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AP

Richard Gasquet is defending his country's attitude towards its tennis players, responding to Federer's recent scrutiny of French tennis.

While talking about the national pressure juniors experience, Federer told press at the Shanghai Masters, "France, an example, I think they make their players too big too soon, and then they become a bit, I don't want to say spoiled, but a bit too happy too soon rather than finishing their development."

But Gasquet, long among France's top players, said it's beneficial to get a positive reaction from the country.

"We should be congratulating ourselves from time to time, French sport is good all the same," Gasquet was quoted as saying by French press. "There are plenty of idiots from whom to hear, 'He couldn't do it.'"

Gasquet, who was nine years old when he was famously featured on the cover of a French tennis magazine, insisted that the national attention he has received could not be blamed for hindering his career. He called for public backing to increase as the French attempt to win the Davis Cup.

"I would have liked maybe to be better positioned, but if I did not succeed in becoming No. 1, it's my fault," he said. "The excuses must stop—it's normal for the press and the public to want us to succeed. We should motivate ourselves and get everyone to carry the players, especially for the next months."

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is the top-ranked French male player at No. 17, but the country has five players in the Top 50. Gasquet is No. 28 in the rankings.


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