Mathieu Montcourt dies, aged 24
Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:38
World No.119 Mathieu Montcourt was found dead this morning at the door of his Paris apartment. He was 24.
The FFT announced this morning that the Frenchman had died overnight but that the causes of his death are not yet known.
It is with great sadness that the French tennis federation has learned of the sudden death of Mathieu Montcourt, they said in a statement. Mathieu was an enthusiastic young man, passionate, very endearing, and extremely appreciated for his kindness and politeness.
Patrice Dominguez, the FFTs technical director, added: Mathieu was a promising young player. We are totally devastated.
Montcourt, who turned pro in 2002 and reached No.104 in the world in June after qualifying for the main draw at the French Open, was reportedly found dead by his girlfriend in front of the door to his ground floor apartment in Paris, just a day after a ban for betting on tennis matches took effect.
French radio station RMC had reported that Montcourt had suffered a pulmonary embolism, but an autopsy performed on Wednesday determined the cause of death was a cardiac arrest.
World No.2 Rafael Nadal later expressed his shock at the news. The Spaniard faced Montcourt during their time as juniors.
This morning I woke up with one of the worst bits of news anyone can receive, Nadal said. I heard about the death of our friend Mathieu Montcourt. I am still under shock for this. I cant believe it. I knew Mathieu since we were kids. We competed together.
In August last year, Montcourt was handed an eight-week ban and fined $12,000 for betting on tennis matches. The ban was reduced to five weeks on appeal.
Montcourt argued during the French Open that the punishment was too harsh, saying that he never bet more than $3 at any time, and had never been on his own matches a fact confirmed by the ATP.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport said Montcourt had wagered a total of $192 on 36 tennis events in 2005 before reducing the suspension.
Montcourt had reached the second round of this years French Open, where he lost to Radek Stepanek. His last tournament was a Challenger in the Croatian town of Rijeka last month, where he reached the semi-finals.