French still haunted by claims of style over substance

French

Murray has won 45 of his past 49 matches against French players and faces another, Chardy, in the quarter-finals in Melbourne on Wednesday. He believes there is a French stereotype.

"They have all got a lot of flair," the Briton said. "They can normally play some drop shots, slice and are good athletes but they can make mistakes.

"Because I play solid all of the time against them, I think that is why my game has matched up pretty well against them."

Many have suggested that it is a French trait that their players are content to play well but are not driven by the desire to win. Forget disagreed.

"We've had gold medallists in the Olympics, we won the World Cup in soccer, we have a great rugby team, we have world champions in every sport, in swimming and in track and field," he said.

"Probably in 10 years down the road, we'll be speaking to each other and we'll have maybe three of the top five, one guy will win a few majors and people will try to analyse and say 'what's so special about French food?'

"We would say: 'the food is the same, the programme is the same, but we have these incredible players'.

"Although we like to complain, although we like to be on strike and although French are very different people, that's not the reason why we don't produce any grand slam winners."

TALENT

In 2004, France had renewed hope that they had found a future champion when Gael Monfils won three of the four junior grand slams and was junior world number one.

But though he has reached one grand slam semi-final and been ranked as high as seventh, Monfils has been affected by injuries throughout his career and his attitude has been in question.

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