France's softly-spoken 'English gentleman' next hurdle for Scot

 

Having beaten a brash racket-throwing American in his first match, Andy Murray tomorrow faces a softly-spoken Parisian whose fellow countrymen regard him as an English gentleman. Edouard Roger-Vasselin's father, Christophe, a former player, had an English mother and French father. Born in London, he spent his first 15 years in Putney before moving to France.

"I love England," Roger-Vasselin Jnr said yesterday. "When I was a kid I often went to London for the weekend. I always love going back to England for the grass season. When I was a kid I always spoke in English when I was with my grandmother. A lot of French players have said to me: 'Why don't you play Davis Cup for Britain?' But the British have never spoken to me. When I thought about it I knew it wouldn't be right. I'm a Frenchman."

Do his English connections inspire a taste for warm beer? "Not particularly, but I like a lot of stuff in England," he said. "At Christmas my father always brings bread sauce. It's not that good, but he brings it every time."

Roger-Vasselin Snr reached the French Open semi-finals in 1983 by beating Jimmy Connors. A bright future was predicted for his son after he reached the third round at Roland Garros and Wimbledon in 2007, but he has never risen above No 82 in the world rankings and is currently at No 101. His victory yesterday over Xavier Malisse, who retired with an arm injury after the first set, was his first here.

 



Although skilful with a solid all-court game, Roger-Vasselin lacks the big shots to trouble the best consistently. It is said that he is too nice to be a winner. "I don't know what it means to be too nice," the 28-year-old Frenchman said. "I've maybe started to be more aggressive in my behaviour on the court. It's good to be nice off the court, but I know that on the court I have to be like a dog. On the court you have to be nastier. Perhaps with me my 'English attitude' as a 'gentleman' comes through."

Since Murray lost to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the first round here in 2008, the Scot has won 36 out of 37 matches against French players. He likes playing them because most are flair players. "I don't give them that many mistakes and play solid all of the time," Murray said. "I think that's why my game has matched up pretty well."

Murray admitted that his French speaking had not improved over the years, but added: "I've been trying to learn Spanish. I got the Rosetta Stone stuff in December and I was doing it religiously for five or six days.

"Then it went pear-shaped because I was always doing it in the evening when my girlfriend was sleeping and I would be on the computer speaking Spanish to the computer.

"She got fed up with it so I'm blaming her, because after four or five days of it, she was saying: 'Just turn the bloody thing off.' I haven't done it since."

Suggested Topics
Sport
footballLIVE City face Stoke, while Warnock returns to Palace dugout
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
gadgets + echSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
News
i100
News
The slice of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake and the original box from 29 July 1981
newsPiece of Charles and Diana's wedding cake sold at auction in US
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
News
i100
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone