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Last Updated: Friday, 14 October 2005, 15:32 GMT 16:32 UK
Q&A: Guy Forget

Guy Forget
Forget is France's Davis Cup captain
France's Davis Cup captain Guy Forget is taking time out from the Alex Tennis Classics in Eindhoven to answer your questions.

Guy won the Davis Cup twice as a player in 1991 and 1996, and again lifted the trophy as captain with a memorable success over Australia in 2001.

The 40-year-old won 11 singles titles and 28 doubles titles during his playing career in which he twice reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon.

He now plays on the Delta Tour of Champions which culminates in the Masters Tennis at the Royal Albert Hall (29th November - 4th December).

This week he is taking on John McEnroe, Jim Courier, Richard Krajicek and Goran Ivanisevic at the Alex Tennis Classics in Eindhoven.

Thanks for all your questions - A selection of the best appear below.

So much is expected of Gasquet and Monfils within the next year, what are your expectations of them apart from regaining the Davis Cup?
Vicky, England

I believe that they can both do really well. I believe Richard is one of the very few players that can beat someone like Roger Federer on a regular basis in the future. Technically, he is a great player, he has a lot of talent and he loves the game. He's very young and it's very hard to compare him to Roger Federer but in my mind there are only three players on the tour that on any given day can beat Federer - they are (Marat) Safin, (Rafael) Nadal and Gasquet.

That's how good Richard can be. Gael is a different kind of player. He is physically a bit stronger but he's still very young and he needs to improve his technical ability. But, with these two guys we have two guys capable of reaching the top ten - Richard is almost there, Gael I believe can get up there within the next year.

France has had great success with top players in both the men's and women's game. What has led to this success? Can Britain learn anything from France?
Paul Lindsay, UK

There are two things that have led to our success - the first one is that we are lucky enough to have a Grand Slam in our country which creates a lot of income for the Federation to promote the game and to help kids throughout the country to have good coaches and good technical ability from when they are little. A lot is done for the kids in our country.

I know Britain has the same kind of income as France because of Wimbledon, but not a lot is done for kids in the UK. I think that is what Patrice Hageleur, who was at the LTA, tried to put in place. As an example, for every 1,000 kids we help in France between the ages of 12 and 14, the UK probably helps 50. So, we have so many more players.

My dream is to become a tennis coach; do you think there is a certain standard you must reach as a player to do this?
Sean Evans, England

Not necessarily. It's better to have done because then you know what the player is going through and you understand the pressure, but then on the other hand I know a lot of people that were good players but not good coaches, and vice versa.

I had a coach that was not a great player, but he taught with kids and juniors so that by the time he was 50 he was great. He helped me make the top 5 in the world and yet he wasn't a great player himself. Anything is possible as long as you have the passion.

I play tennis four times a week and I want to get a world ranking when I get older. I am 12 years old. How many times a week should I be playing?
Nami, United Kingdom

When you are very little tennis should be fun, it should be a game. If kids want to play four times a week, as long as they don't ruin their school results, they should do it. When you get to 15 or 16 and you are the best in your area or your country, you need to play twice a day for five or six days a week. There is no rush.

You should just enjoy it, but as soon as you decide that it is going to be your career, no matter whether you want to be a doctor or an architect or anything else, you need to work 5 hours a day. To be a professional tennis player you need to put in these sort of hours.

Guy, do you think that there are any changes that should be made to the Davis Cup, or do you feel it should be left as it is?
Rob, Manchester, England

The only thing wrong is the schedule and the way it is done. The fact that you have to play the final in December and then the first round of the next year in February, that is very close. Something could be done there so that we could promote Davis Cup even better.

Do you feel a sense of loneliness when on the tennis professional circuit?
Matthew, Hong Kong

You can be a little lonely because it's an individual sport. You have no help once you are on the court and when you go away for many weeks and you are on your own it is hard. It's a tough world out there and all the guys are fighting hard and the competition is really tough. Sometimes you wonder "am I going to make it?" and that is hard. Sometimes you do feel a little lonely - that's probably why a lot of guys get married quite young!

You played at a time when many greats of the game were also competing- Becker, Edberg, Sampras, Agassi, McEnroe for example - which player did you find to be the toughest for you to play against and why?
Simon Mundie, UK

When you are a professional sportsman all the guys are great competitors in the top 50. There are some guys you have problems beating because of their style - I always had difficulties with guys like Michael Chang and Andre Agassi because their returns were so good and they played so well in defence.

I was just wondering what your personal best achievement was in tennis?
Stuart, UK

More than specific memories of achievements, for me I remember the feeling you get when you were just at your very best - when you felt like you were floating across the court and could put the ball wherever you wanted.

It's such a rare feeling - it happened to me a few times. Of course winning the Davis Cup, Cincinnati and Paris beating Sampras in the finals were great feelings emotionally because they were goals I had dreamt about since I was a kid, but as a player there were some matches where I played as if I was in a dream, where you would imagine yourself hitting certain kinds of shots, and once in a while you would have that hour and a half where it would actually happen and you would think 'this is unbelievable!

I've just been looking through your impressive playing record and couldn't help but wonder why you retired at 30? You were still such a good player and with your serve could have played on longer?
Tim Jopling, UK

I retired because I had a knee injury, my cartilage was wearing out, it was painful and I couldn't put in the four hours of practice each day that I needed to. I was very frustrated. I felt like I couldn't work as I wanted to, my level of play was going down more because I wasn't training enough than because I was getting older.

Are bathroom breaks being used to break opponents' concentration?
John Key, England

The bathroom break isn't that big a deal, but I have seen guys taking injury time-outs for shoulder injuries, ankles, everything, and it's too much. This year at the US Open a guy called Nenad Djokovic stopped in his match for a total of 28 minutes against Gael Monfils, and that is ridiculous. You should be able to take a break on the change of ends, but when the umpire says 'time' you should be ready to play.

If you were to compare Federer and Gasquet at the same age, who was most impressive, or talented?
George, France

It's like asking 'what is better, Porsche or Ferrari?' They're both pretty good! Federer is No.1 in the world right now and he is so far ahead of everyone else that it's hard to compare these guys. Gasquet, there are some times in practice and matches where you look and go 'wow!', but Federer does it in pressure situations in matches.

That is why he is No.1 and Richard isn't. But, when Richard is more mature and physically stronger in a couple of years, he could make the top 5. Maybe he wouldn't be as good as Roger, but he can be playing him in the finals of some big tournaments.

How do you rate your chances of winning The Masters Tennis at the Royal Albert Hall this year? Do you think that you might be able to repeat your success of a few years ago?
Rupert Lynch, Great Britain

Five matches is a long way! But I still serve pretty big and that's one of my biggest weapons, so if my shoulder holds up and I can count on it, I can win a few matches and then you never know how the other guys are going to react to the fatigue and the length of the matches. But whatever happens, when you leave London you feel like a winner because it's a great venue and it's so nice to be there with all the guys. If you win, fine, if you don't, you try again next year.

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