In the corridors of the RAC Arena, Julien Benneteau carefully places the Cup to the ground, symbol of the French victory in Australia (3-2). Inside, a little stuffed chicken, mascot Blue. And lucky charm …
What do you feel after this day full of emotions?
JULIEN BENNETEAU. It's a magical weekend. Many emotions that happened on the court, outside the courts, during the preparation … This result is exceptional. We had this goal, we dreamed of it. We could not imagine a better scenario. I am incredibly proud of my players, my staff. The job they do in the shadows is invaluable to me. When we see what Kristina produced (Editor's note: Mladenovic), This is exceptional. She walked on the water. It's fantastic. Pauline (Editor's note: Parmentier) is on the verge of spinning her match and I knew she could do it.
Why did you prefer Parmentier to Garcia for the fourth single?
From Wednesday it was 50/50 in my head between Caroline and Pauline for Sunday, regardless of Caroline's Saturday result. What Pauline produced in training was strong, sturdy. I thought she had the weapons to embarrass Tomljanovic. Saturday afternoon, the decision was unanimous with the staff and the players. It was up to Pauline to go, whatever the score, 2-1 for or against us. It was played on details.
Could you have imagined such an outcome by taking up your position in June 2018?
Imagine no, hope hard or dream yes. The group was built little by little, we had to start from a blank page. I told them : I am new, I come, I have no antecedent with you. My only goal is to try to make you live the emotion that I experienced in Davis Cup. For that, you have to be together, put things aside and be directed to one goal. Beyond their final victory as players, what they must be most proud of is what they have done as women since February. The symbol is beautiful whether Caroline and Kristina fall into each other's arms on the ground to bring this decisive point.
Kristina Mladenovic made a huge weekend …
She has that in her, she claims for a long time. She had made the best end of the season for the French. She had this weekend in mind for a little while. The way she hits the ball, the sense of play she has allows her to find solutions to anyone. She proved that she is a very big champion.
What were the founding moments of this group?
There is the announcement of the group for the first meeting in Liège, the return of Caroline, the Sunday in Rouen. There they became aware that they were capable of doing great things since they beat Simona Halep's Romania. On this final, they had that in them. This year, I relied on a group of five players. Fiona (Editor's note: Ferro) did not play but knocked at the door and the other four won a match during the campaign.