Already awarded in 2014, Franck Ramella, from the daily The Team, won the 2022 Denis-Lalanne Prize at the end of May, which, as a prelude to Roland Garros, celebrates the best article written on the past edition of the French Open tennis tournament. Words at the service of sport. Because the images cannot say everything about what is being played out, for a fortnight, on the crushed brick of the Porte d’Auteuil.
In this exercise, Denis Lalanne (1926-2019), novelist, journalist, aerial pen and lynx eye, was a prince. Gathered under the chairmanship of Gilles Moretton, the boss of the French Tennis Federation, the jurors rewarded Franck Ramella for an article under the title “audiardien”, “Les confs, ça dare tout”, where it is a question of this moment of post-match: the press conference.
Winner and loser are no exception: it is the law of sport-people. For better or for worse because the “conf” covers the whole range of a genre where players and players are not equally talented: it goes from the minimum service in wooden language to the sincere emotion through the humor and scholarly commentary.
Publisher and art lover, Christophe Penot, the master builder of “Lalanne”, each year asks an artist – painter, draftsman, graphic designer – to salute the winner. Franck Ramella left with, under his arm, an original lithograph signed by the great Italian painter Valerio Adami: a champion, a champion, rushing to the net at the end of the swing. In tennis, you need windy soles.