By flying to Paris on Friday at midday, Amelie Mauresmo posted a small goodbye photo to the Basque Country. No more peace and quiet on the shores of the ocean and hello the life of the ATP circuit with Lucas Pouille. The now ex-captain of the Blues, appointed in June and resigned in December, explained his choice during a press point this Friday afternoon.
How did you go from ephemeral Davis Cup captain to Lucas Pouille coach?
AMÉLIE MAURESMO.The format of the Davis Cup does not satisfy me. On paper, I did not think it would make me vibrate. I wanted to wait until the end of the campaign to move forward in my reflection and make the point with everyone. It's true, I had doubts about what I wanted to do … I had long President Giudicelli on the phone in October to share all that. On Monday after the Davis Cup final, I received a request from Lucas.
You joined immediately?
What was possible was pretty vague in my head. On the one hand, the project of Lucas spoke to me and on the other, I had this commitment with the team of France. I called all the other players to warn them of the request and see if there was a double cap possible. For the most part, the return has been rather positive. They trusted my integrity, when the time came, to make the necessary choices. Then, all the moments of conflict, of tension that can appear have arrived in a very clear way. I felt it already at the beginning and I realized that it was not realistic. We had to make a choice.
Who was not really one …
We will not be back for hours on what will become the Davis Cup. But I was already asking a lot of questions and I had in front of me a player with a speech that I liked. I have always worked with feeling on challenges, which was the case initially for the Davis Cup. I went to this decision to accompany Lucas and it was difficult. But we must go to his convictions.
Should not you have waited for the reform vote in August instead of accepting the captaincy in June?
Of course. It would have been wiser to wait a bit. Yannick (Editor's note: Noah) had announced early enough that he was stopping, the players did not want it to hang … I made a mistake, the Fed too. But I really thought that reform was not going to happen.
Would you have remained captain with the old formula?
The field was missing?
I do not think I missed it, I'm very good where I am, but sometimes there are speeches, moments, timings and it's mostly instinctive. I want to transmit. I had the feeling that there was a big determination at Lucas to put all the chances on his side to resume his ascent. I will try to bring a new dynamic, a new way of working.
How are you going to organize?
(Smile) I do not do things halfway. His application was a full-time, about 40 to 45 weeks a year. I am OK for about thirty weeks. I do not believe in the miracle thing where you get on a Grand Slam and you make the difference just because your name is so-and-so. I believe more in work over time. But it's true that two weeks ago I did not think about it! It's a real investment.
What's your view on Lucas's season?
A look a little distant. I followed but without knowing the difficulties he could have. In any career, there are times when you have to digest a progression, where you stagnate a little before leaving. He touched the Top 10 and struggled to stay the course and make it happen. I'm not saying it's normal but we've already seen that. They did a lot of work with Manu (Editor's note: Emmanuel Planque his ex-coach) in many areas. You have to rely on that to go to other things.
What are your goals ?
He will tell you about it. I do not want to talk in his place.