The French Fiona Ferro, 26 years old and number 462 in the world, managed to qualify for Roland Garros: she stopped after reporting her coach for sexual desire
A cry of anger, a raised fist and a wide smile. Even a discrete breath of breath, inevitable after a very tight match won in the third set. Last Friday, the French Fiona Iron — beating the Australian Jaimee Fourlis — gave herself the most beautiful gift, that is qualification for the main draw of Roland Garros. Once upon a time he wouldn't have celebrated for so little, it would have been normal. On the land of Paris in 2020 she had gone up to the round of 16, defeated only by future finalist Sofia Kenin. 23 years old (now 26) and her time on her side. She was number 39 in the world, a constant presence in the Grand Slams and two WTA titles on the bulletin board. Just what she had always dreamed of, from the very beginning at the age of 7 on the fields of Valbonne, her hometown. Triple nationality, French, Belgian (thanks to his mother, Catherine) and Italian for the origins of Fabrizio, the father. The parents manage two hotels, the older brothers — Gianni and Paolo — with a restaurant.
Report the coach for sexual assault
Among the tables of that restaurant Fiona took refuge in the most difficult moments. Injuries for example, but also the months spent away from fields and tournaments, inactivity that made it sink to number 462 in the world (that's why he celebrated qualifying for Roland Garros so much). Indeed, it happens that in February 2022 sues her trainer Pierre Bouteyre for rape and acts of sexual assault committed from 2012 to 2015, i.e. when she was between 15 and 18 years old. Bouteyre, 40 at the time, defends himself: The relationship was consensual, it was a love story. The coach is placed under judicial control, with an absolute ban on approaching the girl and training underage athletes. If he were found guilty, he could face up to 20 years in prison. Meanwhile Fiona took a break, returning to the field just last November for a team tournament organized by his club, Tc Paris: I started again just for pleasure, to have fun, he'll explain.
The ascent: That 35 euro prize pool tournament...
The first tournaments in January, under the guidance of Pierre Mazenq and Eric Winogradsky, former coach of among others Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: In March I did a tournament in Mallorca which made me win 35 euros - he snapped with a smile - I took a picture of the jackpot. Registration cost more than victory. His best result this year was an ITF final (bottom circuit of the WTA) in Bellinzona (Switzerland) in April. Before, of course, arriving at Roland Garros. In the draw, she will be the player with the second worst ranking. Behind her only Ukraine Elina Svitolina - 508th - which however benefits from a protected ranking (she had to stop due to pregnancy). Tuesday morning Fiona will confront Rebecca Petersen, Swedish number 87 in the world: I think there are many girls who have been or may be in the same situation as me. For me it was a necessity to talk about it, so as to help them - Fiona's words - but now I just want to think about playing.
May 29, 2023 (change May 29, 2023 | 7:49 pm)
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