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drivers in the confidence of BNP Paribas Primrose players

Jimmy is a nickname. “In tribute to my two favorite artists, Jimmy Connors on tennis and Jimi Hendrix on guitar. In his “previous life”, he was…

Jimmy is a nickname. “In tribute to my two favorite artists, Jimmy Connors on tennis and Jimi Hendrix on guitar. In his “previous life”, he was a cabin crew on long haul flights, in other words a steward. This is also the case for another member of the Primrosian fleet, Navajo, a nickname that has nothing to do with tennis. The first speaks four foreign languages, English, Italian, German and Spanish, the second speaks two. It helps. In the final draw of this thirteenth edition, 17 nationalities were represented, including qualifications.

Tactfully

Currently, they are fourteen to make the shuttle between the club, the hotels, the station and the airport. They are on the site from 7 am. Antoine Perlant, the brother of Jean-Baptiste, the event director, manages the team’s schedule with clockwork precision. These tennis enthusiasts have not signed a confidentiality clause, but given the notoriety of their passengers, discretion is essential. “We’re old school,” smiled Jimmy. Respect for the person. »


The chauffeur’s office at Villa Primrose.

E.C.

This does not prevent, however, from speaking well of people. “Gaël Monfils is incredibly kind,” says Perrine Lurot, who had the number one tricolor on board his vehicle in 2013, the year he won the tournament. Having the reputation of being a fan of music or basketball, we imagine that it must be quite easy to find topics of conversation with him. “But during the twenty minutes of the trip, he almost only asked me questions about me,” she reports.

Like what, it is wrong to think that the stars are necessarily navel-gazing. It must be said that its driver knows how to share her enthusiasm for the little yellow ball. Ranked 15/5, she is part of the Association of Supporters of French Tennis Teams, which creates a contagious atmosphere in the stands with very studied choreography at each Fed Cup and Davis Cup match. “He was sincerely interested, it’s amazing,” she continues.

“The players are nice, many are shy”

In February 2014, after the first round against Australia in La Roche-sur-Yon, recognizing her in this group of fans that the Blues are used to coming to thank, he came to greet her. “I was pleasantly surprised, when he rubs shoulders with people all year round, all week, every day and in all countries, she says, aware of her privilege. We realize that they are super nice guys. The key is to proceed with tact. “I stay in my place, slips Perrine. I don’t want to be intrusive with them. After a defeat in particular, you have to take into account the mood of the moment.

“The vast majority of the players are nice, confirms Jimmy. Many are shy. He too has excellent memories of Monfils: “He was adorable. He asked me each time if he could put the music he liked. He was fiddling on the console of the car. Another example, Pierre-Hugues Herbert: “He asked me nicely if he could call his wife by videoconference in the car, confides Navajo. He observes the rules of decorum and is so polite with everyone. »

Break time

The Verdasco family, who came in full, also left a very good impression. This way of reconciling family life and high level is perhaps one of the reasons why the 2009 Australian Open semi-finalist is still on the circuit at 38 years old. In any case, everyone found him “charming”, visibly regretting that he did not stay longer, eliminated on Wednesday. “The day before, his coach returned jogging from the club to the city center, says Perrine. Rather than waiting in the car when there is traffic, sometimes the players leave their bag and rackets with us to finish the journey by running or walking. »

“Sometimes the players leave us their bag and their rackets to finish the journey by running or walking”

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