Former tennis player Angélique Cauchy’s shocking testimony: “He raped me more than 400 times in two years”

The Frenchwoman gave details of the abuse she suffered as a child by her coach, Andrew Gueddes, sentenced to 18 years in prison for various rapes of minors between 12 and 17 years old. “I thought several times about committing suicide,” the victim acknowledged.

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The former tennis player appeared before the National Assembly of France.
The former tennis player appeared before the National Assembly of France.

Something that characterizes the development structure of the French Tennis Federation is the excellence of the teams with which they usually assist their emerging figures. I remember a few years ago the delegation that accompanied a barely adolescent Richard Gasquet on his first tour of Latin America. From the technical director of the national team to a psychologist, they left no detail to chance when it came to attending the incipient crack.

Something that dramatically characterizes high-performance sports in these times is the worrying tendency to hide or delay the reporting of countless cases of abuse of athletes, sometimes from an early age. Physical and psychological violence, dishonest abuse, improper relationships due to age difference, rape and even scams appear more and more often, although, paradoxically, too late to avoid some of the enormous harm that predators commit.

Suddenly, both descriptions came together in the same news.


Former tennis player Angélique Cauchy gave a shocking testimony in the French Parliament about the abuse she suffered from her coach, Andrew Gueddes, sentenced in 2021 to 18 years in prison for different allegations of rape of minors between 12 and 17 years of age.

He raped me more than 400 times in two years,” Cauchy, 36, told the National Assembly as part of an investigation into different situations of rape and mistreatment that occurred in French tennis with the consent of the authorities.

Cauchy told how Gueddes’ abuse began: “It started by verbally assaulting me. I tried to defend myself and asked him to finish, repeating, day after day: ‘Don’t touch me, that’s not right. I don’t want to’.” The former tennis player said that the coach replied “don’t worry, this happens very often between coaches and young girls”.

The relationship with Gueddes began at the age of 12 when he began training her at the Sarcelles club and Cauchy stated that during a rally in La Baule she spent “the worst 15 days of her life”.

“He took his victims to La Baule, far from home, completely uprooted, to move on to higher stages. He raped me three times a day. The first night he asked me to come to his room and I didn’t. And that’s how he got into mine. It was worse. I was stuck, I couldn’t go out when I wanted to. I became little less than a slave, a sleepwalker,” said the Frenchwoman, who admitted that she thought about taking her own life.

“I had a notebook with the autographs of the PSG players because I was going to see them at the Camp des Loges and between those sheets of paper I wrote: ‘I can’t do it anymore, this has to end, I’m going to make it all finish’. I thought several times about killing myself,” Cuachy said, stating that Gueddes even told her that she had AIDS: “I lived between 13 and 18 thinking I had AIDS.”

As part of the investigation carried out by the special commission of the National Assembly, it was revealed that a woman told what was happening to the president of the club where Cauchy trained and the answer was: “Maybe that has happened and will happen. But, in this case, the coach brings us titles.”

“It was well known that he wasn’t good with young girls. I don’t talk about myself because they didn’t know about me. But as for the others, there were always those who said: yes, he’s with her, he goes out with her. But at 38, you don’t date a 15-year-old girl, especially when you’re training her,” Cauchy told the French Parliament.

Beyond the responsibilities that each one wants to assign from the degree of impotence to learn about such a drama, it would be important for us to commit ourselves to generating fertile ground so that abused people do not feel ignored, misunderstood or, much less, censored when deciding to tell their story.

Family members, managers, coaches, assistants and even journalists and fans have something to contribute in this regard.

When it comes to abusers of such brutality, helping to limit them would almost be a gesture of self-defense.