the 2020 Denis-Lalanne Prize awarded to Christian Despont

Let us cautiously issue what could be a law of sport and letters: to great champions, beautiful feathers. By this we mean that the Swiss written press, in this case, has been at the rendezvous of the two tennis stars who have been the pride of the Swiss Confederation for several years. Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka have inspired talents on the courts but also in the press room.

For the second year in a row, the Denis-Lalanne Prize, which celebrates the marriage of crushed brick and pulp, was awarded on Tuesday September 29 to a Swiss journalist. After Laurent Favre, from the newspaper Time, Christian Despont, from Morning Sunday, wins the eighth edition of a prize created to reward the best article on the French Open.

“Roland” loves elegance

It was Roland-Garros 2019, in pre-Covid times, which, in the light of a rainy beginning of spring, saw Federer suffocated, stunned in three sets, under the lift of Rafael Nadal. But now, the public did not care about the score, they were there to applaud the one who remains number one in his heart, “RodGER”. It is this mystery of the affect premium over performance that Despont was able to say so well: “Aesthetes adore Roger Federer as technicians admire Novak Djokovic and backpackers adulate Rafael Nadal.

Now “Roland” loves elegance. The Lalanne Prize, created by the art engraver Christophe Penot and sponsored by the French Tennis Federation, exists to salute and maintain the memory of a man of style and wit: the writer and journalist Denis Lalanne, who died in 2019, for whom sport without the words to say it was a bit of a spectacle without a soul.

Christian Despont returned to the press room with a lithograph by the great Dutch painter Pat Andrea under his arm.

Obituary: Denis Lalanne, a great feather in the service of tennis


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