Paul-Henri Mathieu was named France’s Davis Cup captain on Friday, and he’ll also lead the men’s national tennis team at Paris Olympics 2024.
The Frenchman replaces countryman Sébastien Grosjean, who was in charge for four years but left his position in order to coach 19-year-old French player Arthur Fils.
“I’m proud and honored to have this position,” Mathieu said in a video news conference. “The situation arose because Sebastien left to train Arthur. I have a lot of responsibility for the Davis Cup but also for the Olympics. I hope we will get a medal, I am very ambitious for this team.”
The Paris Games will run from July 26-Aug. 11, followed by the Paralympics from Aug. 28-Sept. 8.
The 41-year-old Mathieu reached a career high ranking of 12th in 2008 and won four singles titles on the ATP tour. He reached the fourth round at every major tournament except the U.S. Open.
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“My experience as a former player helps me a lot,” he said. “I’m in permanent contact with the players, especially the younger ones. I feel totally capable of driving this team as far as possible.”
Mathieu was one of the most talented players of his generation but could not fulfill his potential. He was a losing finalist in the 2002 Davis Cup final against Russia, agonisingly losing the deciding rubber to Mikhail Youzhny after leading by two sets at the Bercy indoor arena in Paris.
“The Davis Cup has always meant a lot to me,” Mathieu said. “I want to put the best players on the court for the Davis Cup. It’s a bit different for the Olympics because they have to sign up, so it’s not so much a selection.”
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