Fan
05-06-2008, 05:22 PM
Thanks Truc! I wish it were easier to know what Fab was going to do in advance. As you said, at first it sounded as if he would skip the clay court season...Maybe HE doesn't even know that much in advance what he will do. My point really is about the whole Indian Wells vs Miami thing. At first it sounded like he would play IW, then he's been playing Miami instead! I sooooo would love to see him play in person again, but either IW or Miami would be a huge trip for me. Airfare, hotel, rental car....the whole thing! To guess wrong, and end up at the tournament he doesn't end up attending, would stink. And it's not like a person can wait until a week or two before the event to make plans. The close hotels are full by then, and last minute plane tickets and car rentals always cost more. Oh well, it's just that I would very much like to see him again! He is so fun to watch and such a nice person! Appreciate the update Truc. :)

05-26-2008, 01:00 AM
Is this Fabrice's last FO for his career? This is his last year on the tour, correct? I thought I read that somewhere. And if it is true, my heart breaks.

05-28-2008, 12:46 PM
Is this Fabrice's last FO for his career? This is his last year on the tour, correct? I thought I read that somewhere. And if it is true, my heart breaks.

its not correct....santoro will decide after Paris Bercy if he will play next year again or not ;)

05-29-2008, 09:43 PM
Oh good. I hope he wants to play in 2009. He's so fun!

06-18-2008, 09:01 PM
'Magician' dreams of Centre Court as stage for one last trick

Fabrice Santoro may have recently broken the record for Grand Slam appearances, yet, as he tells Paul Newman, the unpredictable French veteran still longs to grace Wimbledon's showpiece in a singles match

Monday, 16 June 2008

Fabrice Santoro has been on the men's tennis circuit for 20 years and has played 19 of the 23 world No 1s

Fabrice Santoro knows that the end of his remarkable career is fast approaching but, as he prepares for the start of Wimbledon next Monday, the 35-year-old Frenchman has one more wish. "My dream is still to play a singles match on Centre Court," he said. "I've only ever played doubles on Centre Court. Maybe it will happen this year. I've asked the Wimbledon referee and he says that if we have a chance we'll do it."

Santoro has achieved so much since making his professional debut 863 matches and 20 years ago – his first match was against Luke Jensen at a Challenger event in Cherbourg – that he might consider an appearance on Centre Court as a fitting way to bow out. For many months now he has been fending off questions about retirement. "I haven't decided yet, but it will be pretty soon," he said. "There's a big chance I'll retire by the end of the year."

There are, after all, few records left for Santoro to break. In this year's Australian Open he overtook Andre Agassi's mark for the most appearances at Grand Slam events in the Open era when he played in his 62nd major, dating back to his first French Open in 1989. He last missed a Grand Slam event, Wimbledon, in 1998, with next week's tournament his 40th successive appearance at a major.

Since the world rankings were launched in 1973 there have been 23 world No 1s and Santoro has played 19 of them, including Jimmy Connors (who lost in Vienna in 1992), Ivan Lendl (who won in Nice in 1993) and Mats Wilander (who lost at Roland Garros in 1991). The only world No 1s he never played were Ilie Nastase, John Newcombe, Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe. Santoro also featured in the longest match in history when he beat Arnaud Clément 6-4, 6-3, 6-7, 3-6, 16-14 after six hours and 33 minutes in the 2004 French Open.

Without ever reaching the world's top 10, Santoro has been a model of consistency and fitness, having never dropped out of the top 100 since February 1997. He has won five singles tournaments and enjoyed even more success in doubles, winning 24, including Grand Slam crowns in Australia in 2003 and 2004.

Thoughts of retirement may have been reinforced by crushing defeats at this year's two Grand Slam events – in Melbourne, Santoro won only three games against Roger Federer and in Paris he won just one against David Ferrer – that have helped push his world ranking down to No 52. Nevertheless, those performances ran against the grain, for, like the best wines from his homeland, Santoro has generally improved with age. He reached his highest ranking of No 17 in 2001.

"When I was 24 I was very close to quitting," he recalled. "I didn't feel I was progressing and I wasn't having fun on the court. I think I became a better player because I got to understand my game and my opponents' game better. I also got to understand my body better. I started to appreciate better what I could and couldn't do.

"I think I've been lucky to have played most of my best tennis late in my career. It can be hard if you start off very strong and then you have trouble maintaining that high level. When I was 25 I was still improving and when I was 30 I was still improving. Even now I still feel I'm playing at a high level."

Born in Tahiti, where his parents were working, Santoro was a top junior and played in his first senior final when he was only 17. His most recent final was in Newport, Rhode Island last year, when he claimed his only singles title on grass. A keen student of the game, Santoro said: "That was the only time I played at Newport. I'd heard about the Hall of Fame and I've always been very interested in the history of tennis, so I wanted to see it."

One of the reasons for Santoro's success has been his unique playing style, which opponents can find impossible to fathom. Pete Sampras famously labelled him "The Magician", a tribute to his unpredictable use of spins, lobs and drop shots.

Andy Murray is one of several who say that Santoro is their favourite player. "It was very kind of Andy," Santoro said. "He's also a player that I enjoy watching. He's a very smart player and I like the way he moves. I prefer players like that rather than the players who just rely on their power."

The most remarkable shot is his double-fisted forehand, which he started playing as a boy when his father gave him a large racket. "When I started hitting some balls against the wall the racket was too heavy for me, so it felt natural to hit the ball two-handed," he said.

"A coach tried to get me to change to play single-handed when I was 11 or 12 but I didn't want to. I've never wanted to change. I don't think playing single-handed would have made me a better player. Playing double-handed on both sides is one of the things that makes me different to other players and they can find it hard to cope with."

The French and Australian Opens are Santoro's two favourite tournaments, while he rates his five-set victory over Marat Safin at Roland Garros in 2001 as the best match he has ever played. He considers Federer the best player he has faced, though chasing Agassi's Grand Slam record became a big incentive. "Agassi is one of the greatest players ever and I have huge respect for him," Santoro said. "Being in front of him on this list is the only way that I could ever be ahead of him."

In recent times Santoro has found the hard work needed to remain at the top increasingly demanding. "You just can't take three or four days off because your body is painful and stiff when you start working again," he said. "I love to play matches and I love being on the court as much as I ever did, but I don't like the travelling so much. I'd rather be with my family and friends, at home and sleeping in my own bed."

Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/tennis/magician-dreams-of-centre-court-as-stage-for-one-last-trick-847859.html

Fabrice Fan
06-19-2008, 03:40 AM
Thanks for the article Eden!!! :D

06-21-2008, 09:08 AM
Not very interesting, but here's a short interview from the French FHM:

The biggest prick you've ever met on a tennis court? Berdych. In 2006 in Wimbledon he was horrible: making fun of my game, firing me when I was standing at the net and when I was about to serve for the match, he asked for a toilet break which lasted for ever. I lost and it almost ended up with a fight.
The biggest pain ever on a tennis court? Cramps all over the body, complete exhaustion after a big fight. But I love testing my limits...
The biggest shame? My serve was very weak at the beginning of my career and I was making a lot of df. People were booing me in RG... A nightmare.
The biggest party after a win? DC 2001 in Melbourne. A lot of rubbish.
The biggest "blues"? DC 2003 in Toulouse against Federer. I played with an injury, it was a beatdown.
The sportsman you admire the most (other than in tennis)? Zidane. The person and the sportsman. And his last action didn't change anything. We're no robots.
The sport you're the best at (other than tennis)? When I was 10 years old, I was eligible in two "sports schools": football and tennis. But I can't stand the contact with other people!
The most beautiful sportswoman? Sharapova is very overrated. I like Kirilenko or Ivanovic who also happens to be an adorable person.
Adidas or Nike? Lacoste, for 28 years now.
PES or GTA? I don't know what it is.
Porsche or Volvo? Porsche. In Switzerland I have an Aston Martin DB9 and a Range Rover Sport.
The TV show you never miss? None. I prefer to read or surf on the Net. The first thing I do every morning is to check the website of Le Figaro (it's a conservative French newspaper).
Your first prize money? I'm not materialistic at all. I appreciate living comfortably, but the only things I really care about are my tropheys. Including the DC one!
The person you admire the most (outside of sports)? Charismatic people like Nelson Mandela or the Dalai Lama.

(Just a simplified translation, as usual.)

Fabrice Fan
06-21-2008, 05:46 PM
Thanks so much for the translation Truc! :D

06-23-2008, 12:15 AM
that sounds like that he will end his career at the end of the year :sad:

06-25-2008, 07:12 AM
He said again yesterday he hasn't taken a decision yet.
Ça veut dire qu’on ne vous reverra pas à Wimbledon ?
– Si je rejoue ici l’an prochain, de toute façon, ça voudra dire que je ne fais pas une saison pleine. Dix ou douze tournois maximum. Mais en ce qui concerne le moment de ma retraite, je n’ai toujours pas de réponse. »
(If he keeps playing next year, he'll play only a dozen of tournaments at best. But he can't answer the question about his retirement yet, he still doesn't know.)

06-25-2008, 07:19 AM
Here's the whole interview, but maybe there is an interview in English?
« ALORS, ÇA VALAIT le coup d’attendre pour jouer sur ce court-là ?
– C’était aussi bien que je l’imaginais. J’ai essayé de profiter de chaque instant. Le trajet du vestiaire vers le court est vraiment marqué d’Histoire. On prend conscience de ce qui s’y est passé depuis plus d’un siècle.
– Maintenant que vous avez joué sur chaque court central des quatre tournois du Grand Chelem, pouvez- vous les comparer en quelques mots ?
– Ici, à Wimbledon c’est donc l’Histoire. A Roland, c’est le public qui a toujours été derrière moi. A New York, je pense aux sessions de nuit, qui sont inégalables au niveau de l’ambiance. Enfin, à Melbourne, chaque fois que j’entrais sur la Rod Laver Arena (le Central de l’Open d’Australie), je pensais que quelque chose de bien pouvait arriver car c’est làbas que j’ai réalisé beaucoup de mes plus grandes performances. Je pense à la Coupe Davis ou à mon seul quart en Grand Chelem.
C’est un privilège d’avoir connu tout ça ?
– J’ai le sentiment d’avoir été extrêmement gâté ces derniers temps. En dix mois, j’ai joué sur ces quatre courts-là ; contre un Américain à l’US Open (Blake en session de nuit), contre le roi à Melbourne (Federer), contre Ferrer sur le central de Roland et contre le héros local ici. Franchement, ça ressemble à un jubilé.
– Ça veut dire qu’on ne vous reverra pas à Wimbledon ?
– Si je rejoue ici l’an prochain, de toute façon, ça voudra dire que je ne fais pas une saison pleine. Dix ou douze tournois maximum. Mais en ce qui concerne le moment de ma retraite, je n’ai toujours pas de réponse. »He means he was lucky to play his last 4 matches in Grand Slams on the Center Court: Blake in a night session in NY, "the King" in Melbourne, Ferrer in Paris and here the local hero. Wimbledon was impressive, it was as great as he was hoping, he tried to enjoy every single moment.
He's asked to compare the 4 Grand Slams. Wimbledon: history. Roland: the crowd behind him. USO: nothing can compare with the atmosphere of the NY night sessions. Melbourne: when he enters the Center Court, he always thinks something great might happen to him because he had his best results there (CD and his only quarter of final).

Sorry for the quick summary, I'm in a hurry, but that's the gist of it.

Fabrice Fan
06-26-2008, 03:14 AM
Thanks Truc! :) I hope we have him for one more year!

07-12-2008, 07:36 PM
nice win over Spadea today...7-6 6-1. good luck in the final

07-14-2008, 05:23 PM
Thanks for the article about Newport, Tangy, I find it weird none of the English articles seems to quote him saying he will come back next year. I haven't seen it on the ATP website either. According to L'Equipe, he said it clearly after his win. That's even the title of the article about his Newport title ("Santoro will be back!"), they can't have made that up. :shrug:

Santoro reviendra !
L’INFO DU JOUR, c’est bien sûr cette promesse faite aux organisateurs : « Après les quarts, raconte Fabrice Santoro, ils m’ont dit : “ Ici, tout le monde vous aime. On voudrait vous revoir l’an prochain. ” Je leur ai répondu: “ O.K. si je gagne le titre. ” C’est fait. « Je tiendrai ma promesse, confirme-t-il. » Pas de retraite, donc, à la fin de cette saison. L’an prochain, à Newport, il aura trente-six ans et demi.
The news of the day is, of course, this promise made to the organizers: "They told me after the quarters: 'Everybody likes you here. We'd love to see you again next year." I answered: 'OK, I will if I win the title.'" He did it. "I'll keep my promise", he says. Therefore, no retirement at the end of the year.

07-14-2008, 08:56 PM
Here's an article in English where he says he'll be back in 2009:
Both men said they would return to the Hall of Fame Championships in 2009. Amritraj was quite adamant in his promise to come back, whereas Santoro said he changed his mind. Santoro and Andre Agassi are the oldest players to win a tournament since Jimmy Connors won at 36 in Washington, D.C., in 1988. Agassi was 35 when he won in Los Angeles in 2005.

Santoro said he had planned to play only 10 tournaments in France, plus the Grand Slam events, next year. But after he won his first match here, he made a deal with himself.

“I said, ‘I love this tournament, I love to be here. So if I win this year once again, I’ll be back next year,’” he said. “So I have to be back, and I have to be back in good shape, which is even more difficult. To be back is easy.”

The link:

ps Newport is an awesome place!:D

07-15-2008, 06:38 AM
In l'Equipe today:Santoro dit banco
En annonçant qu’il défendra en 2009 son titre décroché avant-hier à Newport, le Français a signé ipso facto pour une 21e saison.

En battant dimanche le jeune Indien Prakash Amritraj (6-3, 7-5), Fabrice Santoro s’est engagé pour un nouveau bail d’un an avec le tennis. La retraite est reportée, mais son statut de père et ses jambes de trentenaire vont sans doute le pousser à une saison à la carte. On en saura plus après le prochain US Open où il dévoilera officiellement ses intentions.
NE S’USE PAS, MADAME quand on s’en sert ! Inoxydable Santoro, qui vient de décrocher à trente-cinq ans et demi son sixième titre. Au moment où le Suédois Björkman, guère plus âgé (neuf mois de plus), décide de raccrocher, le Français, lui, annonce qu’on le reverra sur un terrain dans un an. « Ce titre, il va falloir le défendre. » Avant-hier, malgré la friture sur la ligne de son portable, la réponse est revenue claire : « C’est prévu. Les organisateurs m’avaient dit après les quarts qu’ils voulaient me revoir l’an prochain. Je leur ai dit : “O.K. pour 2009, si je gagne le titre.” » Amritraj n’a pas pu faire jouer le fluide de son père, Vijay, trois fois couronné à Newport, pour ravir à Santoro le titre conquis l’an dernier. Et voilà comment on se retrouve avec un rendez-vous dans douze mois. Avait-il besoin de cette perche pour se convaincre qu’il sera encore compétitif la saison prochaine ? Mais il lui fallait des points pour passer l’hiver au chaud. Pour pouvoir rentrer dans les Grands Chelems, mais aussi dans les tournois autres que les Masters Series. C’est fait.
En renvoyant Amritraj à son tennis échevelé d’attaquant à outrance, il a empoché 175 points, plus que le total glané dans ses quatre derniers tournois du Grand Chelem. Les matches en trois sets gagnants, ce n’est plus son truc. Même s’il est quasiment assuré de pouvoir participer l’an prochain à son 14e Wimbledon et à son 20e Roland-Garros. La retraite attendra, même si l’idée de raccrocher est devenue une compagne fidèle. « J’ai de plus en plus de mal à rester loin de ma fille, confiait-il après sa défaite au dernier tournoi de Halle, à la mi-juin. Demain, je prends le premier avion. Je vais me lever à 4 heures du matin, mais je n’attendrai pas quelques heures de plus pour la retrouver. » Djenae vient d’avoir sept ans et son père se veut responsable. L’idéal serait de raccrocher, mais le démon du tennis crache encore quelques feux.
Santoro a toujours géré sa carrière comme la construction de ses points sur un court. C’est méthodique, quasi chirurgical. Il connaît sans doute, bien qu’il s’en défende, la manière dont il tirera sa révérence. « Après l’US Open, je ferai une déclaration à ce sujet. »On peut deviner ce qu’il va annoncer : une saison à la carte. Une tournée des adieux de ses endroits préférés : il y aura sans doute une des deux salles où il s’est imposé en France (Marseille et Lyon), un des deux émirats du golfe Persique où il a été couronné (Dubaï ou Doha) et bien sûr Newport, où il a déjà signé. Il le fera pour lui, mais aussi pour sa fille. « Quand elle voit Federer à la télévision, raconte-t-il, elle me dit aussitôt : “Papa ! celui-là je le connais, je l’ai vu avec toi.” »
Papa peut faire encore bonne figure. À trente-cinq ans et demi, il est certes le doyen du top 100 mondial, mais douze autres joueurs ont franchi le cap de la trentaine. Et il ne faut pas remonter très loin dans la hiérarchie pour trouver plus vieux. Younes el-Aynaoui, 165e, fêtera ses trente-huit ans dans deux mois.
Santoro, avec son jeu en finesse, peut encore voyager un bout de chemin sur des surfaces rapides. « Il y aura bien un jour où je n’aurai plus envie », avouait-il à Halle. Pour le physique, pas de problème. « J’ai toujours eu de la rigueur dans ma vie. Pas d’excès d’alcool, de table, de sommeil. Ce n’est pas mon truc. » Donc il court toujours. Et il en redemande. Comme cette wild-card obtenue à Indianapolis cette semaine. Et, coup de bol, le tirage lui offre un autre invité (Rajeev Ram) pour commencer, avant un deuxième tour très abordable puis un quart théorique avec Blake. Djenae attendra une semaine de plus. « Mais après, j’arrête cinq semaines, annonce-t-il. Je n’en connais pas beaucoup qui coupent aussi longtemps. » Il sera alors temps, à Flushing Meadows, de réussir un coup pour jouer les glorieux papas à la télé.
This title in Newport was important for his decision because it gives him the points he needed to be almost sure to enter the next RG and Wimbledon and the other ATP tournaments next year (except the Masters Series).
He often thinks of retiring, though. After his 1st round loss in Halle he told the journalist that he was going to stand up at 4 o'clock the next day to catch the first plane back home because he wanted to see his daughter as soon as possible.
He says that he will make an announcement after the US Open - most probably to announce he will play another season with a light schedule and only his favourite tournaments (French tournaments, Doha and Dubai + Newport, of course).
He isn't the kind of person who will drink alcohol or eat a lot anyway, so it's not a problem for him to keep that way of life.
So far, he still feels like playing. That's why he also asked for a WC in Indy. But the he will take 5 weeks off after Indy and come back for the US Open.

07-23-2008, 07:49 PM
ESPN.com featured Fabrice today. :cool:


The distress of a root canal easier than facing Santoro
By Joel Drucker
Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Photo caption: With his unorthodox style, Fabrice Santoro has been inflicting damage on opponents for two decades.

In most cases, a tennis player's legacy is best shaped by his or her results. Grand Slam wins, of course, carry the most impact, followed by notable efforts in Davis Cup, tournament titles and, to a lesser degree, compelling losses.

Then there's Fabrice Santoro. He is 35 years old and has never been ranked higher than 17 in the world. In 64 Grand Slam singles tournaments, only once has he made it to the quarterfinals. In 108 tries, he has only twice reached the semifinals of an ATP Masters Event.

All of which means little in assessing this man's impact on tennis.

Santoro recently won his sixth career singles title, earning a grass-court victory at Newport. That win also was his 451st career singles win, a mark exceeded among active players only by Roger Federer, Carlos Moya and Lleyton Hewitt.

"When you start a career at 16, never can you imagine that you will win a tournament 20 years later," Santoro said. "I played my first French Open in 1989. I have the same passion for the game as 15 years ago, maybe more."

But even then, Santoro's value to tennis has less to do with longevity and more to do with his approach to the game -- an approach that has profound implications for that tricky topic known as player development.

The sad truth is that tennis players often develop their games under the rubric of a home nation and an inherently provincial approach to stroke production and tactics (but not always, particularly at Nick Bollettieri's Florida-based academy, a veritable yellow-balled Ellis Island).

As tends to happen amid a top-down institutional environment, many players from current tennis powerhouses Spain and Russia appear to be issued a particular style -- in both cases, a technically proficient, power baseline game based heavily on repetition, with scarcely an emphasis on nuance, variety or alternative game plans. In many cases, players from these nations are the equivalent of a college student who knows a great deal about composition but little of literature. Certainly they are proficient, but how well such a playing style ages is a lively debate topic.

Then there's France. As you might expect, creativity is valued -- and no one personifies this more than Santoro. "A player may learn the fundamentals in France, but he is encouraged to build his own kind of playing style," said George Goven, a former pro and current French Fed Cup captain. "Tennis is something you play."

Santoro's double-double-handed playing style -- that is, he hits his backhand and forehand with two hands -- is a textured mix of spin, pace and assorted tactics. His nickname is The Magician, but even that underestimates his true genius.

Many years ago the all-time great player Bill Tilden wrote a book titled, "Match Play and the Spin of the Ball." The work is often considered a bible for understanding how to win tennis matches. Tilden wrote: "Let me open this discussion by a sound tennis maxim: Never give your opponent a chance to make a shot he likes."

Photo caption: Santoro didn't win first ATP title until 1997, but he has won in Newport, R.I. the last two years.

Santoro has applied this principle with a vengeance. He is a disrupter par excellence; whether in victory or defeat, he puts his opponents through agony. Marat Safin -- 2-7 lifetime versus Santoro -- was once asked his biggest fear. "Going to the dentist," Safin said. "On second thought, I would rather have a root canal than play Santoro."

There's no question, of course, that Santoro's genius has taken him only so far. In many ways, he's the equivalent of the crafty veteran at a local park, a riddle that must be answered if a player is to advance to a higher level. And now, at 35, it's apparent that many players have the goods to hit through him. It's also notable, alas, that many French players veer more towards form over function. The likes of Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga have yet to match the results of their Spanish and Russian counterparts.

But the lesson to be learned from Santoro is vivid. Players such as Santoro and, at a higher level, the multifaceted Federer, did far more when they were coming up than obediently nod their heads at instructors and merely keep cracking crosscourt drives. Such has also been the case in recent years for Rafael Nadal. Having declined the chance to work at a national training center in his youth, Nadal in recent years has added new tools to his game, including a beefed-up serve and a useful slice backhand.

What's even clearer is that the variety and thought that go into Santoro's game keep him continually engaged. His body might betray him, but it's hard to see his mind ever burning out. No one more eloquently personifies the notion of tennis as a sport for a lifetime.

12-14-2008, 07:45 AM
An interview of Fabrice in L'Equipe today:« J’irai là où ça me fera plaisir »
FABRICE SANTORO veut avant tout profiter de sa dernière saison sur le circuit, qui prendra officiellement fin en octobre 2009 à Bercy.

Pull à col roulé blanc sur un jean, tennis aux pieds, Fabrice Santoro ne craignait pas le froid en arrivant à notre rendez- vous dans un pub de la porte d’Auteuil, histoire de prendre un café et de discuter de son avenir proche. « Je n’ai pas touché une raquette depuis trois semaines, c’est repos total », s’exclamait-il avec entrain avant d’ajouter : « Le plus dur pour moi, c’est toujours de m’y remettre, je dois me forcer pour reprendre l’entraînement mais après c’est comme une drogue, c’est violent. » Justement, ce que l’on voulait savoir, c’était si ça allait être « violent » en 2009. Et tout de suite, Santoro a certifié qu’il serait présent au gré de ses désirs sur le circuit l’année prochaine mais que ce serait – juré, craché – sa dernière saison.

« ON SAVAIT que vous aviez mis l’Australie à votre programme, mais on avait des doutes pour la suite de la saison…
– Il n’y a plus de doutes. Ça y est, ma décision est prise. 2009 sera ma dernière saison. Le but n’est pas d’effectuer une simple tournée d’adieux mais de me faire plaisir sur les tournois que j’aime en restant compétitif. Je ne serai pas là pour prendre une tôle chaque lundi. Et si tout va bien, s’il n’y a pas de blessures, je compte jouer mon dernier tournoi à Bercy, devant le public parisien. C’est comme ça que j’ai envie de partir et je me préparerai soigneusement pour ce dernier tournoi, en espérant soit que j’aurai le classement pour intégrer le tableau, soit qu’on me donnera une wild-card.
– Cela fait bien deux ou trois ans qu’on vous entend parler d’une éventuelle retraite, mais à chaque fois vous repartez pour une nouvelle saison. Qu’en est-il cette fois ?
– Cette fois, la décision est mûrement réfléchie. Forcément, quand on a largement dépassé la trentaine (Santoro aura presque trente-sept ans en octobre prochain à Bercy), on pense à la retraite. C’est vrai que, ces dernières années, je me suis posé pas mal de questions. Et puis, voyant que mon classement était toujours suffisamment bon pour entrer dans les tableaux, je me disais qu’il n’y avait pas de raison d’arrêter tout de suite. Et j’en reprenais pour une saison, et puis pour une autre.
– Vous dites depuis quelques années que vous avez de plus en plus de mal à vous entraîner pour rester compétitif. Qu’est-ce qui vous pousse à continuer, alors ?
– L’amour du tennis et de la compétition. Tout ce qui entoure la compétition, ça me gave, comme devoir me lever le matin pour aller m’entraîner, faire du physique, faire mes valises, prendre des avions, dormir dans des hôtels. Cela fait plus de vingt ans que ça dure. Je peux rester trois ou quatre semaines ou plus sans toucher une raquette, le tennis ne me manque pas. Je dois alors me forcer pour reprendre l’entraînement, mais dès que je retouche la raquette, ça devient une drogue, c’est violent. L’envie de« matcher », de me battre face à un adversaire est toujours là. Vous ne pouvez pas imaginer le plaisir que je prends à être sur un court pour jouer un match, que ce soit devant vingt mille spectateurs ou sur un tout petit stade pour un tournoi Challenger. Le plaisir de jouer est plus fort que tout.
« Je pourrais encore jouer trois ans »
Tant que je tiens ma place, que je suis capable de jouer un super match contre Jo Tsonga à Lyon même si je le perds (6-2, 5-7, 6-3), que je peux gagner un tournoi Challenger au fin fond de l’Ukraine à trente-six ans (à Dniepropetrovsk), j’obtiens la réponse aux doutes que je pourrais avoir quant à ma compétitivité.
– Pourquoi alors décider de tout arrêter fin 2009 ?
– Sans vouloir paraître prétentieux, je pense que je serais capable de continuer encore deux ou trois ans au niveau que j’occupe car je ne souffre d’aucune douleur physique, je mène une vie on ne peut plus saine, je me connais par coeur, mon corps est prêt. Mais, à force de me poser des questions, j’en suis arrivé à une nécessité profonde de passer à autre chose. C’est une chance d’arriver à cet âge en se disant qu’on va pouvoir démarrer une nouvelle vie. Celle d’un joueur de tennis professionnel n’est pas une vie normale. Je n’avais que quinze ans quand je suis entré dans un tunnel qui va me faire faire mon 21e tour du monde ! À partir de 2010, je mènerai une vie plus classique, qui me permettra de passer plus de temps avec ma fille, ma famille, mes amis.
– Changer de vie sans transition lorsqu’on a une belle notoriété, ce n’est sans doute pas facile…
– Mon père m’a toujours dit : “ Un sportif de haut niveau est un homme qui meurt deux fois. ” La première mort, c’est la fin de la carrière sportive, il faut savoir la gérer. Certains n’y arrivent pas. Je pense que j’y arriverai.
– Que comptez-vous faire après ?
– J’ai pas mal de projets intéressants dans les domaines du tennis et des médias. Je pourrai vous en parler dans quelques mois.
– En attendant, comment allez-vous vous organiser pour 2009 ?
– J’irai jouer là où ça me fait plaisir, là où j’ai de bons souvenirs, sans coach à plein temps. Je m’intégrerai dans un groupe ou dans un autre du Team Lagardère, au gré des tournois, et pour l’Australie j’emmène mon meilleur copain avec moi. Ce sera chouette. »

12-14-2008, 08:06 AM
2009 will be his last season, there's no doubt about it anymore. The idea isn't to have a farewell season, but to play tournaments he likes, still being competitive. And if he isn't injured, he wants to play his last tournament in Bercy. That's clearly how he wants to leave the tour and he hopes that he will still be ranked high enough to enter the main draw of Bercy or that he will get a WC (a little hint at the fact that he didn't get one this year).
He's been thinking about a retirement for a while, but since his ranking was still good enough to enter the draws, he thought he would play another season and another one and another one...
He keeps playing for the love of the competition only. Everything around the competition really bores him, like having to practice every morning, the physical training, the travelling, the life in hotels. He's been doing that for more than 20 years now. He can spend 3-4 weeks without touching a racquet and he doesn't miss it. But when he forces himself to start playing tennis again, it's like a drug then, very intense, the desire to compete still is so strong. People can't imagine how much he enjoys playing a match, no matter if it's in front of 20.000 people or in a small Challenger. It's all about the love for the game. As long as he feels able to play great matches like against Jo in Lyon or to win a Challenger tournament at the other end of the Ukraine by the age of 36, he knows he's still competitive.
So why retire at the end of 2009?
He doesn't want to sound conceited, but he means he would be able to play 2-3 more years at the top level because he feels no pain at all, has a very healthy life, he knows himself so well and means his body would allow it. But he's been wondering and thinking about it for so long now, it's time to do something else. It's a great feeling to start a new life. Tennis players don't have a normal life. From 2010 on he will have a normal life.
His father always tells him: "A high level sportsman dies twice." The first death is the end of the sports career. Some can't deal with it. He thinks he will.
He has a lot of interesting projects related to tennis and the media, he will tell more about it in a few months.
In the meantime, he will play in 2009 the tournaments he likes and where he has great memories. He won't have a full-time coach, he will work with different groups of the Team Lagardère, depending on his schedule. As for Australia, he will go there with his best friend. It'll be fun.

Fabrice Fan
12-19-2008, 03:33 AM
Thanks for the article Truc. I will miss Fab, but he has to do what is right for him.

03-31-2009, 08:37 AM
Old man of the courts still has some magic

The oldest, trickiest, Frenchiest player at this year's Sony Ericsson Open is Fabrice Santoro, who won his first-round match against a towering Brazilian 15 years his junior in two hours and change last week.
Santoro is 36, ranked 50th in the world, playing his 20th and, he says, final year of professional tennis. He is small by tour standards, a mere 5-foot-10, and plays a peculiar two-handed-on-both-sides, slicing, moonballing, airy, pace-less game. He hits few winners and even fewer errors.
His type is infuriating and familiar to anyone who has ever played a weekend tournament down at the public courts: He is a pusher.
In that sweaty circle -- fiercely competitive, modestly talented, mostly male -- pusher carries a whiff of dishonor. The pusher will not trade groundstrokes, but will make you run; he'll risk nothing, but will gladly profit from your errors. It's like cheating but worse, because it's not even covert. It's like trying to box someone who keeps kicking you in the shins.
All that goes out the window when you're watching the best pusher in the world take on any of the giants dominating the upper reaches of the world rankings, or even a Brazilian giant of little note. You root for the human, not the super-mutants with strength coaches, training routines, specialized diets and winning odds.
Santoro has no strength coach and is not currently traveling with a coach. His training routine is as follows: sprints for 10 minutes a day, or maybe some biking; some resistance work for his shoulders; some abdominal crunches and twists. He eats bread and butter for breakfast every day and pasta for lunch. At dinner, he eats fish and skips dessert. He doesn't drink alcohol during tournaments, doesn't smoke cigarettes, but consumes more than his fair share of red wine and foie gras because, as he says, ``I like to eat. I am French.''
You could (and probably should) do something like this for your own health, but it does not follow that doing so will make you play at the level of the 50th-best tennis player in the world.
Watch how he bounces the ball six times on the edge of his racket before balancing it there and holding it for seconds; watch that lob, hit on the run, that arcs unhittably to catch the baseline; watch that skidding slice that arrests its forward progress so abruptly the Brazilian must stoop and jump forward to flick at it before the second bounce.
Santoro -- ''the Magician,'' he is sometimes called -- performs these feats or feats like them again and again, hundreds of times in the match. He seems to enjoy himself, even if he can no longer perform as neatly or as dependably as he used to.
He was ranked 17th in the world in 2001. ''I have lost a little bit,'' he says in the small interview room at Crandon Park, the Brazilian deposed. He would like to spend more time with his daughter and friends, and he would like to take some vacations.
He has two lessons for you, the weekend warrior. One is to make practice fun, because ''it is much easier to work hard when you do it with a smile.'' The other is to ``learn how your body works when you're a kid, 18, 20, 22: You must see then how your body functions. It will make it easier to practice and play tennis.''
And if you're no longer a kid? He doesn't have an answer for that.

Fabrice Fan
03-31-2009, 06:14 PM
What a great article Truc. Thanks!

Ad Wim
04-24-2009, 06:23 PM
Probably said before here, but I'm very curious. Any has any idea when he retires exactly? I heard somewhere that it will be after Newport. Or is he playing till the end of the year?

04-24-2009, 07:21 PM
He'll retire after Bercy.
He's already asked for a WC in Bercy.

04-28-2009, 12:46 PM
He'll retire after Bercy.
I have two jobs to offer him after that, both are great. :p

05-02-2009, 12:03 AM
anyone confirm that he will play madrid? if so, i will try to watch him there

05-02-2009, 07:10 AM
He won't play Madrid, he's playing the Challenger of Bordeaux during that week.

05-08-2009, 11:27 AM
Fabrice will be the guest of the tv show Vivement Dimanche on sunday 24th May. ;)


05-15-2009, 07:35 PM
Fabrice will be the guest of the tv show Vivement Dimanche on sunday 24th May. ;)


Thanks for the information man. Appreciate it.

Fabrice Santoro Profile (http://www.allsportspeople.com/tennis/people/Fabrice_Santoro)

05-20-2009, 11:14 AM
Magician Santoro ready for final act in Paris

Wednesday May 20 2009

*French Open farewell for Santoro
*Frenchman to make his 67th grand-slam appearance
*Much-admired Santoro happy to be different

By Chrystel Boulet-Euchin

BORDEAUX, France, May 20 (Reuters)

Fabrice Santoro, nicknamed the Magician for his habit of mystifying bigger and stronger opponents, is proudly preparing to open his bag of tricks for his 20th and final French Open show.
The Frenchman, who will retire at the end of the year, will extend his record of appearances at grand-slam events to 67 in the May 24-June 7 claycourt tournament.
"Last Roland Garros, last year on the circuit, there is that feeling that a page is being turned and an immense satisfaction to have done 20 of them," the 36-year-old Santoro told Reuters in an interview. "I never dreamed I would get that far."
Santoro stands 1.77 metres tall and weighs 74 kg but has floored many more powerful players courtesy of his resilience and tennis intelligence,
He is full of great French Open memories but knows which one he cherishes the most.
It was in 2001 on Centre Court, a third-round match against towering Russian Marat Safin, then the world number two.
Santoro, leading two sets to one and understandably feeling tired, gave away the fourth set, which the Russian won 6-0, before bouncing back in the fifth, taking it 6-1 to score a memorable victory.
"I was too tired and I realised after two points that I couldn't do anything, that I had to rest," Santoro said about his surprising tactics in the fourth set of that match.
"I knew letting the set go was the best solution but I wasn't sure of anything."
There are also a few bad memories from the tournament for the Tahiti-born player, the most painful being a first-round exit to lightly regarded Japanese player Shuzo Matsuoka in 1993.
"I was world number 21 then and playing extremely well but on the day I played an awful match because I couldn't handle the stress," Santoro said. "I don't feel that pressure any more today."
Santoro's French Open history dates back to 1989, when he entered the main tournament for the first time and also won the junior title as a 16-year-old.
One of the few major players on the men's circuit to hit both shots double-handed, Santoro has won many admirers over the years for his finesse and sense of strategy.
"I keep bumping into people who tell me to carry on but in my head it's clear, I'm stopping," he said.
Among his fans are Andy Murray, who often describes Santoro as his favourite player, as well as Roger Federer and Pete Sampras, the man responsible for Santoro's nickname of the Magician.
"It pleases me," Santoro said of Murray's admiration of his style. "It's funny because Andy was born in 1987 and was just a toddler when I won the French Open junior title."
Being different was not easy at first but now Santoro is proud of not being just another hard-hitting machine.
"At the start of my career people were saying I was atypical as a player and I took it as a reproach but today I don't want to be typical, from the same mould as everyone," he said.
"I feel extremely lucky and privileged," he added. "After the age of 30, I experienced the best years in my career, scoring my best results and earning more recognition, but behind all that are thousands of hours of work and a great will to succeed."
For his final French Open, Santoro has been careful not to set the bar too high.
"The goal, ideally, is to move past the first round and lose after having played a great match," he said. "The absolute nightmare would be to play a bad match."
Once out of the tournament, he will follow the progress of the others and, as a man who rates elegance over power, hope that Federer will win his battle with Rafael Nadal to triumph in Paris at last.
"If he (Federer) does it, I'll be at least as happy as he will be," Santoro said.

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/feedarticle/8516267

05-28-2009, 06:16 AM
Carnet de Paris: Adieu, c'est fini

Am Abend zuvor, im ersten Teil seines letzten Spiels im Stade Roland-Garros, sass Fabrice Santoro während der Seitenwechsel ein wenig traurig auf seinem Stuhl. Die Ärmel seines schwarzen Pullovers hatte er zum Schutz gegen die Kälte um den Hals geschlungen; der Wind pfiff, und die letzten Strahlen der Sonne wärmten nicht mehr. Was ihm zu schaffen machte, war nicht die Idee, dass dies vielleicht nach 20 Jahren sein letztes Spiel am French Open sein würde. Er grämte sich vielmehr, weil er unter diesen Bedingungen nichts von seiner Kunst zeigen konnte. Der Wind hat kein Herz für Zaubertricks.

Aber man macht sich nicht in 20 Jahren als kleiner Mann in diesem grossen Geschäft einen Namen und heimst nicht bei allen Konkurrenten Lob und Bewunderung ein, wenn man alles mit sich geschehen lässt. Als Santoro zwei Sätze verloren hatte, stürmte er auf Gedeih oder Verderb ans Netz, gewann den dritten Satz, und mit dieser Verlängerung bescherte er sich den kleinen Rest einer Fortsetzung am nächsten Tag. Bei Sonnenschein. Vor vollbesetzten Rängen. Das war endlich die passende Kulisse für den Abschied. Es wurden noch einmal ein paar gute Minuten. Als der letzte Ball im Spiel war, dachte er mit ein bisschen Wehmut daran, dass ein Kapitel seines Lebens nun unwiderruflich zu Ende ging. Nie mehr Roland-Garros; adieu, c'est fini.

Aber es flossen keine Tränen. Es war ein stiller, freundlicher Abschied, 20 Jahre nach dem ersten Auftritt des kleinen Franzosen an diesem Turnier. Er wird noch bis zum Ende des Jahres weiterspielen, und er freut sich vor allem auf die nächsten letzten Bälle in Wimbledon. Aber in Paris ist er nun am Ziel. Das Publikum skandierte noch ein paar Mal seinen Namen, die Kinder quietschten «Fabriiice, Fabriiice». Die Leute werden die Erinnerung an ihn pflegen, denn so verrückt, verzinkt und unberechenbar wie er spielt heute keiner mehr. Und er wird seine Erinnerungen an dieses Turnier pflegen, das ihm in all den Jahren ans Herz gewachsen ist.

Hinterher erzählte er von seinen Lieblingsplätzen im Stade Roland-Garros. Und von einem ganz besonderen Weg. «Du verlässt die Umkleidekabine, biegst rechts ab, steigst die Treppe rauf und betrittst den Court Central. Da ist niemand, hinter dem du dich verstecken könntest, du bist allein. Und damit musst du leben.» Es tönt, als müsste man sich fürchten vor diesem Gefühl, aber das ist nur die halbe Wahrheit. Es war Furcht und Glück zugleich, und das hat Santoro geliebt.

Source: http://www.nzz.ch/nachrichten/sport/aktuell/adieu_cest_fini_1.2637040.html

That’s the end: Good-bye!

The evening before, during the first part of his last match in Roland Garros, Fabrice Santoro sat a bid sad in his chair during the changeovers. He had put the sleeves of his black pullover around his neck to protect against the cold; the wind hurled and the last sun rays did not warm anymore, What troubled him was not the idea that this would be his last match at the French Open. What grieved him was the fact that he could not show his art under these circumstances. The wind has no heart for magic tricks.

But one does not fight for a reputation as a small man in this huge business earning the admiration of all opponents, if one allows everything to happen. After Santoro had lost two sets, he stormed to the net without compromise, won the third set and earned a prolongation on the next day – under a shining sun. This was the appropriate environment for a farewell. There were some good minutes. When the last ball was in play, he thought with a little nostalgic feeling that a chapter of his life was coming to its end. Defintely. No more Roland Garros, that’s the end, good-bye.

But there were no tears. It was a quiet and friendly farewell, 20 years after the first appearance of the small Frenchman at this tournament. He will continue to play till the end of the year and he looks forward to the last balls in Wimbledon. But in Paris, his mission is fulfilled. The crowd chanted his name, the kids queaked „Fabriiiiiiice, Fabriiiiiiiice“. People will cultivate their memories, as nobody plays as crazy, as tricky and as unpredictable as he did anymore. And he will cultivate his memories about this tournament which got close to his heart during all those years.

Afterwards he talked about his favourite spots in Roland Garros. And about a very special „road“: you leave the locker rooms, turn right, mount the stairs and you enter the center court. There is nobody behind whom you could hide. You are alone. And you have to live with it.“ It sounds, as if one has to fear such a feeling. But this is only a half-truth. It was fear and happiness at the same time, and Santoro had loved it.

Translated by Puschkin, 28 May 2009

06-20-2009, 03:26 PM
After reading the news in l'equipe more things in the local press. Lagardere sells the tournament of Metz and some people like Fabrice & Boutter wants to buy it to try to maintain it in Metz and for Fab it could one of his activities post carreer. http://www.republicain-lorrain.fr/fr/permalien/article/1707441/Santoro-Je-tiens-a-ce-tournoi.html & http://www.republicain-lorrain.fr/fr/permalien/article/1707458/Open-de-Moselle-une-offre-qui-a-du-credit.html & http://www.republicain-lorrain.fr/fr/sport/article/1707429,81/Une-equipe-de-choc.html

Le champion français qui vient de fêter son vingtième Roland-Garros et qui détient le record de participations dans les tournois du Grand chelem, veut aider l’Open de Moselle à grandir. Il apporte un soutien sans faille.
Pourquoi s’engager dans l’aventure mosellane ?
« Ma principale raison est l’amitié. Je connais Julien (Boutter) depuis de nombreuses saisons, nous avons disputé beaucoup de tournois ensemble, en double, et je suis également, proche d’Yvon Gérard (ancien directeur du tournoi, aujourd’hui membre influent) depuis dix ans. »
Et l’épreuve en elle-même ?
« J’ai appris qu’elle pouvait s’installer ailleurs. Pas question de voir agoniser ce tournoi que j’aime beaucoup, auquel j’ai souvent participé avec notamment des victoires en doubles. J’ai eu tout de suite l’envie de m’impliquer. »
Une façon de rendre au tennis ce qu’il vous a apporté ?
« Oui, participer à l’Open de Moselle arrive à un bon moment de ma vie professionnelle puisque je quitterai les courts fin 2009. Je suis en train de prendre un virage important. Toute mon existence a tourné autour de cette petite balle, c’est grâce à elle que j’en suis là. Dans le cadre de ma reconversion, il est logique que je reste dans le tennis. »
Que pensez-vous de ce tournoi organisé aux Arènes de Metz ?
« Il me tient à cœur car bien organisé et apprécié des joueurs. Le tournoi est maintenant bien installé dans le paysage sportif et il doit encore se développer. L’open de Moselle ne demande qu’à grandir. »
On sait que Djokovic s’est approprié le rendez-vous de Belgrade mais voir un Français prendre part dans un tournoi de l’Hexagone est assez rare !
« Effectivement, je pense que c’est une première mais si je prends une retraite sportive, je ne pars pas en retraite classique ! Le tennis m’a tout apporté. Comme vous l’avez précisé, il est normal que je lui rende ce qu’il m’a donné. Et mettre un pied dans l’événementiel constitue une expérience qui cadre avec ma nouvelle vie. Parce que ce je crois en l’Open de Moselle. Il peut et doit grandir. »
En septembre 2009, le tournoi lorrain risque d’avoir une saveur particulière pour Fabrice Santoro…
« Oui, je serai à Metz dans trois mois et si notre projet prend tournure, l’Open deviendra alors vraiment différent. »
Julien Boutter et vous : les joueurs sont aux affaires !
« C’est chouette de se retrouver ainsi. J’ai connu des moments importants avec lui. Ce n’est pas banal de remporter des victoires et des tournois avec un partenaire. Ensuite, la vie nous a séparés mais on se rapproche toujours de quelqu’un avec qui on a vécu des choses fortes. »
Dans l’équipe de l’Open de Moselle, vous êtes un argument de poids…
« Je connais du monde. On va essayer de convaincre ces personnes, de réunir nos forces ! »
Actuellement, vous êtes en Angleterre pour la saison sur herbe. Toujours des ambitions à votre âge ?
« Cette surface est plus facile pour moi que la terre battue. J’espère gagner quelques matches à Wimbledon…»

07-09-2009, 09:39 AM
A 20-Year Career That Bridged Tennis Eras

Published: July 7, 2009

NEWPORT, R.I. — There is no mention of Fabrice Santoro at the International Tennis Hall of Fame. But during the Hall of Fame championships on the grass courts here, Santoro still likes to walk through the museum and reminisce.

Fabrice Santoro has played 20 of the 24 players who have been No. 1 in the ATP rankings.

“You have to come here and visit to know more about your sport, your life,” he said.

He stopped at a display detailing the Grand Slam championships. No man in history has played in more of them than Santoro, now 36 and in the final year of a two-decade career that served as a bridge between eras.

“I played him,” Santoro said, pointing to a photograph of Jimmy Connors. Then, seeing other familiar faces, he continued. “And him. And him. And him.”

The upcoming United States Open would be Santoro’s 69th major championship; his first was the 1989 French Open. Another way to view his longevity: Of the 24 players who have been ranked No. 1 in the ATP rankings, which began in 1973, Santoro played 20, beating most at least once.

The only top-ranked players that Santoro never played were Ilie Nastase, John Newcombe, Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe. The first three were basically retired before Santoro turned 10.

Born in Tahiti and raised in southern France, Santoro is best known for his ability to wield a racket with two hands with flair, which led Pete Sampras to dub him the “magician,” a nickname that stuck and that Santoro wears proudly. Santoro was 6 when he first swung a heavy racket with two hands, the left above the right, on both forehands and backhands. Thirty years later, he is finishing a book, planned for release in France later this year, tentatively titled “A Deux Mains” (“With Two Hands”).

Less noticed but more remarkable about Santoro, perhaps, is the consistency that allowed him to finish among the top 65 players at the end of 17 seasons.

Santoro peaked at No. 17 in June 2001. This week, he is 34th, his best since 2004.

“It’s lower than my age,” Santoro noted with a gap-toothed smile.

Still, he will retire this fall, he said, to spend less time on planes and in hotels and more time with his 8-year-old daughter, Djenae. He is admittedly tempted, however, to play in the Australian Open in January. It would make him the first man to play Grand Slam events in four different decades.

Santoro made his first appearance at Newport in 2007. Arriving late with Djenae from Wimbledon, the first stop was to check out the 12,000-square-foot museum and its 20,000-piece collection. Santoro won the tournament — Djenae put the trophy in her bedroom — then won it again last year, pushing his career singles victory total to six. He was the only player over 30 to win in 2008.

Now the fan favorite, Santoro did not get a chance Tuesday to extend his unbeaten singles streak in Newport to 10 because his match against Italy’s Flavio Cipolla was rained out before he took the court.

On Monday, as Santoro won a doubles match alongside his countryman Nicolas Mahut, he returned one shot behind his back. A drop shot landed so softly that the ball barely bounced. He foiled opponents with wickedly spun second serves. He chased one shot onto an adjacent court, where he stopped and shook hands with the players there, eliciting laughter.

Santoro seems, in so many ways, a throwback to a time before the muscle-bound, grimace-faced era of today.

“Every time I go onto the court I have fun,” Santoro said. “So the best way to have fun is to do some original things. It is better for me when the crowd enjoys it.”

Most opponents have struggled with his unusual arsenal, like a slicing forehand. (If he could hit a screaming, top-spinning forehand like so many top players, Santoro said, he would have reached the top 10.)

He stayed near the top of the game, if never among the elite. He has made it to the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam event just once (the 2006 Australian Open, although he has two doubles and two mixed-doubles titles), but has beaten 17 of the 20 top-ranked players that he has played.

The only ones he did not beat were Ivan Lendl (0-1), Yevgeny Kafelnikov (0-6) and — so far — Rafael Nadal (0-1).

But he was 7-2 against Marat Safin, 3-3 against Andre Agassi and 3-4 against Sampras. He beat Roger Federer two of the first three times they met, but has lost the past eight meetings.

Santoro knows these marks off the top of his head. He also knows that he played (and won) the longest match in history — 6 hours 33 minutes over two days against France’s Arnaud Clement in the first round of the 2004 French Open. And, despite a winning record, he has more losses than anyone. “Yes, I have this record, too,” he said.

The breadth and depth of the competition that Santoro faced over 20 years is splattered throughout the Hall of Fame.

“I’m nothing compared to these players,” he said.

But he contemplated his own corner of history.

“Connors was born in 1952, and Nadal in ’86, I think,” Santoro said. “It’s 34 years between them.”

He thought for a moment and let out a “phew.” Finally, it seemed, he had even impressed himself.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/08/sports/tennis/08tennis.html?em

07-10-2009, 11:00 PM

Thrill list: Tennis
Posted: Thursday July 9, 2009
by Jon Wertheim

These lists are not mere compilations of all-time bests in their respective sports but all-time bests at quickening the pulse and evoking a visceral response from those fortunate enough to have witnessed their artistry.

10. Evonne Goolagong
The two-time Wimbledon champ was a graceful, fluid player with an elegant game and unparalleled court coverage. As for her famed "walkabouts" -- inexplicable lapses in concentration -- they may have cut against her legacy, but they only added to the must-see unpredictability.

9. Pancho Gonzalez
A self-taught player, Gonzalez never lost his outsider sensibilities. McEnroe before McEnroe was hip, Gonzalez polarized fans and alienated most of his colleagues. But man, could he play. Even watching a grainy video from the '50s, it's hard not to marvel at his smooth athleticism and liquid strokes. It was Gussie Moran, a female player who toured with Gonzalez, who famously likened him to "God patrolling his personal heaven."

8. Andre Agassi
Agassi was a rock star while Pete Sampras, for all his winning, could never quite capture the public imagination. For two decades, Agassi simply had "it," a rare combination of style and substance. As a fan remarked the day Agassi played his last match: "I would pay to watch that guy hit a ball against a wall. And I don't even like tennis that much."

7. Mansour Bahrami
He was blessed with both an artist's instinct and a preposterous amount of native talent. The source of sorcery is no mystery: During his prime years, tennis was banned in his native Iran; so he improvised, playing with implements like dustpans and Ping-Pong paddles. (If you can maneuver a ball with a dustpan, you can do it with a racket.) Monsieur Mansour escaped to France in the mid-'80s and, while his prime years were squandered, he's been thrilling fans at exhibitions and seniors' events ever since.

6. Venus and Serena Williams
As a rule, we try not to conflate the two siblings, but we'll do it here. For as many times as we've heard the narrative, this remains the most amazing story in sports. Imagine if Tiger Woods had a comparably talented sibling. Plenty is made of the sisters' athleticism, but their instincts and unrivaled fighting spirit serve them just as well. And no player has moved more gracefully on grass than Venus.

5. Justine Henin
The petite Belgian had one of the most complete games in the sport's history. Her zinging one-handed backhand inspired the drooling but it was a diversified portfolio of shots (and competitive fire) that enabled her to win seven major titles. A shame she's not still out there.

4. John McEnroe
Like most geniuses, he marched (if that's even the right tense) to a beat that few others heard. But what a joy to watch Mac. The improvisation, the volleying, the lefty game -- and if it came with a tantrum, so much the better.

3. Roger Federer
A stylist's stylist, he is capable of hitting every shot in the book -- and a good many that aren't in the annotated appendix. Everyone has a favorite Federer "wow" shot (here's ours). At a time when tennis was dismissed as a robotic ace-a-thon, Federer came along and, funny, you don't hear that critique anymore.

2. Suzanne Lenglen
Though she played her last match in the 1930s, what fun she must have been. Every image depicts Lenglen floating in midair, elegantly brushing the ball, her skirt trailing behind her like a rudder as she won Olympic gold medals, Wimbledon titles and dozens of other tournaments. Nicknamed "La Divine" (The Divine) by the French press, Lenglen was a diva before it became all but an occupational requirement in women's tennis. (She gets bonus points for her habit of sipping cognac on changeovers.)

1. Fabrice Santoro :D :D
Not for nothing is this creative Frenchman nicknamed the Magician. Though he stands under 6 feet and serves with less wattage than most women, he's made a career (and countless fans) slicing and dicing, lobbing and dinking, playing tennis with a unique perspective. This, alas, is the 36-year-old's last year on tour. So catch him while you can.

08-24-2009, 07:45 PM
His book A deux Mains should be published in october http://www.francesoir.fr/sport/2009/08/24/Fabrice-Santoro.html

08-25-2009, 06:54 AM
There is an interview in L'Equipe today, he talks about his special relationship with Richard - but he doesn't want to become his coach, he's too fed up with travelling ("No, no, no, because I'm selfish!")
A journalist tried last time to encourage him to keep playing after Bercy saying that if he plays the Australian Open, he would be the first one to have played the tournament in four different decades - but he has made his decision and will stop after Bercy.
As for his plans after his career, he will promote his book which he loved writing, he likes working as a consultant too like he already does for a French radio (Europe 1), he'll play exhos to stay in touch with the people, together with Julien Boutter he's trying to buy up the Metz tournament, he also is part of the Lagardère management and he's producing a 26 minutes report about how to end one's career for high level sportsmen.

I can't make a proper screenshot, sorry. There will surely be excerpts on the French websites today. The title is "Richard, my little brother" (it's also the title of the chapter about Richard in his book).

09-14-2009, 08:20 PM
There is an interview in L'Equipe today, he talks about his special relationship with Richard - but he doesn't want to become his coach, he's too fed up with travelling ("No, no, no, because I'm selfish!")
We'll see. :secret: I don't see him refusing, when things get really to the point.

I can't make a proper screenshot, sorry. There will surely be excerpts on the French websites today. The title is "Richard, my little brother" (it's also the title of the chapter about Richard in his book).

Thanks. I only saw that today, :eek: and I missed in while I was in France. And what is worse: I did not see it posted anywhere. :banghead:

09-14-2009, 09:13 PM
Ah, te revoilà enfin! Willkommen zurück!
I had completely forgotten about the interview then, sorry, I think I still have it.

09-14-2009, 09:19 PM
The journalist doesn't completely believe it either, judging by her "OK, let's admit you don't want to become his coach, what could you do then to help him?"
« Richard, mon petit frère »

Fabrice Santoro exprime son attachement à Richard Gasquet, dont il ne souhaite pas devenir le coach pour autant.

À la veille d'affronter l'Italien Potito Starace (92e) au premier tour, Fabrice Santoro disputait hier le double au côté de Jérémy Chardy. Mais on croise rarement le vétéran sans apercevoir Richard Gasquet et Éric Deblicker dans son sillage. Le trio s'est préparé dans le secret, avant d'arriver ici il y a déjà une semaine. Alors, Santoro, coach de Gasquet ? À la question comme à d'autres, plus personnelles, le doyen du circuit, trente-six ans, a répondu en jouant franc-jeu hier sur le campus de l'université de Yale où se dispute le dernier tournoi préparatoire à l'US Open. NEW HAVEN - (USA) de notre envoyée spéciale

« VOUS ÊTES quarante-quatrième mondial cette semaine, est-ce le reflet de votre niveau actuel ?
- Oui. J'ai un programme allégé. J'ai trouvé un bon équilibre en réduisant le nombre de tournois, j'ai gagné en fraîcheur. Et, avec l'expérience, le manque de compétition ne me fait pas paniquer comme cela ferait paniquer un jeune joueur. J'arrive assez vite à relancer la machine.
- Richard Gasquet et vous êtes inséparables ici. Qu'est-ce qui a fait que vous vous êtes rapproché de lui dès le début de la "crise" ?
- Pour Richard, j'étais là bien avant la crise. Dès qu'il a commencé à s'entraîner la première fois avec Deblicker, je me suis rapproché. J'apportais mon œil de joueur. Ça a continué avec Guillaume Peyre. Lorsque cette crise est arrivée, il était hors de question que je ne prenne pas sa défense. Je l'ai appelé tout de suite. On est restés proches. Je n'ai jamais cru en cette histoire.
- Il y avait de la cocaïne dans ses urines quand même...
- Cela ne veut pas dire qu'il en avait pris. Moi, je pensais : "Pendant que tous les journalistes se déchaînent, il y a un mec tout seul en train de pleurer entre quatre murs." On a beaucoup parlé. Cela nous a rapprochés encore davantage.
- Au point de vous entraîner ensemble...
- Oui, parce qu'au départ, je devais venir plus tard à New York. Je suis venu plus tôt pour le rejoindre, à deux heures de Manhattan, à Long Island, sur une idée d'Éric. Nous étions tous les trois. On a bien bossé. Après, je suis venu ici parce que j'avais envie d'être présent pour son match de reprise, en qualifs.
- C'est plus que de l'amitié, ça !
- Non, ce n'est que de l'amitié pour moi. Je n'ai pas un rôle de coach. Je lui donne mon avis s'il me le demande. J'ai surtout essayé de me mettre à sa place. J'ai parfois été secoué dans ma carrière, mais jamais aussi violemment que ça.
- Du bon copain, à la fois sparring-partner et conseiller, au coach, il n'y a qu'un pas, non ?
- Il est immense ! Si c'est pour repartir sur la route, autant que je joue ! Non, je ne suis pas coach. J'aimerais transmettre, mais j'arrête parce que je n'en peux plus de voyager !

« Je suis égoïste ! »

- Ce que vous ne faites pas pour vous, vous pourriez le faire pour un ami ?
- Non, non, non parce que je suis égoïste ! Il y a trop de moments sur un tournoi où je me dis : "Mais qu'est-ce que je fais là ?" Je joue avec le sourire, c'est la récréation, mais, physiquement, j'ai davantage de douleurs, je suis moins sérieux, je fais sauter des massages en fin de journée. Ce n'est pas malin, mais c'est juste que ça fait trente ans que je fais ça.
- Admettons que vous ne voulez pas être le coach de Richard. Que pouvez-vous faire pour l'aider concrètement ?
- Lui donner du temps. Il aurait pu arrêter deux ans sans avoir vécu ça, ça aurait été plus facile que d'arrêter trois mois en ayant vécu ce qu'il a vécu. Il a passé des semaines à ne pas dormir. Il s'est retrouvé beaucoup plus médiatisé que lorsqu'il était septième mondial et qualifié pour le Masters. Ça a dépassé complètement le cadre du sport et, compte tenu de son caractère introverti et de son manque d'assurance. c'est super dur. Alors, on parle librement, on se dit tout. Je ne suis pas demandeur, tout ce qu'on se dit reste entre nous, je reste un petit peu en dehors et j'aime bien ce rôle de grand frère. D'ailleurs, dans mon livre (*), le chapitre sur Richard s'appelle : "Richard, mon petit frère !"
- Si vous ne devenez pas coach, qu'allez-vous faire pour vous occuper ?
- Je me suis régalé sur mon bouquin. Je vais en faire la promo après plus de trois-cents heures de travail. Consultant sur Europe 1, c'est bien aussi. Je ferai des exhibs pour le contact avec le public. Avec des copains, dont Julien Boutter, on essaie de racheter le tournoi de Metz, de trouver des fonds et de vivre une aventure humaine. Je fais également partie du management chez Lagardère. Et puis, je produis moi-même un 26-minutes sur comment un sportif met fin à sa carrière.
- Vous disputerez votre dernier match à Bercy. Ça devrait se terminer en apothéose ?
- Oui, ou en flop, mais peu importe, ça fait une histoire quand même. La fin de trente ans de ma vie. Mais j'arrête d'en parler parce que plus je le répète, moins je suis crédible. Il y a un journaliste qui essaie de me tenter en me disant que si je joue l'Open d'Australie 2010, je serai le seul joueur à avoir participé au tournoi sur quatre décennies ! Je n'y avais pas pensé à celle-là !
- Et alors, du coup ?
- Non ! Pour moi, j'arrête ! »

(*) À deux mains, à paraître en octobre.

09-14-2009, 09:31 PM
Ah, te revoilà enfin! Willkommen zurück!
I had completely forgotten about the interview then, sorry, I think I still have it.

1000 merci. You are outright wonderful. :worship: I will skip Roger-del Potro for a while and read it.

10-12-2009, 04:11 PM
"Outright wonderful" is a bit exaggerated for an article. :lol:

Looks like a huge media week for Fabrice to promote his book!
His fansite says he will be the guest of "Thé ou Café" and of Ruquier on France 2, I just saw that he will also have his "Nonobstant" on France Inter on Thursday (maybe a bit more content than "On n'est pas couchés")... Probably a lot more things, busy week to come for the French Santorotards.

10-12-2009, 05:54 PM
Fabrice must be happy of all these lights on him :devil: :p

The cover of his book


And the promotional argument of Hachette Edition about the book http://www.hachette-litteratures.com/nou/nou02_00frameset.htm

10-14-2009, 12:21 PM
Mercredi 14 Octobre :
12h : Enregistrement France Inter Yves Calvi (diffusion le lendemain, 17h00)
17h30 – 18h30 : Enregistrement Interview I-télé Radio
20h – 23h : Enregistrement « On n’est pas couché » (diffusion samedi, 22h30, sur france 2)

Jeudi 15 Octobre :
13h30 : Enregistrement « Thé ou Café » (diffusion samedi, 9h00, sur france 2)
16h30 : TV5 <- for his fans outside of France
19h : Emission sur Europe 1 en direct avec Michel Drucker (en direct)

Samedi 17 Octobre :
12h et 14h : Emission sur RMC avec Serge Simon et Sarah Pitkowski (en direct)

Lundi 16 novembre :
12h : RTL « Les grosses têtes » :tape:

Mercredi 2 décembre :
14h 16h30 : RTL « La tête dans les étoiles » Laurent Boyer (en direct)

And there are more to come.

10-21-2009, 07:36 AM
He says today in L'Equipe that if he keeps playing, Melbourne 2010 would be his last tournament instead of Bercy then and he wouldn't keep playing in 2010. It would be just because of that record of having played Slams in four different decades. He didn't know about it when he had decided to stop in Bercy, somebody told him about it during Roland-Garros.

(But I'm pretty sure he suggested with Ceylac that he considers playing "a few" events in 2010 and I doubt he meant Brisbane - je serais plus trop surprise qu'il vienne "refiler plusieurs petits coups de clé de 12", comme dirait Desproges.)

10-21-2009, 11:32 AM
They did a special ceremony for him last year in AO and he would come back lol Bercy plans nothing because they know the guy lol.

11-07-2009, 10:26 AM
In lequipe it's written that it's decided he won't go in Melbourne. Bercy is the end.

11-11-2009, 10:25 AM
I bought his book in France and read it on the train, there's nothing new if you've already seen or read some of the interviews he gave during the promotion of his book.
The only new thing to me was the hint at one of the players he has tanked against because he was sure that this player was doped. He says it happened at the end of the 4th set of a very hard-fought match at the Australian Open. He was exhausted after a very long rallye, looked at his opponent, saw that the guy was looking fresh as a daisy, he knew then that the guy was a cheater and tanked the rest of the match. But I just looked up his record at the AO and there is hardly a loss matching his description? The Krajicek one?
It might be just a mistake too because there are quite a few in the book. For example he makes it sound like he has beaten some number 1 players when they were ranked at #1, which he hasn't, has he? Or a few facts which would have been very easy to check, like Wilander giving back a match point in Roland-Garros, he says it happened against Vilas - Wilander-Vilas was the final, Wilander didn't overrule a championship point! It was in the SF against Clerc, it's really not hard to remember for people of our generation. I know it's just a detail, but when there are repeated mistakes like this one, it discredits the whole thing a bit.

If somebody is interested, I can lend it or resell it. It might be nice for people who don't know tennis so well because he explains a lot of very simple things about the life on the tour.

11-14-2009, 07:44 AM
If somebody is interested, I can lend it or resell it. It might be nice for people who don't know tennis so well because he explains a lot of very simple things about the life on the tour.
I am interested, I will sen you a pm.:wavey:

11-21-2009, 01:16 PM
I haven't forgotten you, Bashak, I ask my friend every other day about the book, but he hasn't finished it yet.

In Deuce:
The Magician's Final Trick
by Paul Macpherson | 10.11.2009

Frenchman Fabrice Santoro, who played his final ATP World Tour tournament at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris this month, reflects on his battles with a cavalcade of No. 1s during his remarkable career. In a two-part series beginning this week, Santoro talks about each of the 20 No. 1s he played.

Will there ever be another player like Fabrice Santoro? Defying the power era in which he played, the diminutive Frenchman mesmerised fans – and many opponents – with a double-handed slice-and-dice game of finesse, spins, slices and chicanery that could drive you mad – and bleed you to death with a thousand cuts. Santoro inflicted so much mental anguish on Marat Safin that he probably shortened the Russian's career by five years.

While Santoro is well known for his unique, ever-entertaining playing style, what is less well known is this: Santoro played 20 of the 24 players to ever hold the No. 1 ranking in the history of the South African Airways ATP Rankings (since 1973).

Santoro crafted 470 singles wins during his career and finished inside the Top 100 18 straight years, just one year shy of Andre Agassi's record. And he had some very impressive head-to-head records against several of the players to rank No. 1, including Pete Sampras (3-4), Agassi (3-3) and Safin (7-2). Oh, yes, and on the flip side, there was a 0-6 record against Yevgeny Kafelnikov, whom once brazenly told Santoro that he would never beat him.

In the first of our two-part series, Santoro talks about 10 of the 20 No. 1s he played:

Santoro vs. Boris Becker
Head-to-head: 1-1

Most Memorable Match: I remember playing him in the Masters in Miami in 1990, I was only 17 years old. It was in the second round. I qualified and beat Rosset in the first round and in the night session of Miami in Key Biscayne I was playing Boris Becker and I was so impressed. I remember I spent the whole afternoon at the hotel waiting for the match. I was so stressed. I couldn't believe I was going to play him at night in the strange atmosphere there.

I arrived at the stadium with my coach and I was feeling so small compared to him. I thought, 'He's going to kill me!' In this period he had a coach, his fitness coach, his physio, his stringer and me, I was just a young guy. I was already very small compared to him by size, but also on the court I said, "I have no chance to play against him, he's too big for me!" I played a good match and lost in three sets.

Tactics: (Miami 1990 and Barcelona Olympics 1992): Both times we played I enjoyed playing against him. His game was pretty good for mine because he was serving well but my return is one of the best parts of my game.

Santoro vs. Jim Courier
Head-to-head: 1-2

Most Memorable Match: I remember the first match we played in Brussels (in 1992) because in the winter time my serve was pretty weak and my coach and I decided we would not go to the Australian Open. We said, "Even if you are like No. 45 in the world, you won't go to the Australian Open. For three months you're going to stop competition to work on your serve." So I stopped at Paris-Bercy in the beginning of November until February and I worked every day on my serve. The first match I played on the tour was in Brussels in February and I arrived there and said, "Okay, I practised my serve for three months, now I'm like Boris Becker – I'm going to serve huge!"

I came on the court, we did a toss and I won and chose to serve – because I thought my serve would be unbelievable. The first game I served as hard as I could just trying to go for the ace. I only put one first serve in and I lost my serve like this in two minutes (laughing). I looked at my coach and said, "Good job. I stopped for three months and look at the result!" But anyway Jim was playing much better than me at this time and he killed me 6-2, 6-1. It was a great week for me when I beat him in Montreal in 1997.

Tactics: I remember his forehand was pretty big. We played a good match in Montreal and because I became more aggressive it was easier for me to play against him. At the beginning of my career he was too powerful for me.

Santoro vs. Marat Safin
Head-to-head: 7-2

Most Memorable Match: When Marat arrived on the tour he said, "It's a nightmare for me to play Santoro," but he was young. Talented, but young. Then he became No. 1 and he still said, "It's a nightmare for me to play Santoro." When I beat him in the Olympics in 2000 he had just won the US Open and Tashkent back-to-back and he had won Toronto also and he was No. 1, and I still beat him. Not because I was a better player, but because when I came on the court against him I was already a set and a break up because mentally he was completely down against me. Actually he beat me only once because in Halle I had a match point and I hurt my leg. You don't see this very often against me, retire.

Tactics: I think he was so negative against me and when I said, "If he wants to beat me he can, he's going to do it and he can do it easily," I was really thinking that. He had everything to beat me but he didn't believe in his chances.

Santoro vs. Pete Sampras
Head-to-head: 3-4

Most Memorable Match: I'm very proud of my record against Pete for a couple of reasons. First of all, because he is one of the best champions ever. Also, because when you play one of the best champions ever, at the end of his career to be 3-4 down is an unbelievable record for me. I beat him every time on clay and he beat me anywhere else in the world.

I remember the match I won in Monte-Carlo 6-1, 6-1 [in 1998] because that was one of the best matches I ever played against anyone. When you play Pete Sampras and you go out from the locker room onto the court you think you have a chance, or that you may lose, but you never think you are going to beat him 6-1, 6-1. I was so, so happy at the end of the match. Pete made me one of the best presents I ever had in my life, after the match he beat me in Indian Wells [in 2002] 7-5 in the third; he said I was 'a magician'.

Tactics: On clay he was serving big, but I was returning them to him most of the time and he was not moving well at the net. He was a big athlete, his footwork was very good but not made for clay. So I was passing him quite easily compared to on hard court.

Santoro vs. Andre Agassi
Head-to-head: 3-3

Most Memorable Match: I'm very proud about this record because he [Agassi] and Pete Sampras are two players I would pay for a ticket to see on court. I would say that the one we played in Washington [in 1999] was the best match we ever played together. I played a great match, but he was playing unbelievable that night. It was so humid and heavy in Washington and I don't think I've had a lot of chances to play better than this. He was just playing his best tennis this year in 1999 when he won the French. It was always a big, big pleasure for me to play against him because I love the way he played and his game fits pretty well with mine.

Tactics: I tried to make him play one more shot every time. I tried to go down the line with my backhand.

Santoro vs. Thomas Muster
Head-to-head: 4-3

Most Memorable Match: It's pretty strange because I never won one tournament on clay, because the clay is not made for my game. Muster was beating everybody on clay, but I beat him three times in a row on clay (Genova '92, Kitzbuehel '94, Monte-Carlo '97). I have no explanation for that.

Tactics: I was very aggressive; I was moving in, I was taking some risks, that's for sure. But what I can't explain is that he was beating everybody on clay, he was killing everybody, except me. And me, everybody was killing me on clay, except him. So it's pretty tough to explain.

Santoro vs. Marcelo Rios
Head-to-head: 1-3

Most Memorable Match: Rios was one of the biggest characters on the tour. The first time I played him I remember in Prague. One, it was a tough match. It was a big match. By the end he was pretty negative on the court, [had] a bad attitude on the court. I remember that he was one of the biggest talents I ever played. He could do anything with his arm – serve, backhand, forehand, volley. He moved well [and had] good eyes. He's one of the biggest talents we ever had in tennis in my opinion. I don't think he worked hard in most of his career, but when he was fit, when he was working professionally, he was playing unbelievable tennis. I remember when he became No. 1, he won Indian Wells and Miami in March, back-to-back.

Tactics: Normal. He was just too good when he was playing well.

Santoro vs. Carlos Moya
Head-to-head: 3-1

Most Memorable Match: Carlos is good for my game because he has a big serve and big forehand, but I can read his game pretty well. I remember the first time he beat me was in Indian Wells (in 2005).

Tactics: I was always happy to play against him because I could put a lot of pressure on his backhand; his backhand passing shot was not the best part of his game.

Santoro vs. Yevgeny Kafelnikov
Head-to-head: 0-6

Most Memorable Match: Kafelnikov was a nightmare for me! He was returning well and I couldn't serve and volley against him. His serve was not unbelievable but I could not put pressure on his serve because he was good enough to keep me back. When he was playing a backhand cross-court he was better than me and when he was playing a forehand cross-court he was better than me too. So at the end I had no solution at all.

One day he came to me and said: "Fabrice, you will never beat me." And when a Russian says that, you know that you will never beat him.

Santoro vs. Patrick Rafter
Head-to-head: 1-1

Most Memorable Match: It was always a great pleasure for me to play him; he's the best player for me because I really liked this guy. I had my best win ever on grass when I beat him in the semi-finals of Halle [in 2001]. We played almost back-to-back in 2001 and I played him in the semi-finals of Montreal when I reached my best ranking ever, 17. It was the best period of my life because I was No. 17, I had a one-month-old daughter, I had just become a dad so this period was big and great for me. I regretted that we didn't play more matches because with his game and mine it was a big pleasure to play him.

Tactics: It was important to return well. When we played it was mainly spectacular points because I was returning most of his serves but then he was slicing from the baseline. I was slicing too, so we were not playing very fast from the baseline, but it was spectacular. I tried to get the first passing shot at his feet.

[I]Next Week: Santoro talks about the other 10 World No. 1s he played.

11-21-2009, 01:24 PM
And as expected, Fabrice was guest of "Les grosses têtes" this week:

Un volontaire pour un résumé? J'ai écouté les 30 premières secondes et j'ai arrêté, je peux pas.

11-24-2009, 11:01 AM
I bought his book in France and read it on the train, there's absolutely nothing new if you've already seen or read some of the interviews he gave during the promotion of his book.
Isn't there supposed to be a chapter about his younger "brother"? ;)

11-24-2009, 11:13 AM
It's just 2 pages, if I remember well, I wouldn't call it a chapter, more a sub-chapter.
I don't have the book here anymore to look it up, but I can't remember anything new in the part about Richard either.

11-24-2009, 11:19 AM
I don't have the book here anymore to look it up, but I can't remember anything new in the part about Richard either.
:topic: Maybe it is better like that. Peyre-style indescretions wpuld not go well with the person concerned.

01-01-2010, 03:11 PM
There have been again a few articles lately hinting at the fact that he might very well play in Melbourne. L'Equipe wrote the other day that he's been training in Roland, and France Soir interviewed his parents who say he's been practicing indeed, but the mother swears they have no clue if he will play or not:

I guess he does plan on playing there, but wants to see first if he can get back in decent shape before he gives a statement.
When he played in the French Interclubs, he complained again that he was competitive during one set only, so I wonder how he wants to play best of 5 matches in the Australian heat at ATP level, which is slightly above the Interclubs level...

01-01-2010, 03:14 PM
Has anybody else read his book? What did you think of it then?

I was talking about it with other Muzza fans because I remember he mentions Andy in positive terms when he talks about his lonely life on the tour and the players he likes, but who are the other players he mentions in that chapter? I've already forgotten everything. ^^

01-05-2010, 07:26 AM
According to RMC he plans on flying to Australia at the end of the week:

Hagelauer (the new manager of the French Tennis Association) also confirms that he's been training in Roland (with Eysseric in particular) and that he just smiles and says "maybe" when people ask him if he's going to play:

01-05-2010, 12:05 PM
Hagelauer (the new manager of the French Tennis Association) also confirms that he's been training in Roland (with Eysseric in particular) and that he just smiles and says "maybe" when people ask him if he's going to play.
He is crazy. If he's unlucky with the draw he will suffer a severe beat-down, not the right way to end his career. :o

01-05-2010, 12:09 PM
:rolleyes: well he wants the record but in this way he will never stop he will do like rodolphe gilbert playing at 40 yo lol

01-05-2010, 01:43 PM
He'll play AO according to RMC sports

01-05-2010, 07:16 PM
I see mostly negative reactions everywhere, maybe he will think about it again.
Even Thoreau (the ES blogger), who really isn't very harsh, says it seems quite pointless.

02-02-2010, 09:19 AM
An interview he gave in Metz (since he will now work with the tournament organization among other things):

He's delighted by his last AO. "Was it my last match? If I can play in the Interclubs or if I'm invited to play in doubles, I won't refuse!"
Then some drooling over Fed, he talks about the Frenchies in Melbourne, his job for the Metz tournament (he'll be in charge of the communication with the ATP and the players).
And at the end he's asked to give his 3 favourite...
- ... numbers:
70 (his GS record)
6h33 (the longest match)
30 (his titles in singles and doubles)
- ... names:
Marcel, his father who "revolutionized" his career
Agassi (he's rediscovered him when he read his book)
- ... places:
Melbourne (he would live there if it was just 5 hours away)
Tahiti (his birthplace)
Paris/la Seyne-sur-Mer

Fabrice Fan
02-03-2010, 08:24 PM
Thanks so much for the news Truc. I still check this site on a regular basis for Fabrice news. I really appreciate you keeping us updated! :)

02-06-2010, 08:49 AM
The special polo shirt Lacoste had made for his last Grand Slam, they made only 4 pieces, it will be a collector's piece!
http://monimag.eu/upload/373/polo santoro.jpg (http://monimag.eu)

04-21-2011, 04:23 PM
I didn't find this article here. So...;):wavey:
From thebiofile.com (http://thebiofile.com/2009/10/interview-with-the-magician-fabrice-santoro/)

Tennis Week: What was your first memory of tennis?

Fabrice Santoro: “When McEnroe was up two sets and 3-1 in the third in the French Open final 1984.”

Tennis Week: Were you rooting for McEnroe?

Fabrice Santoro: “Oh yeah. Sorry for Ivan [smiles]. But I was 200 percent behind John.”

Tennis Week: Has there been a secret to your success?

Fabrice Santoro: “Yeah, I fell in love with tennis when I was a kid. I have the real passion, I really love the sport. And that’s probably the secret, to stay alive for so many years.”

Tennis Week: What match did you play your very best, your finest tennis?

Fabrice Santoro: “After so many wins and loses on the Tour it’s tough for me to choose a match. But because I am in New York I will say that when I lost to Federer in 2005. My ovation here in New York was a magic moment for me. (Fabrice received a standing ovation at the end of the night match on Ashe Stadium, and Federer said he was one of his favorite opponents to play because he was so unique.).”

Tennis Week: What inspired you to write your forthcoming autobiography (“My Two Hands”)?

Fabrice Santoro: “I always heard, You’re different, you play different. The way you think about tennis is different. So I just want to explain that. If I’m really different on that.”

Tennis Week: Is anyone helping you write it?

Fabrice Santoro: “A lady who is completely out of tennis helped me because I would need two years to do it myself.”

Tennis Week: Is your tennis writing style different and unique like your playing style?

Fabrice Santoro: “You will tell me when you read it [smiles]. I hope.”

Tennis Week: Will it be published also in English because I know several tennis journalists who are very interested to read this book?

Fabrice Santoro: “Possibly. Maybe. It’s not my decision.”