Leconte: So much pressure on players


Originally published on: 15/07/13 00:00

The former world No.5, who reached the French Open final in 1988, believes the professional game has become more of a business and players are under enormous pressure to win.

“My generation we were very lucky to have a lot of personality, a lot of characters,” Leconte said. “When you have [John] McEnroe and Jimmy Connors always a big fight, there was always something going on. [But] you have to be yourself, you can’t change your person.

“It’s getting more and more professional, more and more business, so much pressure for the players to have results.”

Leconte, who burst onto the scene in 1981 after winning the French Open boys’ title, helped France win the Davis Cup in 1991 before retiring in 1996, after winning nine career singles titles and 10 doubles titles.

“We used to have the same grip for forehand and backhand – you are using the wrist more – and all the old generation used to play like that,” Leconte said, speaking as part of Stella Artois’ The Connoisseur Series.

“The technique was more style. The new generation, if they still have the technique of today playing with a wooden racket, [they’d have] no chance.”


Stella Artois, the UK’s leading premium beer brand, has launched The Connoisseur Series – a collection of exclusive video portraits, each providing an intimate look into the world of renowned quality craftsmen, including world renowned directors and stars of the sporting world.


Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.