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'When you do that you lose!' Pouille, inspired by daughter, shining at Wimbledon again

  • Posted: Jul 05, 2024

On Wednesday evening, before Lucas Pouille played his second-round match at The Championships, he enjoyed a video call with his three-and-a-half-year-old daughter Rose.

“She told me ‘Dad, you have to stop. You lose, you win, you lose, you lose, you lose. Stop putting the ball in the net!’” Pouille told “She told me that and I was like, ‘Yeah, you will understand later. But that will happen again and again’.

‘Yeah, but when you do that you lose!’

“It was funny. We spent 20, 25 minutes talking and she was talking alone about this. It’s great.”

Pouille took his daughter’s advice to heart. On Thursday, the Frenchman advanced past Thanasi Kokkinakis, who retired in the third set, to reach the third round at a major for the first time since Wimbledon in 2019.

“That’s what I’ve been looking for for ages now. The last time I was in third round of a Grand Slam was 2019, so a long time ago,” Pouille said. “I think I’m just proud of myself for the way I’m working with my team, the way I give myself a chance to compete in this kind of event, and the way I’ve been working the past month or the past six months, year, two years, have been incredible. So I’m just pleased that it’s working now.”


Most importantly, Pouille is thrilled to be showing his daughter what he is capable of. Before Rose was born, the Frenchman was one of the very best tennis players in the world. In 2018 he reached a career-high No. 10 in the PIF ATP Rankings and by the year’s end he was a five-time ATP Tour titlist.

But since reaching the 2019 Australian Open semi-finals, Pouille has struggled to find consistent health and form. This time last year, the Frenchman was finding his form when he hurt his back during the last round of Wimbledon qualifying, suffering a stress fracture. When he returned in September, Pouille tore an abdominal muscle.

The No. 148 player in the PIF ATP Live Rankings has not stopped pushing forward, though. Pouille is trying to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon for just the second time and has plenty of motivation in his daughter. After defeating Laslo Djere in five sets in the first round, Pouille received a video of Rose celebrating.

“That’s the first thing I saw when I came into the locker room. I took my phone just hoping that I was receiving a picture of my daughter, and she sent me the video. Honestly, that’s the only thing that matters at the moment when you look at this. It’s unreal,” Pouille said. “Now that she’s starting to understand what is winning and what is losing, it’s just great to show how happy she was.”

Despite being just three-and-a-half years old, Rose plays tennis sometimes.

“Every time she comes to a tournament and we finish a practice, she wants to hit a few balls. So I give her the racquet and we play. But yeah, we’ll see. We’ll see if she will play or not. That’s going to be her choice,” Pouille said. “There is no doubt she wins [when we play]. She cannot lose. Even when she loses, she says she won. So I say, ‘Okay, you won’.”

Pouille added: “That’s the most important thing now in my life. So obviously, it’s helping to see some positives when you’re in bad times. But yeah, it helps. I just want to be back where I want to be so she can also enjoy life on Tour and see me play.”

Gerard Tsobanian has managed Pouille since the end of 2016. He explained that Pouille has been on the top of the sport, knows his quality and wants to enjoy it more and make those successes happen again.

“He knows that when he finishes it’s never going to come back,” Tsobanian said. “He will be away from the courts and not feel again the moments like walking through Wimbledon and player lockers, on the courts, feeling the crowd. That’s what made him stick and dig deep and stick around and work hard again.”

According to Tsobanian, there is one formula that has consistently proven correct over the years and it is one Pouille has been following.

“When you work hard, the results come,” Tsobanian said. “If it’s not tomorrow, it’s in two days or one week or one month or 10 months that it comes. You have to keep working hard and the reward will come. So that’s what should be remembered — never give up. It’s easy to say but keep on working.”

Pouille paused to reflect on his journey over the past five years. For a man who has achieved some of the greatest highs in the sport — reaching the Top 10, winning titles and even defeating Rafael Nadal at the 2016 US Open — the Frenchman has learned just as much, if not more, from his toughest moments.

“I think that after tough times, you always have good times if you give yourself a chance to make it,” Pouille said. “When you put in the work, anything is possible, and you can come back in life in general. It’s normal to feel bad at some point. It’s normal to live [through] some tough times. But you have to do everything to turn it around and to find a better moment.”

Wimbledon has long been a special place for Pouille, who made his first major quarter-final at the event in 2016. When the Frenchman qualified for the main draw at this edition, he told his coach he wanted to go for a walk at Wimbledon just to soak in the moment and enjoy the “beautiful” venue. Now Pouille will try to keep the magic going against ninth seed Alex de Minaur.

“Every match, especially in tennis, anything is possible. We’ve seen that,” Pouille said. “I am going to recover as good as possible and give myself a chance to be 100 per cent on the court Saturday, and hopefully win the match.”


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  • Posted: Jul 05, 2024

Qasa Alom and guests look back at the day’s play at Wimbledon.

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Sinner breezes past Kecmanovic to reach Wimbledon 4th round

  • Posted: Jul 05, 2024

Jannik Sinner is through to the Wimbledon fourth round for the third consecutive year after a clinical 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 win over Miomir Kecmanovic under a closed Centre Court roof Friday night.

The top seed and World No. 1 in the PIF ATP Rankings needed four sets to defeat Yannick Hanfmann in the first round and fellow Italian Matteo Berrettini in the second round, when he needed to produce some of his best tennis to move past the former Wimbledon finalist.


But strong serving and measured play from the baseline was enough to take Sinner to a routine win over Kecmanovic in one hour, 37 minutes. After dropping serve three times against Berrettini, the Australian Open champion didn’t face a break point until the final game of the match and dropped just six points on his first serve.

“It’s been a very, very busy day here on the Centre Court so I’m glad to finish it off and now get some good recovery,” Sinner said. “It feels great to be back here… I love the atmosphere here.

“Me and my team are working very hard to be in this position. My game has improved but we still keep making sacrifices to improve more. I feel the combination with me and my team, we try to get better each day as a player and a person.”

Sinner spent 27 per cent of the match in attacking positions compared to Kecmanovic’s 22 per cent. He clipped 35 winners to 16, including 11 aces.

Sinner next faces the winner of the all-left-handed battle between 14th seed Ben Shelton and Canadian Denis Shapovalov; that match was suspended due to rain after just five games were completed Friday.

A potential semi-final showdown with defending champion Carlos Alcaraz remains alive, following the Spaniard’s five-set win over Frances Tiafoe earlier in the day.

Sinner has the chance to tighten his grip on the quest to finish the year No. 1 for the first time by taking the Wimbledon title. Sinner already boasts a 1,135-point lead over second-placed Alexander Zverev in the PIF ATP Live Race To Turin, which serves as an indicator of who will claim ATP Year-End No. 1 presented by PIF honours.


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Gille/Vliegen advance at Wimbledon

  • Posted: Jul 05, 2024

Belgians Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen advanced to the second-round at Wimbledon on Friday when they moved past Facundo Diaz Acosta and Alexandre Muller 6-2, 6-3.

The Belgians, who are chasing their second title of the season together, will next play Lloyd Glasspool and Jean-Julien Rojer after the British-Dutch team beat Guido Andreozzi and Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela 6-0, 6-3.

Sebastian Baez and Dustin Brown overcame 13th seeds Hugo Nys and Jan Zielinski 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(10-5) and meet Sebastian Ofner and Sam Weissborn in the second round. The Austrians downed Diego Hidalgo and Alejandro Tabilo 7-5, 6-4.


Harri Heliovaara and Henry Patten defeated Pedro Martinez and Jaume Munar 7-6(5), 6-3, while Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni sunk Stefanos Tsitsipas and Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6(3), 6-3.

Germans Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz became the first team to reach the third round when they overcame Yuki Bhambri and Albano Olivetti 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

All other doubles matches were either suspended or postponed for the day due to rain ending play early on the outside courts.


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Flashback: 10 years since Zverev's first Challenger title

  • Posted: Jul 05, 2024

A tall, thin teenager by the name of Alexander Zverev stepped onto home soil at the 2014 Braunschweig Challenger. Crushing hefty first serves and blistering the ball with his two-handed backhand, the German earned a career-igniting victory in front of a packed crowd.

The 17-year-old with wavy, blonde hair lifted his first ATP Challenger Tour title that July afternoon, 10 years ago Friday.

Then-ranked No. 665 in the PIF ATP Rankings, Zverev had just one ATP Challenger Tour main-draw win under his belt entering Braunschweig. Tennis fans were becoming more familiar with Zverev that year, when in January the teen won the Australian Open boys’ singles title.

A wild card competing 200 kilometres from his hometown Hamburg, Zverev went on a dream run on the red clay of Braunschweig. A decade later, Zverev’s first title at that level is still etched in a piece of Challenger history. Zverev is the third-youngest Challenger champion since 2010. Only Felix Auger-Aliassime has claimed a title at a younger age in that time period.

Youngest ATP Challenger Tour champions since 2010

Age Player Title
16 years, 10 months Felix Auger-Aliassime 2017 Lyon
17 years, 1 month Felix Auger-Aliassime 2017 Sevilla
17 years, 2 months Alexander Zverev 2014 Braunschweig
17 years, 3 months Carlos Alcaraz 2020 Trieste

Zverev defeated three Top 100 players en route to the Challenger 125 crown, including a final victory against Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu. It was a launching pad for the home hope who has since ascended as high as World No. 2 in the PIF ATP Rankings.

The two-time major finalist made quick progress on the ATP Challenger Tour and enjoyed early success on the ATP Tour. Two weeks after winning in Braunschweig, Zverev earned his maiden tour-level match win in Hamburg. He did not stop there. The wild card reached the semi-finals, falling to David Ferrer.

Zverev cracked the Top 100 for the first time in May 2015 following a title run at the Heilbronn Challenger. The German played just one more event at that level.

Now with 22 tour-level titles in his trophy cabinet, which includes two Nitto ATP Finals and the 2021 Tokyo Olympics gold medal, Zverev has earned more than $43 million in prize money in his standout career that featured one of its first shining moments 10 years ago.

This is what the ATP Challenger Tour prides itself in, serving as a building block for young players testing their game against the world’s best. And you never know when the player in front of your eyes is headed from outside the Top 500 to a single-digit ranking next to his name.

Did You Know?
The Braunschweig Challenger is celebrating its 30th anniversary next week. Past winners include Gaston Gaudio, current ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi, Tomas Berdych, Jan-Lennard Struff and Zverev.


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