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
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Extras
indybest
Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
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.

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum