Tennis Prose



Biofile Lucas Pouille Interview

By Scoop Malinowski

Status: ATP no. 454. Winner of five ATP singles titles. Best ranking was no. 10 in 2018. In 2017 he won three titles on three different surfaces – Budapest clay, Stuttgart grass and Vienna indoor hard court.

Ht: 6-1 Wt: 179

DOB: February 23, 1994 In: Grand-Synthe, France

First Tennis Memory: The first time I went to tennis I remember it was close, they were building a tennis club 200 meters from where my parents lived. And the friend of our family asked if we would like to go try to play tennis, seven or eight years old, I remember taking my first racquet at this time.

Tennis Inspirations: First time I remember starting to dream of being a tennis player was when I was watching Davis Cup final France vs. Russia. And that’s when I started to want to be a professional. (Youzhny vs Mathieu?) Exactly. Not the best memory for French tennis. That was still a great weekend.

Last Book Read: I have no idea. I’m not a big reader. Probably ten years ago.

Current Car: Range Rover Sport (black).

First Famous Player You Met Or Encountered: Richard Gasquet when I was ten years old. First time was in Paris at a club called Le Pyramide. It was an activity – I was playing with Head at the time – and he was there with the sponsor. I went to pick up my racquets and that was the first time that I met him. (He was nice to you?) Very nice. He’s a great guy.

Greatest Career Moment: I don’t know… probably the Davis Cup when we won the Davis Cup and I won the decisive match (2017 vs Belgium’s Steve Darcis 63 61 60). So that was probably one of the most beautiful moments.

Most Painful Moment: When I got injured in 2019 and I was playing great at the time. I played the semis of Australia (Open, beat Kukushkin, Marterer, Popyrin, Coric, Raonic before losing to Djokovic in three sets). I finished and got injured for three years. So that was the moment. Elbow injury. Then after eight months it didn’t go away so we decided to make a surgery.

Favorite Tournaments I’ve never played well there but I love the atmosphere of Indian Wells. The atmosphere is great and I love golf. But I’ve never played great tennis there but I love the atmosphere.

Which Match(es) Did You Feel At Your Best: When I beat Rafa I surprised myself and a lot of people. In 2016 at US Open in the fourth round, 76 in the fifth. And especially the first set when I won 6-1 or something. It was… I was quite impressed by myself [smiles].

Strangest Match: A Future in Turkey. I was with Jean-Christophe Fauriel at the time, he was my coach. I was so nervous, I was not clear on my mind, I lost a point. And I went to the net and I shook the guy’s hand… and the match was not over… so it was only 5-3 in the second set. And I thought it was done. And then he (coach) came to me and said, WTF are you doing?! You’re not done yet. It’s your serve, it’s 5-3. But it was too late. So I go to the referee and say the match is not over. But if you shake the hand, it’s done. So that was a weird moment. But it was a long time ago. I was sixteen or seventeen, my first Futures.

Funniest Player Encountered: Good question… I think Gael is one of them. Monfils. He’s one of a kind. We always laugh a lot. Like one month ago with him in Switzerland practicing with him and we had so much fun. He’s one of the funniest guys.

Embarrassing Career Memory: Nope. Not that I remember. I’ve never been an asshole on the court or this kind of stuff. So, no, I don’t see any kind of embarrassing moment.

Why Do You Love Playing Tennis: I think because you have to face yourself, you have to look at yourself in the mirror. All your emotions on the court are multiplied by, I don’t know how many (times). It’s tough with all the emotions and to face it.

Favorite Sport Outside Tennis: Golf.

Favorite Athletes To Watch: Steph Curry. Kylian Mbappe. Tiger Woods. And Rory McIlroy.

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Vanilla.

Favorite Artist: In France, Jean-Louis Aubert.

People Qualities Most Admired: Kindness. Kindness for me is the most important.

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