Written by Reuters
PARIS, April 16 (Reuters) – French tennis federation president Christian Bimes criticised Richard Gasquet on Wednesday for refusing to face Andy Roddick in a 4-1 Davis Cup quarter-final defeat by the United States at the weekend.
“I’m disappointed about what happened this weekend in Winston-Salem,” Bimes told reporters. “We’re considered as a nation capable of winning the Davis Cup and I see that for the past three years we have struggled to rely on our best players and they’re not always determined to win, which was our problem this weekend,” he said.
With France trailing 2-1, France number one Gasquet, the world number 10, who was undermined by a sore hand and a knee problem, refused to face Roddick in the tie’s third match.
Captain Guy Forget picked Paul-Henri Mathieu instead and he was brushed aside in straight sets.
“You have to make the players understand that they need to fight, to make sacrifices, even if they are undermined by an injury,” Bimes said.
Bimes said Gasquet, who was left out of Friday’s opening singles, had promised him and Forget that they could rely on him on the Sunday if needed.
“Guy Forget did what he could but next time, we’ll have to thump the table to make ourselves clear,” Bimes said.
A gifted player, Gasquet has often been criticised for lacking character.