French Open Director General Gilbert Ysern Fired


Paris: French Tennis Federation (FFT) director general Gilbert Ysern, who is also director of the French Open, has been stripped of his functions, he confirmed to AFP on Thursday.

“It’s very brutal,” said Ysern, explaining he was requested to leave the federation’s premises on Thursday morning by staff close to FFT president Jean Gachassin.

Ysern, 59, suggested that his ouster was the result of internal disagreements in recent weeks within the federation’s hierarchy. “I bother people but I have nothing to reproach myself,” said Ysern, who has held the FFT position since 2008, where he notably led the Roland Garros expansion project.

Gachassin had severely criticised Ysern in a recent interview in French sports daily L’Equipe, stating that he had hesitated over firing him in November.

“Today, it’s quite frosty between us. I respect his position. He must respect mine,” Gachassin told the newspaper. “Leaders direct and staff implement the decisions,” said Gachassin, referring in particular to a breakdown in communication over the dismissal of Arnaud Clement as captain of France’s Davis Cup team.

Relations were strained again recently following the presentation of a report on the federation’s management to the sports ministry. Ysern told AFP he had been one of the candidates approached to take over from Jean-Pierre Hugues as the director general of the Professional Football League.

“I declined saying somewhat naively that I was very attached to the French Tennis Federation.”