From the 14 September 2014 edition of l’Équipe. Quoted by Frédéric Bernès after the French team beat the Czechs 4-1 in the Davis Cup semifinals.
It’s never insignificant when the substitutes of a team, some of them legitimately offended by being cut out, improvise a comedy show at the press conference.
Julien Beneteau, called “the bridge player” by the two other provocateurs, who don’t need much convincing to make fun of his old age; Gael Monfils, teased for his baroque tournament scheduling; and Gilles Simon, called the “lemon slicer”; the three benched players of this semifinal were laughing like madmen when they arrived in the press room. It was a mess, but it was hilarious. We tried to reconstruct, as best as we could, this fun moment which says a lot about the atmosphere in this group. As we didn’t have any alcometers, we won’t take position on the nature of the liquids that were consumed in the secrecy of the locker room. But we have some idea.
Julien Benneteau [supposed to reminisce on this Davis cup campaign]: “Fuck, I don’t even remember who played in Mouilleron-le-Captif [against Australia in the first round].”
Gael Monfils: “It wasn’t me! (laughs)”
Julien Benneteau: “We’ve lost our memories. We’re all drunk (laughs). And we know that this is going to be a long evening. Pff, with the two beside me, it’s going to be very tough. We have to hope that we will all be healthy for this final. For those two, it’s not a good start. [We ask JB a question that starts with “as a doubles specialist…”] That’s nice! Like: you’re 30 in the single rankings and you suck.”
Gael Monfils: “Gillou, you smell of beer—you’re drunk.” (laughs)
Julien Benneteau: “The difference between Guy Forget and Arnaud Clement? Easy: twenty centimeters. One is a lefty with a slice backhand . And the other is not. ”
Gilles Simon: “My schedule until the final? Well, the Masters, it’s going to be hard to go, no?”
Gael Monfils: “You had a pretty bad start, yeah”
Gilles Simon: “But we have time before we have to think about this final. If we are going to compete with each other? What competition? Also a three-months-away match, it’s a pretty long time. Who do we want to play in the final? It’s nice, Naples, in November. It’s warm. How are we going to adapt our scheduling? Well, for Gael it’s simple. He does it all year long. [“As his new coach, reference to the last US Open, what schedule are you going to plan for him?”] You really like this one! Well, Gael, even if you don’t like going to China, you are going to go for five weeks!”
Gael Monfils: “Ah, coach Gillou! You’re laughing but you could make a lot of money in false advertising!” (laughs)
Gilles Simon: “For the advice, it depends on how much he pays me. We haven’t discussed it yet.”
Julien Benneteau: “It’s hard to tell ourselves that we’re not going to play too much and preserve ourselves for the final. If you only play a little, there’s the chance that you won’t be as good. Well, ‘la Monf,’ he can do it, he’s used to it. How does the competition between us manifest itself? We settle it at Fifa. And it’s violent.”
Gilles Simon: “Exactly, the winner plays the match.”
Gael Monfils: “Guys, no! It looks like I have lost at Fifa! I never lose at Fifa!”
Julien Benneteau: “It’s true, you’re better at Fifa than on the court.” (laughs)
Gilles Simon: “You’re the doubles specialist and me, I slice lemons.”
Julien Benneteau: “It’s going to be war, the competition. We are going to push each others down the stairs. It has already begun.”
Gilles Simon: “I’m totally drunk (laughs). Where’s the Corona?”
Translated by Suze.