Categories: NEWSFFTInterviews

Benjamin Tison: “Among the gentlemen, we can no longer become top 10 French in 3 months”

First part of the XXL interview carried out with Benjamin Tison, now high-level and sports manager at the management padel of the French Tennis Federation. Here he looks back on his great beginnings within the FFT, on the spirit he wishes to inspire, and gives us some anecdotes with the humor we know from him.

A difficult decision

“Everyone knows that this decision was very difficult to make, I was at a moment where I was playing very well again. My last match on the pro circuit will be this 7/6 7/6 defeat against Ruiz / Tello which will remain a good result.

At the FFT, we have a lot of work, we have a great team, and in the end, I don't have much time to think about all that. The pace is quite high, I move around a lot, I do all the youth and adult competitions.

Obviously, when I'm at tournaments, I miss it a little, but I'm passionate about what I do, there are a lot of things to do for the padel so I feel excitement, not the same as on the field, but I think I'm handling it all pretty well.”

A return perhaps one day...

“I would have preferred to have had the offer of this position at the FFT in two years. Obviously, if I could have chosen the timing, I would have played two more years. That would have been my ideal, but life is not a dream, there are choices to make, I had this offer, no one put a knife to my throat, and I chose to accept it.

I always say that when you make a choice, you have to accept it and today, I am fulfilled in my role, I am lucky to have a great team, I manage to a moment when the federation is putting resources into developing the padel. It's good to be at the start of a blank page in quotes, even if there are already things that have been done, but we have started a tour of the Leagues, and everyone knows me, I am in the exchange, I am not going to make decisions from top to bottom and impose my vision. I want to build with both private and associative clubs.

I will always miss the player part, but we can play until late at padel, so maybe one day I will play again… In life, you should never say never.”

I didn’t do a “Johan Bergeron”…

“I try not to weigh myself because it will hurt... No at the moment, I'm doing well, I didn't do like Johan Bergeron last year (laughs)!

I don't have much time to play, but I'm going to organize myself differently over the next few weeks to try to free up some time to hit the ball. I would like to be able to make a few P1000 or even a P1500 with friends, I don't want there to be a conflict of interest by playing with players from the France team for example, but with players who are between the 50th and 150th place, there is no problem. I have every right to do so, there is nothing stopping me from participating in tournaments.

On the P2000, on the other hand, you won't see me since I come with my FFT representative cap, so there, it's impossible. On the other hand, I am not stopping myself from doing a FIP to have fun during a week of vacation.”

A pool of players in France

“Among the boys, the level is very homogeneous. Without wanting to disrespect the girls, we notice that in the women's draws, there are still easy first rounds for certain pairs. Among men, that hardly happens anymore, there is a large pool of players with young people under 25 who play very well, even under 20s like Nathan Courrin, Yoan Boronad and Timéo Fonteny who have definitely 16 years old. I can name players like Pierre Vincent, Arthur Hugounenq, Dylan Guichard, Philémon Raichman, Thomas Leygue…

We have young people among the boys, among the girls, it's a little harder because behind Louise Bahurel we have Kimy Barla and Lou Lambert-Agosti but who are having a little trouble getting through to the adults for the moment . We have a group of girls with Wendy Barsotti, Carla Touly, Fiona Ligi, Tiffany Phaysouphanh and Camille Sireix who are growing but who are the generation above.

Young people in force at the P1500 in Bordeaux

“I saw the two finals, I found that Timéo played at a very high level, he made a strong impression on me. Despite his rather risky play, he made few mistakes, he held the house together. Now the hardest part will be to confirm. The mistake would be to believe that it has arrived, but it is very promising

Louise has this very calm side, she defends very well on the right and on the left. I am demanding with her, I have already told her, I find that she still lacks the intensity to reach the highest level, whether physically or in her choices. This goes with the fact that she is talented, we always have the faults of her qualities.

I follow all these young people with attention, but also the not so young! We talk a lot with Pablo Ayma and Robin Haziza, it's a part of my work that takes a lot of time, but it's also the part that excites me the most. As a former player, I feel like I’m reliving the pitch a bit so it’s a part that’s close to my heart.”

Attitude matters

“Today, I think that the level is such among men that it is no longer possible for a player to be top 10 in France in three months. This is proof that the level has evolved and that’s so much the better. For girls, on the other hand, it is not a lack of respect, but it remains easier. We see for example that Carla Touly, after a year or a year and a half of practice, is around 100th place in the world.

Among the girls, there are around twenty players that I have identified, that does not mean that I am not the others, we look at everything with Pablo and Robin, but we will pay attention to the age, to the project in himself, but also to the attitude. For me, the fight is the way of behaving which is to be valued and I would like those who join the France group to all be exemplary.”

Published by
Team Padel May