Thursday, June 14, 2007

Opération Mauresmo

Apparently Amélie is at a turning point of her year *eek*
She won't necessarily change her coach I think but big changes in preparation and tournament schedule seem in sight.



Ten days after Amélie Mauresmo's defeat in the 3rd round of Roland Garros, Loic Courteau has revealed its plan. Enough with the repeated injuries that penalize her! He wants her to get her physique, her tennis and her confidence back. The goal is to win another Grand Slam tournament.

On July 8th 2006, Amélie Mauresmo won Wimbledon. Since then, the Frenchwoman's rank went from 1st to 4th and she only won a "small" tournament (Antwerp). In 11 months, injuries became multiple and she underwent an appendicitis operation on March, 18. Since having resumed tournament play in May, she collected six victories and four defeats, one of which at the hands of Safarova in the third round of Roland Garros.

Following this defeat, her (old) age and her (great) physical frailty have been given as explanations of her performance low. Conscious of the necessity of provoking a sort of electric shock, Loic Courteau, who has been coaching Amélie for the last five years, makes his reflections known.


"Today, I think Amélie still has things to do in high-level tennis, and they are big things. This year's defeat in Paris pushes us to find a way to eradicate her problems as soon as possible. We don't have to think that Amélie, at 28, is on her way to decline. Even though she's been in professional tennis for 13 years, she's not done, as some people tend to believe after her defeat. On the contrary, she is hyper-motivated, and ready to take the time it will take on and off court. I can feel her having enough, I feel she's blessed in her pride as a champion. She does not want to be satisfied with her career [palmares] so far, and neither do I. When I see how Justine (Henin) plays today, with her superb maestria, I get angry because Amélie is able to play in the same way. We've been trying to catch up for a year, trying to regain the time lost because of injuries. We have to start from scratch, even if it means stopping two or three months to do the reconstruction work".


"Now we understand how and why she gets injured. Amélie is like a thoroughbred, very strong but very fragile, close to the point of breakdown when she's on top of her form. As she needs to be hyper strong physically to express what she can do best on the court, we've arrived to this situation. In order to do what Amélie has done over the last two or three years, she worked super-hard. She is paying the expenses today.
We entered a vicious circle, in which her physical troubles influence her mental condition; and when she feels fragile mentally, she gets tight, she becomes prisoner of an emotional dimension which blocks her or at least restrains her. That translates into further muscular tension, and a change in her technique (particularly of her forehand). That's when I see her on her back leg, with all the body weight on it; she doesn't hit the ball in front of her anymore. The back is arched, she moves at the pelvis level, and the result is a further tension in her abductors and on the quadriceps. Roughly, that's how she gets injured: because of this complex relation between the mental, the technical and the physical parts".


"After talks with Xavier Moreau, her trainer, and Doctor Gilles Daubinet, we arrived at the following programme. At the beginning, Amélie works on the relaxation, so that she'll arrive well at Wimbledon in less than two weeks. Later, the great "building process" will consist in reconstructing her physique through the reinforcement of the lower part of the body. During the summer vacations, on which Amélie usually goes in July, after Wimbledon and the Fed Cup, this time she will go to Cap Breton (Basque Country) to re-educate her abductors. She will play Toronto, New Haven and then the US Open, but if she's never 100% physically, we will skip some of them. In the future, we will try to limit ourselves to two consecutive tournaments, no more, because on every tournament she will play her opponents will have to realize that she's on top, and they will stop thinking that Amélie has become vulnerable. What I also ask of Xavier Moreau, it's to make himself available as much as possible to accompany Amélie on tournaments so that she can work [out] also during tournaments. I know it's not easy for Xavier, who has big responsibilities in the Team Lagardere, but there aren't 36 solutions. Xavier agrees and is trying to see to what extent he could make himself available".


"From time to time, I want Amélie to travel alone to tournaments, it does her well. For example, I want someone else to accompany her to the US Open in my place. I've thought about someone of great experience, of undebatable competence, really the cream of the crop, whom Amélie trusts deeply, and who is going to give her advice, speak in a language different than my own, with his own words. That could be super-beneficial, especially at the psychological level, and it will allow me to rest and remain at a distance for a while. I would be very interested in hearing the analysis of the person who will accompany her, and to hear Amélie's impressions and feelings about having a different coach than me. And we will see where that will take us. Even though I think we still can do beautiful things together; even though after five years spent next to each other Amélie still pays much attention to the message I want to get through, maybe she'll feel better next to another coach. Therefore, I have no hesitation in questioning me. Amélie doesn't belong to me, she doesnt' belong to the staff around her. What's important now is that she starts again, that she gets her best level back. The objective is as much clear as it is ambitious: she no longer has ten years ahead of her, she has 3 or 4 years and I wish that she wins another or more Grand Slam tournaments. I know that she can do it and I also know she can do it at Roland Garros. Because what happened in Paris these five years we've been together has left a bad taste in my mouth. The Parisian public must see what she's capable of".

(Alain Deflassieux)

Apparently Amélie is in the worst slump since 1998, according to the Win-Loss ratio:


Among the tracks leading to an interim luxury coach, the highest-riden seems that leading to Guy Forget...

Loic Courteau has often stressed the importance of renovating the discourse about her protegée, suggesting the entrance of a third party in between their one-on-one's. He was behind the "Noah" operation two years ago, just before Roland Garros. The initiative wasn't successful in the sense that the anecdotal side had short-circuited the sport side; moreover, they didn't have enough time. But one could have imagined that Courteau might want to have a follow up of the experience. That was nothing. According to a verification made with Yannick Noah's agent, "the singer only has 5 free days from now to the start of classes, because of his musical tour and family vacations".

If it's not Yannick Noah, why not Patrice Hagelauer, in the Team Lagardere framework, or even Georges Goven, the Fed Cup captain? Reached by phone yesterday, Hagelauer, who had made remarks on Amélie's service and forehand with Courteau, after the lost Fed Cup final in September 2005, seems surprised: "Loic hasn't talked to me about it". Goven, himself, answers: "I am aware of Loic's move. We often talk about it on the phone. He looks for solutions. That's all." Remains Guy Forget, who was behind the Mauresmo-Courteau association back in the spring of 2003. At the time, the player was coached by Alexia Dechaume, her current press agent, and the two young women were separating by common assent. Mauresmo had called Guy Forget, who suggested his childhood friend Loic Courteau, at least for an interim. And we can't say, five years later, that it wasn't a good idea.

Since then, Guy Forget has abandoned his function as Fed Cup captain, and his Davis Cup duties are not incompatible with a Commando Operation [*eek*;) ] with Amélie Mauresmo. In fact, he says he's ready to lend a hand. "Amélie is like my little sister, and Loic my big brother", he says. "It's he who taught me the little I know about women's tennis. The coach-player tandem is what I know better. I know Loic has ideas on the issue. We've discussed a little about it. On my part, I've never refused to help Amélie. Therefore I'm ready to help her, a bit like Yannick did, be it in the form of a week's training or of a specific preparation for the US Open. But it must come from them, that they judge that this can be useful for them, and it also has to fit in my schedule." [...] [D.B. with Ph. B.]


"Loic Courteau wants you to lend a further hand to Amélie Mauresmo at the physical preparation level."
- The current problem is more of the medical-physiotherapeutic kind. We have to take some time after her appendicitis operation, which made her fragile, as she couldn't do the necessary training sessions.

"What to do?"
- We have fine-tuned a protocol in order for her to profit from her exceptional physical qualities - muscular and energetic - again. She needs to go back to train regularly, also during tournaments. Since the end of her convalescence, she is blocked into an eternal phase of training resumption.

"What are the priorities?"
- Get back to an excellence level on the low end of the body. It's a work of precision and she can't do it alone. So we're working together this week, and then I leave for England with her. After Wimbledon, she is going to do an accurate medical assessment with Gilles Daubinet. After that, she will leave for the American season. About which, according to her needs, it's possible that I might accompany her... yes, no problem, because it's my job, in the framework of her partnership with the Team Lagardere.


Nadl said...

yeah i've seen the article on wtaworld.. kinda strange but i think a new coach (or assistent or whateva) is not a bad idea at all! ;)

Gentle said...

Although Ihave much respect for Loic,Idon't think this is a bad thing! Amelie I believe needs somenew in-put in her preparations!

Bumsby said...

Well, my honest opinion on the issue is that there's nothing major going on coach-wise. Loic is just making a big scene (as he admits in the beginning) to try to get Amélie to wake up. As what happened with Yannick, the fact that it was a failure helped her somehow, because I think she more motivated later to show that she could do well without him (I think she was very let down by Yannick's behaviour).

The case with Guy is different. It could be a new face (in the coaching department) and a big brother at the same time. It's going to be interesting to see what happens. But, good or bad, he could never replace Loic as a a full time coach, and it's not the first time Loic seems to want to get away for a while, while not (really) quitting his position.

The big change I think is in her physical preparation. The absence of summer vacations to reconstruct her abductors. The possible drop out from the US Hard Court Season if she's not 100%. That is a whole strategy change. But I don't believe for a second Loic's words are going to be an earthquake, and I'd bet my most precious that he'll remain Amélie's coach till she's 35.

Spank said...

"she only won a "small" tournament (Antwerp)"

Small!!? That gold and diamond racket was not small!

"Following this defeat, her (old) age and her (great) physical frailty"

Wheelchair time anybody? :)
It's time for momo to be put out to grass. :P

"Conscious of the necessity of provoking a sort of electric shock, Loic Courteau, who has been coaching Amélie for the last five years"

I'll give her an electric shock! >(
How many times have I said that is exactly what she needs!!!??!

Anonymous said...

How are you doing today, spank (or this morning, I guess)?

BARBIE said...

You know guys I am feeling now that maintaining a "Chat Thread" isn't very easy

BARBIE said...

Hey Spank, do you like my "cho chweet" ??? *grins*

Bumsby said...

Hi Barbie, what chat thread are you talking about?

BARBIE said...

My Chat Thread in *grins*

I have to regularly go there and reply to other posters' posts and answer their questions

Spank said...

Does that mean I can go and delete the "how are you today thread"? :P :D

Bumsby said...

?!? I don't see much relation between the "how are you today" and Barbie's chat threads.

BARBIE said...

Spank, you cannot delete a thread, even yours !!! *evil grin*

BARBIE said...

And guys, my chat thread is in the "chat threads" section, not in Momosapiens *smiles*

Spank said...

As the author I can delete threads..

Bumsby said...

What is this? Are you thinking of revenge? *eek*

BARBIE said...

Revenge for what Bumsby ??? *scratches head*

Spank, do you know what she is talking about ???

BARBIE said...

Hey Spank, I can't remember we had a fight, do you ??? *shrug* *unsure*

BARBIE said...

And why only Spank, I don't think I ever had a fight with anybody in wtaworld or in any other place *shrug*

Bumsby said...

Barbie, relax... I said that because Spanky had some complaints on the criteria for thread deletion :P

Go to the Bug/Reporting Section of the forum.

BARBIE said...

Okay, but why would she take revenge for that from me, a very nice girl who till now haven't even talked rudely to anybody, anywhere ??? *confused* *angel*

Bumsby said...

*scratches head* how in the world would deleting her thread mean taking revenge from you?!?!?! *shrug*

Spank said...

Will you to just shut it ;)
What is the paranoid nonsense?
Or it is that time of the month all over the world again.. :P