FRANCISTOWN: The arrival of a highly qualified tennis coach, 49-year-old Frenchman, Yann Grizaud is a testament of Francistown School of Tennisí ambitions of producing all round tennis professionals, director of the school, Dominique Raguin told a press briefing recently.
He said their mission is to evolve from just competing in local and regional tournaments to developing all round tennis professionals for the international scene.
“The idea of bringing in a highly qualified coach with vast experience is to match our ambitions of reaching the top,” he said. “We want to grow from local and regional success to produce professionals (both tennis players and officials) to participate, be competitive and get ranked at the continental and international level.”
He said Grizaud, who holds a level two coaching qualification in the French Tennis Federation (FTF) will also be assisting in developing local coaches. Assistant coaches at the school, Brighton Keteng and Gift Gulubane, are the French man’s understudies.
For his part, Grizaud said he is impressed with local talent and said there is potential for growth, but said that can only be realised with consistent support. He said in the next few years he wants to have players beginning to earn WTA (World Tennis Association) rankings and dominating the region.
“There is talent and potential that is equal to that of other young players across the world that can be nurtured to develop
“However, talent alone is not enough to develop a fully-fledged professional. There are many factors to developing a professional and consistent support is the most fundamental factor but the amount of work needs to be done to produce a professional,” he said.
“The children here are not far back, so our immediate plan is to have players that are respected and feared in the southern African region in the next three to four years,” he added.
Grizaud started his career in tennis as a player in Lyon, France and is a former Davis Cup captain. He qualified as a level two coach in the FTF and has 30 years experience coaching junior players at international level.
He coached in the French national programme for top 10-12 year-old players for seven years.
He has travelled to Junior Grand Slams, European and World Junior Championships with his former students Tatiana Golovin former number six junior player in the world with highest WTP ranking of 12 and former French number one and number 38 junior player in the world, Marinne Giroud, to mention but a few.