The bitter fall of a tennis star

It sounds like someone wrote a script about the career of former world number ten Lucas Pouille.

He once beat the great Rafael Nadal, played for titles at Grand Slams, even won the Davis Cup with France – and suddenly found himself in the midst of regular alcohol consumption and depression. In an interview, Pouille, who plans to return soon, revealed the tragedy he endured over the past few years: “For my mental health, I had to stop. I would have run into the wall.” How will the once-successful athlete perform after his recovery? Make live bet on his failures or accomplishments. Pouille sensationally beats Nadal at Australian Open

The first major appearance was almost exactly ten years ago: Pouille received a wildcard for the French Open as a Frenchman and was allowed to prove himself on the big stage for the first time.

From then on, his career took off: In 2016, the 1.86-meter athlete beat Rafael Nadal in the round of 16 at the Australian Open, followed a year later by the Davis Cup triumph with his home country.

And the successes initially seemed never-ending. At the end of March 2018, the man with the important strokes even found himself in tenth place in the world rankings and was even able to briefly win over former German star Tommy Haas as his coach.

But it was to remain the highest position in his career for the time being. After the joys of fatherhood in January 2020, a long period of suffering began.

Elbow injury puts Pouille out of action for a long time

An elbow injury, which resulted in an operation, put the right-hander out of action for months.

His good world ranking was gone, and with it his confidence: “When you have all that behind you and are beaten in the first round of a challenger by the number 300 in the world rankings,” that’s tough.

But he himself didn’t see living with the new reality of a lower ranking. In his mind, he was still a top-10 player: “I didn’t have the humility, and it’s not pleasant to tell yourself you lack humility.”

Along with the sporting woes came the accompanying problems. Sponsorship deals with Rolex and Peugeot were subsequently terminated; he was too low in the rankings.

Pouille: “Started to see everything in the black”.

And yet he decided last year to get serious about coming back. With a training camp at the beginning.

The result: a broken rib, noticed on passing shots on the court: “That’s when I think, ‘If I break a rib on a forehand, it’s not for me anymore.’ From then on, I started to see everything in the black.”