A few days after winning the bronze medal at the 2024 Senior Plus World Championships, the captain of the French men's team Simon Boissé looks back on this crazy week where the Blues achieved the best result in their history at the World Championships.

First feeling

I'm cooked, but happy! It was a long week. I had already done the Worlds in Las Vegas in 2022 and the Euro in Alicante in 2023, I knew what to expect over a week of competition.

I'm very happy to have beaten Sweden! It was twice that we lost against them, I made it a bit of a personal matter. And there you have it, 3-1 victory, no need to even go to the decisive match, a good thing done!

The role of captain

I'm very happy with the way the group performed. I was lucky to be in continuity with certain players who ticked all the boxes: experience, competitiveness and interpersonal skills on and off the field. There are real, reliable leaders who know how to take responsibility for results. It makes the role of captain much easier.

You have players who take over, who coach a little on the side during the Open. Everyone must find their place within the group, some are close to the field, others close to daily encouragement or generosity. I think the recipe for our performance is the addition of words, leadership and experience.

I don't have a more important status than the others. I have a role, things are expected of me, but when you have people who have skills in a group, you have to promote them to facilitate the success of everyone. It's easier to be a captain when you have unfailing reliability within your group.

French joy World Seniors Plus 2024

The Pairs Open

The Open costs us a lot of energy. When you are in a nation that goes far in the table and the players also spend rounds in the Open, that's a lot of matches at the end. Hats off to Olivier who, at 55, held on by playing ten matches without missing a single one.

In the first matches, I left the players a little free because the first rounds were a little easy. Then, I tried to go see everyone, sometimes checking off two or three matches at the same time. It allowed me to see them in a different context from the first two group matches where Ecuador and Uruguay were well below.

You have players who know each other, others who needed to play together, others who had never even played together, so to narrow down my choices it was interesting, you never know if you're going to see a nice surprise.

Bronze medal World Men Seniors More

So close to the feat against Spain

I was carried by two visions: the happiness of playing a team like Spain, but I also projected myself on the objective of the bronze medal the next day, the one which was potentially more accessible.

As some players were entered in the Open, we had to make choices on categories to accommodate everyone. We knew that in +55 and +50 we had something to do, then that in +45 and +40 it was going to be hard. We dreamed of a decisive match with Adrien and Max.

In the end, we fulfilled our part of the contract. When we were leading 2-0 (then 2-1), we almost believed it with the great performance of the +40s who led 5/2 in the second set, then the +35s put in a big match to get the job done . There you have it, Spain is Spain, defeated 3-2, but that surprised a lot of people. I think there was a small opportunity, because Spain could have done better in their typical team, unlike Argentina who came armored.

We know that there are two nations in front of us, we are trying to be on the first step after Argentina and Spain. It's hard to plan in the short term, since we are already a step behind these two nations, so I don't see how the gap could be reduced when the former glories arrive in these categories.

World Senior Plus France

On personal plans

On a personal level, I am delighted. This result validates a team that I put together, which was designed to be as efficient as possible. As captain, what makes such an event a success is the team you have put together, the management of the entire group on a daily basis (editor’s note: 14 players) and achieving the objective we set for ourselves.

My personal success is knowing that I was as simple as possible. Being natural, simple and sincere is the clearest way to operate. We must not try to play a role, to force the decision, to say that we are the boss...

Being captain and player is not easy, it requires effort, but I have always loved coaching, I am very fond of these human relationships through sport. You have to know how to put yourself in danger at times, and at 40 it's great to be part of a team project like this.

The final word

The FIP managed this event very well, whether in terms of accommodation, general organization or the matches, I think all the players were satisfied.

Obviously a word for the team: well done to them and thank you, because they demonstrated professionalism, competitiveness, experience and interpersonal skills. Of course, I did the casting and I'm a bit of a producer behind the scenes, but it's the actors who make people like the film in the end!

Find the full results of the 2024 Senior Plus Worlds here.

Martin Schmuda

A competitive tennis player, Martin discovered the padel in 2015 in Alsace and appeared in a few tournaments in Paris. Today a journalist, he deals with current affairs padel while continuing its rise in the world of the little yellow ball!