Do you take more pleasure in this “second career”? Do you play differently?
I’ve evolved, that’s for sure. I take more perspective on the circuit and on the sport in general. I take more pleasure, I savor, because I know that I am no longer 20 years old.
In my game, I am even more aggressive. Especially when I play against players who are 5 or 10 years younger than me.
The physical is one of my strengths. I can physically beat a young person in a match… But over a week, a month, a season, it’s more complicated, it pulls on the legs. So being more aggressive is a big challenge to myself.
What is your program for the next few weeks?
I have just registered at Saint-Dizier, a “25000” in France. In April, I have a big choice to make: either three $25,000 in Nottingham on an outdoor hard court, or go to Jakarta. The level may be lower even though they are also “25000”, the cost of living is cheaper, there are points to be taken…
To see according to the lists that come out. Since the takeover, it was the first time that I had left Europe, apart from going to Tunisia. The level is still less high outside of Europe.
What is your training structure? What are your objectives for this season and in the medium term?
In September 2022, I moved to Cannes to train at the Mouratoglou Academy. But I am still licensed at the Sannois club.
The big goal I set myself a year ago is qualifying for Roland-Garros 2023. I’m going to be 382nd next Monday… I’m getting closer but in terms of points, I’m still far away. If I play very well the next few weeks, it could be possible. I will try, of course. I’m 100 points short, so that means winning four $25,000, which is very difficult.
But if it’s not Roland-Garros, I’m going to fight for the other Grand Slam qualifiers. And if it’s not this year, I’m going to fight to get there next year. To sum up, let’s say that the big objective is to be a safe top 350 before the summer, to only play Challengers in the second half of the season.
You launched a YouTube channel where you share many videos about your daily life as a tennis player. Do you manage to manage this activity in addition to the tournaments?
Making these videos takes me a lot of time… But I took up tennis again because there was this channel and I felt capable of still doing things on the sporting side. It makes me happy to show everyone what we experience on a daily basis on the secondary circuit.
Do gamers come to you and tell you they’re watching your channel?
Enormously ! In the final in Montreal, there were about 200 people and maybe 150 following the channel. It was just amazing…
I am followed in France, of course. But also abroad, people come to see me to talk to me about the channel, about people outside tennis but also about the players. I put the subtitles in English to reach even more audience.
You have been on the circuit for several seasons now. And with your Youtube channel, you have become a keen observer of tennis. Do you think this sport has changed in recent years?
He has changed a lot. I find that there are more and more players who play very well. Young people have fewer and fewer weak points, the level has become more uniform.
In 2010, when I was playing a world No. 900 guy, I knew I was going to win in straight sets pretty easily. It’s not at all the same now, the level has nothing to do. A guy who’s 800 today can win a guy who’s 200. There’s more competition, the players are more complete. They pay much more attention to everything related to lifestyle, food, sleep…